I am a big believer that beautiful skin comes both from what you put in your body and what you put on your skin. There are a few things I have instituted this winter that I have found have had an excellent impact on my skin. That being said- no one is perfect and I definitely can get lazy about my routine (especially during the holidays) so towards the bottom of the post there are a couple of tricks for emergency remedies.
BEAUTY FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Rule # 1: Drink more water without fail this brightens your skin. We have all heard it 100 times before but this year I have made a commitment to drink more water and I have seen a really positive effect. I look less tired, my skin has more color, and I feel better! It can be tough to drink lots of cold water throughout the winter so I heat mine up and add the juice of a whole lemon and a shaved nub of ginger.
Rule #2: Eat healthy fats for me this means avocado. I have at least a half an avocado a day- honestly. Whether it is in my green smoothie or smothered on a piece of toast this delicious and fatty veg (fruit?) is always in my fridge. My hair is softer and my skin smoother as a result!
Rule #3 Dry brush A few weeks back I covered the practice of dry brushing here. Since I started doing it regularly I have seen a big improvement in the moisture of my skin. This really surprised me because I am pretty lazy about using body lotion (aka never use it unless I am going to be bare legged). In addition to my skin feeling more moisturized it is also much smoother. With daily exfoliation and increased circulation dry brushing has worked wonders on my skin.
Rule #4: Green smoothie This smoothie is not for the faint of heart but I guarantee if you drink it multiple times you will become immune to it's powers of tasting like a blended salad and you will start to crave it like you do coffee. Here is the quick and dirty recipe: 1. Half a box of spinach (2.5 oz) 2. 1.5 Cups of water 3. 2 stalks of celery 3. Half a cucumber 4. 1 inch piece of ginger peeled 5. Juice of one whole lemon 5. One green apple cored 5. One tsp of spirulina 6. One heaping handful of parsley 7. Half an avocado. Blend and enjoy! Note: this recipe makes 2-2.5 servings. I put saran wrap on the extra and drink it the next day or when I need a little pick me.
BEAUTY FROM THE OUTSIDE IN
Rule #1 Cleanse I tried this cleanser 3 years ago and literally have not bought another cleanser since (and that is saying something coming from a product junky like me) It cleanses deeply without stripping your skin of it's moisture. Added bonus: it is light on the wallet, for $22 you get 4-6 months of face cleansing bliss!
Rule #2: Exfoliate A few years ago an aesthetician told me that if I did not exfoliate my skin I would essentially be moisturizing the dead skin cells on the surface and doing nothing to mousturize my actual skin. This stuck with me and I have since experimented with many different ways to exfoliate such as cleansers (too mild), face brushes (too much bacteria), and weekly peels (always forgot to do them). I have finally found a very effective and results driven way to exfoliate that I have been doing for the last 8 months and have been so please by the results. These pads can be used up to twice a day (I only use them once) and are potent enough for my 30 year old skin. Tip: buy at Space.NK to save $10 over Sephora
Rule #3: Moisturize I have been all over the map with moisturizers because of my often dry and very sensitive skin. It was not until recently that I found my match. Made by a fellow Chicagoan Yasou day and night moisturizers are thick yet not oily, vegan, and as natural as they come. It moisturizes so deeply that your skin still feels soft and hydrated hours later. The other added benefit is that my makeup goes on much smoother and looks a lot better.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
When my skin is acting up the first thing I do is mix 3 tsp of this with 3 tsp of apple cider vinegar and let this aztec clay get to work. You skin will literally pulse as this masks dries, it cleanses deeply into your pores.
The problem solver mask is excellent for when your skin feels congested and tired but is not breaking out. An excellent purifier and exfoliate this mask contains spices like cacao, cayenne, turmeric, clove, cinnamon, and frankincense.
Whenever you do a cleansing mask it typically is very drying and should always be followed by a moisturizing mask. I bought this mask after a facial at exhale spa in chicago and love it