5 Tips For Healthy + Glowy Skin

Following the post about K-beauty & skincare, I was inspired to write about tips for healthy and glowy skin. Following are my top 5 tips that should be added to the typical “drink more water & exercise” that we hear day in and day out.

  • Double-cleanse – to effectively break down all of the makeup layers that we wear, it’s important to remove the makeup first with proper removers, micellar waters, etc. followed by two cleansers (can be the same or different products). The first cleanse gets rid of makeup removers’ residue on the skin, while the second layer penetrates the skin more effectively.
  • Exfoliate – whether physical or chemical, exfoliants get rid of the dry skin layer and increase cell turnover. This should be done no more than twice a week, especially for people with sensistive or acne-prone skin. I have normal/combination/sensitive skin and I use exfoliants as needed, which is about once a week. For more information about chemical & physical exfoliants, check out my blog post:
  • Focus on your nighttime skincare routine – this is the longest period of time when the skin is able to replenish and recover, therefore make sure you’re using the most effective and beneficial products to wake up with better skin every day. Make sure to wash the nightime skincare off in the morning with a light cleanser and then apply daytime moisturizer.
  • Self-tan – this point can be controversial, but most of us enjoy the look of our skin when we have a tan on. It makes the skintone more even and gives a better feeling overall. This is especially beneficial for people who have quite thin, translucent skin, which shows veins a lot more. I recommend using products such as Jergens Tanning Lotion or Mousse, St. Tropez, or Loving Tan with a mitt, over tanning salons or prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • Highlight using facial oils – place a drop or two of a facial oil on the back of your hand, swirl it around and dab it with a finger onto the cheekbones and around the brows to give a healthy, glow-from-within appearance. Make sure to use an oil that will not disrupt the foundation underneath, such as the Moroccan Oil Pure Argan Oil.

Skincare Mistakes to Avoid

  • Please seek expert advise from a dermatologist or a skincare expert if you feel conflicted with all of the different product reviews, or have specific skin needs/concerns.
  • Give a new product enough time to see results – sometimes it might take from 1-3 months to see the results of a new product in your skincare routine.

    Cleanser – should see results immediately – up to 4 weeks, pay attention to skin texture and moisture levels.

    Toner – should see results immediately – 2/3 weeks, pay attention to skin texture and hydration benefits.

    Serums – should see results in 3-5 weeks if it’s a hydrating/anti-aging product, 2-3 months if it’s a skin brightening/hyperpigmentation product, 1-3 months if it’s an acne-targeted but not prescription product.

    Eye creams & Sunscreens – should see and feel immediate results. Pay attention to improvements in fine lines and texture.
  • Don’t overuse physical exfoliants – rubbing in the beads can cause irritation and skin sensitivity, make sure you’re gently gliding the product over your skin or use a chemical exfoliator on a cotton round instead.
  • Don’t remove clay masks with a cloth – the skin will look red and feel irritated when removing a dried-out clay mask. Instead, keep removing it with water until it’s gone.
  • Rinse off the micellar water – especially cheaper products are formulated in a way that can cause dryness and clog pores. Also, make sure the micellar water is not your only makeup-removing step.
  • Don’t rely on popular skincare websites to check skincare product ingredients – they’re not a trustworthy source, they list all of the ingredients and give them a rating. But we have to look at the formulation as a whole with dominant and recessive percentages, “it’s the dose that makes the poison” (referring to alcohol in products being seen as a drying agent). Also, the ingridients are mostly uploaded by users, not companies, which can be misleading.
  • You might not need to use a specific product at all – understand what all active ingredients are doing for your skin and whether you need it or not. Figure out what you need for your personal skin concerns and benefits you want to see.
  • Remember that skincare can only do so much – don’t rely on skincare alone to fix your concerns, take into account your diet, exercise, water intake, genetic conditions, and always seek professional help if you feel the need to.

Video referenced

Does A Face Oil Really Work?

Well … oil-based cleansers are good to remove makeup, rosehip oil is used on the face and neck to give better slip for massage tools, or simply applied to the a very dehydrated face to give a more hydrated appearance (note this statement).

However, and it can vary from person to person, chemical formulation and dermatologist statements regarding facial oils prove that this step is not as crucial and beneficial to the skin as people have been led to believe via marketing.

Whether you have oily or dry skin, topical oils alone cannot give you a level of moisture that’s required for healthy skin. If you apply it on oily skin – you’re creating even more problems right there, or if you apply it on dry skin – it’ll only give the appearance of hydration, not the actual skincare benefits you’re looking for.

What does the oil do, then?

“Most oils that are applied to the skin end up forming more of a protective barrier on its surface, rather than actually penetrating the skin,” Dr. Hollmig states. So, although oils are moisturizing and may indirectly increase the amount of hydration in the skin, they are not technically hydrating (SELF Magazine).

The crucial factor here is the size of the fatty acid molecules that make up the oil. If they’re too big to get through the skin barrier, they sit on top and act as occlusives. If they’re small enough to get through, they may be able to penetrate to deeper layers and strengthen the stratum corneum. For instance, research suggests that jojoba oil and argan oil can actually help repair the skin barrier.

Plus, some oils come with other benefits, such as antioxidants or anti-inflammatory properties, that might make them beneficial for certain skin concerns. Whether or not an oil is the best choice for that issue is another question (TODAY).

