The world of skincare can feel like a very complex and complicated place. With enough brands, products and ingredients on the market to make even the most conscientious consumer confused, many of us just reach for the same old stuff we've always used — knowing full well it's not good for our skin or our health.
I've met SO. MANY. PEOPLE. over the last several years who want to make the switch from conventional to conscious skincare. You get that there's questionable stuff going on in the mainstream industry — from chemicals and unsafe ingredients to totally unacceptable animal testing. You're ready to toss the toxins and go natural.
But one thing stands in the way: so many of us just don't know where to begin, what we need, or how to best take care of our skin.
So in this three-part blog series, I'm breaking down the anatomy of a nourishing skincare routine, from start to finish. Read on to learn the essential elements of good skincare, all the ways they can support your skin, and exclusive tips for exactly how to use them.
Let's begin with the morning skincare routine:
It might surprise you that, in most cases, I don't advocate for washing your face first thing when you get up. The thing is, if you've done a thorough makeup removal and cleanse before bed the previous night (and keep your sheets and pillowcases clean), there's not usually a need to repeat that again the next morning.
Instead, I recommend practicing Province Apothecary's facial dry brushing ritual (find a video tutorial in my Self-Care blog post) before you do anything else.
Using a dry brush is the ideal way to wake up your skin in the morning, prepare it for products and gently detox by flushing the lymphatic system in your face and neck.
Once your face is stimulated and detoxed, it's time to balance and hydrate with a soothing toner.
Years ago, I thought toners were a sham. I didn't understand what spraying fancy-smelling water on your face actually achieved. Guys: I WAS SO WRONG. Toners are critical to optimizing the hydrating power of your moisturizing products. Without toner, your serum or cream isn't able to penetrate beyond the surface of the skin, and often ends up feeling greasy or doing nothing to relieve the tight, itchy feeling of dryness.
However, when you prep your skin for moisturizing products with a quick spritz of a high-quality, natural toner, the water molecules stand ready to bond to the precious hydrating oils in your lotion or serum and pull them deeper into the skin. The toner I recommend (linked above) also contains luxurious floral waters, powerful minerals and pure essential oils that balance skin's pH and clarify pores.
Basically what I'm saying is — don't skip this step like I used to do! Your skin will thank you.
And now for the most nourishing part of your morning skincare ritual: moisturizing. This step is a bit more customizable. There are a few different options for moisturizing products — and they can all be mixed, matched and used together to support your skin, whatever your needs. The ones you choose depend mostly on your skin type and personal preference.
The first to consider is a serum. A good, high-quality serum is made up of hydrating oils, including oils with powerful herbs infused within, as well as pure organic essential oils. Serums, when massaged into damp (AKA freshly toner-spritzed!) skin, absorb deeply and work at the cellular level to hydrate, heal, reduce inflammation, diminish wrinkles and balance your skin's natural function.
For about 90 per cent of the population, dry skin is the issue that leads to concerns like clogged pores, breakouts, flaking, sensitive skin and wrinkles. For those of us who struggle with dehydrated, dull skin and all of the consequences that come with it, a serum formulated specifically for dry skin will support a healthier, more hydrated complexion.
For the other 10 per cent, it excess oil and imbalanced sebum production causes problems like persistent shine, irritation and chronic or cystic acne. A serum made for oily, acneic or combination skin will help those among us who deal with these issues to soothe, balance and heal the skin.
Another excellent option is a moisturizer with a lotion consistency. A nourishing, creamy moisturizer provides rich hydration to smooth fine lines, soften skin and improve skin's tone and texture. A good cream would be applied on top of a serum, or could be used on its own, to regenerate, repair, restore elasticity and reduce redness, irritation and inflammation.
The last facial moisturizing option is a face balm — a mix of luxurious Omega-3 oils and beeswax. A high-quality, high-performance face balm delivers deep hydration and healing to dry and damaged skin, and protects against everything from stress to premature aging to free-radicals to cold winter wind. Massage the face balm over your serum, on its own, or even apply just to dry patches to soften skin, reduce redness and speed healing.
As consumers, we expect and trust that companies are putting the best product ingredients forward, ensuring that the ingredients available to us are are safe to use.
Unfortunately this isn’t what is happening.
Welcome to round four of my Green Beauty Giftgiving Guide!
This week, I'm going practical.
Because let's be honest, we all need the basics. Infinite bonus points for high-performance, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free versions!
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