Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Skincare Basics

So, being that I review a lot of "beauty" related products, I thought we should at least bring up the topic of skincare. Largely to state that I am NOT an expert in this area. I'm a woman who had pimples until she was about 35 because she was using the wrong products and never could figure out the right products.


Let's just say this is a topic I'm learning about, and I'm trying to go to the right sources. One of the books I picked up at the library a few years ago has quite a cult following. "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" by Paula Begoun is a real encyclopedia of products, ingredients and information. Her associated website, to which I now subscribe, Beautypedia.com has the most current and updated reviews and information available.


Now, they don't review things as a like or dislike. They review things based on the ingredients and whether they are good for your skin or do what the companies claim. So some of the products I swear by, don't get such great reviews from Paula and her team. But for the most part - I take her information seriously. While my skin may not react to something visibly, an ingredient could be causing damage and that is something I am trying to avoid.


But here is a summary of what I've learned, and it's all rather basic.


1. Anti-oxidants are good - they help fight invisible damage to your skin. This just plain makes your skin look and feel fresher. Anti-oxidants are ingredients like vitamins A, C and E. Paula has an article here about these excellent ingredients. Interestingly enough, one of the best anti-aging ingredients is Retinol which just so happens to be Vitamin A. 


2. Exfoliation is also good - You need to keep your skin fresh and help cell turnover. Scrubs however can be bad. Many are overly abrasive and can actually irritate your skin. There are many ways to exfoliate, and one of the best ways is to use a clean washcloth when washing. Clean is key, I use mine twice, and toss it in the wash. Another great ingredient for exfoliation is an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (Salicylic Acid). I'm currently using a 2% salicylic acid gel daily, and it keeps my pores clear and my face generally blemish free. The difference is AHA is water-soluble and BHA is oil-soluble. So AHA's a great for those with drier skin, and BHA's are great for the oily skin folks.


3. Moisture rocks - No matter how oily your skin is, and mine is super oily, you need to keep the moisture in your skin. This is a huge challenge for the western U.S. where the air is so pleasantly dry. (I love living in Colorado, I'm from Chicago and know humidity very well) Finding a good moisturizer is probably the biggest struggle for most people. But I know that if I don't use one, I have very flaky skin. Find a balance is my best advice, and read beautypedia.com for recommendations to try. I'm currently using a lightweight serum with Retinol at night, and a tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 during the day. It's just enough moisture to keep the flakes at bay, but not stimulate more oil.


4. Sunscreen is mandatory - Seriously, do I need to say more about this? Find a great moisturizer with sunscreen and a great foundation with sunscreen. Period. If you want a great tinted moisturizer with Retinol and SPF - look at Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer. It's great, inexpensive and available at your local drugstore.


One thing I should mention, Paula also creates her own products in a line called Paula's Choice. I use a few of these, and so far - what I have tried is excellent. The BHA 2% gel has been a skin saver this summer.


I'm not an affiliate of Paula's Choice or beautypedia.com, I just find the information there very useful.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Kim!

    My name is Nathan Rivas, and I work for Paula's Choice in Customer Care and Social Media. I am glad to see that you've picked up excellent information, and it is wonderful that you are making this available to your readers!

    I did want to make a note, however, as Paula does not recommend using a moisturizer if you have oily skin. A moisturizer, like a lotion or cream, is a treatment (not unlike an exfoliant or antioxidant) for dry skin. If you have oily skin, there is no shortage of moisture, thus, using a moisturizer then becomes akin to taking ibuprofen every day, even if you do not have a headache. It isn't doing you any good, and can become problematic for you over time. But how can I get the good stuff that skin needs, you ask? Great question! For oily skin, this can be obtained via well-formulated toners and antioxidant concentrates that have been developed specifically for your skin type. Paula's Choice has these options available in liquids and light gel consistencies to deliver the antioxidant and cell-communicating ingredients that will help you skin look and feel healthy.

    If you have other questions, you may contact me at nathan.rivas@paulaschoice.com, or via our Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PaulasChoice.Inc and Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaulasChoice

    Have a great day,

    Nathan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nathan - thanks for the comments. I appreciate them, though I do think climate can come into effect when dealing with skin and moisture. I never needed moisturizer in Illinois with all it's humidity - but here in Colorado's arid climate...I get flakiness and oil all in the same spot.

    Though - I do tend to use lightweight serums rather than traditional "moisturizers". Largely for the reasons you just stated. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Paula's Choice has these options available in liquids and light gel consistencies to deliver the antioxidant and cell-communicating ingredients that will help you skin look and feel healthy.
    Buy Revitaderm

    ReplyDelete
  4. I picked up at the library a few years ago has quite a cult following. "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" by Paula Begoun is a real encyclopedia of products, ingredients and information.
    Revitaderm
    Perfect Radiance

    ReplyDelete

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