The aisles of grocery stores, drug stores, and department stores are filled with the latest and greatest beauty and skincare products while TV, magazines, and social media push new products to the forefront of our minds, 24 hours a day. Chances are, when you open your medicine cabinet or makeup drawer, they are cluttered with countless products you used once or twice, and then never again.
Why is that?
Honestly, it is because individual products from a variety of manufacturers, probably do not complement one another. And like other makeup and skincare products, they are destined for the back of the cabinet, or the bottom of the drawer. It is time for a little Spring cleaning, and time to create the best skincare routine for your skin, and budget.
Make Room For Products That Work!
First, let’s clean out the products you don’t use. Go ahead and toss any product that is 6 months or older that you don’t remember the last time you used. If it has been opened, chances are it has lost its effectiveness, and it won’t be fulfilling the promises advertised. I know, this is a challenging endeavor, but trust me, this step is crucial. Now that you’ve got plenty of room in your medicine cabinet and makeup drawer, let’s devise a skincare routine that meets your needs with products made from natural and organic ingredients, that are effective, and that you will use. A good skincare routine will consist of:
- Eye Makeup Removal – Night
- Cleansing – Morning and Night
- Toning – Morning and Night
- Face Serum – Morning and Night
- Moisturizing – Morning and Night
- Sunscreen — Morning
- Eye Cream – Morning and Night
- Microdermabrasion — Weekly
Put Your Skin Under The Microscope…
…figuratively. Before we begin selecting and devising the best skincare routine for your skin, start by identifying any problem areas or areas of concern. Pull out a magnifying mirror, and take inventory of your skin. Make a note of dry areas that may be flaky or scaly; note any shininess or greasy film and take notice of the size of your pores. Depending on your hormone health, your diet, and your age, you may have dry skin, oily skin, or combination skin – and it may change from season to season We will take any areas of concern that you have, and work that into a daily skincare routine that works for you. Remember, skincare products should address whatever challenges your skin has, and make you appear more youthful, vibrant, and younger. Using the right products as recommended, will make a significant difference in the health of your skin.
Remove Eye Makeup Without Chemicals
Every makeup and skincare company offers eye makeup remover gels and creams. Many of the most popular eye makeup removal products contain harsh chemicals; it should go without saying that the delicate area around your eyes is no for products that irritate or dry the skin
Secret #1 – Turn to your pantry to remove mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow.
That’s right! One of the most economical, safest, gentle, and soothing products you can use to remove eye makeup quickly is… pure coconut oil. Coconut oil effectively melts even the most stubborn waterproof mascaras and eyeliners. A tiny dab, about half the size of a pencil eraser is more than enough for both eyes. Melt the coconut oil in the palm of your hand, and the gently rub onto your eyelash line. Use a damp cotton pad to remove the makeup and excess oil, and continue with your skincare routine.
Gentle Cleansing Is Key
There was a time that squeaky clean skin was all the rage; hopefully, you’ve moved on from that benchmark. Squeaky clean is a sign that all the natural oils have been stripped. The best facial cleansers contain natural ingredients that are gentle, yet still effectively remove makeup, dirt, and environmental grime without stripping your skin of the natural oils that keep your face soft and supple, and younger looking.
Secret #2 – Witch hazel fights acne, oily skin, sun damage, and redness!
When selecting a gentle facial cleanser look for natural and organic ingredients, none of which is more important than witch hazel. In addition to witch hazel, soothing ingredients like aloe vera and rose hip oil, as well tea tree oil with its impressive antibacterial properties round out a great facial cleanser’s top ingredients.
At all costs, avoid harsh facial cleansers with parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), formaldehyde, and toluene. And remember, never go to bed with makeup on. This causes clogged pores and can lead to acne. It is also best to exercise and sweat, makeup free. Be brave, and cleanse your face before your workout!
Tone, Tone, Tone!
Toning is often overlooked in a skincare routine. The reason? Because decades ago we were all convinced that squeaky clean skin was the way to go. So, we used harsh toners, full of alcohol, which made our skin tingle, and frankly burn. Toning after cleansing removes any residual cleanser and dirt left behind. And once again, for the best all-natural solution, turn to your pantry! Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help to fight acne, and even relieves the pain of a sunburn. It works beautifully to balance the pH of your skin, making it feel fresh and alive.
Secret #3 – Toning doesn’t strip your skin, it replenishes it, with the right product!
The trick is to use only organic apple cider vinegar that has the “mother” culture floating in the bottom of the jar. Follow the recipes below for your skin type, and keep the mixture in a glass jar. Smooth gently over your face with a cotton pad after cleansing, morning and night.
- Sensitive Skin & Dry Skin: Mix 1/3 cup organic apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water.
- Normal Skin & Combination Skin: Mix ½ cup organic apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water.
- Oily Skin: Use full strength apple cider vinegar.
