Tips On Skin Care: Cleansing, Moisturizing and Anti-Aging

To keep your face looking as youthful as possible, you need to proper skin care. Here I show you how to properly cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize your skin while never leaving the house without at least 30 SPF sunscreen. I’ve dubbed this process “The Basic 4-Step Skincare Regimen,” which I outline in this article. I also include organic skincare tips for the growing number of you who are concerned with putting only natural, organic products on your skin.

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How you care for your skin is utterly dependent on the type of skin you have:

oily, normal/combination, dry, sensitive or sun- damaged.

The Basic 4-Step Skincare Regimen

Step 1: Cleansing
You need to find a good cleanser that your skin responds well to, and stick with it: See the best cleansers for your skin type. You can find a good cleanser at the drugstore. There’s no need to spend $40 on a fancy wash. Avoid bar soaps as they tend to dry out the skin. According to Rona Berg, in her book, “Beauty,” a French cosmetics executive once told her, “Soap should only ever touch your skin from the neck down.” I agree. Choose a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin or a clear cleanser if you have oily skin.

For you organic types, you can cleanse skin with milk or yogurt (who knew?).

Be careful not to cleanse too often, you risk over-cleansing skin, see signs you are over cleansing your skin. You really only need to wash your face at night to remove makeup and sunscreen, which can clog pores. If you have dry skin, conorganicsider cold cream like Pond’s, which the French use or make your own organic cold cream using this simple cold cream recipe. Simply apply cream, then wipe off, no water needed (if you have hard water, it can be especially harsh on skin). Most women prefer the water method: Use warm water to loosen dirt and clogged pores. Use a dime-sized bit of cleanser, then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. I personally swear by my Clarisonic Mia, as does pretty much everyone I know who has one.

Make sure to remove eye makeup with a proper makeup remover. The area around the eye is delicate so don’t pull or rub too hard. You can also use olive oil as a natural eye makeup remover. Find out more in Use Olive Oil as an Eye Makeup Remover.

In the morning, a splash of lukewarm water is all you need (I find it’s great for removing excess oils from your nightly moisturizing). Never wash your face with hot or cold water (both can cause broken capillaries).

Step 2: Exfoliate
Exfoliation is the step most people skip in their weekly skincare routine. But trust me, if you start properly exfoliating your skin, you will notice an almost immediate difference. According to Berg, one of the reasons men’s skin looks more youthful than women’s is because men tend to exfoliate daily when they shave.
In my article, How to Exfoliate, I share all my tips and tricks to proper exfoliation. Including why you should throw out the loofah.

There are several exfoliating options that I use weekly.
A facial scrub. You can buy a great scrub or make your own. I prefer sugar scrubs to salt ones, but it’s just a matter of preference. See my list of the best facial scrubs or try out a recipe using brown sugar and coconut oil in Make a Face & Body Scrub With Sugar and Oil.
A washcloth. Put a dab of cleanser and a sprinkle of white refined sugar on a damp washcloth and massage skin in a circular motion. After a quick rinse, any sign of dead skin is erased. If you have dry skin, try extra virgin coconut oil.
Microdermabrasion. You can buy microdermabrasion kits. I have and found quite a few I like. See my list of the best facial scrubs and microdermabrasion kits.
Chemical peels. In the hour it takes to get a chemical peel, you can take a year from your face. Can’t afford the price tag for a monthly peel? Try some over-the-counter peels that work over the course of a month. I prefer MD Skincare’s.
Retinoids. Retinoid (such as Retin-A or the more moisturizing Renova) also work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells while also generating collagen in the skin. “Collagen is the skin’s structural fiber,” dermatologist Dennis Gross said in O Magazine. “As we get older, it breaks down, creating lines and large pores.” Skincare experts disagree on all sorts of things, but most of them consider retinoids to be a miracle skin saver. I’m addicted to Retin-A, which I pick up in Mexico on my yearly jaunts.
Should you use a toner? Some people swear by toners, but many beauty experts do not (I once read a skincare expert claim, “toners are only for copy machines”). Toners are meant to remove all remaining traces of oil, makeup and dirt, but a good cleanser should do this. I firmly believe it’s up to you. If you like the way your skin feels with a toner. Buy it. Use it. Enjoy it.
Step 3: Moisturize
While I know of at least one famous beauty editor who swore skin doesn’t need moisturizer, basically everyone else I’ve read disagrees and is an adamant believer in it. A basic rule of beauty is that if you have dry skin, you should invest in a basic moisturizer. So how much should you moisturize? Your skin will tell you. When your skin is tight, it’s crying out for moisture. Be careful not to over-moisturize — this can clog pores.
See my list of the best moisturizers on the market. For you natural girls, nothing beats a good oil for your skin. You can use extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. Learn more in Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as Overall Body Moisturizer.

Are eye creams necessary? Well maybe. Some beauty experts strongly recommend eye creams. Why? The skin around the eye contains no fatty tissue and is therefore very thin and susceptible to wrinkles. Special eye creams are formulated to “thicken” this area. Yet other experts (including the beauty editors of Allure in their new book) claim your daily lotion works around the eyes just as well.

