Do you ever feel like you’re reading article after article, trying product after product, and not getting the glowing skin of your dreams? How about a few simple changes that result in healthier, happier skin over time? Training your skin is a bit like training a puppy: if you can stay calm and very consistent, your skin will learn how to behave itself.
Skincare Rule #1: Your skin is part of a system
So many companies tell you their products will cure acne, banish dark spots, and make your wrinkles disappear. Well, I’m a doctor who owns a skincare company, and I’m here to say that NO product will do those things if you are not supporting your skin from the inside. You can pay loads of money for miracle products, but if you’re eating poorly, not getting enough sleep, and letting your stress level go unchecked, your dark circles are going nowhere, no matter what kind of seaweed or snail extract you put on your face. You simply have to eat good food, move your body, manage your stress, and nourish your whole system if you want your skin to glow.
Skincare Rule #2: Wash your face before bed
This has been said a million times, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who still don’t do it. You don’t have to double cleanse, mask, and post a selfie every night, but you should at least get the makeup, sunscreen, and general grime off your skin before your head hits the pillow (and the pillowcase you're likely using for a week between washings). Start with a warm washcloth over your face for 30 seconds to boost circulation in your skin, and then wash gently with a mild cleanser that removes makeup effectively. If you prefer using something extra to remove your eye makeup, use a drop of olive oil or coconut oil, massage it into your lids and lashes, then wipe away with a damp, warm cotton ball.
Skincare Rule #3: One zero makeup day per week
First, your skin deserves a break from makeup—let it be naked for a day! Even clean makeup brands have ingredients that your skin doesn’t need every day; going bare is like a micro-cleanse for your skin. Second, it will remind you to feel beautiful in your own skin, even if it takes some training on your part. With your face free of makeup, tune into yourself and those around you. Smile more, make better eye contact, and let your beauty radiate freely. Because ultimately it’s the practice of sharing your inner beauty that makes you beautiful, not your makeup.
Skincare Rule #4: Sanitize your phone
You know those blue lights they use on Dexter or CSI to find blood and body fluids and germs? If you put your phone under one of those lights, you’d drop it like a hot potato. It’s INSANE how gross our phones and keyboards get, and we rarely clean them. Even if you’re good about washing your hands, the minute you use your phone, your fingers become a petri dish again. And then you touch your face, covering it with bacteria and dirty oils, which leads to clogged pores and inflammation.
Skincare Rule #5: Back away from the mirror
Tell me you haven’t spent WAY too much time agonizing over your skin’s appearance in a magnifying mirror. It’s time to stop—people don’t look at you with a magnifying glass! If you need it for putting on your mascara or an occasional chin whisker clean up, fine. But please, more often than not, step away from the magnifying mirror. It's WAY too much information.
Skincare Rule #6: Educate yourself
There’s SO MUCH talk about what you should and shouldn’t use on your skin, and much of it stems from marketing, fear-mongering, and poorly researched journalism. Make a decision to learn about what you’re putting on your skin from reliable sources, and become your own advocate. Because your skin absorbs much of what you put on it, you should think about your skincare the same way you think of your dinner plate. Learn WHY you might consider avoiding parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances; when you understand the science behind your decisions, you will make them from a place of confidence and certainty, rather than doubt and fear. Organizations like the EWG and Silent Spring Institute are good places to start digging.
Skincare Rule #7: Support better brands
While some of the larger skincare brands are starting (hallelujah) to change their ways, many have not, despite evidence that their ingredients and practices are actively harming your health and that of our sacred planet. Take the time to find brands who do the following things:
- List (or happily provide) ALL their ingredients
- Have an accessible founder and/or staff who are willing to answer your questions
- Employ a passionate team committed to the brand and its mission
- Insist on creating extraordinary products, from ethical and sustainable sourcing of ingredients to environmentally-thoughtful packaging and shipping practices
- Give back to a meaningful cause as part of their business model
- Inspire you to be healthier, happier, and more fully alive!
Not sure where to start? Check out the brands at The Detox Market, Aillea, Citrine, and Integrity Botanicals—all great places to get lost in the world of small, passionate brands.
Wishing you love and happy skin from us to you,