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10 Tips for Gorgeous Glowing Skin
Skin care products and routines have changed drastically over the past few decades. Who remembers the baby oil and iodine tanning concoction from yesteryear? We have come a long way since then and I have compiled the latest information. As I approach 50, I have a renewed urgency to uncover the best products for the best skin!
1. Cleanse- use a gentle cleanser that will clean your skin without stripping away all of the natural oils. Bar soap, especially deodorant bar soap can be very drying and harsh. Using a quality cleanser can make a difference in the appearance and health of your skin. Choose a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil, Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Cleanser, or Origins A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser. My favorite cleansers are Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, Olay Regenerist Cream Cleanser, Eminence Bright Skin Cleaner and Angels on Bare Skin from Lush. In a pinch I have used Johnson & Johnson's Head to Toe Baby Wash. Origins and Eminence are natural products. Liquid castile soap is another good option for a natural product. I like Dr. Bronner's brand.
I use a cleanser brush or washcloth with cream cleansers to make sure that I remove all of my makeup.
2. Serums- serums are one of the best kept secrets in skin care! It will also be one of your more expensive skin care items. Serums are concentrated and don't have a lot of the cheaper filler ingredients. Be careful if you have eczema or rosacea-serums may irritate these skin conditions.Find a serum with antioxidants, especially vitamin C or hyaluronic acid (more on that later). Vitamin C will brighten and even out your skin tone. Apply a serum after cleansing and you will soon see a positive difference in your skin. Good Housekeeping rated Boots No.7 serum as one of the most effective serums available.
3. Moisturize- choose a good quality moisturizer and use it consistently. This is not an area to skimp or skip! Olay Regenerist, Skin Drink from Lush, The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moistuizer, MAC Strobe Cream, and Clinique Dramitically Different Moisture Lotion or Moisture Surge are all good choices. Avoid moisturizers with petroleum products. While petrochemicals are great for cars, they are not ideal for skin. Mineral oil and petroleum jelly do not contain any nourishing antioxidants like fruit or nut oils.
Extras That Make a Difference
4. Facials and Peels- weekly facials or peels can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. Lush carries several nutrient-rich face masks or you can easily make your own. Facials can tighten, brighten and smooth your skin. Peels are also an effective way to maintain a beautiful complexion. I use a glycolic peel once a week. Glycolic peels are available at most beauty spas or you can buy your own kit. In all of my reading on skin care, glycolic acid and retinol (discussed later) are both mentioned repeatedly by skin care professionals. Boots carries a glycolic peel kit at Target. Add a weekly peel or facial to your routine and you will not be disappointed with the results!
5. Exfoliate- make sure your skin care regimen includes exfoliation. This is a necessity for radiant, glowing skin. Some cleansers, such as Olay Regenerating Cream Cleanser contain exfoliating beads. You can also achieve exfoliation with a gentle cleanser brush or wash cloth. Exfoliate gently so as not to damage your skin.
6. Protect- you have gone to the trouble of buying quality products to cleanse, moisturize and exfoliate. Now protect your beautiful skin with sunscreen. Many products such as foundation and moisturizers contain sunscreen. I also apply a straight sunscreen product on my cheekbones and around the eye area (but I carefully avoid the eyes). This is where most of the sun damage occurs on my skin with wrinkles and sun spots (hyper-pigmentation).
Fresh Facial Ingredients
DIY Facial Ingredients
biotin, iron, B-6, B-1, magnesium, copper, phosphorous
anti-inflammatory, moisturizer, acne treatment (cooked oats), natural cleanser, great for itchy skin
Antioxidants Vitamins A, B, C, E & K, glutamine, amino acids
gentle on the skin; moisturizing; supports collagen production
acne treatment, reduces pore size, evens out skin tone,
Vitamin C, salicylic acid, ellagic acid
acne treatment, skin lightening, anti-aging
Fresh papaya, mashed
Vitamin A, papain enzyme,carotene, alpha-hydroxy acid
acne treatment, exfoliator, evens skin tone, skin tightening, and moisturizer
trace vitamins and minerals; enzymes
moisturizing, acne, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging
lactic acid, zinc,
moisturizer, skin brightener, acne treatment
Oils: avocado, jojoba, olive, almond, coconut, argan, etc.
Some oils contain Vitamin E, lauric acid, and proteins.
Fabulous moisturizers; add a teaspoon to your mask.