Step 4: Apply Sunscreen
The #1 cause of wrinkles is sun damage, so it’s important to use a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF from your early years on even in winter and on cloudy days. A great trick is to purchase two moisturizers: One for night and one for day that includes UV protection. Don’t use moisturizers with sunscreen at night, the ingredients are not meant to be used 27/7 and can aggravate skin. When choosing a sunscreen, make sure it contains Mexoryl (found in my favorite sunscreen La-Roche Posay) or Helioplex, found in Neutrogena products.

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How To Hide or Minimize Large Pores

Large facial pores can really pull the spotlight away from your natural beauty. Compounding the problem, these pores are often located right in the middle of the face around the nose, cheeks and chin areas. While pores start out as barely visible, they enlarge over time due to age, skin damage, genetics and excess oil production. There may be nothing you can do to change the size of your pores, but there is plenty you can do to disguise their appearances.

Step 1

Wash your face twice per day with a facial exfoliant that contains salicylic acid. This acid helps dissolve oil and dirt stuck in the pores, thus allowing them to shrink back to their normal size. Massage the exfoliant into the skin using your fingers for at least 30 to 60 seconds before rinsing clean with water.

Step 2

Apply a small amount of oil-free moisturizer onto your face using your fingers, making sure to rub it in thoroughly. Focus on the areas of skin that contain large pores. Don’t apply too much moisturizer.

Step 3

Apply a pea-sized amount of a silicone-based primer to your skin by gently rubbing it evenly over your face. Concentrate on areas with enlarged pores. The primer will fill them in and smooth out your skin’s appearance.

Step 4

Use a makeup brush to pick up some powder-based foundation that matches your skin tone, then pat it onto your face. Gently patting the foundation on prevents the primer from rubbing off, which can occur with liquid foundations.

Step 5

Blot your face with oil-absorbing sheets throughout the day to remove excess oil. If desired, you may instead apply a liquid oil-absorbing product under your makeup; this product is designed to absorb oil all day. Blotting papers and liquid oil absorbers are available at drugstores and makeup counters.

4 Best Ways to Exfoliate Your Face

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Having clear, hydrated, glowing skin is a common goal among many women. However, skin can be quite delicate and suffer from many problems like dry or oily textures, skin conditions or acne breakouts. We have added several beauty tip articles on proper skin care and ways to improve the overall appearance of your skin. We have touched on many skin care products, care routines and procedures that we hope will help.

If  you want your skin to look brighter and better, exfoliation can certainly help!  While most people understand exfoliating treatment processes and a routine skin  care regimen including exfoliation can buff your dead skin cells off and give  you silky results, very few people know how to properly do it. Exfoliation is  often something people think they can only get at a dermatologist’s office or  in a spa. However, you can get similar results right in your own home, every  week. All you need to do is know which products to use and what techniques work  best. Use these helpful tips to help you learn how to use the best technique,  reduce irritation and get smooth results.

Try  Exfoliating Gloves:    The first step to getting great exfoliation results is to learn how to do it. To get the best results and to softly remove dead skin cells, don’t use a hard sponge to exfoliate. A sponge can create breeding ground for bacteria, because they tend to stay damp. You can get great results for       dead skin removal by using exfoliating gloves. Simply lather a cleanser on       them and lightly scrub your skin. Just be sure to rinse the gloves well after each use and let them air dry. Some people prefer to use the most costly methods, like microdermabrasion, but you can get great results using these techniques and a good cleansing product.

  • Don’t’  Scrub Everyday if Skin is Irritated:Remember, you should only be exfoliating two to three times a week. When you exfoliate more than this, you can end up with irritated skin. Most  people are terrified of exfoliating because they do it too often, use harsh products during the process or just don’t know what technique to use. To avoid getting bad results, you can also choose to use a soft rag when exfoliating as well, instead of a hard sponge. Of course, if your climate is warmer and you frequently experience more oily skin issues and oil production or perspiration, you’ll have more dead skin cells and may need to exfoliate more often.
  • Use Specialize Facial Scrubs Only:Be sure to use exfoliate skin products that are specifically designed to be used on the facial areas. If you’ve struggled with irritation after using an exfoliating product on your face, it may be because you’re using a body exfoliant cream instead of a cream designed specifically for the sensitive areas of the face. If you’re confused about which products will work best for you, simply visit your nearest Clinique or Sephora counter for assistance.
  •  Don’t forget to moisturize!Exfoliation can leave your skin extremely smooth and can even give you a  healthy glow. To ensure you get the silky results you desire, always use  moisturizer several times a day if you exfoliate regularly. When you exfoliate,  the dead skin cells are indeed removed. However, your skin can begin to dry out  and get flaky if you don’t keep moisturizer on it at all times and can even  bring on more wrinkles. When you do so, exfoliating can make your skin brighter  and your skin tone will be more even. It can also lead to smaller pores and  reduce the occurrence of pimples.