There are many things I’ve learned over the course of my brief professional career behind the beauty counter of Neiman Marcus, assisting make-up artists backstage at shows, speaking with professionals in the industry and of course combined with my long and detailed personal experiences with my skin and beauty products.
Through all of the differing philosophies, the multitude of product options to do so many different things I’ve developed a very basic list of 5 habits that I recommend for all readers as a starting point for treating their skin well.
1. Take off the day! Every night before bed no matter how tired or busy you are, always make time to remove the day that has built up on your skin: make-up, moisturizers, sunscreen, dirt, pollution, sweat, you get the picture. This is a crucial step to loving your skin because you’ll be giving it a fresh palette every night which in turn means your skin will get to ‘breathe’ and reward you with skin that is less sensitive with fewer breakouts and no lackluster complexion.
Recommended: I love double cleansing to accomplish this with an oil cleanser like Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Cleansing Oil to remove make-up, sunscreen and oil-based moisturizers and following with a light, low-foam cleanser like Yuli Halcyon gel to get deeper down to remove the impurities that have accumulated deeper down.
2. Oils at night / Moisturizers for day: I know this might run counter intuitive to so much that is published with urging use of heavy moisturizers at night right before bed. Through my own personal experimentation as well as speaking with beauty professionals there is a consensus that one should go lighter during the night and save the heavy moisture for the day to get the best results for skin. This is because at night the skin needs to ‘breathe’ and refresh itself, so weighing it down with heavy moisturizers (often full of butters, silicones, waxes) can severely compromise it’s ability to function, resulting in faster aging, dryer skin and more sensitivity. Oils are lighter in weight and don’t hold any of those ingredients that can suffocate skin yet they are really rich and moisturizing, so I like to use a heavier dose of oils in the evening. For day, we’re actually much more likely to put our skin in severe environments as we venture outside so having something more protective makes sense, thus the heavier armor of a day moisturizer.
Recommended: I love the Omorovicza Balancing Moisturizer which is light and beautiful and won’t clump under sunscreen and make-up. I also love the Kahina Giving Beauty Night Cream which I don’t think will cause photosensivity if worn during the day. Another green option that I’ve been using recently is Aurelia’s Day moisturizer which I will put up a review before winter ends – hopefully! When it comes to oils there are just so many good ones from Mun’s Aknari Night Serum to the versatile Dr. Alkaitis Treatment Oil, and if you want something a little more personalized for your skin type go with one of Yuli’s that have a fit for every skin type. I am currently alternating between Lina Hanson’s Globel Face Serum which is delightfully rich yet uplifting and Yuli’s Modern Alchemist serum which is so nourishing but don’t worry – no breakouts, only plump, soft skin. Both are beautiful to massage into the skin and you really feel them absorb and relieve skin from the tightness of winter. If oil base is not enough by itself for you, remember to spray your skin with a botanical mist which goes a long way to increasing hydration: Kahina, Tata Harper and Yuli all have mists that contain hyaluronic acid which is really good drawing and retaining moisture.
3. Morning detox. This has become so important for me. I’ve been learning so much about how our body goes into a state of cleansing when we fast throughout the night. So I’ve moved away from rich, oily breakfasts of pancakes, bacon, and so forth and started being much more complimentary to my body. I begin each morning with a warm glass of water and then squeeze a quarter of a lemon in there. This helps to purify the blood and detoxify the body. I follow by drinking a green tea, honey and lemon mix which replaces coffee in waking me up, and continuing the purifying trend. Then I begin with a light breakfast of fiber rich oatmeal or I make a organic smoothie for myself. This helps to stimulate my digestive track without overloading it. In general I feel ‘lighter’ and the benefits show in my skin as it has become much more balanced and just looks well cared for. Happy digestion = better complexion!
Recommended: The foods I just listed. Make sure the lemons you use are organic as we don’t want pesticides mixed in with the warm water!
4. Consistency. Having irregular patterns can really mess up skin. This applies to both products used and lifestyle. I realized that no matter what I was using, if I slept at odd hours and threw off my bodies natural rhythm too much, my skin would not be happy. By making an effort to manage my sleeping and eating, and scheduling my day out I noticed my life was not as hectic and became incredibly more manageable which really reduced stress and led to better rest, resulting in a beneficial vicious cycle that led to really happy, complacent skin.
When it comes to beauty products, I have a lot of them. But I manage them by only using a couple and no more than 2 per category within a 3 week period. So many people who want results from products can get a little impatient and just move between so many products which ultimately ends up throwing off their skin and being counter productive. Stay the course, wait for results to show. Your skin wants to be at its best so give it the opportunity to do it rather than throwing new things at it all the time.
Recommended: This is more of a habit but for those who have trouble sleeping or managing stress, I’ve really begun to embrace flower remedies (Alexis Smart has good ones) and aromatherapy. Hope Gillerman‘s collection is particularly well known and they all smell amazing, even the fashion crowd gets into her stuff (https://instagram.com/p/uf-L4FCotX/?modal=true)
5. Make-up should be an asset. Call me new-wave New Yorker with this thought but I’ve always believed a girl should focus primarily on getting her skin in shape first and see make-up as a tool to hide the imperfections and accentuate the positives. It shouldn’t damage your skin or be something that you rely on as a crutch. If it comes to that point invest your time into a good skincare system that will save your skin and ‘beneficial’ makeup. I almost never go a full day with make-up because most of them do more harm than good since they’re literally designed to sit on your skin surface. I will go made-up to a function or event, and if there is something particularly important on campus then I’ll go with a very subtle make-up look that only elevates. After whatever event, the first thing I’ll do when I get home is remove the make-up even if it’s still the afternoon.
Recommended: I like light make-up that won’t clog skin so a lot of natural, green options are out. Save for lip products which I believe really should be as green and natural as possible since we do ingest so much of it. For that my favorite has to be from Ilia for the sheer pigment and wearability. The biggest difference I notice is that they are a little drier or harder but once you get used to it, the lippies are amazing. The Kjaer Weis line is amazing for everything else and is the green option I would lean toward but since I only need the make-up to perform for a short time I have no problem using light yet high-performance non-green lines such as Koh Gen Go, Ellis Faas and Laura Mercier. I absolutely draw the line at MAC which is just so terrible for skin, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone working at MAC who has good skin and there is a reason for that. Another line I don’t really like is Make Up Forever which has the best full coverage liquid foundation but wow is it trouble for your skin!
Of course these aren’t all the healthy habits for skin but they’re just a starter, any tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments (I just realized that they’re located on the top!)