Monday, January 30, 2012

Skin... Exposed

I get asked about my skin fairly often.  Between us girls, there shouldn't be any secrets to having healthy, happy skin.  Below are my personal skin choices.  Some are free, some are pricey.  Feel free to add your own in the Comments section below.
  • Never wear makeup to bed.  Ever.  Period.  They should have a help line for this, it's so serious.  :)
  • Try to avoid wearing makeup every day.  Let your skin breathe as often as possible.  I only wear makeup about 1-2 times per week.
  • Use a good quality cleanser.  This does not have to mean expensive, although it can.  Here are my favorites: Mary Kay Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser ($18), Aveeno Positively Radient Brightening Cleanser ($6.50).  I like Arbonne's FC5 Purifying Cleanser ($25) to use every now and then as a mask to raise blackheads (although it is intended as a cleanser).
  • I can't mention cleanser without it's sister product, moisturizer.  I use Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20 ($44.50) during the day without or under makeup.  At night, you need a different moisturizer, and it does not need SPF in it.  My all-time favorite is Mary Kay Timewise Age-Fighting Moisturizer ($22).  Unfortunately, I have not found its equal in Wal-Mart or Target, but if I ever do I'll be sure to post it here.
  • Remove blackheads.  Once a week, after cleansing, I examine my nose for blackheads.  To do this, gently squeeze them out and wipe the skin with alcohol.  
  • If I see a pimple, enter Mary Kay Acne Treatment Gel ($7).  Works like a charm, and my hubby even uses it.  If the pimple can be popped, I do so.  Then wipe with alcohol to remove any germs and top with acne gel.  Professionals encourage people not to pop their pimples.  I'll leave this decision to you.  If the surface of the skin is broken, and I am concerned about scarring then I apply Neosporin at night and possibly during the day if necessary.
  • Do not tan your face.  An esthetician will always recommend zero tanning in a tanning bed, regular sunblock, and spray tanning as an alternative.  I agree, but if you can't abstain from the tanning bed, at the very least cover your entire face with a towel when you go.  The sun is your skin's aging enemy.  That said, you still need vitamin D.  The key is balance.  I use Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 70 ($12.50) under my makeup.
  • Wear sunglasses to prevent wrinkles around the eyes.
  • Use good foundation.  Good foundation can fool many people much of the time.  I recommend Almay TLC Truly Lasting Color 16 Hour Liquid Makeup ($13).  You will be shocked at the 100% coverage and how long it lasts.  Another good option is Mary Kay Creme-to-Powder Foundation ($14).  That also yields 100% coverage, but goes on slightly heavier.  If you don't need full coverage, but want a nice finish without a heavy layer, Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation with SPF 15 ($40) will serve you well and a little goes a very long way.  One more that has good coverage, but is best for dry skin is Clinique City Base Compact Foundation ($24).  Clinque has several foundation options that cover to varying degrees, and you will probably be able to find one that fits your specific skin needs.
  • There is no product out there that can do what Botox or Dysport can to the same extent.  If they claim it, they are fibbing. Dysport is traditionally slightly lower or the same in price compared to Botox and covers more area, goes into effect sooner, and is believed to last a little longer.  That's not all -- I lost the "angry" look that I get when my eyebrows pinch together every time I concentrate.  If you don't know where to go for this, please start at Providence Medical Spa in Branson.  They give me freebies for referrals, so please tell them I sent you.
  • My husband bought me a Clarisonic for Mother's Day last year.  Yes, it works like a charm.  However, it only works if you actually use it.  :)  Now that we've established that the Clarisonic is not a "set it and forget it" type of she-tool, if you use it every day you will see amazing results.  They run $200.  
  • I haven't tried microdermabrasion, but I am a fan of chemical peels.  One peel a year works for me.  My choice is the Gloss Peel ($150) at Providence Medical Spa.  My face peeled at least twice and in some areas three times.  This, I believe, was a little more extreme than what the peel usually does.  Even though it is technically considered a superficial peel, it went plenty deep in my opinion.  If you have redness or are middle-aged and up, there is a slightly different peel in the same price range that would be better.  These work very well if you have acne scarring or, in my case, just want to slough off those old skin cells and give your skin a fresh start.  Buyer beware... you will look awful for about 5 days after your peel.  But, if you get the timing right (i.e., not right before your sister's wedding) then it can be an excellent decision.
  • No smoking.  Avoid excessive alcohol.  These are things that will inevitably show up in your skin and amplify the aging process to warp speed rates.
  • What goes in must come out.  Sadly, too many greasy double cheeseburgers can make your face look like it did on your worst teenage day.  Fresh, healthy food makes pretty skin.
  • While I am not currently doing all these, if you have regular skin issues here is the short list of vitamins that revitalize skin: Vitamins C, E, A, K, and B complex.  Fish oil is also recommended.  I was advised by a nurse not to purchase vitamins at Wal-Mart, since some of them have been tested and have fillers making them less effective.  Why spend money and get a product that isn't even effective?  If your budget allows, head to a health food store, if not, NatureMade at Target is a good option.  
Did I miss anything??  If so, just add your tips in the comments section below.

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