First, know your skin type! I've seen many people use and buy products that are actually harming their skin because they didn't know their skin type and/or condition(s). Are you dry, oily, mature, or normal? Do you have any skin conditions such as inflammation, flakiness, hyperpigmentation, etc.? Make sure the skin type and skin condition are both addressed appropriately when purchasing skin care products.
Example #1: Dry Skin & acne
Not all acne products are made for everyone with acne. Hear me out. Just because you have an acne skin condition doesn't mean you have an oily skin type. Most acne products are designed for oily skin and tend to dry the skin out. So if your skin is already dry (type) but you struggle with acne (condition), you want to avoid drying ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide (please don't buy this :)) or Salicylic acid (Try white willow bark extract). If you're dry with acne, you may need ingredients such as oat or honey that will nourish the problem area(s), control inflammation, and cleanse the skin.
Example #2: Melasma mistaken for sun damage
If you have melasma (skin condition) and use a Vitamin C product or other brightening ingredients you unfortunately won't be treating the condition at all, or at best you'll see short term results. Melasma is caused by hormonal imbalances commonly from hormonal changes in pregnancy and birth control. No amount of topical skin care products are going to reverse this condition. In this case, supportive nourishment in the forms of food, herbs, and supplements may help balance your hormones and greatly reduce the hyperpigmentation. I recommend seeking assistance when using herbs, nutritional support, and supplements with your trusted healthcare provider or licensed alternative practitioner.
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Second, consider the possibility of imbalance in your other organs and systems! Healing the skin is a multifaceted equation that is rarely solved by an external resource alone. Understanding the relationship of the integumentary system and our internal systems and organs are key to optimizing the external resources, such as products, for skin health and wellness. This requires LOADS of patience and more importantly teaches us how to have compassion for our bodies. You may be using all the right products, but if your gut, lung, liver, kidney, or blood and lymph are in disharmony, you won't be seeing the long term results and healing in your skin the way you wish. So my advice, pause on the product purchases and go back to the basics of understanding the functions of the rest of your body!
I personally believe in the power of the ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda practices to harmonize and balance the ecosystems in each organ & system in the body. This, to me, is living as whole and harmonious as I can from the inside out.
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Lastly, keep it simple. Remember, we're talking about the very basics, the heart, of your regimen. Cleanse, Exfoliate, Moisturize. Also please consider the amount of ingredients in your products. The skin, much like our gut, better processes & digests smaller amounts and smaller ranges of ingredients. Overloaded ingredient lists lead to disharmony in the skin as well as a waste of product. Many of the ingredients may not even be processed properly enough for it to actually be effective. By having a simpler product regimen, you set your skin up for better results! Below is a breakdown of a very simple regimen to kick your skin back into balance using minimal steps & products!
"..keep it simple."
Did you know our skin changes with the seasons and so should your products and regimens? Jess is here to make these seasonal transitions for you & your skin easy breezy. Schedule your Seasonal Regimen Eval!
Balance & Calibrate Reset Regimen
If you have very sensitized or inflamed skin related to acne, eczema, or rosacea, this will be a perfect skin care reset regimen! If your skin is normal or no inflammatory conditions this is a great practice to do for at least a 2 day period of the period to flush the skin and enhance product effectiveness. Or maybe you are a plain Jane and just like to keep it simple!
1. Rinse the skin with room temp. water and pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Use your day time moisturizer
3. Layer with SPF 30 (not necessary if your moisturizer has SPF 30 already).
1. Cleanse according to your skin type and pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Use a cotton pad with a little rose water toner to gently wipe any excess dirt or makeup the cleanser didn't remove. You may also simply spritz the toner if you didn't have much build up of dirt or make-up from the day.
3. Evening moisturizer, no SPF. This may also be your daytime one you use if it doesn't have SPF.
One night a week -
1. Facial Steam, with or without the use of herbs. This encourages an opening and purging response in the pores as well as relaxes us emotionally, calms our thoughts, and warms our body. This also enhances the effect of the exfoliation in the next step because the steam is essentially a non-invasive, non-abrasive pre-exfoliation and pushes all the "gunk" to the surface where the physical exfoliant takes it away! If you don't steam, exfoliate twice a week with a gentle exfoliator such as this one.
2. Exfoliate the skin after cleansing or with your cleanser. In the very basic principle of exfoliation, this helps and is necessary to support the skins purity by removing excess build up as well as dead skin cells. There are about a million ways to exfoliate but remember, again, this is a basic regimen to calibrate the skin. So products or services such as retinols/retinals/retinoids, microdermabrasion, peels, AHA's, or BHA's are all going to be part of your secondary regimen. We'll talk about these later! First, let's focus on rebalancing the skin's microbiome before we go into the penetrative and potentially harsh ingredients.
PRO TIP: when applying moisturizing creams or oils for dry or mature skin, massage it into the skin nicely with a slight firm pressure in circular outward & upward motions. If your skin type is oily or has present inflammation, gently pat the product around the face and softly swipe in upward or outward motions to disperse evenly.
Let's recap real quick...
1. Know your skin type and condition(s) - use products accordingly.
2. Be patient to see results. Consider other organs and systems in the body if your products aren't working for you, even if you're using the right ones.
3. Keep it simple! Refer to Balance and Calibrate Basic Regimen above.
Always remember, a happy mind and a happy body create happy skin!
Love & light,