Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Skincare Tips from a Skincare Hoarder/Beauty Blogger

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Just a quick glance of this blog and its pretty clear to anyone that the Canadian Princeza is a huge appreciator and connoisseur of the beauty industry or more specifically the skincare field. Necessity, genetics and over-reactive skin caused me to start seriously looking into skincare, ingredients, treatments and a vast number of products from a very young age.

Being proactive, naturally curious and a scientist at heart (Biology Grad Student!) made it second nature for me to want to experiment, try new things, explore new innovations but perhaps most importantly learn about ingredients and how to identify the "bad" from the "good".

You would be surprised just how many ingredients can be questionable in just one single product - I was shocked to see some "respectable" brands filling their skincare with parabens, petrochemicals, sulfates, glycols and even synthetic colors. How is synthetic fragrance or color going to improve the performance of that moisturizer? Chances are it won't and in fact the chances of the formula becoming more irritating due to the addition is far greater.

Luckily for us there are so many new brands (and some older ones too!) that are understanding the shift in focus to good ingredients, simpler formulas and accountability to their customers. I can only hope the trend continues.

One of my wonderful readers (Hi, Kate!) perceptively picked up on the fact that I obviously have a lot to say when it comes to skincare and requested a post filled with: tips, recommendations and some pointers when it comes to choosing the right technique or product for all skin types.
I was obviously very excited (happy dance!) and more than happy to share my (limited) knowledge and experience with all of you.

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Before we begin I would like to remind you all that I am not a professional, I do not work in the beauty-related field and I am certainly no expert or guru anyone can rely on. The products, pointers and tricks, have all worked for me but may not preform exactly the same for you, especially if our skin type does not match. For that reason I tried to narrow down my points, streamline the list to mostly tips that could work for all skin types and include product recommendations for both budget and higher end brands.

Please use common sense, be cautious the first time you use something new, ask for a sample before purchasing (when available?) try to do a patch test when introducing a product, research other reviews (like Makeupalley) and most importantly pay attention to your skin, only you will be able to tell you if something is wrong.
*For reference my skin is combination with some localized dryness, moderately prone to acne & clogged pores, sensitive & reactive and now displays mild rosacia on cheeks and nose.


Things I Learned Through My Own Skincare Journey

*Neglecting Sunscreen
Skipping sunscreen or not using enough of it is one of the top beauty and health mistakes anyone can make. Don't use one and risk skin cancer, skin cell and blood vessel damage, deeper wrinkles, photo-damage, discoloration, pigmentation issues and generally weaker skin surface. The "leathery" look is not trendy now and I hope it never is.

- Great sunscreen for the body is the Honest Sunscreen SPF30 - $13.95 for 3 oz from the Honest Company
- Great sunscereens for the face is the Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 - $34.00 for 1.7 oz from SkinCareRx or for an amazing budget choice try the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 110 - $16.99 for 88ml from well.ca


*Sleeping Without Removing Makeup
We have all heard this advice before and even though it seems simple enough, it can end up being the hardest task of your day on one of "those nights". No matter how crappy I feel I also know that if i don't take a few minutes to take care of my face I will more than regret it when I wake up and see surprise bumps on my chin. To make things easier I always have some facial wipes, Micellar water, cotton pads and a travel size of my moisturizer handy right on my bedside stand.

- Good budget facial wipes I have used for years are the Neutrogena All-in-One Make-up Remover Cleansing Wipes - $12.99 for 25 sheets at well.ca
- For a good cleansing (micellar) water that preforms fully and gently try the Vichy Purete 3-in-1 Calming Cleansing Solution - $17.00 for 6.76 oz at ULTA


*Overcleansing and Harsh Facial Products
This point can actually be quite difficult to figure out and stick to because for years the opinion on treating problem (acne) skin was to "treat" it or "clean" it into submission. Unfortunately all that does is strip your skin of its natural oils, disrupts skin's natural moisture balance, over-dries skin's surface and causes the epidermal cells to produce even more oil to overcompensate, thereby new pimples pop even more. Harsh ingredients such as alcohol and harsh physical scrubs only further irritate that what you are trying to correct and your skin eventually rebels no matter what you do.
As a rule clean your skin only twice a day (morning + night) unless there are special circumstances and choose gentle formulas for your skincare, whenever possible.

