Posts in Beauty

How to Switch to Safer Products

Okay, you’re ready. You want to make the switch to safer, but you really don’t know where to start. It can be a little overwhelming. Paralyzing even. Either you are terrified and just want to throw away everything in your bathroom. Or, you are afraid to even get started down the rabbit hole.

I get it. Really I do. But, don’t let the pursuit of perfection, keep you from making progress.

Rather than let the overwhelm paralyze you, I have found it is a lot easier to tackle in small steps. One small change at a time.

Here are some simple ways you can prioritize your clean swaps:

Focus first on products you use every day. That lipstick you carry in your bag. The moisturizer you apply every day. Your eye cream. Mascara. Find a clean swap for those products first. It’s your daily exposure where you can make the biggest positive impact.

Remove the worst offenders first. Once you identify your daily products, look them up on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database (www.ewg.org/skin-deep). You will get a score of 1 to 10 (1 being safest to 10 being most toxic). Focus on removing those scoring 5 or above first.

Start with products you leave on your skin. Another great place to focus is to address the products that you leave on your skin first (lotions, face creams, sunscreens) as opposed to products you rinse off.
Replace as you replenish. If you feel guilty throwing a product away, start by replacing things you are running low on. You can make clean swaps as you need to replace something.

Start reading ingredients. This seems obvious, but how many times do we rely on the claims we see on the labels, rather than turning over the products and reading the ingredient list? Before you buy any new product, flip it over and read the ingredients. Not sure which ingredients to avoid? Start with The NEVER List.

And, if you need some help, please reach out! Happy to help you as you sift and sort your way to a cleaner routine.

Four Steps to Better Skin Care

Your skin is your largest organ. And, just like every other organ in your body, it needs nutrition, hydration & oxygen. On the regular!

How do you know if your skin is getting what it needs?

Well, it’s pretty easy to tell. If your skin feels taut, dry, oily or irritated…it’s telling you something. It’s looking for something.

Our skin does a lot for us. It…

  • protects us from things in our outside world, like germs, toxins, sun and cold
  • regulates our body temperature
  • allows us to feel sensations like heat, itching and pain
  • stores things like water and fat
  • produces hormones

If you’re like me – maybe you never really thought about how much your skin actually DOES for you. I never thought of my skin as a functioning, living organ. I guess I saw it as just a ‘wrap’ of sorts. Holding everything in place. I saw it as more as part of my appearance. Not my health.

And because I am not one of those blessed with amazing skin, I was forever dealing with issues like acne, cysts, rosacea, eczema, etc. For me, skin ‘care’ was more like skin ‘management’ – trying to avoid triggers and symptoms like sensitivity, irritation and breakouts. It meant regimens to tackle and treat. It didn’t mean feeding, nourishing and protecting.

Redefining Skin Care

Once I really learned what skin care was about, it changed everything. Just like food. When you eat clean, your body works better, looks better and feels better. The same is true for your skin.

When you feed your skin well and remove the toxins, it performs better, looks better and feels better. Healthy skin has a healthy glow.

And, just like food – ingredients matter.

You want skin care products that are designed to provide the nourishment, hydration and protection your skin needs. But, none of the junk that it doesn’t need.

When you really start to learn about ingredients, you realize how much of our products are loaded with fillers that do nothing but give our bodies one more thing to filter and deal with. (The last thing we need these days.)

When I advise people about their skin care regimen, I usually recommend that you start with the core basics. You can always build and customize from there. Kind of like nutrition. You need vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts and seeds. From there, you can customize based on what you demand from your body on a daily basis and the environment you live in.

So, what are the core basics of a good skin care regimen?

Your skin care regimen should cover each of the following four steps:

1. Cleanse

This gets rid of impurities. Removes makeup. And, anything else that might have found its way to your skin during the day. This is why you need a good cleanser — one that purifies without stripping moisture from your skin.

2. Prep

This step helps your skin get to the optimal ph levels so it can maximize the benefits of treatments and absorption of products. It’s amazing how much more effective your skin care regimen is with a good toner step. Skip this one step and you are not getting the best results you can from the products you are using. You may even be damaging your skin in the process, rather than helping it.

3. Treat

Now that your skin is balanced and ready to absorb, you add your treatment – serums, oils, and other actives. Think of it as the supplements in your diet. The extra vitamins. The boost. This is the step where you add in concentrated active ingredients that address your skin’s specific needs – sun damage, fine lines, acne, hydration, dullness.

4. Protect

Once you’ve cleansed, prepped and treated your skin, you want to seal it in and protect it. Moisturizers help lock in the moisture and strengthen your skin barrier. But, you also want a moisturizer that allows your skin to do its job – breathe, filter, renew.

That’s it. Four simple steps.

And, of course, it’s best if you use a four-step regimen both morning and night. In your morning routine, you want to focus on protection. At night, you want to focus on replenishing. This is why most skin care regimens offer different day and night creams.

What’s missing from your routine?

As you read through these steps, is there anything missing from your routine? Are you taking good care of your skin? Is there something you can add to help round out your routine so you get better results? Are you using the right regimen for you? Are the ingredients clean and safe?

Skin Care Consultations

If you need some help filling in some of the gaps or deciding how to address any specific skin care concerns you have, please reach out. I’m happy to make some recommendations or hook you up with some free samples.

If you really don’t have a solid regimen in place and aren’t sure where to start, take my skin care quiz and email your results to me. Then, we can chat about your preferences, routine and any obstacles you have in terms of time, etc.

Meanwhile – feel free to shop my Beautycounter site for skin care regimens and treatments. We have incredible regimens for all skin types: oily/acne prone, dry, combination — even men (Yes, guys need good skin care, too. Especially after 50!)