Everyone has had to deal with one skin issue or another at some point in their lives, whether it’s acne, dryness, sensitivity, oiliness, discoloration or wrinkles.
Thankfully, most of these issues are easily dealt with, if you’re willing to give your face a little love and attention. Start with Step 1 below for some helpful instructions on how to properly care for your face and achieve fresh, dewy-skinned perfection!
1. Know your skin type. If you aren’t sure of your skin type, you may be caring for your skin in the wrong way and using products that aren’t totally suited for your face’s tendencies. This is an easy mistake since the amount of skincare products on the market is completely overwhelming. Head into your local Sephora for a Skincare IQ consultation, where a skincare expert will evaluate your skin and offer specific recommendations to help correct your concerns. If you don’t have a Sephora nearby, just take this online quiz instead.
2. Ditch the plastic bottles. We all know that staying hydrated is good for us in a multitude of ways, but it’s time to say goodbye to the plastic water bottles. Not only are they harmful to the environment, they also can cause wrinkles. Constantly pursing lips to drink through a straw or out of a plastic bottle can create lines and make existing ones more prominent. Instead, drink out of a glass or opt for a reusable bottle with a wide rim, like this one.
3. Shun the sun. Ok, we don’t expect you to stay indoors all year, but we do want you to keep your skin protected from the sun with a great SPF—even in the colder months. Sun damage can lead to brown spots, fine wrinkles, deeper creases, and sagging skin. And don’t assume you’re shielding the sun just because you leave for work before the sun comes up and see it setting on your commute home. Unlike UVB light, UVA rays travel through windows in the office, home, and car, so it’s important to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen, like this one by Drunk Elephant, 365 days per year.
4. Change your pillowcases regularly. Washing your sheets—especially the pillowcases—as often as possible is incredibly important. Think about it. You’re resting your face on it for hours and hours every night, so it wouldn’t be good for it to be dirty, causing the dirt and oil within the fibers to be transferred to your just-cleansed face. If you’re thinking of replacing your pillowcases, consider a silk one for added skincare benefits! (Remember when we talked about the many benefits from silk pillowcases?)
5. Handle with care. When you step out of the bath or shower, be sure to gently pat wet skin dry with a towel. Many people make the mistake of rubbing too vigourously when drying off with a towel, causing dryness since the friction strips essential oils from the skin. On the face, this same friction can damage the skin’s connective tissue, leading to sagging skin.
6. Check your toothpaste. If you have scaling, redness, or little pimples around your mouth, it could be a condition called perioral dermatitis, which may be caused by flavored toothpastes. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, try switching to a plain toothpaste instead, like Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste.
7. Keep stress in check. It negatively affects all parts of the body, including the skin. Stress increases the body’s production of a hormone called cortisol, which not only can expand your waistline, but also makes skin oilier and decreases its ability to fight off breakout-causing bacteria. Since stress is pretty much inevitable for the working girl on the go, do some experimenting and find what manages it best. You may want to try yoga, meditation, exercise, or maybe even a bubble bath. The RITUALS Heavenly Hammam Organic Argan Oil and Eucalyptus Bath Oil is a perfect de-stresser, as is their Lavender Fields Candle.
8. Use clean tools. All of those tools you keep in your bathroom—tweezers, makeup brushes, eyelash curlers, even loofahs and other personal gadgets—become breeding grounds for bacteria, dirt, and oil. When dirty, they aren’t going to perform well. When clean, they won’t spread germs and deposit dirt that leads to breakouts and clogged pores. So be sure to wash makeup brushes at least every two weeks with mild soap and water, throw out your loofah after it’s a month old, and disinfect all other cosmetic devices with alcohol.
9. Cool it down. Especially in the winter, the best feeling in the world is sitting next to a warm fire, taking a steamy shower, and being near a hot space heater. Direct heat like this dries out the skin, leaving it itchy, dry, and tight. Not to mention, it also causes redness and the breakdown of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the human body and is regarded as the substance that holds the whole body together. (Doesn’t sound like something that we want to break down, right?) To protect your skin, cool down your shower temperature and be sure to always sit at least 8-10 feet away from a heater or fire.
10. Lighten up. A common mistake we’re all sometimes guilty of is wearing a little more makeup than needed. Instead of piling foundations and concealers on top of your skin, try a lighter base that is actually good for your skin. Between that and as many makeup-free days as you can possibly pile into your year, we bet you’ll be surprised at how your skin will reward you. We currently can’t get enough of the Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream. Not only does it have broad spectrum SPF 50+ to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but it contains brightening agents like arbutin, licorice extract, and natural amino acids to help improve and even out skin tone for more luminous, younger-looking skin over time. Another long standing favorite is the bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation, which is a tone-correcting mineral foundation and skincare serum in one.