Saturday, 12 October 2013

Are You Getting the Most Out Of All Your Skincare?

Quality skincare doesn't have to be but sometimes is expensive and time consuming. Not to mention it can become a game of trial and error in order to find the products that work with your particular skin chemistry. I am not even taking into account brand research, ingredient deciphering and the sometimes perilous process of acquiring the item of choice. The beauty industry can be a confusing place even for the best of us. 

For argument sake lets say that you discovered a product, visited the official website, consulted beauty pushers like me and finally made your purchase. The investment was made, the skincare did not make your face off and you are actually seeing the fruits of all that labor (aka results)! If it all lines up like that, pat yourself on the back and enjoy your complexion improvements! 
The story really should end there but of course it doesn't and it really shouldn't! The goal now is to maximize the results you are seeing in the mirror and make sure to utilize the active ingredients to their I full potential! Take it's for what it's worth completely. Think about it, you spent the money, you took your time so naturally you want to make sure you get the best out of it all!
Why settle for a $100 when you can work it to a $1000! 

Believe it or not making a few small changes in your beauty routine along with a few simple guidelines can make a world of difference! 
Here are a few skin loving rules to elevate your regiment from GOOD to AWESOME!

This may sound rudimentary but we all know that with skincare the main purpose is to get the ingredients into the skin so they can preform their primary function. Knowing what order your products should be applied can make sure to speed up absorption and maximize the penetration effect of the good stuff. The general rule is to go with light to heavy when it comes to texture and consistency. This means serums before moisturizers, and creams before balms or ointments. If a product has more active ingredient compared to the other then it needs to be applied first in order to maximize its power. Your aim is to get the best and most potent stuff in first! 

Applying an eye serum and/or eye cream is suggested as the first step after washing your face to make sure the delicate eye area is not compromised by products meant for the face only. The under-eye area especially is quite a bit more delicate than the rest of your face and therefore might be prone to irritation from actives it has no business with. To avoid this, just apply your eye treatment first so its somewhat coated when your face products come in to play. The Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Resurfacing Eye Serum ($67.00 for 0.5 oz) has been making quite a splash in my routine and I can't wait to review it and give it some well deserved praise.
To amplify hydration and skin recovery due to season changes on my face I have been using the Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum ($55.00 for 50 ml) lately with some pretty impressive results (review to follow). My day moisturizers can change pretty often around here but as you know I have been loving the MuLondon White Chocolate Truffle Moisturizer ($25.00 for 60 ml) , alternating between that and the lovely classic Clarins HydraQuench Cream  ($49.00 for 50 ml). I have used the Clarins HydraQuench blue tubs for so long that the familiarity alone is comforting.

If you remember your Science class then you might recall the oil and water don't mix concept and that holds true when it comes skincare as well. Water-based products need to be applied first and then sealed with an oil treatment. However if you are using a dermatologist prescribed medication then that's the one that always should be used before anything else. Generally speaking the closer to the surface a product is, its effectiveness increases. To improve absorption try misting your face with some of the many facial mist sprays available (see here!) or simply dampen the skin surface prior product application. 
The oil of the moment in my bathroom cabinet is the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil ($30.00 for 1 oz), which is quickly rising to the top of my facial oil stash! It's definitively giving my beloved REN Rose O12 Ultra-Moisture Defense Serum ($80.00 for 1 oz) a run for its money :-)

The beauty sleep dilemma has been debunked by some skincare experts and I am not sure if I personally buy that skin cells renew themselves more during the night but there are definite benefits in using certain products while you dream. Retinol based formulas such as the Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Night ($47.50 for 1 oz) along with some antioxidants make the skin very sensitive to UV rays and their efficiency is significantly lowered due to sun exposure, which means those products are best to be used indoors (or at night!). Cosmetic companies have a tendency in making night-time formulas more concentrated and spiked with higher levels of active ingredients so applying them when you are not wearing makeup (at night!) provides more time for them to work their magic. Another instance when a treatment is more effective when there is no sun exposure is in the case of resurfacing serums such as the StriVectin Advanced Overnight Resurfacing Serum ($69.00 for 1 oz) or the Roc Max Wrinkle Resurfacing System ($29.99 for the set). Come to think of it if you are using aggressive treatments like that sun exposure should be limited in the first place! 

Beautysets - skincare3
A lot of beauty products and especially skincare have silicone's or dimethicones as part of their formulation. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with these smoothing agents and I personally consider them as "cheat ingredients" that only fool you into feeling the smoothing sensation of your skin. I understand that's the appeal in the first place but my preference would be to treat texture issues not just mask them. Since silicone's coat the surface of both hair and skin, a barrier is formed so products put on top may not be able to penetrate or work properly. If products like that are part of your routine to minimize the problem just make sure that anything like that is applied as one of the last steps (ex: primer). 
Silicone based primers that I have gotten along with in the past are: Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Primer ($38.00), Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer ($39.00 for 1 oz) and The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser ($18.00 for 1 oz).

I am not even going to bother lecturing anyone about sunscreen use since we all know how essential SPF is for the health of your skin.  Melanoma, premature wrinkles and leathery skin is not a good look for anyone so it's most important to get this step right. 
As there are two different types of sunscreen it's no surprise that there are two application methods to consider. 
Chemical Sunscreen like La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ for  Face and Body require absorption in order to preform so therefore should be applied as one of the first products in your routine. Physical Sunscreen like the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($34.00 for 1.7 oz) use Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide to form a barrier between the fragile skin and the damaging UV rays. Since that barrier needs to remain strong these sunscreens are applied on top of your skincare but is also sustainable under light makeup. You can avoid that hassle by choosing a tinted moisturizer or foundation with high SPF protection already built in. 

As you know I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to skincare and complicated regiments so it wont surprise you that even this post has its own little brownie point section. 
If you are indeed using targeted essentials like heavy duty lip treatments and lash conditioners you know that using such extra-credit products can sometimes interfere with your daytime beauty rituals. 
Ultra-nourishing lip treatments are perfect for overnight healing and repair but can become quite the hassle if you try using them when lipsticks and glosses are trying to be the stars of your fabulousness. Layering balms can just end up smearing and diluting your desired lip color so treatments like Hourglass N28 Lip Treatment Oil ($49.00 for 0.25 oz) and  Bite Beauty Superfruit Butter ($21.00 for 0.23 oz) are better left for indoor times. 
Lash treatments are not everyone's cup of tea but the beauty obsessed like myself find such products totally helpful and the results these days can be rather impressive. My picks are the old standby Mavala Switzerland Double Lash (15.70) and my new discovery Talika Eyelash Growth Lpocils ($28.00) However as awesome and gratifying these are I have never found one that is mascara-friendly so I have to reserve them for night use. Luckily beauty companies have recently come out with mascara's laced with lash treatments and the Revlon Lash Potion formula has been on the forefront for some time now but the jury is still out! 

The main point I wanted to make with this blog post is that we are putting our faith in these cosmetic companies, spending our hard earned money and putting in precious time researching product specifics - that kind of effort deserves the very best these products can offer. With just a few tweaks and some tidbits of information you might not have thought of utilizing, the products you already have can go from PRETTY GOOD  to FREAKING AMAZING

As a girl who has a very difficult time remembering to read the directions on anything I wanted to find a way to pass on real world beauty experience points to girls like me and avoid sounding like a product pusher for once... I hope this helps!

Thank you for reading

Do you have some secret skincare tips? 



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