~The Simple Sophisticate podcast, episode #13
Here in the states, the cold weather has arrived, and as I live in a very arid part of Oregon, the lack of moisture has increased even more so. However, regardless of where we live and even if it’s not winter, moisturizing our skin is crucial to not only looking our best, but also feeling our best.
Recently, I was given a bit of a wake-up call as I had an appointment for my regular bi-monthly facial, and my aesthetician pointed out that more moisture was needed. In other words, I will confess, I had taken my skin for granted. After all, summer makes it easier for our skin to shine, especially when our schedules are lighter and we’re not so rushed we forget to down that extra glass of water each day is easier to remember. She explained how due to the lack of moisture in the air, it is our responsibility to hydrate, and do so regularly. Now we’re not just talking drinking more water, we’re talking the moisturizers we use, the weekly masques we choose to treat ourselves to and a few other regular habits that I will be sharing with you here today.
So in today’s podcast, I’d like to share eight tips to help you create the natural glow we all crave. Let’s first begin with the benefits of caring for our skin. After all, it is our body’s largest organ.
- Slows down the aging process
- Is a reflection of our overall good health
- Evens skin tone which radiates youth and vitality
- Helps to make us feel and look beautiful and more confident
From the moment we are born our skin is pristine, and it is up to our parents initially and then us to refrain from the bad behaviors that can do damaging, sometimes irreversible effects to our skin. Here are a few bad habits to reduce or eliminate altogether:
- drinking alcohol
- picking at our skin
- eating excess sugar and salt
- not getting enough regular sleep
But rather than focusing on what not to do, let’s dive into the habits that you should include in your regular skin regimen.
1. Drown your body in lotion daily
At first glance this may seem like an expensive habit, but just as your body needs moisture internally, it also need to be hydrated from the outside as well. While the changing of the seasons may prompt you to use more intense or lighter options. Currently, for the winter months, I am using Eucerin, and another one you might want to use for similar rich moisture is Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, which comes highly recommended.
The key is to moisturize daily. The moment you get out of the shower or bath, moisturize everywhere. With regularity, you will notice a positive difference, and your body will feel noticeably different when you don’t moisturize. Again, depending upon where you live you will need to use more or less deep moisturizing formulas, but take the time to figure out what works, and you will quickly make this habit a favorite daily ritual.
2. Pamper your eyes
Even when you’re young, in your twenties, begin this habit. The delicate skin around your eyes can handle rich moisture, and in fact it wants such attention, so tend to it as necessary. One of my favorite eye lotions that I have been using for the past couple of years is from Eminence, the handmade organic skincare products. Their Lavender Eye Corrective Night Cream, while a bit of an investment is worth the moisture and restorative effects your tired eyes are craving. While it retails at $70, I can attest, this product will last you for at least six months (only $55 on Amazon).
3. Exfoliate regularly
With a plethora of exfoliants available, taking the time once or twice a week will remove dead skin cells and brighten your skin and even the tone. Be sure to choose exfoliants that are gentle – a bargain option is St. Ives Apricot Scrub, but you can always make your own with sugar and olive oil (this is a great home recipe for exfoliating your entire body as well).
An investment body scrub that not only exfoliates, but moisturizes as well is Eminence’s Coconut Sugar Scrub. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post last year, I use this 2-4 times a week on the back of my upper arms to remove or keep at bay those pesky red bumps, and it has significantly made a difference.
4. Use at-home masques weekly
While there are endless options when it comes to masques, the first vital piece of information to know is what your skin-type needs, but as we’re talking winter and adding extra moisture to our skin, I highly recommend Eminence‘s Firm Acai Moisturizing Masque. The beauty of such masques, it that you don’t need to set aside any additional time. Simply apply it to your face prior to stepping into the shower, let the shower work as the humidifier and rinse off prior to stepping out. Two tasks complete in one!
5. Invest in maintenance facials
Aside from the regular, daily beauty routines such as moisturizing daily, cleansing once a day, etc (see the entire list of simple beauty routines here), today I am sharing those extra routines that will make a tremendous difference toward reaching that glow we all strive for when it comes to our skin.
One of the seasonal and bi-monthly beauty routines I have known I wanted to incorporate into my schedule as soon as my finances made it possible was the professional spa facial. Now, I have begun to call such visits my maintenance facials because they really do help to get my skin back on track or make sure I am on the right track.
Yes, the facial itself is über pampering and luxurious, but spending time with an expert is an educational experience as well. We not only learn what works best for our skin, but we learn how skin functions in general, and as always, having knowledge is power.
6. Combat break-outs
No one wants a break-out. And of course it always seems such an event has the most impeccable timing. As someone who has had to learn how to combat unseemly skin occurrences, the key again is knowledge, but also prevention. While we can use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to reduce inflammation when it occurs, there are ways to prevent unnecessary break-outs from occurring.
Ironically enough, as my aesthetician reminded me last week, often when our skin becomes excessively dry, it will produce more oil to compensate which ultimate results in spots of acne. By choosing to regularly moisturize, we are actually being preventative. Another preventative idea is again a masque I use from Eminence Eight Greens Phyto Masque (hot). This particular masque is bulked up with phytoestrogens and antioxidants and will normalize oily skin and prevent the appearance of breakouts.
7. Hydrate from within
What you put into your body will enhance or hinder the look of your skin. Drinking water throughout the day, starting in the moment you wake up as your body is parched and ending just before you close your eyes in the evening, not only will help your skin but will also detoxify your body. Also, keep in mind that other drinks will thwart your hydrating efforts, so drink caffeine and alcohol in moderation.
8. Make it shine
This last step is the polish, the ribbon on top of the package you have been so disciplined to create that will just add that extra je ne sais quoi. Two simple ways to add that extra subtle glow is to use primer underneath your make-up. I currently have been using Colorescience Pro-Line tamer, and it helps to even the skin tone but also adds an extra soft touch to the skin. And the second secret is to use a shimmer block to add a subtle sheen to your cheekbones and/or décolletage. Many make-up companies offer such an item, but I recommend Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer bricks which are available for a handful of different skin tones.
While each of these routines will involve a small investment, whichever ones you can work into your daily schedule, I assure you they will make a beautiful difference. First determine what you can invest, then shop around, meet an aesthetician and start asking questions. Hopefully today’s post/podcast will give you some hints on how to get started in the right direction.
~For readers/listeners in the Oregon/Washington area, I highly recommend my aesthetician Ciara at Misbehaven Spa & Salon.
Quotes from Elaine Stritch:
“I like the courage of age.”
“I pray that I may live expectantly. To live expectantly, ‘What’s going to happen on Sunday?’ and on Sunday, ‘What’s going to happen on Monday?’ In the meantime, stay where the f*#@ you are and enjoy it the best way you know how.”
~View the song “The Ladies Who Lunch”
~Read The New York Times “Broadway’s Enduring Dame”
~View the trailer of Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (February 2014) below