How The Heck Do I Use This Stuff? A Six-Step Cheat Sheet

One of the most-often asked questions at my skin care studio is: How the heck do I use this stuff?

And by stuff, I mean products.

And by products, I mean cleansers, toners. exfoliants, facial oils, targeted treatments, eye creams, eye serums, scrubs, moisturizers, cremes and creams, polishes -  and the list of the myriad of the skin care arsenal continues...

It can be overwhelming. All of the stuff. And the order that the stuff goes in.

So today, I have created a handy (and pretty) tool for you to print out and tuck in your powder room drawer as a reference. It lists out a simple 6-Step routine (AM and PM) to get you on your way to being a pro at using your stuff.

Read on below for the nitty gritty info behind this cheat sheet...

1. Cleansing (AM / PM)

Cleansing is the first step to healthy skin. By removing the funk on the skin's surface, you are not only removing pore-clogging debris and environmental pollutants, but also allowing your skin to "breathe" and perform its natural functions.

Cleansing twice can boost your results even further - FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHY YOU SHOULD BE CLEANSING TWICE HERE.

2. Toning (AM) / Exfoliating (PM)

Toning skin after cleansing not only returns skin to its proper ph, which is essential for proper function, but depending on the formulation, it also can help introduce hydration into the skin, for those who are dry, or help to temporarily decrease oil production with astringent action. People often ask if a toner is necessary. Truth be told, I notice a HUGE difference in my skin if I miss this step for a few days. 

Exfoliating skin after cleansing not only helps to remove any debris that cleansing may have missed, but also whisks away dead skin cells, revealing the fresher, newer ones underneath. Why is this important? Because these dead skin cells can clog pores, causing breakouts, and also keep the products you use after cleansing from working optimally. 

I prefer to exfoliate at night, but its ok if you do it in the morning, too. Just only do it 1-2 times a week total - more exfoliation is not better and can actually irritate your skin.

3. Serum / Facial Oil (AM) / Toner (PM)

Adding a serum or facial oil into your skin care steps can seem unnecessary, but, trust me, this is a key step in skin that glows with health. Serums and facial oils can deliver much-needed ingredients to your skin, in a very targeted way, to address specific concerns. They can also help to seal in the benefits of your toner from Step 2.

Using a toner in the evening offers the same benefits as using it in the morning (See #2).

4. Moisturizer (AM) / Treatment (PM)

Using a moisturizer is a thing. For everyone. Even if you have oily or acne prone skin. Moisturizer helps to seal in hydration and protect you from the elements (weather, pollution, etc). Acne can actually become worse if skin is not properly moisturized. If you are oily or acne-prone, a lighter moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid can be helpful.

Using a "treatment" in the evening, when your skin is going through its process of rejuvenation, can help support your skin in really great ways. This treatment could be your daytime serum or facial oil, or it could be a separate targeted product to address concerns such as aging, acne or redness.

5. SPF (AM) / Night Cream (PM)

Although it is a good thing to get a small amount of exposure to sunlight for Vitamin D, I recommend wearing SPF on your face every day of your life to avoid sun damage. Every day. This is even more critical if you are using treatment products that contain ingredients such as retinals or glycolic or salicylic acid. These ingredients make your skin more vulnerable to UV damage.

A night cream in the PM is always a good choice, especially for those with dryer skin. If you are an oily skinned gal, like me, you may only need to use a night cream a few times a week or less.

6. Eye Cream (AM/PM)

Eye cream can easily be a step that is overlooked in skin care, but, since our eye skin is thinner, it is desperately in need of protection to stay supple and healthy. Use your eye cream day and night. There are eye creams that work beautifully underneath makeup in the day and offer good hydration at night.

I hope you find this info helpful for your everyday routine! Happy skin! 




Autumn Spice Warming Infusion

Baby, it's cold outside. In true Michigan Indian Summer style, within the week, the weather went from 80 degrees and sunny to below freezing last night. Time for some warming spices to keep us cozy. Here is an easy, sweet and spicy infusion blend I am sipping today to keep away the chill. Pairs nicely with a squishy sweater and a soft, fuzzy blanket. <3

Autumn Spice Warming Infusion

1/2 teaspoon fennel

1/2 teaspoon licorice root

1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel

1/2 teaspoon clove

1 teaspoon candied ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon stick (crushed)

2 star anise pods

Place 2 teaspoons of blend inside a tea ball in your favorite mug. Fill with near-boiling (but not quite boiling) water. Steep, covered, for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy! 

You can adjust the qualities of each ingredient to your liking or use more or less of the blend when steeping.  

How are you staying warm today?



Transition Your Skin to FALL in 5 Easy Steps

Although it is still gorgeous outside, the temperatures are beginning to dip. This shift to the cooler months can cause skin to become unbalanced, resulting in dryness, flaking and overall crankiness.

Here are a few tips to gracefully transition your skin to Fall...

1. Switch cleansers.

While your skin may have thrived on a foaming cleanser in summer, these same cleansers can strip skin of needed moisture in the cooler months. Try switching to either a cream or a low-foaming cleanser.

2. Amp up your moisture.

The moisturizer that works for you in the warmer months may likely be not enough to moisturize and protect during colder weather. Look for a richer, more protective moisturizer with ingredients such as shea butter, lipid-rich oils, such as olive and ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, which help to bind moisture into the skin's tissues.

3. Exfoliate.

It doesn't matter how much moisturizer you apply - if you have dry, flaky skin, your moisturizer will just sit there on top and it is not going to work properly. Removing that dull, dry layer of dead skin by exfoliation will not only smooth your skin, but will allow your products to work better to moisturizer and protect. Using a gentle physical scrub or a facial serum containing natural fruit enzymes, such as papain (from papayas) once or twice a week will help.

4. Layer, layer, layer.

To keep skin from losing precious moisture to the environment, layer your products to create a moisturizing protective barrier. After cleansing, begin with a spray of a hydrating toner, followed with a layer of a hydrating serum, while skin is still damp. Then apply a rich moisturizer, followed by daily, natural zinc-based sunscreen (YES YOU STILL NEED TO USE SUNSCREEN).

5. Don't forget your bod.

As the temperatures drop, it is often dry hands or itchy legs that first start to show the skin's seasonal shift. Give all of the skin on your body the same love as you give your face by exfoliating with a body scrub, followed by a body oil and a layer of rich body butter.

Getting a facial at each change of season can also help to correct your skin from the previous season and prepare it for the next. A consultation and treatment from a professional skin care therapist will allow you to prevent seasonal skin issues and select products that are right for your skin.

Ready for a professional? CALL ME TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY! <3