As a beauty product curator, I have access to a lot of products. Much as I love that privilege, the secrets behind flawless skin are so much more than what comes in a bottle — and so much less expensive. Quality, toxin-free skincare products paired with a few good habits and some daily TLC guarantee a natural glow. Use any and all of these easy steps and you’ll see what healthy skin looks like in no time.
1. Don't be afraid to mix and layer.
Gone are the days of buying the whole range of one skincare line. I like to find the "hero" products in different lines that have their unique strengths and work well for my skin, then blend and layer them. I've discovered that natural, plant-based products are easiest to layer and mix together because they feed the skin, just like different parts of a healthy meal add up to delicious. I’ll often mix honey or yogurt into a seaweed or clay face mask to give my skin some extra hydration. I also love to layer favorite eye and face serums, one on top of the other.
2. Take baby steps.
Like most women, I’m pretty busy. I’ve learned that small steps throughout the week add up and make a difference in keeping skin healthy. Multi-task your shower by putting a face mask on right before you step in and rinse it off at the end. Or keep a spray bottle of organic hydrosol on your desk and mist throughout the day to keep skin hydrated.
3. See a professional.
While I definitely take good care of my skin, I also see the difference it’s made to give it a nurturing boost by receiving facials regularly. Getting one every six weeks works best for me. The visit gives my esthetician a chance to more evenly and deeply exfoliate my complexion, perform extractions and address any specific skin issues that have popped up. Find an esthetician you feel comfortable with and stick with her so she can get to know your skin and what it responds to best.
4. Drink your skin superheroes.
It’s common knowledge that what you eat and drink is reflected in the health of your skin. Beyond drinking water to keep skin hydrated and clear, I like to drink skin-saving nutrients that are low in calories yet still give my skin a boost. A daily two-ounce dose of aloe vera juice is at the top of my list. Other favorites include a cup of antioxidant-packed turmeric tea, cleansing lemon water mixed with a teaspoon of activated charcoal and a cup of coconut water mixed with rose water.
5. Play catch up.
I confess, I don’t get a great night’s sleep every night and if I go too many nights, it really starts to show in my skin. So when I can, I purposely set a catch up night when I can get to bed early and restore my skin and myself. A good night of eight or more hours not only brings my skin, but also my whole being back into balance.
6. Brush regularly.
Dry brush, that is. It’s a new habit that’s become as natural a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth. Dry brushing boosts lymphatic drainage, helping accelerate the removal of toxins from the body. This cleansing does wonders for skin as does its boost to circulation. Brush before you get in the shower when skin is still "dry."’ Always brush toward the heart, working up from the feet and legs. Now that I’m used to doing this two-minute ritual, I can’t go a day without it.
7. Mother your skin.
Like most moms, I’m vigilant about applying sun protection to my son by way of clothing, sunscreen and a hat. I take those very same precautions with my own skin, going so far as to apply a safe, mineral zinc oxide sunscreen to my face, chest, hands and even my feet when they’re exposed. I call it “mothering” my own skin.
8. Embrace oil.
For years I battled acne and oily skin, trying just about everything to balance it out. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve come to fully appreciate the healing and balancing power of essential oils on the skin. The organic oils I find work best are rose, carrot seed, sunflower seed and tamanu. Each helps cells function optimally so they're not over-producing oil. These essential oils are also naturally anti-bacterial and actually treat acne. Learn to love oils for nourishing and treating oily skin by finding the ones that work for your skin.
9. Do a chemical detox.
When I began learning more about cosmetic ingredients and started eliminating them from my skincare routine, I found that my skin improved. Now I know that many cosmetic ingredients cause allergies. Some are even hormone disrupting and likely tinkered with my delicate hormone balance. Many of these villainous ingredients are used as preservatives, a fact that further enforced my appreciation for oil-based face and body oils rather than water-based products since the former require little to no preservatives.
10. Use less. Love more.
Spending most of my career as a spa director, I’ve had access to a wide variety of skincare lines and was often gifted a lot of really high-end products. I wound up with more than I’d be able to use in a decade. I kept many of them way past their shelf life because I felt bad about wasting good product, but over time I realized that this cosmetic clutter wasn’t healthy, for me or my skin. Now I only have products that I know, understand and love. It’s made my life so much simpler and my skin that much better.