There are so many opinions out there about skin care. Sometimes we cascade down the rabbit hole of which products are best for which skin tones, types, areas, ages… and we end up buying a $200 dollar moisturizer thinking it’s going to work “miracles.”
We are always looking for the quick fix when it comes to almost anything in life, especially when facing the daunting realities of dieting and skin care. But unfortunately, there just isn’t a shortcut. You cannot trick your body or your skin. Even though no one see’s you eating that tub of ice cream after a stressful day of work, your stomach is watching from below, cackling about where she’s going to store those twelve scoops. Maybe you spent your high school years crisping like cream puff in tanning beds everyday, knowing in your heart that being tan now is more important than your future skin… but then the tables turn. I too, thought my perfect skin would last forever but after a while, life catches up with you. Those casual cigarettes, sun tanning, bad eating, and many nights of forgetting to take off my makeup has aged my face quicker than a two term president. I am sure there are many men and women wishing they could turn back the clock and stop themselves from participating in these fleeting pleasures. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about the past except learn from it and I have learned a lot.
Now I will admit, food is my biggest downfall. Fried foods are terrible for our skin, but also good for the soul in my humble opinion. I definitely slip up when it comes to French fries. Regardless of what you choose to indulge in or not, I am giving you information on what I try my best to do every single day but I am far from perfect. Before we get to the actual products I use for my skincare routine, I do want to let you know all the contributing factors you need to change if you actually want to see your skin transform!
LIFESTYLE TIPS THAT WILL QUICKLY TRANSFORM YOUR SKIN:
1. Stop Smoking everything! To be honest, I smoked for a few years when I worked in the service industry because that was the only time we would get a break. It started as a way to pass the time and turned into an addiction. I switched to smoking E-cigarettes but didn’t know that nicotine causes your blood vessels to narrow in the outer layer of the skin, which means less blood flow. Since there is less blood flow, your skin does not get as much oxygen and nutrients, thus aging prematurely. I have recently stopped smoking E-cigarettes and cannot wait to see how my skin changes over the next few months, but I know it won’t be easy.
2. Always wear sunscreen or a moisturizer with sunscreen – The number one way to prevent skin aging, most of us have been drilled about this one!
3. Switch the vodka sodas with vodka waters. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and most drinks have a ton of sugar, which causes breakouts. An occasional drink isn’t bad (especially if its red wine) but instead of having the entire bottle in one night (which lets face it, can happen to the best of us) narrow it down to 2 glasses.
4. Exercise! After I exercise, I feel like my skin looks so much better. Exercise literally does the opposite of what smoking does. Exercise increases blood flow and excretes all the junk of out of your body at a faster rate. From the liberating voice of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”
5. Eat healthy! This means stop eating fried foods, fast food, and food with little to no nutrients. Fruits, veggies, whole grains and proteins are the safe zone for your body and by extension, the outer layer of your skin. Stop shoveling in refined carbs and high sugar meals. Once I decided to clean up my diet, my energy sky rocketed and I felt refreshed from the inside out.
Below is a skincare routine that I have researched relentlessly and really works. This routine is what I do every morning and night. I have combination skin, but these products are very versatile for all skin types.
MY SKINCARE ROUTINE THAT WORKS:
1. Remove eye makeup: I don’t wear a ton of eye makeup every day, so I usually just use the Neutrogena makeup wipes. If you wear a lot of eye makeup, you should invest in a makeup remover that doesn’t take multiple wipes to come off. I know the bi-facial makeup remover by Lancôme has gotten amazing reviews and its around $30 dollars.
- Neutrogena wipes: (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Neutrogena-Makeup-Remover-Cleansing-Face-Wipes-25-ct-2-Pack/43493668)
- Lancôme Bi-Facial makeup remover: (https://www.lancome-usa.com/makeup/eyes/eye-makeup-remover/bi-facil-double-action-eye-makeup-remover/602581.html)
2. Cleanse your skin: I use the exfoliating cleanser by Body Merry for $19 dollars. The first few ingredients are aloe, deionized water, jojoba beads, rosehip oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, Glycolic acid, etc. I always look for products with Glycolic acid because it is extremely effective in treating signs of aging. I put one pump of this cleanser in my hands and massage my face and neck (upwards) for 3 minutes. Never use a washcloth to cleanse the skin since this is already exfoliating, you only need to use your hands. A washcloth is too harsh on the skin. Make sure to not get this cleanser in your eyes, it will burn!
- Body Merry exfoliating cleanser: (https://www.bodymerry.com/products/best-glycolic-acid-face-wash-for-acne)
3. Toner: After washing your face, the PH levels are out of whack so your skin will not absorb moisturizers or serums as well without prepping with toner first. Toner will bring your skin back to its natural PH balance quickly. The toner I am currently using is Dickson’s enhanced witch hazel from Amazon for $6 dollars. This also has hydrochloric acid and vitamin E. I get a cotton swab, add toner and apply it all over my face.
- Dicksons enhanced witch hazel: (https://www.amazon.com/Dickinsons-Enhanced-Witch-Alcohol-Hydrating/dp/B00KX32J26)
4. Serum: I use the CeraVe skin renewing retinol serum for $17 dollars from Target. I love the way my skin feels from this serum and I could quickly tell a difference once I introduced it into my routine. The texture of my skin has improved from the retinol and its gentle enough for sensitive skin. Retinol penetrates deeper than a moisturizer, but moisturizer works to prevent moisture from evaporating off the skin and protects your skin from external environmental factors. Therefore you do need both serum and moisturizer in your daily routine.
- CeraVe skin renewing retinol serum: (https://www.target.com/p/cerave-skin-renewing-retinol-face-cream-serum-for-fine-lines-and-wrinkles-1oz/-/A-16600972)
5. Moisturizer: I use Surge moisturizer by Body Merry for $21 dollars. The main driving ingredient in this product is retinol. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles because retinol increases collagen production in your skin and can fade sunspots while improving skin tone. Do not go tanning or go in the sun without protection if you are using retinol. It is a powerful substance that thins the top layer of your skin. I have used a retinol moisturizer that made my skin peel, but the body merry retinol works great for me.
- Body Merry moisturizer: (https://www.bodymerry.com/products/retinol-moisturizer-for-face-acne)
6. A luxurious (and repairing) night cream: I use Luma Glow Skin Care instant lifting crème for $27 dollars on Amazon. I am very careful about looking at before and after photos when searching for a good night cream. For application, I start massaging at the neck in an upward circular motion. This prevents downward pulling on the skin and prevents potential longterm sagging. This Moisturizer feels great as soon as you put it on. It does make the skin feel tighter and after a few weeks my skin has a lovely glow. This night cream is great for sensitive skin, I can tell a difference on my neck and notice a softening of fine lines on my face.
- Luma Glow Skin Care instant lifting crème: (https://www.amazon.com/Luma-Glow-Skin-Moisturizing-Hydrates/dp/B06XF7VST9)
** SIDE NOTE: Everything you do to your face, also do to your neck! Your neck deserves to stay plump and glowing too, just like your beautiful face! 🙂
This skin care routine is under $120 dollars and has been instrumental in refreshing, cleaning and brightening my skin. These products usually last me 2-3 months depending on how liberal I am with application. You really don’t need a large amount for any of these products. Remember, everyone’s skin goals are different. Mine is focused on sensitivity and anti-aging. If you are focused on acne prevention, your skin care routine is going to look a little different than mine. Make sure you do your research, look at the ingredients, and try a few combinations out. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for great- looking skin!