Confessions of a Make up junkie!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Skincare 101

With so many options out there, choosing the right skincare products can be overwhelming. I am addicted to skincare. I admit to spending too much time researching and trying out products. And if those products can double up as beauty products (ie. makeup) you can rest assure I will be all over that. These days, with pollution, weather and sun rays menacing not just our skin today, but our future skin as well (can you say "early aging"? *Gasp*), we can fall into a spiraling depression trying to figure out what we need to get our skin to its most radiant, luminous, blemish free perfect self. Ok, maybe I'm being a bit too OCD there, but you know what I mean.


Some of us need more help than others. And it turns out, there are a million ways in which your skin can have something wrong. So we freak out. But no need; first, we should embrace what we have, imperfections and all. Second, address what bothers you most and read on to find out how to begin your skincare regimen.

I'll try to make this post as simple as possible because I want people new to this to NOT be overwhelmed.

Points to remember:

1. How your skin looks like is a reflection of what you put in your body. This isn't strictly about weight. I know a few girls who go to the gym and are as fit as a fiddle but have less than perfect skin. MUCH less. It's just that their eating pattern is not so great. So remember to eat right (fruits and veggies) and most importantly, drink up some water!

2. Sometimes genetics trolls us all. Nature can be a bitch sometimes. Some of us, no matter how much we take care of our eye area, we will have dark circles *cough cough* me *cough cough*. Others may not be fan of their freckles, or a birthmark, or their eyebrows. Heck, don't get me started on skin color. Pale people want tans, dark people want to lighten. No one is happy. Weird right? BUT, we were born this way (I know you started singing "Born this way" right about now. Don't deny it).

3. Your environment has a big role on how your skin looks. You see, humidity, dryness, temperature, air conditioning, sun exposure, etc can all have very different effects on your skin. For example, I went to Las Vegas recently and the dryness of the dessert dehydrated my skin. I literally had to use products specifically for dry skin because it was THAT obvious. But normally, I have normal to combination skin.

4. Before touching your face, wash your hands. It's no use slathering on creams, lotions, serums, and whatever with grimy hands. Wash them first. Remember that.

5. NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER sleep with makeup on. It's gross. It's disgusting. It's bad for your skin. So don't be lazy, damn it. I don't care how drunk or tired you are. Take off your damn makeup before sleeping.

Now finally, steps for proper skin care:

Step 1: Cleanser

Finding a good cleanser for your skin is essential. It preps your skin for the next steps and it is supposed to get rid of all the dirt, debris, and pore clogging oils. Depending on your skin type, you may need different cleansers from time to time. These work great on all skin types:



This one is super great at removing makeup! Even eye makeup. And it's super accessible since you can find it at any drugstore

There's the liquid soap and the bar. Both work great and leave skin fresh and clean! It's great for sensitive skin.

Smells great! Cleanses very well and hydrates your skin at the same time. For super oily skin, there is a gel version of this cleanser.  

This one is my current favorite. The little beads gently exfoliate and it has ingredients to brighten the skin. The gel texture makes it very fresh!!

For acne prone skin. Can be used on days when there's occasional breakouts until it clears up. 

Step 2: Exfoliate or Tone. Or both!!

While I recommend toning just once a week (it can be very drying!), everyone should exfoliate once daily. Twice max.

Toning:  After cleansing, apply toner on a cotton ball or pad and gently swap all over your face. Toners   are liquids that penetrate deep into pores. Even after cleansing your face, you can still see dirt and grime on the cotton ball after toning. Dead skin, oils and makeup can hide in your pores, making them big and dulling your skin. Not to mention it can make you break out. Toning once weekly will prevent this. If you choose to exfoliate as well, make sure you use an uber gentle one. Like Face Soap Clarity mentioned in the cleansers. Or Aveeno brightening scrubs.

From Lancome. It is very effective and can double up as an exfoliator when used on an cotton pad.

1. Dry skin 2. Dry combo 3. Oily combo 4. Oily skin
I've used #2 recently and it leaves a refreshing tingly sensation after it is used.


Exfoliating: It's important to exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells and toxins that accumulate during the day. These are the prime culprits for not so radiant skin. There are several types of exfoliators and depending on your skin's sensitivity, your needs may range between rough or soft. I'm just gonna list my favorite ones that are great for every skin type.

I mention this one once again because it has soft beads that gently exfoliates. Vitamin C helps brighten up the skin 

This comes out as a cream but it has srubbing beads that exfoliate your skin leaving it fresh and tingly.

This is just an awesome overall scrub. It provides resurfacing benefits. Great for a healthy glow!

It's cheap and it works. Need I say more?

Step 3: Treat

Whether its acne, dullness, dark spots, wrinkles, sun damage, pores, or whatever else you can think of, NOW is the time to treat it. Your skin is cleansed and resurfaced from steps 1 and 2. Now whatever you put on will be absorbed better thus enhancing your treatment's benefits. You can layer treatments if you have more than one skin concern. Just be sure to apply the thinnest first, then the thickest. Like serums first. Wait until it is absorbed and then apply lotions, then creams, etc. Also, now it's a pretty good time to apply a generous amount of eye cream!
Diminishes fine lines around the eye. 

Lightens dark circles slightly. Diminishes fine lines.

Hydrates the skin on the delicate eye area. Great for use under concealer.

Reduces puffiness on the eyes thanks to the metal tip applicator and reduces dark circles.

Prevents and treat wrinkles and fine lines. Can be used under makeup.


From Philosophy. Gentle acne treatment but effective.

A serum that speeds cell regeneration for radiant glowing skin! Love it!

Great for preventing/treating wrinkles. This serum makes skin look young and stress free! Expensive but powerful.

The best acne treatment in my opinion. Use this at night and the next day, poof! No more blemishes! It's a mask but can double as a spot treatment. 


Lightens dark spots and brightens skin. Can be used under makeup!! 
Another one from lancome that can be used under make up as well. It perfects your skin, minimizing pores and correcting dullness.

Another pore refiner. Great when skin is sensitive, and very very effective!

Step 4. Moisturize!!

Hydrating your skin keeps it healthy and strong to fight toxins and damage that results from everyday life. There are many moisturizers that also have other benefiting ingredients like antiaging properties. Even if you're young and have no problems with aging, if you want to keep your skin looking like that for the longest time possible, you have to start protecting before the damage is too much. It's best to prevent than to treat.

When choosing a moisturizer, I have 3 simple rules:

1. Oily skin? Choose a moisturizer in gel form. It is less rich so it won't clog your pores but still delivers the hydration you need.

2. Dry skin? Choose creams. Dry skin can look older at a younger age if its not hydrated properly. Cream formulas are rich enough to keep skin from flaking.

3. Normal/ combo skin? You're in luck. You can basically use whatever formula your little heart desires. However, I recommend gel in warmer months, creams in cool/dry/winter months or lotions year long.


Great basic moisturizer. Offers no other benefits. Also available in gel formula for oily skin!

Has SPF 35 so it is great for using during daytime. Wears great under makeup. Antiaging benefits as well

Great moisturizer for normal to oily skin. Has SPF 30 for daytime use. There is also a formula without SPF which could be used at night or of you plan to stay indoors. Highly loved by many.

Awesome for every skin type! It has anti aging benefits and also brightens the skin.



Andddd you're done! Now these are just a few things to help you get started. There are sets available that can make your life easier if you don't want to shop for individual products. Clinique, Philosophy, Proactiv, and Ole Henriksen all have skin care sets that can help you get started if you're not sure what to use for your skin. Lancome also has some sets, but they can be pricey and aren't complete. 

Good luck and stay beautiful!