As an Aesthetician, the first thing I ask a client is “What are you currently using on your skin?” Answers range from a sheepish “nothing” to a literal laundry list of products they might be using. I appreciate their honesty and it is my job to listen and advise. Either to help them start a skin care regimen or stream line the one they already have.
There are a few things to keep in mind. First, no matter what you are doing or not doing for your skin, it is your body’s largest organ and you only get one skin so treat it kindly. Second, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on products. There are plenty of affordable quality ones out there that we love and use which we will feature in this post. Third, even if you are someone who feels that they don’t have the time to spend on a few steps each morning or night, remember, when it comes to anti-aging and good skin care practices, prevention is far easier and less expensive than waking up one day years from now, wanting to “undo” all the damage that has taken its toll on your face.
So, without further ado, here are the skin care steps that I personally follow and have taught the other PGGs as well. I have included a few different products in each category so that readers have options for accessibility.
Double cleanse! All the great creams in the world won’t work unless skin is really nice and clean (or exfoliated – we will get to that in a minute). Facial wipes are a great way to remove a build-up of dirt and oil, even if you don’t wear make-up. After wiping, use a second gentle cleanser to wash your face.
There is a misconception that toners should be used to “rid your face of dirt.” How many times have you used a toner until the cotton pad was “clean”? What you’re actually doing is stripping your skin of important oils that it needs to stay balanced. Toners should not contain ANY alcohol, so make sure to read those labels! Alcohol can be listed under many different names, so look for a toner with three or less ingredients. We only listed one here, because it’s the only one we found and LOVED that only has two ingredients: water and rose petals. After cleansing, apply liberally on face and neck with your hands. Do not use a cotton round. Work into the skin until dry.
Here it is, folks! The wonder-product that I had been reading a ton about, and finally decided to try for myself. I love it, and the rest of the PGGs can’t live without it. It’s a game-changer. Hugely popular in the skin care regimen of women in Asia for decades, this rice water based fluid should not be confused with toner. Layer on top of your toner, again applying with your hands, and working into your face, neck and décolleté. There are many brands of Essence, and they run the gamut in terms of price. I have found an Essence brand that shows amazing results, is affordable, and can be easily found on Amazon. Run, don’t walk, and get your Essence!
Serums are great for addressing specific skin care concerns. They not only add hydration, but they can also help with problematic skin. Depending on which brand you use, you can apply directly to the skin, or you can mix it in with your daily moisturizer. We are big fans of the Evan Healy serums, as well as the Josie Maran Argan oil. Vitamin C serums are a huge benefit to any skin care regimen. The entire R-Lift trio from Raffaele Roberto is an anti- aging line that lifts and sculpts the face getting rid of puffiness immediately, while providing long term benefits. We love the No. 9 for both face and eyes.
The skin around your eyes is the most delicate and should be treated differently than the rest of your face. Taking care of this area is hugely important. Often, the first signs of aging are seen around your eyes. We collectively included our favorite eye treatments, and wanted to share them with you.
Day creams are an absolute necessity. Their purpose is to hydrate and protect the skin (even all of you oily-skinned people – DO NOT SKIP. You can only cause more oil production by excluding it!). Some come with SPF, but if you’re going to be outside for any length of time, be sure to add an extra SPF for protection. None of the lotions we have listed contain any SPF (or just a very minimal amount).
The nighttime is when your skin makes all of its repairs. This is a key time for moisturizer. There are many wonderful night creams, and this is a great time to add in an anti-aging component to your regimen. Using Retinol is a personal preference. Some people may feel that it’s not a natural-enough product, while others love using it and see it as an alternative to injections, synthetic fillers, or more extreme treatments. With the decline of collagen and elastin production in our skin after the age of 30, it is a great alternative for some.
Fresh Crème Ancienne (While this is by far the priciest item in our list, it is a tried and true PGG favorite)
Don’t forget those kissers! Whether it’s the cold or the sun, our lips need a lot of care! Keep these lip moisturizers handy at all times. One of our favorites contains an SPF for those sunny days.
Special Treatments and Masks:
I often hear from people that they simply don’t have time for masks. However, they can be easily worn while folding a load of laundry or emptying the dishwasher. Multi-tasking at its best!
Sheet masks are hugely popular right now but a little harder to move around with. These little masks by Nugg Beauty address many skin needs and at under $4 are a great addition to any skin routine.
Exfoliation is another key step to great skin. Just as double cleansing helps to remove dirt, make-up and surface pollution, removing dead cell build-up by exfoliation is key for sufficient penetration of the product into your skin. Think of it as layering all these wonderful products on top of a brick wall. If you don’t remove it, it can’t benefit your skin.
Harsh granular scrubs should be avoided as they can cause irritation and inflammation to the skin. Scrubs that use “micro-beads” are horrific for the environment as well, as they don’t break down, and are allowed into our water supplies and affect aquatic life.
My personal favorite and in my opinion, best, investment ever is the Clarisonic!! Or the Sonicare. It pays for itself. It is like getting a mini facial everyday.
Michael Todd Soniclear System: Michael Todd Soniclear System
Another treatment I am a huge fan of is the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel system
This may all seem like a lot to absorb (no pun intended!) but if you take baby steps, we guarantee you will see changes in your skin that you will be very pleased with. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or offer any advice. We would love to hear from you!