Fresh pineapple, mashed
bromelain enzyme, Vitamin C
exfoliator, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging
The Really Good Stuff
7. Feed Your Face!- one ingredient stands above all others for great skin and that is vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to repair the tissues of skin, joints, blood vessels bones and teeth (www.focusforhealth.org). WebMD claims that it helps to protect against immune deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, eye disease and skin wrinkling. But if that is not enough to convince you, click on the link below see what Dr. Oz says about this powerhouse vitamin and skin care.
Scroll down for my Mega Vitamin C smoothie recipe. I take several shots a day of this delicious drink.
8. Supplements- biotin, fish oil and collagen are supplements to consider adding for great skin.* My dermatologist recommended the addition of a biotin supplement a few years ago and it is great for hair, skin and nails. Additionally, I take a fish oil supplement with Omega 3 and I can tell a difference in the appearance of my skin when I quit taking it. Due to recent research, I have also added collagen supplements (scroll down for Collagen Study link) to my diet.The specific type of collagen used in the study is called Verisol. Beauty Drink Mix from Swanson Vitamins contains Verisol. I am currently taking Youtheory Collagen, but I plan to try the Verisol.
*I am not a medical professional and you should consult with your healthcare provider before you add any supplements to your diet.
9. Hyaluronic Acid and Retinoic Acid- Hyaluronic acid is a great moisturizer boost. I like it so much that I use it in two different products: a serum (TruSkin Naturals) and a rosewater mist from Reviva that contains hyaluronic acid. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and can be found in over the counter creams and is effective for preventing the breakdown of collagen and improving wrinkles as well as diminishing brown spots. A dermatologist can prescribe Retinoic acid products that are 100 times more potent that over the counter (WebMD).
10. Sleep- we all know that getting plenty of sleep and drinking plenty of water is great for our skin and overall health. But, have you ever thought about how you sleep? If you sleep on your side, chances are that you are developing a few more wrinkles on that side of your face. Go ahead, get a mirror and look. If sleeping on your back is not a possibility, then think about how your face is placed on your pillow. Smooth out your skin to make sure you are not squishing it and reinforcing those laugh lines/crow's feet. The least 'squishy' position is best.
Bonus Tip- Smoking and sun exposure are the two things that age skin the most. Stop smoking as soon as possible to help reverse the damage caused by the more than 4,000 chemicals and 43 carcinogens that are in each cigarette. While you are kicking the habit, double up on Vitamin C. This will help protect your skin against the damaging effects of smoking.
- Do Collagen Supplements Work Any Better Than Wrinkle Creams? | Prevention
This is an article in Prevention magazine about research on collagen supplements.
The Miraculous Vitamin C
- Drop a Decade from Your Face | The Dr. Oz Show
Dr. Oz consulted with the nation’s top plastic surgeons to find alternatives to popular cosmetic surgical procedures. Safer, cheaper and easier than a facelift or chemical peel, these secrets can help drop a decade from your face.
Mega Vitamin C Smoothie
Mega Vitamin C Smoothie
Fill your blender with your favorite Vitamin C rich fruits. I typically use a combination of fresh and frozen fruit for a smoothie-type consistency. As it blends, add juice until you get the consistency that you want. I use guava juice because guavas have one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C and fresh guavas are not available in my area (guava, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries,and papaya all have a higher Vitamin C content than oranges).. Pour into a jar with a lid and place in the refrigerator. This mixture will thicken as it sits in the 'fridge, so before you pour a shot you may want to thin it with water or more juice. Set aside a few tablespoons for the Mega C Fruit Puree Mask.
Fruits with High Vitamin C Content
Mega C Fruit Puree Mask
A Variety of Face Masks
Be sure to test a small area of skin before you apply the mask to your full face. Apply to clean skin and let sit for 10-15 minutes. If using strawberries, pineapple, papaya or yogurt, you may need to limit the time to 5 minutes due to the fruit acids and lactic acid. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
Mega C Fruit Puree Mask
2 tablespoons of fruit puree
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (regular yogurt will be too runny)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon oil such as almond, avocado, jojoba, coconut or olive (optional)
Mix all ingredients and apply evenly to your face. By the way, this mixture is delicious so put some aside for a nutritious snack.
1/2 c. cooked oatmeal
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt (optional)
1 tablespoon of a binder such as coconut flour, almond meal or flour.
Mix and apply to face. This mask is good for all skin types, even sensitive skin. For sensitive skin, omit the yogurt.