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Skin Care Essentials

 

Choosing the best products for your skin can be overwhelming, because when it comes to skin care one size fits one. 

That’s why we created a system that’s easy to understand and even easier to use, regardless of age, skin type or your level of obsession with skin care products.

We’ve identified five essential categories that any complete skin care routine should include at least one product from.

In order to be a skin care essential, a product must…

  • Be suitable for all skin types
  • Be suitable for all ages
  • Be scientific and effective (the product and each ingredient it contains)
  • Must alleviate maladies to make skin it’s healthiest
  • Do no harm
  • Not contain oils, parabens, alcohol, or artificial dyes and fragrances

Ready to get started?

Let’s take a look at each category, how to choose the best product for your skin, and how to use it.

 

Cleanser

This one may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people are cleansing wrong, or not doing it at all.

Cleanser is the first essential because using a quality cleanser that’s right for your skin is one of the easiest ways to improve the health and appearance of your skin.

Washing your face is essential because it clears dirt, oil, and environmental pollutants that buildup on your skin throughout the day. 

Washing your face also serves as a mild exfoliant, removing dead skin cells to make way for new ones. This keeps the surface of your skin healthy and contributes to a bright, even skin tone!

The wrong cleanser or soap can harm and disrupt your skin, leading to inflammation, redness, breakouts, dryness or overactive oil glands.

Quality cleansers leave your skin clean AND healthy. They don’t dry you out, cause redness, or leave residue that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

How to Choose a Quality Cleanser for Your Skin

  • Never use cleansers that contain sulfates, and never use over the counter bath or facial soap.
  • Avoid products that contain alcohol.
  • If your face turns pink easily after a light touch, is sensitive to other products, or has dry spots on the cheeks look for a gentle cleanser. Avoid cleansers that contain acids like salicylic, and exfoliating particles.
  • If your skin is oily in the t-zone and / or prone to breakouts, opt for one with a salicylic acid. Start with a low concentration to be sure your skin can tolerate it. We should be able to clear up breakouts without causing irritation, redness and dry spots!

Pro Tips

  • Use it day, night or anytime your skin gets dirty.
  • You may need multiple cleansers for different times of day and different activities. For example, you may need a more aggressive cleanser for night time after wearing makeup all day, or post workout and a gentle cleanser for morning.
  • Always wash your hands before washing your face.
  • Cleanse twice! Removing your makeup is step one, a good wash is step two.
  • You don’t have to scrub your face when you wash, just gently massage the cleanser into your skin using your hands. The right cleanser will do the work for you.
  • Use a fresh towel to dry off so you’re not rubbing dirt and bacteria back on top of your clean skin.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been a hot ingredient in skin care products for years.

One reason is that vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. 

It protects your skin from oxidative stress caused by UV light and blue light from your device screens; it also protects you from environmental pollution that can accelerate aging.

Additionally, vitamin C is the gold standard for topical treatment of photodamage.

It will brighten your complexion by lightening brown spots without affecting your skin’s overall pigmentation.

Vitamin C also boosts collagen production, which improves the appearance of fine lines. 

Needless to say, vitamin C is a powerful tool to have in your routine. Make it your best friend for daytime defense. 

How to Choose a Quality Vitamin C

  • Check the ingredients! Not all vitamin C’s are created equal.
  • The most common form of vitamin C’s is l-ascorbic acid. Look for at least 15% l-ascorbic. 
  • A new form of vitamin C called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (or THD ascorbate) is more stable, more potent, and better able to penetrate the skin than other forms. Look for at least 20% THD ascorbate.

Pro Tips

  • Use it day and night!
  • Vitamin C most commonly comes in a serum. This helps it absorb more easily, but also exposes it to oxidation which causes it to lose potency over time. If you’re using a serum, try to replace it 60 days after opening.

 

Sunscreen

The #1 cause of aging is sun damage. The single most important thing you can do for your skin is protect it from the sun.

A quality sunscreen will keep your skin young and healthy. 

The ultraviolet light in the sun’s rays harm elastin, which leads to loss of elasticity and sagging.

It also causes your skin to produce more dark pigment than they should. This causes freckles, which clump over time and lead to sun spots. 

