How To Train Yourself to Sleep on your Back

If you are wondering why you would want to train yourself to sleep on your back, let me tell you my main motivation- it prevents wrinkles!  If you have lash extensions, it extends their life.  It also helps with drainage in your sinuses!  Do I have your attention yet?  Well, let me share how I did this because for all my life, I have been a side sleeper and I couldn’t imagine a restful night without sleeping that way!

For a long time I was in denial that I needed to address my side sleeping habits.  I used a satin pillowcase, which I’ve read is more gentle on the skin for side sleepers.  It helped a little, but I really burrow my face into the pillow when I side sleep, so I would wake up with marks in my cheek and under-eye area and started to notice that they didn’t go away as quickly as in years’ past.  Still, I would try to sleep on my back only to finally give up when I couldn’t relax and fall asleep in that position.  I’d watch one of my favorite YouTubers, Angie from Hot and Flashy, and she mentioned that she had trained herself to sleep on her back and I remember thinking, “How can you even do that?”  I thought, you either slept on your back or you didn’t.

sleep on backIf you read my blog post about injectables, then you know that I recently got a filler in my cheekbone area to address my concerns about under-eye wrinkles and loss of volume in my face.  Making that investment really made me get serious about sleeping on my back because I don’t want to undo the efforts I have made to improve the appearance of my skin.

So how did I do it?  I arranged pillows all around me that first night – under my knees to make me more comfortable, and on my sides.  It did take me awhile to fall asleep but I was successful!  I knew it took about 2 weeks to either break a habit or instill a new habit so my goal was to continue this process every night until it sleeping on my back became easier for me.  Some nights were easier than others, but my determination to do this kept me trying until two weeks had gone by and I was still sticking to it!

I did learn a trick that allowed me to turn my body to the side, but keep my face from smushing into the pillow.  I hug another pillow and prop the top under my face so it stays somewhat elevated.  I don’t totally turn my face to the side, just move it about 45 degrees.  So far it’s working or me and now it’s been about 6 weeks of consistently sleeping on my back.

I guess it’s one of those things like taking a vitamin and eating your vegetables – you know it’s good for you and the right thing to do, but until you commit to doing it, you won’t have success.  I had tried and failed several times before, but once I realized the benefits were too numerous to ignore and saw what it was doing to my face’s appearance, I got serious and finally was able to enjoy success!

How do you like to sleep?

 

10 Benefits of Facial Massage – Your Cheap Anti-aging solution!

You can massage your face and enjoy all these benefits for free!

Do you massage your face?  Believe it or not, that is the least expensive anti-aging regimen you can do for yourself.  You don’t need to go for a facial to enjoy the benefits of a facial massage.  When I was in school for my esthetician license, we all learned massage techniques and practiced on each other and I saw a definite improvement in my skin.  When I get professional facials today, I am always disappointed that only 5 or 10 minutes of your hour is used for facial massage.  We used to do it for longer in skincare school and I think the power of massage is greatly underestimated!

So what are those benefits?

By massaging your face you are stimulating blood circulation which can give you a healthy glow.  You are also exercising muscles to prevent your skin from sagging and improve your overall muscle tone. The process of massaging your facial muscles actually will relax them (which in turn will prevent wrinkles)!  And, it just plain feels good!  There are absolutely stress reducing benefits of facial massage and who needs less stress in their lives?  If you are looking to maximize the benefits of skincare products in your regimen, facial massage helps to increase their absorption and effectiveness.  Massage helps slough off dead skin cells, cleanses skin of impurities and softens sebum (which helps in acne prevention).  Do you suffer from sinus congestion or puffiness?  Guess what – facial massage can help reduce those symptoms also!

So are you ready to start incorporating this into your regimen?  I am going to describe some quick massage moves you can do on your own face to keep it looking and feeling its best!

You can enjoy the benefits of facial massage free.

How do I massage my face correctly?

You want to hit some key areas on the face that will really benefit from massage – the forehead, around the eyes, the cheeks and the jawline. Note that when massaging, you should use your middle or ring fingers, not your index finger.

Forehead – Using upward strokes, and making small circles on the forehead is a great massage move.  As a rule of thumb, you always want to stroke in an upward direction, not down, as we want to go in the direction we want our skin to stay, which is not sagging!

Eyes– You can do light taps around the entire eye area, and also small circles in the undereye area.  You can also do two swift stroking motions, one above the eyebrow area and another under the eye.