Fight Aging with Serums
Often overlooked, a facial serum is an essential part of any anti-aging skincare routine. Using a facial serum right after cleansing and toning gives your skin a dose of moisture and essential vitamins that help repair sun damage, boost collagen production, and make your skin look and feel younger.
Secret #4 – Hyaluronic Acid repairs skin damage and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even crow’s feet!
Hyaluronic acid and 20% vitamin C should be the top 2 ingredients you look for in a facial serum. Be sure to select one that is derived from organic sources; stay away from products with lab-created retinol. Often, within days of using one of the best vitamin C serums, you will begin to notice that your skin is retaining moisture better, that your skin is plumper, softer, and your youthful glow has returned. In a few weeks, you will start to notice a reduction in fine lines, and those with uneven skin tone start to see a smoother, more even complexion. Use a small amount on your fingers and apply to your face – as well as your neck, and décolleté areas. Yes! Vitamin C serum will fight aging in these spots as well. Do avoid direct contact with your eyes, as these ingredients may cause redness and burning. Be sure to allow time for it to absorb fully before moving onto our next step, moisturizing.
An active life that takes us outdoors to ski, swim, surf, play tennis, hike, bike, or walk takes a toll on our skin. Together, wind and the sun quickly damage skin. Staying hydrated internally, as well as moisturizing the face externally is a must when you spend significant time outdoors.
Secret #5 – You are never too young to start moisturizing!
But, that doesn’t mean that if you spend time indoors that moisturizing isn’t equally as important. In fact, those that work in large buildings, or that fly often, are at significant risk for developing dry skin.
Even if your skin tends to be on the oily side, you need a natural moisturizer that keeps your skin soft and supple, while preventing premature aging. Retinol moisturizers that are formulated with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, sunflower oil, vitamin E, green tea, and shea butter will help to fight fine lines and wrinkles, and other signs of aging. In addition to those natural ingredients, look for 2.5% concentration of retinol for the best results.
There is no doubt that exposure to the sun without protection does lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and premature aging. But, of equal concern is making sure that we are getting enough sunshine so that we don’t become vitamin D deficient. So, what is the solution? A natural sunscreen, and again, we can turn to our pantry, instead of store shelves.
Secret #6 – We need some sun exposure to prevent vitamin D deficiency!
Many people don’t realize that coconut oil is a natural sunscreen with an SPF of between 4 and 6, making it a perfect daily sunscreen. It won’t completely block out all the sun’s rays, so if you are planning a day at the beach, on a boat, or hiking in the mountains, choose a sunscreen made with natural ingredients, or wear a hat to protect your skin.
So far in our skincare routine we are using a cleanser, a toner, a vitamin C serum, a moisturizer, and a sunscreen. The only daily need left? An intensive, all natural eye cream or anti-aging eye serum.
Secret #7 – First signs of premature aging appear around the eyes!
When you look in the mirror first thing in the morning, do you see dark circles, puffy eyes, and fine lines? If so, you really need to add an anti-aging eye serum. While formulated to target the fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, the best eye serums provide a 1-2 punch with a combination of plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid. Other ingredients to look for in the best anti-aging eye products include jojoba oil, licorice, eye bright, and frankincense. These natural ingredients work together in harmony to increase collagen levels in your skin, which results in diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, and an overall more youthful glow. Use your anti-aging eye serum morning, and night; it is perfectly happy to work under your makeup during the day, and on top of your moisturizer at night.
Hormones, the sun, poor diet, dehydration, and genetics all play a role in the texture of our skin. Flaky skin and dry patches happen – it is a natural part of life. And, it is also true that when allowed to build up, it can make us appear significantly older than our years.
Secret #8 – Dead skin happens – and ages you – get rid of it!
When we have too much sebum and dead skin cells, the result is clogged pores. Clogged pores trap bacteria, which then results in unsightly whiteheads, blackheads, and painful pimples. Keeping skin smooth and fresh requires the removal of the old dead skin, to allow new skin to the surface. While you can elect to spend hundreds of dollars at a spa or dermatologist’s for a microdermabrasion treatment, you can also elect to do the treatment at home, for a fraction of the cost. The best microdermabrasion scrubs are the ideal blend of hardworking triglycerides and glycol that are balanced with healing grapeseed and jojoba oils as well as shea butter and vitamin E. Just a few minutes, once a week is all it takes to keep your skin soft and silky smooth. Use just a tiny dab, and rub into your skin with moderate pressure in a circular pattern. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Pat dry, and follow with toner, face serum, and moisturizer for best results.
The above skincare routine may seem daunting, but just a couple of days into a new routine using natural products that are designed and formulated to work together, the appearance and texture of your skin will start to improve. Commit to just 5 extra minutes each morning, and 5 minutes each night to achieve younger, healthy looking skin.
And, for best results, select a skincare line that is formulated with natural and organic ingredients that are made in the USA, and that comes with a money back guarantee if you aren’t delighted with the results.