I frequently get asked about my skincare and everyday makeup routine. In the last few years I've found a natural skincare routine and made lifestyle changes that have made all the difference. I finally have control over my skin and am comfortable leaving the house without makeup. We all have a genetic predisposition for some characteristics like skin tone and appearance, freckles, the size of our pores, oily skin, or dry skin. Paying a visit to the dermatologist can greatly help with skin irregularities. Despite the fact that a big part of how our skin presents itself is due to our DNA, there are still steps we can take to improve our skin.
As a teenager I had my fair share of breakouts, sensitivity, and redness. In college I used acne cleansers with chemicals that would bleach my towels. While they worked to keep my skin clear, I was unaware of the toxic chemicals my body was absorbing through my skin. I know what it's like to put your face an inch away from a magnifying mirror and critique your skin like a scene out of Mean Girls: "My pores are huge...my nail beds suck...I have really bad breath in the morning." Then I remind myself that no one else is looking that closely at my skin, and nothing is more beautiful than confidence, a smile and a warm heart.
Today my skin is clear almost all year round and has a healthy glow that it didn't have a few years ago. I'm really passionate about skincare and I know how it can make or break how your day goes and how confident you are. It took hours of research and dozens of products to figure out what really works. I'm sharing my top tips to improving your skin I wish I knew 10 years ago, my current skincare routine, and the exact products I use.
Top tips to improving your skin
Limit Sun Exposure
Wear sunscreen that is SPF 30 (or higher) with the main ingredient being zinc oxide. Damage from the sun is the #1 cause of premature skin aging.
Be Gentle and Keep it Clean
Wash your face every morning and every night. No matter how late it is after a night out or how tired I am, I will always wash my face. When you leave makeup, oil and dirt on your skin it can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
Check the ingredients. Our skin is our largest organ, we absorb at least 60% of the products we put on it. I'm not a complete purist, but I make an effort to do research to minimize toxic chemicals, preservatives and fragrances.
We need to be gentle with our skin. No touching, squeezing, or picking at it and only exfoliate and mask 1 to 2 times per week. Avoid using abrasive chemicals like alcohol, fragrance and soap. Always check the ingredients and use natural products that have fewer ingredients.
Our Skin Can Reveal What We Put in Our Body
Drink a lot of water, at least half your bodyweight in ounces. I add lemon for an extra Vitamin C boost and to support the body's natural detoxification process. Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives skin elasticity and smooths lines in the face for a younger more youthful appearance.
Eat 5+ servings of vegetables and up to 2 servings of fruit each day. Foods like spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, sweet potato are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that fight against free radicals and leave our skin young and radiant.
Eat healthy fats like avocado, salmon, walnuts, almonds and chia seeds. These act as a natural moisturizer for our skin to keep it looking hydrated and supple.
Limit alcohol, dairy, sugar and refined carbohydrates. I can notice almost immediately in my skin if I over-indulge in any of these. Alcohol dehydrates the skin which can speed up aging. Dairy, sugar and processed carbs all spike insulin, which leads to breakouts and skin that's dull with more lines and wrinkles. It takes about two to three weeks to completely regenerate your skin, so if we minimize sugar and dairy, we should give our bodies time to adjust before enjoying a clearer more vibrant complexion.
Balance Exercise and Sleep
When we exercise daily it improves circurlation and our immune system and gives our skin a natural glow. Just be sure to not wear makeup when you workout. I keep Burt's Bees face wipes in my gym bag to get rid of pore-clogging sweat and dirt.
Our bodies need 8 hours of sleep in order to refresh and renew. Stress increases the hormone cortisol which can cause breakouts and redness in our face and body. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing and hobbies are all good ways to manage stress.
My Skincare Routine
Cleanse. I take a warm washcloth to dampen my face and open my pores, then I massage a small amount of Manuka Honey to cover my face. I leave this on while I brush my teeth or sometimes longer. Honey is antibacterial, moisturizing and full of antioxidants.
Tone. Next I apply Boscia Balancing Toner with a cotton ball. I love this toner, because while some contain alcohol and can be drying, this one balances the pH of your skin leaving it hydrated and free of breakouts.
Serum. I massage 2 to 3 drops of Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum into my skin. I swear by Vitamin C as one of the best ways to keep your skin young, reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture and skin tone, and fight free radicals from sun damage. It also contains collagen which rehydrates and plumps the skin for a smoother and firmer complexion. 100% Pure is also a good one.
Eyes. There's nothing better than skin around the eye that's smooth and plump. I use an eye cream by Dermalogica. This area of the face is really delicate, I gently apply a small amount with my ring finger.
Protect. Sun protection is essential all year long. I use Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47.
Moisturize. If I want light coverage to even out my skin, I'll use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with a foundation brush or a beauty blender.
Lips. I discovered Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm last year after skiing in Colorado for a week. My lips had never been so dry and I would have paid anything to restore them. I became completely hooked on this lip balm. I only use it 1 to 2 times per day and it lasts at least 6 months.
Cleanse. Alba Hawaiian Pore Purifying Cleanser takes off every ounce of makeup leaving my skin feeling completely clean. If there's still makeup around my eyes, I dip a q-tip into Mary Kay's Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover it's the most gentle product that really works.
Serum. Choose something with Vitamin C, Vitamin A or resveratrol.
Moisturize. When I switched to a facial oil to hydrate my skin overnight I finally started waking up with skin that glows. Between the bitter cold and dryness, this winter has been harsh, but my face is saved by Aimee Raupp Beauty Organic Nourishing Facial Oil. A few years ago I would have been afraid to use oil on my face as I have combination/oily skin and as a teenager was prone to breakouts. Now I opt for facial oils over moisturizers, they balance the natural oils in your skin and have more antioxidants with anti-aging benefits.
Once a week I use a mask to stimulate cell turnover and get rid of the dead skin cells. When I mask I look at my skin and decide what it needs (purity, hydration, etc.) If I want to draw out impurities, I use Indian Healing Clay and mix about 1 teaspoon clay with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. If I want to hydrate and brighten, I will mix a teaspoon of Manuka Honey with a squeeze of fresh lemon and leave on for 20-30 minutes.
We respect your privacy.