Proper skincare has always been an important part of my life ever since I was in my mid-teen years. I was pretty fortunate to never have any serious skin issues in my earlier years. However, all of the older members in my family (I once thought that 35-40 was old…ha!) developed wrinkles quite early and looked much older than their biological age. When my mom was 35, she looked like she was in her 40’s. Seeing how my family aged changed my perspective on skincare and made me determined to slow down the hands of time and take care of my skin properly. As a result, people who try to guess my age today always guess that I’m about 8-10 years younger than I really am, without fail. I just hope that pattern continues. I’ve never had plastic surgery before or any major cosmetic procedures. I just recently tried a tiny amount of Botox in my forehead for the first time about a month ago, but that’s it.
I don’t have a science degree, but I’ve been a huge beauty guru and follower of products and technology for over 20 years. I don’t always steer towards the popular products at Sephora but rather I make a point to educate myself thoroughly about the contents of those products and how they compare to other items on the market. You’ll see that I will recommend brands you’ve probably never heard of, but I assure you that I only recommend those brands if I’ve personally tried and used them extensively for many years. One of the first product lines I ever fell in love with is a line that has sold millions and millions on HSN called Serious Skin Care (Sylvester Stallone’s wife is their spokeswoman). It’s been around over 20 years now, and I’ve been a loyal customer from the start. From the time they launched and provided customers with an education, not just products, I was totally hooked, invested, and outright obsessed about keeping my skin healthy, young, and free from damage…as much as possible.
It doesn’t matter how many fancy cosmetic/makeup products you put on every day if you don’t properly care for the skin underneath. Even the best makeup products can’t hide certain skin issues that we have. While every skin issue can’t be completely eliminated, there are certainly things that each of us can do to make our skin the healthiest possible. Always remember, your skin is the largest organ of your entire body. It is a living, breathing organ that must be cared for properly and treated with respect.
Everyone has different skincare needs and a different budget with which to buy their skincare products. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to obtain great skin results and to take care of yourself properly. You just have to know which core ingredients/products are key and make the TIME investment to care for yourself on a daily basis. Before I post my next blog that will have some of my favorite products to treat the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, I want to start with some basic tips to keep in mind when selecting your skincare products:
- Cleansing your face twice a day with a proper anti-aging cleanser is foundational to everything else you need to do. It’s critical, and you can’t skip it. Glycolic cleansers (which I mention below) are a good way to take off the dead skin and produce a shiny, healthy surface, but it’s not intended for sensitive skin.
- Along the lines of cleansing your skin, microdermabrasion treatments and scrubs are equally important to remove the dead layers of your skin, reduce clogged pores, reduce the look of enlarged pores, and help with other issues such as uneven pigmentation or poor skin texture. True microdermabrasion requires the use of a device such as the PMD Microdermabrasion tool or a doctor’s professional treatment. I personally use the PMD and highly recommend it. It removes the surface layer of skin, causing a chain reaction to occur whereby a healthy, renewed layer forms in its place. Over time, it helps diminish the look of fine lines, pigmentation issues, small acne scars, etc. There are also scrubs and peels you can use which won’t have as dramatic of an effect as microdermabrasion, but it’s good to incorporate these into your routine to keep your skin renewed and vibrant. The PMD can be used once a week (no more than that). Scrubs and peels have different instructions depending on the product, but oftentimes you can use them up to 3 times a week.
- Sunscreen is the most important product to apply to your skin each day, regardless of your race/color. Everyone is vulnerable to the sun’s damaging effects, not just light skinned people. Skin cancer rates are increasing among those with dark/black skin. It’s a misconception that people of color are naturally protected from the sun. Not true! They are actually more susceptible to the most deadly form of skin cancer called melanoma, especially since it’s not recognized and diagnosed oftentimes until it’s spread and becomes too late for effective treatment.
- Look for serums packed with key ingredients to keep your skincare products to a minimum. You don’t need to buy a lot of products. You just need to buy the right ones with the right ingredients at the right ingredient percentages. This is key! Serums allow you to combine multiple ingredients into one condensed formula that absorbs easily into the skin and doesn’t just sit on top of the skin like most creams do.
- A good serum will typically provide the moisture that you need, but it’s worth noting how important it is to moisturize your skin if you’re not using a proper serum….even those of you with oily skin (there are options available that won’t make it worse). Applying makeup to dry skin will result in dull, lifeless skin no matter how much makeup you use. Lack of proper moisture also produces fine lines and wrinkles. A serum or moisturizer with hyaluronic acid will provide instant results to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and liven up dull skin.
- Not all product lines that advertise certain ingredients are equal! Some put very low percentages of ingredients in their products and don’t disclose this information. Become a knowledgeable consumer. This is your skin! Philosophy Cosmetics is a very popular skincare line, but I do not purchase their products because they tend to deliver low amounts of ingredients for a very high cost. They’re ok for people with sensitive skin, but it’s not necessary to pay those high costs. The price you pay is for fancy packaging with witty sayings and marketing.
- Teens should start using cleansers with Glycolic Acid early on. It’s a great way to remove the skins dead cell layer and produce a layer of skin that is bright, clean, and renewed.
- Twenty-somethings should begin using products with Retinol as soon as possible. Vitamin A (Retinol) has been proven to reduce the signs of aging and keep you looking younger longer. You start showing the minimal signs of again in your twenties, whether you realize it or not.
- Women and men in their 30’s and 40’s (or older) should start using products with Vitamin C to help darker the deeper signs of aging and keep those signs at a minimum. Not just any Vitamin C will do, however. The way Vitamin C and other key ingredients are packaged packaged is very important, and very few skincare companies have mastered this ability without losing the efficacy of the product. Vitamins like this become very unstable when exposed to light and oxygen. Your product may start out as an effective skincare serum or cream, but by the time you’ve used it twice, it’s almost all ability to deliver results. Look at the Signature Club A beauty line on HSN.com. They have perfected the application of skincare products using single-use capsules, which protects the ingredients in tiny, opaque capsules so they maintain their efficacy and don’t go bad due to oxygen/light exposure. The products are affordable too and often available on Easy Pay/Flex Pay when paid with a major credit card.
Look out for my next blog which will list my top suggestions for skincare products, especially in the category of anti-aging. I will provide options for almost every budget…big, small, and in-between!