- Great gentle cleanser for problem skin is Green Beaver Daily Facial Cleanser for Sensitive & Acne Prone Skin - $16.99 for 120 ml from Green Beaver
I also highly recommend the Pangea Organics Discovery Set for Blemish-Prone Skin - $34.00 for 5 piece set available at iherb


*Lifestyle and Diet Problems
We all know that eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep, affects how our bodies feel and how much energy we have for everyday life. Your skin is affected the most when you neglect yourself in such a way and pretty soon you will see it "on your face". Common skincare issues such as blemishes, sallow tone, dark circles, dryness, excess sebum and superficial redness; can all related in some way to how you live your life. The good news is that if you improve "you" it wont take long for it to be evident on the face as well.


*Skipping Moisturizer 
Making sure that your skin is hydrated is very important and that goes for all skin types, including those beauties with oily skin. I can understand why it makes sense to skip the step because you fear more oil on your face but that kind of thinking has now been dis-proven by dermatologists around the world. Basically if you don't add moisture to your skin then your epidermal skin cells will add their own in the form of more oil!
To avoid this just find a lightweight face lotion, designed for oily skin which will not just hydrate but can also help mattify the complexion even more.

- \My recommendations are: Say Yes to Tomatoes Facial Hydrating Lotion $14.99 for 1.7 oz from ULTA and Avene Hydrance Optimale (Light) $30.00 for 1.35 oz from drugstore.com


*Overexfoliating - too much of a good thing!
This tip is one of the most important ones for skincare-aholics and beauty bloggers like me. There are so many "potions" I want to try and sometimes these "trials" end up overlapping almost without me noticing. A lot of skin treatments preform some kind of resurfacing, exfoliating, scrubbing, peeling, polishing, refinishing...or will just indicate "enzyme presence". All of those terms mean one thing and that exfoliation. There are two ways you can exfoliate - chemical and physical but they should never be combined or overused.
I recommend taking an inventory of all the products you use and identify which ones preform any kind of exfoliating. You will be surprised how many you'll end up with and once you know what you are working with then it will be easy to make sure you only use one at a time.

For example - using a Clarisonic with a resurfacing face wash is doubling up OR using a facial scrub with a chemical exfoliating toner like Biologique Recherche p50 is also doubling up.
Try to use only one exfoliating product with each routine.


*Neck and Hand Skin Care
skincare logoMany of us forget to include the neck and hands when caring for our skin (me included) even though we know that the first signs of aging usually show up on these two areas. It takes a little bit of practice to remember but the effort is certainly worth it.
What helped me was purchasing a separate neck cream to include in my evening skincare routine however I don't think I necessarily needed a separate product for it. However once the cream is gone I will have developed a habit to take care of the neck so it will be second nature to me. I am hoping anyways :-)

*One of the best neck creams out there and the one I chose is the ridiculously expensive Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Neck Cream which is ridiculously priced at $80.00 but can be found for a lot cheaper on Amazon.
*A more budget version is the bareMinerals Naturally Luminous Extra Firming Cream $48.00 at Sephora

To take care of my hands I make sure I choose a hand cream that I like and just litter the tubes all over the house so they are always handy to me whenever I remember to use it. There are anti-aging formula's out there but I feel that since we are constantly washing our hands all day long, the focus needs to be on hydration and protection first.

*A few of my top choices are: Glysomed $3.69 for 50 ml, Cake Milk Made Velveteen $10.00 for 30 ml and my favorite Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream $12.99 for 55 g; which are all available well.ca
*If you are looking to splurge on a luxury formula then I strongly recommend the Rodial Glam-Balm Hand Cream $39.00 for 50 ml, available at Murale and the Antipodes Deliverance Kowhai Flower $26.38 for 75 ml and Antipodes Joyful Hand & Body Cream $41.23 for 120ml; which are both available at feelunique

I hope this little guide was helpful to you (especially Kate!). If you have any questions, comments or ideas, don't even hesitate to contact me - I will always get back to you!

What are your favorite skincare products? Does my list and yours have items in common?

XOXO

ANJA

P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want some more Princeza Beauty Musings, please consider following me through GFC, Bloglovin, Pinterest or Twitter! Insert "happy dance" here :-)


9 comments:

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