I have a confession to make… Skincare products terrify me (or at least they used to). As a teen, I struggled with breakouts. No amount of water-drinking, scrubbing, or over-the-counter creams seemed to make a difference. While the blemishes eventually cleared up, my paranoia about “products” (particularly oily moisturizers) stuck with me well into my 30s. I eschewed everything but gentle cleanser. Consequently, when I asked a professional esthetician to reveal the four most common skincare mistakes she sees… I was guilty of several!
Here is some critical advice from Kelsey Burton, owner of Violet Grey Studio on Main Street in downtown Lafayette, Ind. She is also sharing her own morning and night routine, plus the products she swears by. Naturally, she has incredible skin, so this advice is golden!
Are you using a hodge podge of products from different lines that don’t play nicely together, or aren’t well suited to your skin type?
You wouldn’t mix prescriptions drugs without a clear understanding of the side effects… Why do that to your skin? Skincare products from different lines can contain active ingredients that are incompatible. For instance, if you combine a product with salicylic acid and another with glycolic acid, you could be severely over-exfoliating (more on that in our next point).
Burton says you can avoid this common skincare mistake by having an honest chat with your licensed esthetician. Estheticians are extremely knowledgeable about products, which ingredients will complement each other, and which products/ingredients will suit your individual skin type.
Did you know over-exfoliating can strip the barrier function from your skin?
I get it… That squeaky clean feeling you get after using an exfoliating scrub can be really satisfying. However, we’re often doing more harm than good with harsh exfoliators. Those grainy beads? They can strip the barrier function from your skin, creating micro-tears and essentially shearing away the top layer of your skin. Eek! Not only will this lead to irritation, it can also accelerate the aging process.
What’s worse? Many of us compound the issue by using chemical exfoliators we are unaware of. Tons of skincare products contain chemical exfoliators. They might be in your cleanser… your toner…. that glycolic acid wipe. We need to be careful. Without a doubt, Burton says over-exfoliating tops the common skincare mistakes she sees.
Want results? You need to be diligent about your regimen (morning and night).
Consistency is critical if you want to achieve results. You need to be washing your face morning and night, Burton says, as well as following your complete skin care regimen religiously. Make sure you have fully removed your makeup before applying any product. In fact, a double cleanse at night is always a great idea. This transforms your skin into a clean canvas, ready to absorb beneficial serums or a retinol.
If you come in to get a facial monthly, but you’re not doing the work at home, Burton says it will take you much longer to see improvements in your skin.
This is the number one anti-aging cream!
Rain or shine, sunscreen is a must. There is no better anti-aging topical prevention than SPF. And while we’re on the topic, it’s also important to reapply! Be sure to apply your SPF in the morning, but don’t hesitate to reapply when sun exposure is at its highest. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
Yes! You’re going to want to start with your cleansers. Then move on to your toners. Next comes your target product, which could be a serum, and finally your moisturizer and SPF. A good rule of thumb to help remember this is that you want to layer your products from thinnest to thickest. This helps the skin absorb each layer most efficiently.
Personally, I love Cosmedix (available here on Amazon). The line bills itself as “clean before it was cool,” that means the products are artificial dye/fragrance free, paraben free, mineral oil free, sodium lauryl sulfate free, and cruelty free. In fact, most of my regimen is centered around Cosmedix products.
Here’s my morning routine:
At night, I do the following:
It’s not preferred. However, if you are coming from work or in a rush, your esthetician will be happy to help you remove your makeup. If you use waterproof mascara, that can be a bit challenge. I suggest you avoid waterproof mascara if you will be wearing makeup to your appointment with an esthetician.
Come in with a complete list of the products you are using. Be prepared to discuss your current skincare regimen, as well as the challenges you are seeing with your skin. Additionally, be sure to discontinue any retinol you are using one week prior to your facial appointment.
I see so many clients that struggle with skin hydration. In fact, a lack of hydration might be the cause of your breakouts. Proper hydration is critical to prevent a wide range of skin conditions from sensitivity, to acne, to dryness and everything in between.
Our internal health can absolutely cause skin issues. I recommend clients balance hormones or see a nutritionist to work alongside if they are struggling from hormonal acne. Aside from issue that are related to hormones, hydrating from within is always important. I generally try to eat clean. Of course I enjoy treats in moderation!
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