Side of face – You can massage this area with upward strokes using your entire flat hand.  Perform this motion on each cheek and then also on forehead.  You can also perform a light tapping of fingers around cheeks (technical term is tapotement, if you want to get fancy!).

Jawline – To access this area you can use pinching around lower edges of face (technical term is petrissage).  Also, use light upward strokes from base of neck up to jawline using middle fingers of hands.

If you have very sensitive skin, inflamed acne or sunburn you should not massage your face until those symptoms subside.

If you are worried about how to make time to fit this in, you can do it while washing your face, which you are going to be doing at least twice a day anyway.  You can also incorporate some of the massage when rinsing off an exfoliating mask if you are using this in your routine.  Trust me, the benefits of taking a few extra minutes to fit this into your routine will definitely be worth the effort.  Let me know if you have any questions and happy massaging!

5 Ways to Make Retinol Work For You

woman applying retinol
Less is more when applying Retin A – only a pea size is needed!

I’ve been using retinol and Retin A on and off for years.  I would start to use it, then experience extreme dryness and flaking and quit using it.  Then I’d continue to read about how retinol is such a key ingredient for anti-aging (heck I’ve even written about it myself here), and I’d try again…. you get the point.  I’ve finally figured out how to use this ingredient consistently with little to no side effects and I want to share with you how I did it.

#1 – Start SLOW

Just like with dieting, sometimes we are so psyched to try something that we dive straight in – BAD IDEA.  You are almost certain to set yourself up for failure.  With incorporating any new routine into our lives, we need to make gradual changes or it will seem so overwhelming that one day we’ll say “Screw it,” and give up.   I don’t know about you, but in the anti-aging game I REFUSE to give up!  Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You are looking to incorporate a skin care treatment for the long haul, so you need to ease in.

If you’ve never used retinol before, I’d recommend buying an over-the-counter product to start with, as they are not as strong as a prescription.  In addition, do not start out by using it every day!  Start with a couple of days a week (not consecutive) to see how your skin is handling it, and then slowly work up from there.  I personally like some retinol products that are in a facial oil form as it helps to maintain the skin’s moisture and keep flaking at bay.  Sunday Riley’s Luna oil is one I’ve really enjoyed using.  Also, Colleen Rothschild just came out with a new Retinol Supreme Night Oil  (the site is also having a sale so it’s currently 25% off with code FAM25)! On a budget?  Head to the drugstore and try the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle repair with Retinol.

Tretinoin cream is another name for Retin-A. It comes in varying strengths.

If you get a trentinoin prescription from your doctor, I’d start out with .025% strength first before building up to the higher strengths.  You don’t need the highest strength to see the best results.  Be gentle with your skin!

 

#2 – Apply correctly

A pea size amount is all that is needed to spread evenly over your face.  Yes, a pea!  Again, remember- marathon, not sprint.  More is definitely NOT better.  Also, make sure your skin is BONE dry before applying.  The product is not as effective on damp skin.  So, after you wash your face, go do something else for about 20-30 minutes before you apply this.  The drier your skin is, the less chance of irritation.  I wish I had known this years ago but trust me, this makes a huge difference!

#3 – Continue to Moisturize

I don’t know why when I started using retinol years ago, I didn’t think to add a moisturizer on top.  Hello, your skin can get dry and flake off as a side effect of the product!  I think that I was afraid to add anything that could compromise the efficacy of the product.  But I’m here to tell you that you CAN and SHOULD add a moisturizer to your face after applying retinol.  However, I would wait another 20 -30 minutes prior to doing that so the product has time to settle into the skin.  You’re probably thinking this is sounding WAY too complicated and that you just want to slap on all your products one after the other and go to bed.  Trust me, I get that, I do.  I’ve found a way to incorporate this into my evening routine to make it work.  For instance, I’ll wash my face after cleaning up after dinner.  Then I go and help my son with his nighttime routine.  After I tuck him in, I spread the trentinoin on.  Then I go watch a little TV and head back to the bathroom to add the moisturizer.  Done!  Trust me, the extra effort that this takes has more than made up for it for me personally with no side effects.  Once you’ve established a routine that works into your schedule and have been doing it for awhile, then you will enjoy the results on your skin!

