After years of chatting with friends and clients, I now understand just how much skin care products are bit of a mysterious and unknown vortex. Many people don’t understand what their skin needs, and often the experts that are at the helm of the ship are financially tied to the products we are helping you navigate through or toward. Which, honestly, isn’t a bad thing, per say. But it can influence what products we might steer you towards, for example, and sometimes it can be exactly what you need or it honestly can just create more confusion.
The good news? I’m not actively working as an Esthetician, so I have no bias, no slant, no agenda as we start these conversations! I only know what I’ve learned from looking closely at skin for the last, oh my goodness, 16 years. So, I’m here to help.
Since this is a conversation and topic that is so large, I’m going to break it down each post. Right now I’m going to start with common concerns and questions friends and clients have had over the years, but I’d also love to hear from you in the comments if you have any specific questions as well.
So, let’s start with the one topic that no one ever wants to talk about. Sun protection.Yawn. Here’s the thing. I became an Esthetician when I was 20, and I was the girl, who being born and raised in California, always believed the more sun the better. So you can imagine my horror when I found out just how bad the sun is for your skin. Like, the worst. It not only can give you skin cancer, but also all those lines and wrinkles and sun spots! I turned a new leaf, and began to wear spf all the time, cover my face from the sun at every moment, the whole thing. That went on for years, until I realized -cover your ears Dermatologists the world over- I missed the sun on my face. I enjoy getting vitamin D straight from the source and not from a pill. Dare I say it, I like being tan! So, what’s a girl to do???
Don’t worry, I’ve got two fantastic ideas:
You might be wondering, do you have to wear it every day? And to that I have to say with a smirk, “Every day that ends in “Y!!!” So, Yes! Everyday! The worst kind of sun damage is the cumulative kind, a little bit every single day adds up. To and from the car 50 times in a day. Walking around on your lunch break. Driving in the car. Fun fact: I often saw more lines, and sun spots on the left side of women’s faces-and hands- due to driving in the car. I know! After years of seeing this, I began to drive with a spf stick, and I’d swipe it on the back of my hands every time I got in the car. #neurotic, I know.
Anyway, back to what I was saying. Try them out. Find one that isn’t greasy, isn’t thick, and has UVA and UVB protection. I do recommend spf 30, but even a wimpy spf 15 is better than nothing. (And no, your makeup doesn’t count unless you’re caking it on thick like a creepy Nicaraguan birthday party clown) You can find one that isn’t greasy, promise.
And remember, I’m not going to recommend products because, well, there are like 5 million spf’s out there. For real. So here is one final ‘must’ in my mind:
It should be UVA and UVB protection.
Try going to places like a spa/doctors office, The Body Shop, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, where at least there is a person there to help. Look at reviews, ask around. Find out the return policy too. Little known fact: Most products can be returned. So buy it and try it out, ask the person you’re buying it from what you can do if you don’t love it!! If it’s greasy or gives you zits, take it back. Especially when you buy it from a spa/Esthetician/Dermatologist. We are committed to your skin, and so if something doesn’t work that we recommended or helped you pick out, come back and talk to us. I always let my clients return products or exchange for something different if they didn’t love it.
2. Tinted spf/find a good bronzer.
If you’re worried about looking a little less tan than you’d like, fake it. (Ladies, aren’t we good at that anyway?!) There are some fantastic tinted sunscreens out there for days when you don’t want to wear any make up but still want a tiny bit of color. I happen to do both, because I go back to my ^ comment. Give me all the color. And guess what, Bare Minerals finally has pressed powder and they have a lovely pressed bronzer!
Okay, we are ready to move into more skin care, now that you’ve agreed to start wearing a sunscreen. You’ve agreed right? Because, as we talk through so many good products that your skin needs, if you aren’t willing to protect that skin with sunscreen, you honestly shouldn’t even bother with other products. You will just end up wasting your money if you use any anti-aging products but don’t also use a sunscreen with them. For real. Mike drop. No joking.
You can do this!!