I am so delighted that one of my favorite beauty bloggers, Kimberly Loc, tagged me for the skincare tag post where green beauty bloggers tag each other to answer some questions and share some of their beauty secrets. I feel like a lot of blogs just share reviews and previews of new products that it doesn’t really give a good feel for what they’re actually using, so I’m so happy to have this chance to talk more about the products I use everyday and how my ever evolving views on skincare have led me towards the habits I have today.
Describe your skincare routine in 5 words:
Good skin comes from intuition.
Having worked behind beauty counters at Neiman Marcus, I can’t begin to say how being on the other side of the counter has shifted my attitude toward skincare. In the end, I believe my skin benefits when I listen to it and follow my instincts rather than what a brands marketing would like for me to believe. For instance, there are still brand reps who tell me mineral oil is not going to do anything bad for my acne, but I know enough not to listen to that not because I can throw research at them but because I can cut through the noise and establish a deeper, more meaningful relationship with my skin to know what works for it and what does not.
So everyday my routine changes based on what my skin tells me when I stand in front of the mirror, some days I need that extra layer of moisturizer, other days I just use a cotton pad and some toner for an uncomplicated cleanse, and my skin has never looked or behaved better.
What’s your skin type?
I would describe it as combination-sensitive that is prone to breakouts. I hesitate to use the word sensitive because approximately 70% of women who describe their skin as sensitive, do not actually have sensitive skin according to some market studies. But I’ve noticed at NM when we test products, I will always be in that sub-group that develops a minor irritation. My skin is also blemish prone which is no longer cystic but I still get them and they come in waves. Sometimes I get nothing for weeks then all of a sudden 3 breakouts. Various facialists have described my skin as sensitive, oily, dry (I get very minor dry flaky skin in the winter). So my skin is very reactive to the environment I’m in, which can cause my entire routine to change.
What’s your favorite skincare product?
This is an odd one because it’s also one I don’t use regularly but YULI’s Cell Perfecto PM is the one product that changed the game for me. Exceeded my expectations for a skincare product (you can read about it here). I don’t use it regularly because I don’t have a need since it fixed my trouble spots, but I do have this irrational fear that it won’t be there when I need it since it’s always sold out so I keep a bottle stored away.
Top Blemish zapper:
I’m going to go holistic here and say that I notice the best way to reduce blemishes is starting from within by eating right, working out, sleeping enough, and not stressing. I think this is better than any treatment you can buy, but of course few of us have that luxury of perfect balance so if that doesn’t work I like to use the Tanda Zap followed by tea tree oil. I also think for a seriously skin saving treatment, combining YULI’s Pure Mask with Manuka Honey once a week is going to do wonders for keeping blemishes away.
Face wipes: Yay or Nay?
I’ve never gotten into face wipes, but I do like using a toner on a cotton pad after workouts just to ‘feel’ like I got all the sweat out. But I’m very on top of it when it comes to washing my face so buying actual wipes hasn’t ever really been necessary.
Toner: Yay or Nay?
Big yay! BUT – when it comes to toners, they have to be from a green brand. So many luxury ones and green-washed brands use a formula that is Water, Alcohol, Fragrance (I’m looking at you La Mer). Between toners, I prefer mists which feel fresher. If you look at green brands who stick to flower waters, it’s just SUCH a higher quality product.
High end skin care or high end make up?
I like both to be high end, but let’s just put it this way: I’d rather go without any makeup than not have access to my favorite skin care. So skin care takes a higher priority.
What’s the most unusual skincare product you’ve tried?
Snake venom. It’s supposed to be similar to a topical botox injection. I didn’t have a bad reaction, but I’m convinced it just numbs your expression muscles while plumping your face so yeah, you look “more youthful” I suppose, or just really sleepy.
You’re in a pharmacy and can only pick one item – what is it?
I typically don’t buy skincare from pharmacies, but I’m always so excited when I see anything from Avene in a pharmacy (it makes me feel so French). So I’d probably buy their thermal water spray.
Tell us your top skincare tips.
1. How you begin your day is how you’ll spend your day: my mom always taught me the importance of eating a good breakfast and after all I’ve been through with my skin, I can’t help but think of everything in terms of how my skin will respond. Taking care to drink water first thing in the morning. Then making a warm honey and lemon drink to detoxify and alkalize my internals before putting any food into my body have become daily practices.
2. Mix up your hydration: Everyone knows it’s important to get a lot of water but I try to get it from different sources, like fruits and vegetables, teas, and pressed juices. These also give me a well rounded assortment of vitamins which keep my skin glowing.
3. Everything in moderation: while I love my green beauty, I continue to use a lot of things not NMDl-approved like Diptyque candles, Byredo perfumes, Tom Ford/Chanel cosmetics but I do so in moderation. I think green beauty is a wonderful standard to live by, but it isn’t the definitive rule for how to have a great life.
4. Stock up. So remember how I mentioned earlier that I always have a bottle of Cell Perfecto PM in place for just-in-case? Good beauty products that are deserving of holy grail status don’t come along that often especially if you’re overly analytical like me. Once you find something that works for you, be sure you have it on hand. As flaky as this industry can be with people jumping from one brand to the next, I always keep my ‘regulars’ stocked to ensure that I can always go back to the “auto-save” of the skin I love.
5. Don’t fight your skin. I had this attitude that as my acne worsened, I needed to use harsher products on my skin and this led me down a very counter productive path with my skin. I’ve learned to treat it as I would my body, and accept it when it isn’t perfect, loving it and helping it as much as I can. In return, my skin has never made me happier.
I tag new find, blogger the Green Derm because I’m super curious to see his routine and I think it’s time for a guy to answer these questions!