#4 – Be EXTRA anal about sunscreen

If you are not good about putting sunscreen on your face every day, rain or shine, winter or summer, then I would NOT begin any retinol routine until you get good about it.  This stuff is no joke; remember, it is stimulating your skin cells to turn over rapidly to smooth your skin texture and reduce lines and wrinkles.  In that process, your skin is not only prone to the side effects we’ve talked about, but it is more sensitive to the sun.  If you use this and are exposed to the sun without protection, not only are you undoing any benefit the retinol will provide, but you are setting yourself up to have a bad skin reaction.  Please, please proceed with caution!

#5 – Be careful about other exfoliators you are using

Take a look at all the products you are currently using before starting your retinol.  If you have cleansers or toners with glycolic acid, I would stop using them in the evening before applying your retinol.  You want to use very gentle products with the retinol to avoid irritation.  You can continue to use exfoliating treatments, but avoid using them on the same day that you plan to use your retinol.

Hopefully you picked up a tip or two or five, that you didn’t know before.  Retinol is a powerful skincare ingredient, but that shouldn’t discourage us from using it.  With the right care, you CAN make this work for you and enjoy the results!  Good luck!  If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase the product, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog.

Product Review – Shiseido Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask

Shiseido Pure Retinol Express smoothing eye maskOk, this is the real deal!  I purchased the Shiseido Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Pads at Sephora just because I am constantly looking for eye products where I will see visible results.  In my anti-aging journey, I am still trying to find products that will address the fine lines, wrinkles and crepey skin under my eyes with results I can notice.  And was I beyond impressed with this eye mask!

If you’ve read my other articles on anti-aging, you know that retinol (vitamin A)is a key ingredient to incorporate into any skincare regimen.  I was curious to see this in an eye mask, as sometimes retinol can be harsh on the skin, especially the delicate under eye area.  This product promises to instantly reduce the appearance of visible fine lines and wrinkles with its special proprietary “Benefiance WrinkleResist24” ingredient.  It comes with individually wrapped eye sheets saturated with the product.  You lay them carefully under each eye and let sit for 15 minutes, then gently remove.  You can then pat in any excess product into the under eye area.  I really like how firm and smooth my under eye looks right after this treatment and that the product does not cause any irritation whatsoever.  You could also use this for laugh lines and place the pads around the mouth, but I haven’t used it I that way.

The left is my under eye before using the product, and the right is after. You can see in the after picture that the texture is smoother and tighter and the discoloration is also improved! All that in 15 minutes – I’m blown away!

The only negative is I have with this product is that these suckers are pricey!  It’s $65 for 12 packettes (I did find them cheaper -$51 for 12 packettes on Amazon here).  I have the 3 packette size, which is $17.50 but that size is currently sold out in Sephora.  I plan to order the larger size now that I’ve seen the results for myself and plan to use them at least once a week in addition to my normal under eye creams that I currently use.  In the meantime, I’ll be on the hunt for a drugstore dupe (if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears)!  I would love to know what anti aging products you are all loving right now!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase the product, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try it.

5 Best Exfoliating Masks for Anti-aging

One of the basic rules of thumb for any anti-aging skin care regimen is to EXFOLIATE.  As we age, our cells turn over more slowly, which causes our skin to look dull and old.  By exfoliating 2-3 times per week, we can retain a healthier glow and make our fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable.  And exfoliated skin not only looks better, but will make your makeup look even better on the skin.  All exfoliators are not the same. Luckily, I’ve tried so many that I can share my top 5 exfoliating masks for anti-aging with you.  All of these products will give you RESULTS immediately.  To me there is nothing worse than using a product and not seeing any noticeable results in your skin.  Note that if you have sensitive skin, not all these products are going to be right for you.  I will mention them in order from most intense to most gentle to help you find the right one for your skin concerns.

Best antiaging exfoliating masks.Peter Thomas Roth – Pumpkin Enzyme Mask – If you read my post about the fall, then you know I love all things pumpkin!  With this mask, not only are you getting the benefits of the natural enzymes in pumpkin that help exfoliate your face, but you get to enjoy the smell of pumpkin while you do it!  Plus, the pumpkin packaging is so cute!  I’m not gonna lie, this one tingles, and, based on your tolerance, it could be a bit intense.  You spread a thin layer all over your face and make circular motions on your skin.  In addition to the enzymes working there is a polish in there that also helps to slough off dead skin cells.  I would start off with keeping it on just a few minutes and working your way up to the maximum recommended time if you are using it.  However, if the tingling doesn’t bother you, I think this product absolutely lives up to its claim to “reveal smoother, younger looking radiant & revitalized skin.”  As soon as you wash this off, you are going to see a dramatic improvement in the texture and the softness of your skin.