Ultraviolet light also damages the DNA in your skin, which can lead to several types of skin cancer.

And yes, you still need a sunscreen even if your foundation contains spf! 

The spf in foundation is diluted by the other ingredients, causing you to have incomplete coverage. Besides, if you’re going to protect your skin from the sun, then you need a product whose purpose is to protect your skin from the sun.

How to Choose a Quality, Everyday Sunscreen

  • Always look for the term “broad spectrum”. This means it protects you from both UVB, the rays that burn, and UVA, the rays that damage and cause aging.
  • Look for a daily sunscreen that is at least 30 spf. For pool or beach days, go with at least 50 spf.
    • Spf (sun protection factor) is a measure of how much solar energy is required to produce a sunburn on protected skin. The higher the number, the more protected you are. 
  • Chemical vs. physical
    • Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that absorb the sun’s rays.
    • Physical sunscreens contain ingredients that create a barrier on the surface of your skin to reflect or block the sun’s rays from penetrating.
    • Chemical doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for your skin. However, if you have sensitive skin, a physical sunscreen may work best for you as it’s less likely to cause irritation.

Pro Tips

  • Wear sunscreen every day!
    • 90% of sun damage comes from what we call transition exposure; the small amounts of every day exposure you get while transitioning from indoors to outdoors and back – like walking from your house to your car or from your car to the grocery store.
  • Apply liberally and rub it in well.

 

Eye Cream

Your eyes are the first place people look when they see you. 

The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body, plus it doesn’t contain any oil glands, which makes it one of the first places on your face to show aging. 

So if you’re thinking is an eye cream really an essential – our answer is YES!

A quality eye cream works wonders for puffiness, fine lines, sagging and dark circles.

Its primary purpose is to hydrate, which is why it’s usually thicker than other products. A good eye cream will also contain targeted ingredients to address puffiness, dark circles and other signs of aging and inflammation.

After just a few weeks of use, eye cream will help you appear years younger.

How to Choose a Quality Eye Cream

  • Stay away from over the counter creams. 

Pro Tips

  • Keep your eye cream in the fridge. The cold helps restrict blood flow to further reduce dark circles – and it feels great.
  • Apply in the morning and at night.
  • Use your pinky finger to apply by patting, so you don’t press too hard. And don’t rub. 
  • Many creams only address under the eye and aren’t suitable for the upper eyelid, so be sure to ask and do your research. 

 

Retinoids & Retinols

Both retinoid and retinol are forms of vitamin A – the #1 ingredient for anti-aging skin care.

Retinols are slightly less powerful forms of vitamin a than retinoids, but both are miracle workers for fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and skin tone and clarity

Vitamin A functions by increasing the rate of cell generation in your skin, prompting old cells on the surface to turn over and make way for new cell growth effectively creating younger skin.

Vitamin A increases the production of collagen to firm and plump the skin. It stimulates new blood vessel growth, which brings nutrients to the skin, helping improve the skin’s color and tone. It also cleans out pores and bacterial growth, which shrinks pore size and clears up pimples and black heads.

You can see why it’s been one of the most popular skin care products for decades.

The one thing to watch out for with Vitamin A products is irritation. It can cause redness, flakiness, dryness and sensitivity.

The best way to avoid this, especially if you have sensitive skin, is to start out slowly with a retinol.

How to Choose a Quality Vitamin A for Your Skin

  • Because of its lower concentration of vitamin a, retinol products are available over the counter. Be sure to avoid products with poor quality or harmful ingredients by doing your research and / or speaking with a skin care professional.
  • Start with a low concentration, like 0.25%

Pro Tips

  • Only use at night! Vitamin A makes your skin more susceptible to ultraviolet light, so never wear it during the day.
  • Start by using the product every other night for a few weeks until your skin builds a tolerance. 
  • Always wash your face after wearing a retinoid at night. Leaving it on for days at a time will irritate your skin.
  • Avoid using it if you’re pregnant or nursing.

That may seem like a lot, but consistently following a skin care routine will lay a foundation for healthy skin. 

After a few weeks of practice it will become habit, and, if you’re like us, a cherished daily ritual.

With these five simple steps, anyone can see a dramatic improvement in their skin in just a few weeks.

Stay beautiful.

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