Advertisements constantly bombarded at you on social media, tv commercials showcasing the “latest & greatest” beauty products, influencers being paid to promote whatever comes in their mailbox, or Suzy-down-the-street chasing you down to buy her new MLM beauty line she swears works. It all makes skincare seem kinda scary and downright daunting. There are MILLIONS of products on the market, so how do you even begin to narrow it down?!
You think to yourself: This is scary, I don’t want to be in this cosmetic store. All these products and bright lights are overwhelming. What in the frick is hyaluronic acid? Does it burn? Oh shit, the associate has spotted my clueless face. I’m just going to grab this kit and run. “No thanks, I don’t need help” you say as you dart past to the checkout counter.
Sound about right? Surely this one-size-fits all kit would work? Nope. You knew I was going to say that. Your skin is just as unique as your fingerprint. Your genetics, lifestyle, diet, stress levels, hormone levels, and even the environment all play a factor in what your skin needs. To top it all off and add more confusion to the mix, your skin changes on a seasonal and even daily basis. So how in the crap do you choose a product?
I’m here to help.
At minimum, we need something I like to call the “Golden 3“. For more advanced or aging users the minimum is the “Fabulous 5“.
THE GOLDEN 3
1. A Cleanser. Twice daily use, AM & PM. EVERYONE with a face needs a cleanser. Period. Makeup wipes DO NOT CUT IT. They don’t remove all of the sweat, oil, makeup, or other junk and they leave a film of their own on the face. This will prevent your other products from working properly. Men AND women should cleanse TWICE per day. A cleanser should be pH balanced and chosen specifically for your skin care needs. Not all cleansers are the same. More advanced users may use 2 cleansers, a more gentle cleanser in the AM and a more ‘aggressive’ one in the PM to kill any bacteria or remove any remaining makeup. Stick with professional, non MLM or OTC lines, to avoid excessive ingredient fillers.
My favorite one to recommend (and use myself) is SkinScript Skincare’s Green Tea Citrus Cleanser. It is gentle and just balanced enough to be appropriate for most skin types. It’s a great price point and you don’t want it to do anything fancy since it’s not on your skin long enough to do much more than remove residue and balance. $26.50
2. A Moisturizer. To be used twice per day, AM & PM. This is the biggest skincare product that gets overlooked. You’ve cleansed your face and now you think you are ready for bed? NOOOOOO. You need to protect your skin’s natural barrier and help it regenerate through the day and night. Yes, I am even talking to YOU, person who thinks they are ‘too oily’ to wear moisturizer! Even ‘oily’ people need a moisturizer. It’s NOT just for dry skin. This is where it gets tricky. 99.9% of people who think they are truly oily are not and use the wrong products making the body overproduce oil to compensate. It’s a never ending cycle. Another thing to mention is the trend where people use oils to cleanse and moisturize in one step. Oils CANNOT moisturize the skin. The molecules are too large to do anything except sit on top, creating a impenetrable barrier. Moisturizers should contain at least some of the following (depending on needs): fatty acids, lipids, and ceramides. Some moisturizers even contain calming ingredients such as: aloe, calendula, chamomile, niacinamide, allantoin, bisabolol, licorice, and panthenol. More advanced skin care peeps can use a lighter moisturizer in the AM and a heavier one in the PM.
Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 by SkinCeuticals is my favorite since it contains the exact ratio of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids to match your skin’s barrier. This allows the product to support the skin in natural self-repair.
3. SPF. To be used daily, AM only. You thought you were going to get away without adding this to your routine? HAHAHAHA I wouldn’t be an esthetician without harassing everyone about wearing this. Even if you are inside most of the day, you still need an SPF in your routine. Fluorescent lights and computer screens can cause damage to the skin. There are 2 different categories: Physical and Chemical. Physical works by reflecting the sun’s rays. Chemical works by absorbing the sun’s rays and can cause hyperpigmentation due to increasing heat. Additionally, there have been new studies released that prove those chemical sunscreens end up in your bloodstream and urine. We don’t know how harmful that could be, but I prefer to stick with physical. The best way to protect your skin is to use an SPF UNDER your makeup, not in it. Makeup can dilute the stated efficacy.
I use and reccomend this one because it’s a physical (mineral) sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It also contains macadamia oil, kukui nut oil, jojoba, witch hazel, and honeysuckle which help to hydrate and calm the skin.
THE FABULOUS 5
4. An Exfoliant. A good exfoliant should be used 2-3 times per week, morning or night. That’s it! Scrubs should have perfectly spherical beads so it doesn’t create micro-tears in the skin and cause premature aging. Scrubs are meant to be used to assist the skin in it’s desquamation (shedding) process. Removing dead skin allows your serums and moisturizers to penetrate deeper and work more effectively. This can also help remove debris from the pore, softening any blackheads that may be appearing. The key word is GENTLE. You don’t want to bear down with all your might and create irritation and inflammation. The most popular drug store product people love to use is
St Ives. For the love of your skin, if you have or use this product, stop what you are doing and chunk it in the trash. Right now. Seriously. It’s not doing you any favors and I have seen so many clients with damaged skin because of this. It doesn’t benefit anyone.
Another exfoliating product to mention is the Clarisonic or scrub brushes. This can be overused and you can over exfoliate the skin with any product. Stick with 2-3x per week for best results.
The Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub is my favorite because it can be used as a mask AND a scrub. This product is great for breaking up blackheads and brightening the skin.
5. Vitamin C Serum. To be used daily, in the AM only. THIS is my holy grail product, the one thing I could not live without. Vitamin C can do so many things. It can lessen damage done by UVA/UVB rays and repair damage down to the cellular DNA level. It neutralizes free radicals, which cause oxidative stress and can inhibit our skin’s ability to repair itself. Vitamin C brightens the skin and can prevent excess melanin production caused by the sun. It can also stimulate collagen & elastin production, giving your skin the youthful firmness it once had, reduce acne scarring, and diminish fine lines.
This vitamin C is my favorite. Once applied, it can’t be removed and is effective for up to 72 hours. It also replenishes the skin’s lipids as well as everything mentioned above. This product has a white paper study on the efficacy of reducing tumors caused by UV exposure. It is liquid gold. (Read the study here)
But in what order are all these products supposed to be used?!?!
|2.||Exfoliant here||Or here, but only 2-3x/wk|
|3.||Vitamin C Serum||(reserved for future use)|
|4.||(reserved for future use)||(reserved for future use)|
The products listed are to be used as a general starting point. Different factors may affect what your skin needs. Factors include skin type, lifestyle, and goals. Please see your esthetician for customized recommendations. You can schedule an online or in-person consult with me by clicking the button belowSchedule your consultation