Colleen Rothschild – Dual Enzyme Polish – This is a new skincare line that I’ve recently started trying and am really impressed with the quality of their products.  In particular, the Dual Enzyme Polish is a winner!  It has a fresh clean scent and you will see noticeable reduction in large pores and a smoother texture as soon as you wash it off.  This formula is not intense like the Peter Thomas Roth, so this could be a better option if you want something that is effective, but not so intense.

Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask – This is another mask with a real “WOW” factor.  You spread a thin layer all over your face and it has a fresh, cool scent.  In fact, your skin feels so cool and fresh while you have the mask on which I find very relaxing.  Similar to the Peter Thomas Roth mask, you are instructed to make circular motions to gently slough off the skin while you are rinsing it off.  My pores are tight and my skin has a great glow when it is washed off and I find that it continues to have a “fresh” feeling for a while after I rinse it off, which leaves me feeling invigorated.  For that reason I love to use this in the morning before my day gets started.

Dermologica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – This is another solid product that has been part of my skincare routine for years.  It’s quick and easy to use – just spread it all over your face, wait 10-15 minutes, then wash off.  Bam!  There is no tingling and no little granules in this product so it could be a better option for those with sensitive skin.

AHAVA – Facial Renewal Peel – This is the gentlest of this group of products.  You will feel a difference in your skin but the results are not as dramatic as with the other products.  However, it is important to exfoliate even if you have sensitive skin, so if you are new to adding this step into your routine, I would start with the very gentle products first to ensure your skin will tolerate it.

If you are using these or any other exfoliating products in your skincare routine, be sure that you are also protecting your skin from the sun with the appropriate SPF products.  I break down what those are here.  Exfoliating does make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays so be sure to be extra vigilant with your suncare.  I’d love to hear what you are using to exfoliate your skin.  Let’s all help each other to anti-age!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

 

Full Body Skincare 101: How to take care of the skin NOT on your face!

When we think of skincare, we usually are focused on our face, but it is so important to remember to treat the skin all over your body with the same care you use on your face!   Remember, our skin is our largest organ and makes up 15% of our body weight!  There’s too much there to neglect it!

Body scrubs are a great way to exfoliate the skin on our arms and legs.

Like our faces, the skin on our arms and legs can get dry and flaky and also get crepey as we age.  That is why you should follow an exfoliating regimen on your body the same way you would do on your face!  The best way to do this is with a good body scrub.  I love the Tree Hut body scrub in the scent Brazilian Nut.  The scent is delicious and this product is very affordable!  Sometimes I don’t like the tub in my shower, so I recently picked up Bath and Body Works clay body scrub in Almond & Vanilla.  It’s in a tube which makes it easier to use and travel -friendly.  And the scent of this one is AMAZING!  Once your skin is exfoliated, just as with the face, you want to make sure it is moisturized!  One moisturizer I am loving this summer is AHAVA’s body oil is the scent “Sea Kissed.”  (Which by the way is on sale now at Ulta!)  I could smell this all day!  This body oil sprays on and dries into the skin quickly so there is no greasy feeling when I use it!  On other days, I use Alpha Skin Care’s Renewal Body Lotion which has 12% glycolic acid.  This addresses any bumps I have on my legs and addresses crepey skin I am starting to see on my arms.  Because it has a glycolic in it I would not use it on a day you are going to the beach or right after shaving your legs.  It is a fabulous product for the body that really does a deeper exfoliation than just the scrubs and it does moisturize at the same time.

Give some love to the skin on your hands!

How about your hands and feet?

These are two areas that often get neglected but really need a little extra TLC to be looking their best!  As I’ve said in other blog posts, the backs of your hands can show signs of aging, so many of your facial skincare products should also be applied on the backs of hands, including your SPF.  Keeping my hands and cuticles looking good is always a challenge for me, but I recently discovered a phenomenal product by Deborah Lipmann called “Marshmallow Whipped Hand and Cuticle Scrub with AHA and BHA.”  Hello?  Did I hear marshmallow?  Enough said.  But seriously, aside from the sleek packaging of this, shiny black and white square jar, this product delivers not only a great scent but immediate results!    Follow with your favorite hand lotion (mine is the  AHAVA Time to Smooth Age Perfecting Hand cream with SPF 15) and you are good to go!

