No matter what season you're in, it's always a good idea to check in with your skin health and make sure you are doing everything you can to realize your full skin potential. Natural, healthy skin can be had by those even with the most challenging skin types, simply by following these eight tips.
Assess the shape of your skin.
Take a look in the mirror when you first wake up, preferably in natural light, and see where you're at. Wash gently with water and pat dry. Then wait an hour and note what you see in the mirror. Ascertaining your skin type is an important first step in knowing how to treat your skin and what products to use. Your skin can be affected by your environment, the products you use, your stress levels, diet, and lifestyle choices, such as the amount of exercise you do and your caffeine intake. These factors can cause your skin type to change from season to season, or from month to month.
Consult with a professional.
Take these notes (or perhaps a photo) to a licensed aesthetician, skin-care specialist, or dermatologist. Among other things, a professional can help you determine the type of skin you have. Although definitions vary, generally skin type is broken down into these categories: (1) Normal skin displays neither oil nor flaking skin and generally feels supple and smooth to the touch; (2) oily skin is characterized by seeing an oil film on a tissue when you wipe after it has dried and can appear "shiny" most or all of the time; (3) dry skin may feel taut or show flakes of dead skin; and (4) combination skin is generally the most common and exhibits characteristics of all three of the above skin types. Usually, the skin is oily in the T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin) and normal to dry in other places. In addition to these skin types, many of my clients also have sensitive or acne-prone skin. I have combination skin, and it is acne-prone during hormonal changes during my menstrual cycle.
Try product samples (until you find the perfect fit).
I am always on the lookout for that perfect cleanser, toner, and moisturizer combo. I personally have found success with organic products that are infused with natural ingredients, whether herbs, vitamins, or botanicals. Personally, I have found that products that use organic fruit alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamins as opposed to alcohol, Benzyl Peroxide, and paragons are less irritating to the skin. If there is a new product I'd like to try out, I ask for samples so that I can make sure it's the right fit for my skin before investing in the entire bottle or tube.
Choose multitasking products.
When I started developing my organic spray-tan formula several years ago, I made a personal pledge to use brands that are making an effort to protect the environment. In order to save time and money, I try to use products that do two (or three things in one): a bronzer that also contains sunscreen, a tinted lip moisturizer that colors while it smooths, or a primer that also doubles as a moisturizer. You get the idea.
Learn to camoflage your imperfections, play up your assets.
My suggestion is to look into the mirror and pick that one part of you that shines--do you have big, saucer eyes, long lashes, high cheekbones, or a pouty lip? If you have trouble identifying your strongest facial feature, ask a friend. Then make sure you treat that part of your beautifully. Perhaps spend more time on your eye makeup so that others are drawn there when they look at and speak to you. Or whiten your teeth and use some nourishing gloss. Or both! Similarly, be sure to camouflage you imperfections--such as uneven skin tone or acne, which can be treated and concealed with a variety of natural concealers, foundations, and bronzers. I'm prone to acne, so I always use a light, all-over mineral-based foundation and then follow that up with my organic face bronzer for a warm, all-over glow. A friend of mine is a Pilates instructor, and among things, her arms are one of her best features. She always makes sure to accentuate them by using a glistening body moisturizer and by wearing short-sleeved T-shirts.
Top off your skin-care regimen with organic makeup.
The sky's the limit here. There are tons of great options for organic makeup. There are several products on the market that use only earth minerals infused with flower waxes. Many are gluten- and preservative free and do well with those with sensitive skin. Even some of the more mainstream lines now feature products that are free of harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, parabens, synthetic fragrances and colors, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The key is to experiment and find the right feel and color scheme for your skin tone. Again, if you're not sure, ask for samples or go into a department store or beauty boutique where you can experiment with products and get a free makeover.
Keep up your "essential" lifestyle routine of exercise, sunscreen, and H2O.
I write about this extensively because so many of clients don't do this consistently. You must exercise, use sunscreen, and drink plenty of water if you want your skin to look good. Our skin is a living, breathing organism that needs hydration to help it flourish. Sometimes I forget that my skin is made up of cells that require water to keep them hydrated and lubricated. Conversely, if your skin is exposed to the sun it's going to dry out and eventually get damaged. That is why I apply sunscreen every day, no matter what the climate. I've trained myself to do this as part of my beauty routine, and it's really paid off over the years. Another tip: Carry a spray bottle with purified water and mist your face and décolletage.
Don't forget to recycle your beauty packaging.
Empty shampoo and skin-care bottles end up in landfills, so do your eco part by remembering to recycle them. Several companies also offer recyclables from either their brand or others. Take advantage of this so that you feel good about cleaning out your makeup bag and doing your part to save the environment at the same time.
Entrepreneur and spray-tanning expert Svetlana Feller is the innovative mind behind the first-ever brush-on tan treatment. In 2007 -- after many hours working with chemists and thousands of spray tan applications -- she opened Spray di Sole, the original "spray-only" organic spray-tan lounge in Studio City, California. In a few short years, Svetlana became the most sought-after spray tan artist in Hollywood, perfecting the skin of celebrities including LeAnn Rimes, Sylvester Stallone, Fergie, Denise Richards, Sharon Stone, Rhianna, Rose McGowan, Becki Newton, and the casts of 90210, True Blood, and Dancing with the Stars. Svetlana has been featured on "The Doctors" and "Good Day LA," and has written for or been interviewed in CoCo Eco, Genlux, Haute Living, Women's Health, Allure, and Brides. Spray di Sole is featured on 5-Star hotel spa menus such as Trump SOHO and MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and has affiliates across the United States and Canada.
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