It is incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by all of the skincare advice, products, treatments and tools that are constantly thrown in our faces on Instagram, Facebook, and media in general. All you have to do is Google the word "skincare routine" and it's a bombardment of tips, tricks, sales, advertisements, and unfortunately a lot of gimmicks. Thankfully, if you're just starting out on your skincare journey, it's not a requirement to follow each piece of advice from bloggers and YouTubers alike. Remember to start simple and work on getting into a consistent routine.
Step 1: Visit an Esthetician
This may seem like an unnecessary part of an at-home skincare routine, but it is so important and here's why. Think of your Esti as your skincare Besti. He/she will be able to actually evaluate your skin in-person by touch and sight. As part of my skincare evaluation on a new client, I always ask their opinion on what their skin type is. Normal, dry, oily, combination, etc. There are often times my clients may think they are dry, when in fact it's just a lack of exfoliation, or they aren't using the correct moisturizer. Or on the contrary, a client is convinced they have oily skin when in fact they are don't wash their face correctly and use too heavy of a moisturizer, resulting in build-up and clogged pores. My point here is, an esthetician will evaluate your skin with a consultation and therefore be able to recommend the correct products for your skin type and personal needs.
Step 2: Develop an At-Home Routine and STICK TO IT
This is the biggest hurdle for most people. Often times my clients will start out strong and committed but slowly fall back to old habits such as not washing their face before bedtime. In order to turn any routine into habit, it takes true effort and mindfulness. Some easy tricks I like to follow...
Keep your skincare products in sight and within reach: I always keep my cleanser next to my toothbrush and contact solution. My teeth have to be brushed and my contacts have to come out before I get in bed, and when I spot that cleanser sitting next to those items it reminds me to wash my makeup off and follow through with my nighttime routine. Same goes for my morning skincare routine.
Pick certain days of the week for specialized treatments: I always exfoliate on Wednesdays and Sundays (exfoliating 2-3 times per week is recommended) and I do my weekly face masque on Friday night (recommended 1-2 times per week). Mark it on your calendar and set a reminder on your phone if you have to. Having set days per week ensures that you won't forget and that the treatment is consistent.
Do what works for YOU: The great thing about skincare is it's completely customizable. This includes products, routine and treatments. Just because Sally Jo across the street has been buying and selling a new MLM product and her skin has never been better, that doesn't mean it's going to turn your skin into gold. Same goes for your sister who swears by this brand new skincare treatment that costs $400 and promises no more wrinkles with a one-time treatment. Try not to get talked into anything that seems too good to be true.
Step 3: Get Regular Facials
This goes back to your Esti Besti. She's here for you, she wants you to be happy in your skin, she wants you to succeed. Think of a facial as a multi-step customized treatment that supercharges your skincare routine. And they feel AMAZING! Breakdown of a facial includes:
Assessment: The esthetician learns about your. current skincare routine and any concerns you may have.
Cleane: This is a 2-step process where make-up and surface buildup is removed with first a cleansing oil such as Stone Crop Cleansing Oil followed by a gel or cream cleanser such as Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser or Monoi Exfoliating Cleanser.
Skin Analysis: The esthetician will take a close look at your skin using a magnifying lamp and light to identify your skin's current state.
Steam: Steam softens pore congestion and assists with extractions if needed.
Exfoliate: An exfoliating treatment is applied to remove the buildup of dead skin cells. These are usually a professional grade product with higher concentration levels than what are used at home. Typically a head and neck massage is performed while the exfoliant or peel sits.
Extraction: Extractions are performed if needed, clearing away blackheads and whiteheads.
Masque: One or more face masques are applied, each carefully selected based on your skin assessment and analysis. Typically an arm massage is performed while the masque sits.
Facial Massage: To relax the facial muscles and assist the skin with absorbing further products, the esthetician massages the face gently but thoroughly. (This is my favorite part of the facial to perform, and I usually watch most of my client's slip into sleep at this step.)
Finish: The treatment is completed with the appropriate finishing steps such as toner (Stone Crop Hydrating Mist is a personal favorite of mine), serums, moisturizers, eye care (Hibiscus Ultra Life Eye Cream is another fave), SPF and lip care to condition and protect your skin from environmental stressors.
Now doesn't that sound lovely?! I recommend my client's receive a regular facial every 4-6 weeks. For those that can't make that happen, getting a facial with the change of the seasons is a good rule of thumb. Your skincare needs change right along with the weather and your esthetician can help you stay on top of those changes with seasonal visits. Life is way too short to skip out on facials. If you're ever in Salmon, Idaho be sure to come see me so I can pamper you.
Until next time,