Finally, we need to keep the skin on our feet looking good, especially between our summer pedicures!  Walking in flip flops or on the sand can really do some damage to the bottoms of your feet.  Use your body scrubs on your feet a couple of times a week and once a day, use the Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Foot Cream.  This is my holy grail and the only cream that keeps my heels smooth, winter to summer!  I also use the Amope Pedi Perfect foot file, especially in the summer.  Being in flip flops and walking on beach sand, etc. can really do some damage to your heels.

So if you’ve been neglecting the skin on other parts of your body, it’s not too late to start giving it some love now!  I’d love to hear what all of you do in your bodycare routines!

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

 

TULA Skincare Stopped My Breakouts

Probiotics – this is a word that I have not ever heard associated with skincare, so I was interested to learn more about how TULA skincare works.  “TULA” means balance in Sanskrit and that is the core of what the brand is about.  Have you ever taken probiotics to regulate your digestive system?  It works by promoting good bacteria in your system, helping things to work well and increase your immunity.  Why not take that concept topically to the skin?  I had to try it out.  Here is what my experience has been with several of the TULA skincare  products.

Purifying Face Cleanser $28

This cleanser has a light clean smell and is sort of a gel like consistency that I especially love for summer!  It does lather up and does not leave my skin feeling tight or dry.  This has quickly become my new favorite cleanser!

Exfoliating Treatment Mask $54

This product is pure MAGIC for the skin!  You use it 2/3 times weekly and you will see a visible difference in your skin texture and size of pores immediately after using!  The mask gives a slight cooling sensation and is very relaxing.  When you wash it off, it has small granules in it that give additional exfoliation while you rub it in and wash the mask off.  If you want a product with a “WOW” factor then this is it!  Love, love the results I see with  this mask.

Hydrating Day and Night Cream $52

This is light moisturizer with a fresh, clean scent that can be worn day and night in your skin care routine.  It does not contain any SPF so if using during the day you will need to add on an SPF.   If your skin is really dry and you prefer a thicker moisturizer then this product may not be for you.  For oily or combination skin I think it is really nice.

TULA means “balance” in Sanskrit.

Revitalizing Eye Cream $42

This product promises to rejuvenate skin around the eye and combat crepiness.  Sign me up for that!  As we get older, the skin around our eyes, which is already delicate, becomes even more delicate and thinner.  It’s so important to keep that area hydrated as the drier we are, the older we look, thanks to that crepey skin!  I like that this cream is light enough to wear under makeup.  As with all the products in this line, it has a light fresh scent that is not heavily fragranced.

Urban Defense Hydrating Mist $28

This product is a spray that can be used to refresh your face throughout the day, either for hydration or defense against pollutants.  I love to use this after the gym as it refreshes my face and resets my makeup.  The spray comes out evenly and there is only a hint of a lovely rose fragrance.  I personally don’t like overpowering fragrance in a skin mist or I will get a headache.  This product will definitely have a place in my beach bag this summer!

Overall Impressions

Within a few weeks of using these products, I noticed that I have not gotten the usual hormonal breakouts that always creep onto my chin at a certain time of month, even though I use Retin-A!  It appears that, for me, the probiotic formula in these TULA skincare products is keeping my skin balanced and clear.  I really am impressed with the effectiveness of all the products, but my favorites are the Exfoliating Mask and the Purifying Cleanser.  It’s a special thing when products really blow me away, and that is definitely the case with these products.  Have you tried this brand?  I’d love to hear how your experience has been.  Leave a comment!

 

Please note that the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

How to Follow a Good Skincare Routine

For many of us, trying to remember all the steps you need to do for the best skincare routine can be daunting and confusing.  A consistent skincare routine is very important to keep your skin healthy.   I am going to share the basic steps we should all be following and what I do for my regimen.  (You can also download a free checklist by subscribing to my email list!)  Along the way, I’m going to also share some products that I find to be highly effective!

How many products should be a part of your daily routine?

Step 1 – Cleanse

With this step, you want to be sure to remove any dirt and oil from your face so that your other treatments can absorb in the skin.   The type of cleanser you use should be based on your skin type and personal preference.  In the winter I love using Juice Beauty’s cleansing milk, but for the warmer months, I am really loving TULA’s Purifying Face Cleanser.  It has a nice consistency, is gentle and doesn’t have an overpowering fragrance!

