Well, we’ve finally made it: Spring is Springing and soon Summer will be fast upon us. I can hear the gentle hum of the bees now…
As we begin to shed our heavy clothes, it seems timely to remind you of what you need to know to properly care for your skin as we expose it to more sunlight and warmer temps.
First up: cleansing and exfoliating never go out of style so you need to stay on top of these 2 crucial steps and perform them gently and regularly.
Our skin dies a layer every day and as part of the process, it attempts to slough off.
In warmer weather, we tend to develop an increase in sebum production (the oily substance that lubricates our skin.) If we don’t stay on top of regular cleansing and exfoliation, we can develop blackheads, whiteheads and pustules as the weather continues its warming trend.
Not a good look!
You, more than likely, have been using heavier skin creams and moisturizing makeup bases during the drier autumn/winter months.
It’s now time to switch to lighter formulations.
You wouldn’t go to the beach sporting your heaviest woolen sweater, so why on earth force your skin to continue absorbing heavy creams when the extra moisture isn’t all that necessary in these warmer months?
Take a look at your skin care and makeup base formulations and consider opting for more sheer Cover Creams and/or lightweight lotion and gel-based formulations instead of cream and/or balm-based products.
There are things that can be done daily to keep skin healthy, firm and beautiful- no matter the season.
Good skin starts with good skin care basics and although our product formulations should change with the seasons, these key skin care steps and techniques never will.
Let’s take a moment to revisit exactly what constitutes a solid skin care protocol:
1) Regular thorough, yet gentle cleansing
2) Regular, gentle exfoliation
3) Regular use of toner after cleansing- both morning and night
4) Regular moisturizing- both day and night.
5) Regular use of a pore-refining or a hydrating mask (once per week is usually good.)
Cleansing regularly is extremely important, but just washing your face with water alone doesn’t cut it. Water- when used alone- actually chaps the skin, leaving it rough and prone to damage.
Cleansing done properly, removes surface dirt, environmental pollutants and impurities.
It’s not a step that can be ignored if beautiful, radiant, healthy skin is something you’d like to have.
I recommend a mild cleansing first thing in the morning and a much more thorough cleansing before bed. DAILY.
Professional Aestheticians advise that cleansing be performed using upward, circular motions in order to maximize deep cleansing of the facial pores.
Facial pores lie at an upward-slanting angle within the skin. Because of this, cleansing should always be done using upward, circular motions so the cleansing product can work its way deep into facial pores, gently lifting out grime, pollutants and oily buildup.
Wondering just how the heck to discover exactly what skin type you are? Here ya go:
Oily Skin is prone to heavy shine and has a thick texture with large, obvious pores. Oily Skin is also prone to acneic breakouts and blemish formation. Your T Zone (forehead, nose and chin) will shine and get oily during the day. Makeup doesn’t stay color true on an oily skin and shades tend to become muddy looking as the day wears on.
Combination Skin develops oil production and clogged pores in the T-zone area but remains dry and tight/irritated on the cheeks.
Dry Skin can feel tight, appears dull and flaky and has minimal visible pores, giving a more porcelain appearance in terms of texture. It tends to be sensitive as it’s vulnerable, parched and unprotected by sufficient sebum. The protective acid mantle is almost always disturbed in this skin type. Menopause exacerbates dry skin.
Sensitive Skin is skin that’s fine and/or thin in texture, easily irritated or made allergic, feels tight and dry, and has visible broken capillaries right under the surface of the skin. Menopause often worsens allergies and skin sensitivities.
Maturing Skin is just that– skin that’s showing visible signs of Aging: loss of elasticity, firmness and brightness. It needs to be handled gently and specialty products like certain serums, AHAs/BHAs and Glycolic are a must!
After cleansing comes exfoliation.
As I stated earlier, dead skin cells build up over time and this cellular debris can stop moisturizers and other skin treatments from penetrating effectively.
Regularly exfoliation- especially of maturing skin- can make a world of difference!
For maximum results, exfoliation should take place immediately after cleansing and before Toner application, on this schedule:
Oily/Combination Skin: 3 to 4 times per week depending upon degree of oiliness and number of breakouts occurring.
Sensitive Skin: no more than 2 times per week.
Dry/ Maturing Skin: no more than 3 times per week.
For truly healthy skin, toner application should immediately follow cleansing and/or exfoliation because a toner serves two purposes:
1) It removes the final traces of cleansing product and closes pores
2) It restores the proper pH balance of the skin– a very crucial step for healthy skin.
Also, your toner should always be alcohol-free.
Alcohol is extremely dehydrating and damaging- especially to Mature skin.
The presence of alcohol in your skin care products will also serve to exacerbate any sun related damage that might occur in the hotter summer months, when we’re more active outdoors and forget our sunblock. (A word on that in just a moment…)
The next step for radiant skin is Moisturizer. There are moisturizing treatments for: day, night, oily skin, mature skin, and sensitive skin. There are firming, lifting and smoothing creams; creams that replace collagen and elastin, so forth and so on.
This is all you really need to know:
Your skin faces major stressors during the day (pollution, cigarette smoking, poor dietary choices, makeup, etc.) and because of these stressors, it saves its major repair work for night.
