With each season: beauty inside out

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With each season I embrace the opportunity to hit reset and adopt new habits in areas of my life that need work.  For me this usually focuses on my overall health and rituals that keep me well. 

The concept of ‘healthy living in the everyday’ really encapsulates this sentiment.  The care and pampering that we give ourselves helps our skin glow and keeps our immune systems happy so we can reduce the risk for disease and illness.

This is a lengthly post so grab a cup of hot tea and stay with me!  Also remember that we are all uniquely different so it’s important to keep in mind that some of the products I mention may not be suitable for you.

Beauty inside and out

You can’t talk about skin care without discussing how we care for ourselves on the inside. What we eat and how we live our day to day lives has a profound impact on our faces.   I struggled with acne as a teenager and continued to have flare ups even as an adult.  After years of trying to figure out what was going on I discovered that cutting down on sugar, dairy, and grain helped a bit.  I also learned that keeping my stress level down was also helpful. Although stress alone doesn’t cause acne, it can trigger hormonal changes (secretion of cortisol and androgen for example) that may worsen acne if you are prone to it.  My day begins with warm water and a squeeze of lemon prior to my coffee. My favorite nondairy creamer to date is  Nutpods. Next I blend a shake with lots of different supper foods including a protein powder, frozen blueberries, a handful of spinach, maca, chia seeds, and a pinch of my favorite adaptogen blend.  For the past month or so I’ve added in Cleanse Inner Beauty Powder and Antioxidant Beauty Boost.  Both are great for the tummy (gut) which is key to beauty .. inside and out.

Morning Cleansing Routine

After breakfast it’s time to get ready for my day.  If I’m feeling dry I  wash my face with an oil cleanser.  My two favorites are from Tata Harper  and May Lindstrom.  I recently ordered The Chocolate Box which included the pendulum potion cleansing oil and I’m loving it.   After applying a few pumps I gently massage the oil into my skin and follow with a warm, steamy towel.  This process feels cocoon-like and is very comforting.  If you are interested in sampling May Lindstrom’s products, The Chocolate Box is the way to do it.  It is reasonably priced and contains nice size samples for you to try.  This is a new and apparently popular product so if it’s currently sold out, it will be back in stock soon.

Next I add a moisture retaining serum.  I like HA Intensifier by SkinCeuticals and Eminence is also a great company. Both contain Hyaluronic Acid, a substance that we have naturally in our skin and that diminishes as we get older.  HA holds it’s weight 1,000 in water so if you are suffering from dry, winter skin it can be  helpful to add this step in.  Following my HA serum I apply a few drops of an antioxidant serum.  I’ve used SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic (for dry skin) or Phloretin CF (for oily or damaged skin) for years and will continue.  Antioxidants applied topically help correct and protect the skin against free radical damage that can lead to those ugly brown spots and changes in skin cells. This is a priority to me so I never skip this step.  I like to change my moisturizer up seasonally.  Right now I’m using Glossier priming moisturizer.  It great under make up and gives my skin a healthy glow.  Last,  I always apply sunscreen, even on a cloudy day.

Evening Cleansing Routine

Before cleansing I remove my make up with Bioderma and follow with cleansing oil or Darphine Cleansing Milk.  Most days I also use a plump pea size dollop of the honey mud following my first cleanse.   The honey mud smells delicious and I like the silky, pudding texture as it nourishes and hydrates my skin. As an Aesthetician with my Masters credential I treat myself to retinoid based chemical peels on the regular bases.  Chemical peeling sounds kind of aggressive however if done properly (by an experienced licensed provider) it can be a game changer.  If you don’t care to step into that arena then it’s a good idea to add a topical retinoid to your evening routine.  The products you can purchase at drug stores are okay but contain very little of the active ingredient that you need.  I suggest purchasing something like Skinmedica Retinol Complex or asking your medical provider about a prescription retinoid.  If you are new to this topic, a retinol is less aggressive than a retinoid and your medical provider would need to write you a prescription for a retinoid.  Retinols can be purchased over the counter.  Apply just a pea size amount of your retinol to dry skin every other day.  If tolerated, use daily.  Start using a retinol in your late twenties so you will have beautiful skin later in life.   It’s a multitasker, helping to manage acne and also improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Retinoids work by turning over surface skin cells, allowing for new cell growth underneath. This “turn over” process slows down as we get older and that’s why we notice our skin lacks luster and glow.  Retinoids increase light sensitivity so avoid using if you plan to have prolonged sun exposure.  Next I apply Fresh Rose Moisturizer and Eye Cream.  If I’m feeling like I need a little extra pampering I switch out the rose moisturizer for the blue cocoon beauty balm.  This product melts into the skin and creates a sense of calm as it nourishes.  I love that I can use this on sensitive skin, delicate eye contour, or anyplace that needs a little extra pampering.  Check this instagram highlight for my review on The Chocolate Box!

Finally, because my lips are perpetually dry during the winter, I finish with  LANEIGE Lip Mask.

See the process of self care as pampering as opposed to a chore, you’ll do it more often, enjoy the process, and your body will thank you.

Morning Skin Care

Night Time Skin Care


Photography by Missy Palocal 

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