Step 2 – Tone

This is a step that many may skip in the routine, but it is very important to tone.  The cleansers that we use change the PH of our skin to remove dirt, and the toner helps to restore that PH balance.  I love the Pixi Glow Tonic.  It has 5% glycolic acid so it has the added benefit of helping to gently exfoliate my skin.  I also like L’BRI’s Gentle Freshener.  it’s in a spray bottle so it’s quick and easy.

Step 3 – Treat

This is when I like to apply my serums.  You should choose one that is targeting an area of concern in your skin – for example, dryness, or fine lines, etc.  Serums are a thinner consistency that can penetrate deeper into the skin producing better results, which is why if this is a step you’ve been skipping, you should reconsider!  Let me also tell you that Serum does NOT equal expensive!  I found two fantastic serums that are $25 or less each!  They are both from a company called Timeless – I use the 20% C+E+Ferulic  Acid and the Matrixyl Synthe 6 serums.  I’ve seen significant results with both!  Again, you don’t need multiple serums if you don’t want, I’m a little crazy that way!

Step 4 – Moisturize

Whether your skin is dry or oily, you need to moisturize!  In the spring and summer months I like to go a little lighter with my moisturizer as I have combination skin.  I am loving the L’BRI Moisturizer with SPF 32 right now.

Step 5 – Sunscreen

If you read my recent post about SPF, then you KNOW this step is a must!  I’ve mentioned the CeraVe Face Lotion, but I’ve recently found another great SPF by Obagi.  It is tinted so it could be used as a light face coverage and also has infrared defense, in addition to the broad spectrum sun protection.

Exfoliating treatment – 2/3x per week

This is Soo important!  Think about little kids and how poreless and flawless their skin is.  This is because their skin cells are naturally turning over constantly.  As we age, that process of cell turnover gets slower and slower and…you get the point.  We need to really focus on exfoliating to manually turn those cells over.  One of my go-to product for this is Dermalogica’s Gentle Cream Exfoliant.  You leave it on your face for 10-15 minutes and wash off.  I recently tried an Exfoliating treatment mask from the brand TULA and was blown away!  You put it on the face for 5 minutes and then wash off.  My pores were so small and it gave my face a healthy, younger, fresh look!

Now, if you are not currently using a skin care regimen and want to get started, I know all these steps can sound overwhelming, but really it only takes me 5-10 minutes to apply everything to my face in the morning.  I try to store them in my medicine cabinet in the order of application so I really don’t need to think about it.  Also you can download my free checklist and hang it in your bathroom until you remember the order of everything – then it will be as easy as brushing your teeth.

Using a consistent skin care routine properly targeted for your skin type and skin goals is key to results.  Please share your current skincare routines and product favorites – I’d love to know!

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

Sunscreen 101: What you need to know

Are you ready to be in the sun this summer?

With Memorial Day upon us and the unofficial kick-off of summer, it’s important to make sure your SPF routine is summer-ready.  Not only is sunscreen key in your antiaging routine (see my anti-aging tips here), but it is also your weapon against skin cancer, which is on the rise.  Here are some facts that are concerning:

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.*
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.*
  • Also, the risk of skin cancer doubles if a person has had 5 or more sunburns in their lifetime or even one severe sunburn as a child.**

Ok, so this is pretty scary.  What do you need to know when selecting a sunscreen?  Products should have a minimum of SPF 30 and should protect against BOTH UVA and UVB rays.  If you don’t see the words “broad spectrum” on the label, then it doesn’t protect from both.  UVA rays cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and wrinkling.  UVB rays cause sunburn.  Both are contributors to skin cancer.

UV rays pass through clouds and window glass – that is why sunscreen is a MUST every day no matter what the season or the weather!  Also, UV rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm so be extra diligent during those times of day.

Knowing what to look for in a sunscreen is key to being safe in the sun!

What is physical vs. chemical sunscreen and which should I use?

OK, let me break it down.  Bottom line, you need to use sunscreen and need to find one that works well with your skin type.  Both types have pros and cons, and there isn’t any evidence that one is better than the other, as long as you are using it consistently and reapplying often.  (Remember to reapply every 2 hours – don’t forget around your eyes and lips.)

Also there is not evidence that the higher the SPF the better.  Most experts recommend using a minimum of SPF 30 up to 50 with broad spectrum protection.  Really though, anything higher than 30 does not really provide that much more protection, maybe 1-2% more than SPF 30 does.

Physical sunscreens have mineral ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and sit on top of your skin to deflect the sun’s rays.