Your daytime moisturizer provides moisture but also usually: sun protection. Day moisturizer serves to provide a barrier for the skin that keeps moisture in and pollution/ environmental stressors out. It also assists makeup applied over it to stay smooth on the skin’s surface.
Your nighttime moisturizer is your heavy-hitter and should be dual purpose. Select a moisturizer for night that nourishes and/or evens skin tone through the use of vitamins/minerals, or AHA/BHAs or a small percentage of Glycolic acid. AND USE IT REGULARLY! Doing so will assist in achieving healthier/ more radiant skin- faster.
Now that word about SUN PROTECTION…
Skin Cancer is epidemic. Malignant Melanoma is growing in the US alone at a rate of 7% per year.
The countries showing the greatest growth in skin cancer development are those very countries promoting vigorous use of chemical sunscreens. Dermatologists and physicians are scratching their heads and are taking a closer look. What they are finding is alarming.
The increased use of chemical sunscreens is the main reason for the increasing skin cancer problem, and for the following reasons:
1) Sunscreen users tend to stay out in the sun for much longer periods of time than non-sunscreen users.
2) Chemical sunscreens are formulated to absorb only UVB radiation and in doing so, they will let in almost all of the UVA rays. These rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are absorbed by the melanocytes. UVA rays also have a depressing effect on the immune system.
3) Most sunscreens utilize 2 to 5% benzophenone or its derivatives: oxybenzone and/or benzophenone-3. These are active ingredients. Benzophenone is an incredibly strong free radical generator, actually working to trigger cancer development. Benzophenone is activated by UV light, turning on its cancer-causing power. This sunscreen ingredient is highly toxic.
4) Regular sunscreen use stops the skin’s ability to absorb Vitamin D.
Total avoidance of the sun is not in our body’s best interest, as Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many of the diseases that women fear most: osteoporosis, colon cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It’s crucial to allow your body to receive at least 30 minutes of unblocked sun exposure daily for maximum health.
I’ve always promoted the use of mineral sunblock, i.e.: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mica based mineral makeup bases because minerals are extremely benign and incredibly effective. They work to reflect the UVA and UVB rays; bouncing them off of the skin’s surface and not allowing penetration. They are classified as Physical Sunscreens because of their ability to form a protective physical barrier on the skin.
There are many things one can do to wisely play in the sun and my best advice is:
1) Wear mineral based sunblock when out in the sun during peak hours (10AM-3PM)
2) Avoid chemical-based sunscreens
3) Drink green tea often as it’s been shown to actually protect the skin from skin cancer development and sun damage
4) Wear a wide brimmed hat or ball cap, sunglasses and long sleeved, loose-fitting shirts when outside
5) Drink plenty of high-quality water (this is a good tip for almost anything!) (More on this in just a sec…)
6) Do NOT go out unprotected on cloudy days
7) Allow your skin to have 30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure daily, but during off peak hours, for maximum Vitamin D absorption
8) Protect your eyes with high quality sunglasses, though occasional sunlight needs to be absorbed through the eyes as well, for maximum health.
And, before I leave you to your own warm weather devices, I’d like to remind you of this: If beautiful, healthy, supple skin is what you want, then you must HYDRATE!
Hydrate with pure, filtered water and using this formula to make certain you’re getting the right amount for your body’s many and varied needs: Take your body weight and divide by 2. This number then becomes the number of ounces you need PER DAY to stay properly hydrated.
Case in point: 145/2= 72.5 ounces per day.
Basically, a moisturizer’s job is to trap moisture already present in the skin. If your skin is dehydrated, there’s not much there to trap is there?
And one final tip that will save your skin a world of hurt this summer: DON’T DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IN THE SUN!! Sun rays have a tendency to activate free radicals all the more- and alcohol causes the skin to generate free radicals in a much more powerful way.
If you’re getting’ silly sippin’ Adult Beverages with your Besties by the pool, chances are you will stay out in the sun too long, leading to burns, hyper pigmentation and dehydration.
Ladies, this is pretty much all you really need to know to reach your skin care goals and be Beautiful as the world outside revels in the warmer weather. Easy Peasy!
Now get out there and shine!
Copyright 2019 Carrie E. Pierce all rights reserved
Health and Beauty has been Carrie E. Pierce’s career focus for over 28 years.
Throughout her career, Carrie has served as: Guest and Corporate Makeup Artist for numerous major, international cosmetic companies and as a Hollywood film, TV and special effects makeup artist.
She’s provided skin care and makeup services for the fashion industry, as well as restorative make up procedures for burn and scar patients, cancer patients, domestic violence survivors and women suffering with self-esteem issues.
Carrie is a licensed Aesthetician, Certified Color Analyst, Menopause Skin Care Specialist, Author and Co Host of a nationally syndicated radio show.
Together with Life Coach Kris Cavanaugh Castro, Carrie has co created a coaching program created especially for Midlife women- and the men who love them. Called ‘Making Peace With Menopause’ this program covers the myriad health, beauty, emotional, spiritual and mental aspects of the Menopause journey.
It’s Carrie’s mission and her passion to help women be the best they can be – especially as they move through Midlife!