beauty • travel • lifestyle

May 08, 2014


I know that we are just getting to know each other here, but there is something you should all know about me. Confession: I am a skincare addict. I know it may seem a bit self-indulgent, but ever since I have started taking better care of my skin, it has returned the favor. Patience and hard work are key when it comes to healthy skin, just as they are with everything else in life. I know that everyone is looking for a miracle product to come in and solve every skin issue they've ever had, but it is all about finding what works for you, and being gentle. 

One of the ways that I have found works well to keep my skin clear and bright is exfoliation. While this may seem obvious, this used to be where I was most confused in terms of understanding my skin. I would go in with rough scrubs and beat up my skin. I guess I thought the harder I scrubbed those little grits into my skin the better they would work. Boy, was I wrong. My sensitive skin would be red, super dry in some patches, and break out more than it had before. I was actually causing my skin to do the opposite of what I wanted it to do. Overdrying the skin causes it to produce extra sebum to make up for the loss of moisture, leading to more breakouts. I still use an old fashioned exfoliating scrub now and then but in a much more gentle manner. I find that using natural and chemical exfoliants instead of manual exfoliants works best for me. They help remove the top layer of dead skin cells that could collect in your pores (and clog them) and also promote cell turnover. The products that I have really been enjoying lately seem to contain a lot of fruit enzymes, lactic acids, AHA's and BHA's.

My favorite chemical exfoliant is the Dr. Dennis Gross alpha beta peel pads - which I find very gentle, but very effective. My sensitive skin has never turned red or burned from using these, but occasional use (once or twice a week) has definitely helped even out my skin tone and texture. In place of using a scrub, which is a product some people use more regularly, I now love the Peter Thomas Roth Peel Gel Exfoliant, which is one of the coolest products I have discovered recently. You apply it to dry, clean skin, rubbing the gel in circular motions, and it somehow physically lifts the dead cells off. I like a product that you can see working, and with this you can actually feel and see dead skin balling up . Sounds weird, but it works.

I also have two masks that I use in rotation just to ensure that things are nice and bright. After testing so many, I have stayed loyal to both the Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask and the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel. These particular products use papaya enzymes and lactic acids to promote skin cell renewal. I like the Ren mask if I am going somewhere special, as I can see a difference right away in my skin. It looks healthier and much more polished directly after use, whereas the Elemis one is a bit more gentle, so results take a bit longer. That being said, if you have drier, more sensitive skin I find that you can use the Elemis one more often without it causing irritation.

What masks or treatments to you use to keep your skin from getting congested and dull? Would love to hear from you!

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