Pros and Cons-

Physical sunscreens can be better for those with sensitive or acne prone skin; some formulas can be very thick or leave a white cast which can be a con for those with darker skin tones.  However, sunscreen products have come a long way and many are not as thick as in years past.  Another pro is that once applied the product begins working and you can go in the sun.

One product I love that is a physical sunscreen is CeraVe Face Lotion SPF 50.  It is for the face and looks great under makeup!  It also has some other good for you skin ingredients like ceramides and niacinamide, and is pretty inexpensive.  Another product I use to touch up during the day without messing up my makeup is Brush on Block.  It is powder but comes in a portable stick so it’s great to bring to work, the beach or wherever you are going!

Chemical sunscreens have ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate or avobenzone and penetrate into your skin, absorbing the UV rays, changing them to heat and then releasing that heat.

Pros and Cons-

Chemical sunscreens can be more irritating to certain skin types and also, because they penetrate into the skin, it is recommended that you wait at least 20 minutes for the product to sink in before sun exposure.

One chemical sunscreen moisturizer I love is the L’BRI Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 32.  L’BRI is an American company that uses all natural ingredients and features aloe as a main ingredient in its products.  This moisturizer feels great on my skin and leaves a natural glow.

Final thoughts

No matter what, find an SPF product that works for you and use it!  Don’t just use it when you are going to the beach, but every day.  And, don’t just apply in the morning and forget about it the rest of the day!  It needs to be reapplied every couple of hours or after you’ve sweat or gone swimming.  If you are using makeup with SPF in it, great but please don’t rely only on that for your protection.  Happy summer, everyone!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

*Cancer Facts and Figures 2017. American Cancer Society.  http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@editorial/documents/document/acspc-048738.pdf.

**Milady’s Standard Fundamentals for Estheticians 9th Edition.

5 Things to Know Before Getting a Facial

For me, getting a facial is one of the most relaxing, satisfying experiences to have!  Not only am I relaxing, but doing something good for my skin that is going to keep the signs of aging at bay!  Whether you are like me and get facials often, or have never had a facial and are thinking about getting one, read on to get my 5 tips for being prepared and getting the most out of your service!

Be prepared to answer some personal questions.  No one is trying to invade your privacy but understand that it is important for your practicioner to understand if you are pregnant, have any allergies or are taking any types of medications as sometimes this can react negatively withsome ingredients in the skincare products used during the facial.  Be sure to answer their questionnarie as accurately and thoroughly as possible to ensure you have the best facial experience possible.

Stop using retinol products 48-72 hours prior.  Every facial has an exfoliation component to it, and depending on the type you are getting some are more intense than others.  If you have just used a retinol product your skin may be too sensitive for certain types of exfoliation so let your practitioner know immediately so that the appropriate products can be used for your skin.

Leave the eye makeup at home.  As a step in every facial, the esthetician is going to cleanse your skin, removing any makeup you have on.  I know sometimes it’s difficult to go to a facial with no makeup if you are coming from work or somewhere where you need to have makeup on, but eye makeup is especially challenging to thoroughly remove during a facial.  From my experience as an esthetician giving facials to clients, I believe the time it takes to remove this detracts from the time the esthetician can be doing other parts of the facial, like the heavenly facial massage!  To ensure you are getting the most out of  your facial, I’d recommend removing your eye makeup prior to your appointment.

Aaah! Be sure you communicate with your esthetician so you can have the best experience at your appointment.

Don’t be afraid to communicate with your esthetician!   Be sure that your preferences are known about massage pressure, likes, dislikes, any issues with your skin you want to address,  etc.  Also, if you are claustrophobic, let your esthetician know.  Sometimes that towel wrap over your face can get intense so let your practicioner know so she can make the appropriate adjustments and ensure you have the best experience.  Remember this is YOUR facial and the goal is for you to have the best, most relaxing experience.  Trust me, your esthetician WANTS to have your feedback so don’t feel like you’re being mean or a diva.  What one person prefers is different for another and your practictioner is not a mind reader.  Help HER help YOU have a great appointment!

Hit the restroom before your session.  I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one.  Running down the hall of the spa with just a wrap on and product all over your face is not a relaxing experience!  Also, laying there preoccupied about having to pee only detracts from your experience, so plan ahead!  Most estheticians will ask if you need to use the restroom prior to getting started for just that reason.

So now that you have all my tips for a fantastic facial, get ready to relax and have one of the most luxurious experiences you can have!  Enjoy!