Save oil for the final step of your skin-care routine. If you apply an oil first, any moisturizer that follows won’t be able to fully penetrate the oil barrier; it’s like applying lotion over a wet suit. Remember, oils are only the gatekeepers, not producers, of hydration, so load up on humectants first, and then pile on the oil afterward to keep moisture from escaping (The Cut).

Oils CAN clog your pores! But not all oils. Mineral oil is a chronic offender, as well as olive oil, oil du jour, and coconut, easily clog pores, too. So which oils don’t cause breakouts? The answer depends on you. Though there are oils that are less likely to irritate, like marula and argan, your unique genetic skin makeup will determine your oil tolerance. It’s annoying to admit, but trial and error is your best bet at determining what will work for you.

If you want to incorporate using a facial oil, consider your skin type and needs, conduct sufficient research, seek advice from a dermatologist and definitely do a test-run to see if your skin can handle a specific formulation of your chosen oil.

References
Video referenced
SELF article
TODAY article
PaulasChoice article
The Cut article

Skincare Techniques I Wish I Learned Sooner

  1. Don’t over cleanse – depending on your skin type and needs, one cleanse in the morning and one before bed (followed by moisturizer and serums, respectively) is enough. When you use more than one cleanser, they can strip the skin of moisture and have an opposite effect.
  2. Retinol, Vitamin C, etc in cleansers are just a marketing ploy – these ingredients should be in the leave-on treatments (such as moisturizers and serums), because you won’t get any benefits from it if the cleanser is on your skin for ten seconds.
  3. Don’t overcomplicate your skincare routine – be especially careful with AHAs and BHAs in exfoliants and toners, there IS such a thing as too much when it comes to skincare routines, sometimes the simpler and the less products – the better and more effective.
  4. Oils don’t moisturize – they soften up the top layer of the skin, but they can’t pull the moisture into the skin (you need a humectant to do that), so the oil should never count as your moisturizer. It’s a nice last step in a skincare routine to lock everything in and make the skin nice and soft, though.
  5. Use humectants on damp skin – they’re pulling the moisture into your skin, for example hyaluronic acid: it looks for moisture to pull into the malleable skin, so if the skin or the environment are dry, it’s going to reach into the lower layers of the skin to pull the moisture out of there and dehydrate your skin. When the skin is damp, apply the humectant, followed by moisturizer and a serum for best results.

Some Of the Best Skincare Advice

There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding skincare “tips & tricks” and product recommendations. I really enjoy James Welsh’s YouTube channel, as he’s a skincare expert who can be trusted to go to for advice.

In his videos, he explains why certain skincare tips work or don’t, what skin type should incorporate what techniques, and more.

Some of the best tips from his videos that I continually practice:

  • Never use lemons or limes in your DIY skincare – they really dry out the skin!
  • Don’t place your masks or other topical treatments on your eyes – the skin on the eyes is very slim and sensitive, the chances of damaging the eyes are very high.
  • Always use eye protecting goggles when using light therapy treatments.
  • Apply actives after the moisturizer – a moisturizer creates a buffer before the toner, retinol, etc.
  • 3-Finger Sunscreen Method – apply a strip of sunscreen on the longest three fingers and apply to the face and neck, blend in with a sponge or a puff for the product to properly sink into the skin.
  • You can use the same cleanser to double cleanse – these days most cleansers contain ingredients to properly deal with makeup residue, environmental pollutants, and more.
  • Wash your hair before you wash your face and body – ingredients in shampoos and conditioners tend to clog pores if left not washed off, which can lead to breakouts and acne.
  • A simple 3-step morning and evening skincare routine that works best with your skin is all you need! Our skin changes and our routines should change accordingly. Having a basic routine to rely on is especially important when trying out new products to figure out what is causing an issue or bringing a benefit not seen before.
  • Consistency is key. At least do the basics and bare minimum even if your entire routine consists of 6 or more products.
  • Skincare is a really good anti-stress procedure – take the time to enjoy that face mask after a long day, make it interesting and exciting as a portion of “me time”.

Some of the myths he debunked in his videos:

  • To gain the benefits of certain products (fruits, ingredients) when using as a face mask – you should apply a mask that has been specifically formulated with a proper concentration of your desired ingredient. Simply placing that ingredient in a DIY mixture of some kind, or directly onto your face, will not give you the desired result.
  • There really is a difference between SPF 30 and 50. SPF 50 in chemical formulation is closer to SPF 60, therefore, there’s almost two times more protection using SPF 50 than 30.
  • Retinol does not thin out your skin. Skin cells undergo a natural renewal process, at some points being thinner than usual, however, it does become healthy again. Retinol sticks to proteins in the skin to deliver its many great qualities.
  • Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is not bad for you. It comes from crude oil (algae) and is only problematic without proper refinery, like in the 80s and 90s. Now, however, these mineral molecules are highly refined and stripped of carcinogenic particles.

The videos referenced are:

“Beauty Guru Skincare Mistakes!”
“The Biggest Skincare Myths/Misinformation Busted By Science!”
“Tips and Tricks To Improve And Transform Your Skin”
“Skincare Habits I Started In My 20s That Paid Off In My 30s!”

What are some of your skincare tips that you absolutely rely on? Let me know in the comments below!