Thursday, June 21, 2018

Are You Applying Your Skincare Products in the Right Order?

You probably already know that you should be using an anti-aging serum and an eye cream, but do you know which you should apply first?

The order in which you apply your skincare products really does matter. You could spend a fortune on lotions and serums, but if you don’t layer them in the correct order, you won’t see results. Even worse, using products in the wrong order could actually lead to irritation and breakouts.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to correctly layer skincare products. 

How to Layer Skincare Products

Step One: Remove Makeup

If you’re wearing makeup, the first step in your skincare routine will be to remove it. Use a makeup remover to gently dissolve and wipe away cosmetics.

Step Two: Cleanse

The next step is to wash away excess oil, dirt, and debris with a gentle cleanser. Cleansing preps the skin for the next steps in your skincare routine.

Step Three (1-2x Per Week): Exfoliate

Exfoliators should be used several times per week rather than daily. While exfoliation is an important part of a healthy skincare routine, most people find it too harsh to exfoliate every day.

Once or twice per week, use a physical or chemical exfoliant to buff away dead skin cells and remove build-up. If you use a physical exfoliant like a scrub, you can use it in place of your daily cleanser.

Step Four: Tone

Toning comes after cleansing. Toners remove anything that cleansing has left behind (like residue or stubborn makeup). They also restore the pH balance of the skin, which helps it to better absorb further products. Some toners also deliver antioxidants, vitamins, or moisture into the skin.

Step Five: Serums

Serums should be applied before moisturizers to maximize their results. During the day, use an antioxidant serum that contains vitamin C to protect skin from aging free radicals all day long. At night time, use an anti-aging serum to repair and rejuvenate skin.

If you use multiple serums, apply the product with the thinnest consistency first, then layer more syrupy serums on top. For example, watery essences go on before thicker serums. Pat serums into skin to improve their absorption.

Step Six: Eye Cream

Eye cream is an often forgotten part of a healthy skincare routine, but you shouldn’t skip it! Since the skin around the eyes is more delicate, it tends to show signs of aging before the rest of the face.

Gently tap an eye cream or gel around the eye area using your ring finger to hydrate and protect this sensitive area, both night and day.

Step Six: Moisturize

Moisturizers are designed to create a barrier to hold hydration in. However, they also prevent additional products from penetrating the skin. This is why moisturizers come last. Use a light moisturizer for daytime, and a thicker cream for night.

Step Seven: Protect

During the day time, you’ll want to apply sunscreen after moisturizer. It’s important to wear sunscreen every single day, even if the weather is cloudy. You can combine these last two steps by using a moisturizer with SPF.

Patience is Key

It’s important to wait between layers of serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens to give products a chance to absorb into the skin. Wait at least one minute before each layer to maximize your results.

And remember, consistency is the secret to getting great results with your skincare routine. It can take up to six weeks to see changes, so stick with it and your skin will reward you!

Friday, June 1, 2018

8 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Summer

Soaking up the summer sun may feel great, but it’s not great for your skin. Too much sun can cause signs of premature aging like wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, and the bulk of sun damage occurs during the summer months when people are more likely to be outdoors.

Worst of all, sun damage can lead to skin cancer, the most common type of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, skin melanoma cases have risen 1.4 percent each year for the past 10 years.

Luckily, many forms of skin cancer are preventable with proper sun protection. You can still enjoy time outdoors during the summer, but be smart about taking care of your skin by following these tips.

How to Protect Your Skin This Summer

1.     Wear Sunscreen with SPF 30 or Higher Every Single Day (Even If It’s Cloudy)

Sun damage is cumulative. Short exposures to the sun (like dashing into the grocery store or driving to work) can add up over time. In fact, UV rays can damage unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen every day!

Unfortunately, very few people do actually use sunscreen daily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 14 percent of men and 30 percent of women regularly wear sunscreen.

The trick to preventing everyday sun damage? Get into the habit of applying sunscreen as part of your morning routine. Applying sunscreen once in the morning should provide adequate protection for daily sun exposure. However, if you expect to be in the sun for an extended period of time (like if you’re going to the beach), you’ll want to do some additional work to protect your skin.

2. Choose the Right Sunscreen

Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays contribute to signs of aging, while both UVA and UVB rays contribute to the development of skin cancer.

Make sure to also check the expiration date on your sunscreen – it loses its efficacy after three years.

3. Use the Right Application Technique

When it comes to sunscreen, more is more. You need one ounce of sunscreen to properly cover your entire body – that’s about a whole shot glass! If you prefer spray sunscreen, hold the bottle two inches away from skin when applying. After spraying, rub in the sunscreen.

Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside to give the product a chance to sink into your skin. Reapply every two hours – more often if you’re swimming or working up a sweat.

4. Avoid the Most Powerful UV Rays

Avoid going outside between 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are at their most powerful. If you plan on being outdoors during this time, seek shade, reapply sunscreen often, and sport a wide-brimmed hat.

5. Don’t Forget Your Eyes and Lips

UV rays can also damage the eyes and lips. Wear dark-colored sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to prevent against cataracts and crow’s feet.

Lips are one of the most common sites for skin cancer, so wear a lip balm with SPF and reapply every two hours.

6. Watch Out for Sensitizing Medication

Some medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Common examples include Benadryl, ibuprofen, certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and some diabetic medications. Check with your pharmacist to find out if your medications could be causing sun damage.

7. Wear Protective Clothing

Look for clothing items with a UPF of 50 or higher. These items are made with fabric that’s been treated to block UV rays from reaching the skin. For comparison, a regular white t-shirt has a UPF of 4.

You don’t need to buy specially-treated clothes to protect your skin, however. Dark and tightly woven fabrics (think denim) are also able to effectively block sun rays from reaching the skin.

8. An Extra Layer of Defense

Exposure to UV rays leads to the formation of damaging free radicals, which contribute to signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Add an extra layer of protection by wearing a vitamin C serum beneath sunscreen. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which has the added benefit of brightening the skin.

How will you protect your skin this summer? Let us know in the comments!