Skin care basics and product faves
Skin care is surprisingly, way simpler and easier than many people make it out to be. I truly believe that great skin takes mere MINUTES of self care per day. Here are my TEN COMMANDMENTS for beautiful skin:
Thou shalt remember, WATER IS HOLY.
Drink water and then drink water again! Try to start every morning with a large glass of water and make sure to get at least 8 glasses per day. You simply can not replicate the dewy glow that comes natural with proper hydration. It’s hard to believe, but drinking water actually minimizes the look of fine lines on the face, reduces dark circles under the eyes, and brightens the complexion.
Thou shalt PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN!
The sun is like that guy that your dad warned you about and your friends can’t stand. Go ahead, have lots of fun with him, but keep him at arm’s distance! Utilizing sun protection long term is probably the most powerful tool you can use to prevent premature signs of aging. Make sure to put a moisturizer with at least spf 30 on the face, chest, and hands every morning. If you are planning sun-filled activities, lather sunblock on BEFORE your head outdoors (one to try is La Roche Posay Anthelios spf 60 or Elta MD UV daily spf 40) and while you are still nakey to help avoid missing spots along straps or collars. I like to bring along an aerosolized sunblock like Sunbum Original Sunscreen Spray spf 50 for touch-ups every 2 hours. For people with very sensitive skin or allergies to preservatives or for people who engage in water activities and athletics, sun protective clothing provides an excellent shield. Check out Coolibar for a wide range of hats, shirts, and other items with guaranteed spf levels and take a look at Yaffa Activewear for elegant and stylish women’s sun protective clothing, perfect for the tennis court.
Thou shalt not kill all of the GOOD BACTERIA that live on your skin.
Many people are now aware of the role of pre and probiotics in digestive health but the skin also benefits from a healthy microbiome made up of symbiotic microorganisms. Do NOT use harsh soaps and detergents on your skin and do not over-utilize topical or oral antibiotics because the same substances that kill pathogenic bacteria also destroy the good ones. Easy ways to support a healthy microbiome for your skin include eating foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt with live cultures, taking supplemental probiotics, or using topical pre/probiotics.
On that note, thou shalt NOT SCRUB your skin like it’s the bathroom floor.
I personally only wash my face gently at night to remove makeup. You do not require special equipment for this and please do not put harsh soaps or rough scrubs on your face.
Thou shalt make sure your SKIN ROUTINE FITS YOUR BUSY LIFE!
Listen, we all have lofty goals of all the things we want to “start doing” for our exercise routines, scrapbooks, meal prep, novel writing (or even reading), home organization, and more! And I am sure that it would be amazing to gently wash your skin with rose petals while soaking in a candlelit tub followed by twelve Korean skin routine steps guaranteed to create an unmatched glow...However, the best skincare routine for you is THE ONE THAT YOU WILL ACTUALLY DO. When you have the time or energy (or a little human isn’t actively emptying your bathroom drawers), by all means treat yourself to a true ritual. But for all those other days, make it easy on yourself. I actually keep ready to use facial cleansing cloths in my bedside table (one to try, Burt’s Bees Micellar Water Cloths), along with my night serum and moisturizer. This means that I can lay in bed, wash my face with a cloth, and put on serum and moisturizer, all while my head is laying on my pillow. I meditate as I fall asleep and I feel this “little ritual” helps relax me and get me comfortable.
Thou shalt NOT PICK AT SKIN.
Please, for the love of your face, do not pick/squeeze/poke your skin, especially not with foreign objects or needles. If you absolutely MUST pop a zit, then do this: apply a warm, wet compress for five minutes then take two cotton swabs and gently roll the cotton swabs towards each other on your skin and press them together in order to express the contents of the pimple.
Thou shalt KEEP YOUR SKIN SOFT AS A BABY’S BUM.
Take lukewarm (not scalding hot) showers and immediately apply moisturizer to your body after patting skin dry. If your skin is super dry, try Cerave cream or even a clean, cold pressed oil, like coconut oil, macademia oil, avocado oil, or argan oil.
Thou shalt remember that YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
While a true link between diet and the skin is difficult to completely demonstrate in scientific studies, I think it is important to let common sense be thy guide. OF COURSE your diet and nutrition contribute to the health of your skin. For a gorgeous glow, I recommend consuming plenty of raw vegetables and lean proteins, as well as avoidance of excess dairy, animal fats, and sugar. Friends, if you didn’t already know, sugar is the devil.
Thou shalt REST.
You need sleep. I will repeat, YOU NEED TO SLEEP. Create a bedtime routine that helps you enter a relaxed state and prioritize your rest. Your skin will thank you, but more importantly, your brain will thank you too. And your boss/husband/children. I know this is tough for some people (including me) but try to sleep on your back. Yes, you WILL get more wrinkly if you sleep on your side or your stomach.
Thou shalt let you DERMATOLOGIST BE YOUR GUIDE.
A great skin care program begins with a true professional; always check the credentials of your doctor and ensure that they completed an ACGME approved dermatology residency and that they are in good standing with the American Academy of Dermatologists. Make sure to get your skin checked regularly and ask your dermatologist for recommendations for YOUR skin specifically.