SKINCARE - "BACK TO BASICS"
One of the many reasons for starting Alysststyle was to share my love and knowledge for skin. There is so much to know and I am still learning everyday.
Learning and changing your skincare routine can be a little overwhelming so when I was thinking about my first skin post I wondered what exactly I should start with. So, I decided "let's go back to basics."
Before I get into my basic skin care tips and routines I thought I would give you a little background on me in the world of skin (for those of you who don't know). I have always struggled with acne and uneven skin tones my whole life. I tried so many products over the years from over-the-counter to products prescribed by dermatologists. I was never very happy with the results but always loved trying and I was always very intrigued by skin. Fast forward a few years, I found the Douglas J Aveda Esthetician program. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I learned so much from my 600 hours of studying, and not to mention the amazing friends and educators I made while I was there. From graduation I worked a little while at a salon/spa doing facials & waxing. A few months later I started working for Elina Fedotova at Elina Organics (my dream job) and I am still there today!
So, with 600 hours of schooling combined with working for one of the TOP organic skincare professionals in the business (and the creator of the Holistic Skincare Association) I have learned A TON!
Like I said, Skincare can be overwhelming for some of us so I want to start with sharing a few tips I find the most helpful that I wish I knew before I went into skincare.
1. GET TO KNOW YOUR SKIN.
You can't treat or improve your skin if you don't know your skin. I can't tell you how many clients/people I know that are using the completely wrong products for their skin type. Now, don't feel bad. It's hard to "know" your skin if you're not given the correct knowledge! So, I highly recommend finding a Skincare professional to help! It's so important to be using the right products for YOUR skin type.
2. YOUR SKIN IN YOUR BIGGEST ORGAN, TAKE CARE OF IT.
We take care of the rest of our body so why do some of us neglect our skin? Even if you are blessed with perfect skin you STILL need to cleanse and moisturize your skin. Everyone can start somewhere and ease into a regime.
3. DRINK MORE WATER
Drinking more water will be beneficial for every part of your body but it reaches your skin last. So HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE. Drinking water will give your skin an amazing Glow!
4. USE A TONER
I always say that "Using a toner was one of the most important things I came out of school with." A lot of us think of a toner as being an alcohol based (drying) product. STAY AWAY FROM THOSE. That is not what a toner should be! A toner is meant to bring your skin's PH level back to normal after cleansing. When cleanse your skin it becomes more alkaline on the PH scale. That toner brings you back to a more "normal" level on the scale so it is a VERY important step. Depending on your skin type, a toner can be a nice sip of water for the skin or can grab onto any extra oils on the skin. Toners are your best friend. (TIP: I spray toner over my makeup & throughout the day to give myself a nice refreshing glow)
5. KNOW WHAT YOU'RE PUTTING ON YOUR SKIN
Have you ever read the ingredients on your skincare products? Even your basic moisturizer? It is so sad what cosmetic companies can get away with as far as ingredients go. I challenge you to read the ingredients on the back of your favorite products and google what they are. Can you even pronounce the word? If you can't pronounce the ingredient, should you be putting it on your skin? Most of the time, NO! I strongly suggest you put down your chemical based products and try an organic approach to skincare. There are tons of products out there. I work for an organic skincare company that I am very familiar with and ACTUALLY works. Elina organics makes all of their products locally in Kalamazoo, MI. Elina's Products are so safe for your skin YOU CAN EAT THEM. If it's not safe enough to digest then why put it on your skin? So, next time you are picking up your skincare products READ the labels!
6. WASH YOUR FACE MORNING......... & NIGHT!
It is so important to wash morning and night and let me tell you why. By the time night rolls around, your skin has been exposed to so many pollutants, dirt and other gross things that you don't want sitting on your skin all night. So washing at night is a MUST. And morning, you have rolled around on your pillow all night and I bet your oily hands touched your face at least once so just as at night its just as important to cleanse in the morning. It will refresh you for a great day ahead.
7. EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE
Our cells are turning over every second of everyday. We shed thousands of dead skin cells every minute! As we age our cell turnover rate slows down so we need a little "push" to get those cells movin! Exfoliating helps with that! Exfoliating helps your skin look younger, promotes blood flow, and the production of collagen. There are two types of exfoliation, physical and bio-chemical.
Physical Exfoliant- A physical exfoliant is a (gritty) substance that will physically slough off the built up dead skin cells on the surface of the skin! Depending on your skin type & the exfoliant you are using you should be exfoliating a few times a week. I use a crushed walnut exfoliant from Elina Organics that I use almost every day. It keeps my skin smooth and bright!
Bio-Chemical Exfoliant- Chemical exfoliants consists of some type of Acid. AHAs & BHAs.
AHA- A AHA is derived from a natural substance. Some examples are sugar cane, milk, and grapes. They are made up by water loving substances. AHAs are great for hyper pigmented skin and dry skin. The main difference between AHAs and BHAs is that Alpha Hydroxy acids don't penetrate as deep as BHAs.
BHA- BHAs are great for oily/acne prone skin! Some examples of BHAs include, salicylic acid and citric acid. BHAs can penetrate deeper and really clean out clogged pores.
(WARNING) don't over exfoliate your skin! You don't want to irritate your skin and have your exfoliator be TO harsh and abrasive.
8. THIS IS A TIP FOR MY OILY SKIN PEOPLE
Don't over dry your skin! When we feel oily we tend to stay away from moisturizers and other scary hydrating products. But even if you have super oily skin you NEED to moisturize your skin. When you try to dry your skin out to decrease oil production it actually does the complete opposite! When the brain feels like the skin is dry and not producing enough oil it produces even MORE oil which can lead to more breakouts and shine. So, talk with your skincare professional to see what moisturizer and cleanser would work best for you!
9. DON'T BE LAZY
I know the last thing we want to do some nights is wash our face but WASH YOUR FACE! you should at the least be cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your skin. Then later you can add treatment products (Masks, Serums) and exfoliators.
10. STAY OUT OF SUN!
I can't stress this enough! I know its nice to have a sun kissed glow but sun damage is so BAD for your skin. You youngins may think you're invincible but you will see the affects later in life! Bring your sun hats and always wear (chemical free) sunscreen when out in the sun! You'll thank me later ;)
I hope these tips were helpful and I'm hoping this pushes anyone who doesn't have a "basic" skincare regime to go out and start one! I highly recommend Elina Organics products. You can shop online at elinaorganicsskincare.com or visit her Spa in Kalamazoo, MI or Chicago, IL.
Feel free to reach out & ask any questions you may have!