How To Find The Best Skin Care

It’s the eternal beauty quest… what is the best skin care? Who makes the best moisturizer? What cleanser is best? In mythe best skin care retail sales days, shoppers would come up to me and ask me, “What is the best skin care?” I would quietly ask them to follow me down a dark hallway, past all the other moisturizers. We’d pass the troll that guards the hidden door into a secret room, where there on a table, under a single beam of light, sits one single jar of the only good moisturizer in the store, which I’ve only showed to this customer because they asked for the best. When you use it, you’ll never break out, all your wrinkles will disappear, your checking account will never be empty, and your house will always be clean.

Just kidding.

There’s no troll.

Perfect moisturizers don’t exist. They don’t exist because everyone has a different opinion on what the perfect moisturizer should be like. So the question should not be “What’s the best skin care?” The question should be, “What’s the best skin care for me?” [Tweet this!]

For example, I was helping a client the other day whose primary complaint was that she was breaking out often. I asked her what she was using and she told me she was using a well known brand. I asked if she was using a product targeted for acne, like a treatment serum or even a cleanser, and she said no. She was using products that might be generally good, just not good for her, because they don’t target her primary concern.

So how do you find a skin care product that’s good-for-you? Here are a few tips.

  • Decide what your primary skin care concerns are. This is the magic question. If you could change one thing about your skin, what would it be? If there’s a bunch of things, prioritize your list. You’ll probably be able to treat a few things at once, but you want to make sure that your primary concern will be targeted.
  • Look at peripheral benefits of the skin care products. Do you want paraben-free? Do you want a natural skin care product? Do you want a moisturizer that fights acne and wrinkles?
  • Set a price. Remember that if you want a product that has many specific features, you may need to be willing to spend more. What is most important? It might be nice to be paraben free, but you might not be able to find skin care that fights acne and wrinkles, has no parabens, and is less than $30. You may have to decide which feature is the one that can be sacrificed.
  • Feel it and smell it. Textural differences and fragrances are very important. If you don’t enjoy using the product because it feels greasy or smells funny, you won’t use it. Your skin care is guaranteed to fail if it just sits in a drawer. [Tweet this!]

I want to know. What is most important to you when you buy a moisturizer or other skin care product? Do you make decisions based on price? Ingredients? A friend’s recommendation? Tell me in the comments below!

 

 

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What I’m Loving Now: Oils

favorite facial oils including coconut oilThe Northeast is bracing for what will hopefully be the last snow storm of this season, and I have been relying on whatever I can find to keep my dry, itchy skin under control. Here are a few of products that I keep going back to.

 

Argan oil is a popular ingredient these days. It popped up a few years back and fans are Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oilkeeping it front and center. I love the Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil. It has a rich texture that is amazing to soothe dry skin. I especially love it because Kahina gives so much back to the community of Berber women that make the oil. Try a couple of drops under a lotion to amp up your moisture, on cuticles, or even on the ends of hair to tame frizz.

 

Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex


All winter, I’ve been using this Replenishing Nutrient Complex from Tata Harper in my facials. I love the double whammy – it’s wonderfully aromatic and soothing, as well as super moisturizing. I find the rollerball incredibly convenient. I keep it in my bag for touch ups over makeup during the day. Remember that dry skin is dull skin, so a hint of oil on the cheeks can restore your glow.

 

You can’t get more of a multi-tasker than coconut oil. I’m not one for making my own skin Organic Coconut Oilcare; I’d just rather buy something that comes in a pretty box. But I’ve been making this One Minute Chocolate Cake from Chocolate Covered Katie just about every night, and I kept getting coconut oil all over my hands. Not wanting to waste, I started working the excess into the ends of my hair, removing my eye makeup, and rubbing it onto my arms. Now I’m almost out, and I’m obsessed. I need my chocolate cake and my moisture. By the way, if you don’t have a nut allergy, coconut is a hot new ingredient for your skin and for your diet.

 

I do find that oils work best with a moisturizer. The oils seem to soak in and disappear on their own. But if you mix a few drops into your moisturizer, or apply the moisturizer over the oil, it really helps to seal in that extra moisture. Don’t be scared of oil. If your skin is dry, it needs the help.

Do you have any favorite oils for these last few cold weeks?

Time Crunch

Everyone is pressed for time these days. Not many of us have lots of free time to spend on a skin care routine, myself included. But, no one wants to look like they spent no time on themselves… so how do you get your best skin in just a few minutes a day? Here are some of my favorite skin care tips to help busy people get their glow … fast! [Tweet this!]

  • Consolidate your steps. I love to use shower time to exfoliate, either with a quick glycolic acid cleanser a few times a week, or by once a week using an exfoliating mask with fruit enzymes or glycolic acid while I condition my hair.
  • Pick products that have multiple benefits. Vitamin C is a great ingredient with multiple benefits (anti-oxidant protection, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging). Pick a moisturizer with a sunscreen in the morning; or, in the summer, just use a sunscreen. Retinol can be used to address acne, wrinkles, and pigmentation and should be used at night.
  • Focus on one skin care concern to address at a time. What bothers you most? Is it frequent breakouts? Hydration? Anti-aging? If you can’t find a product to address all of your concerns (a tall order sometimes!), find a serum that addresses your first concern, and use it at night.
  • Skip unnecessary steps. There are very few benefits to a toner, in my opinion, so I skip this step when I’m rushed or in a hurry. Or, I put my toner in a spray bottle and spritz it on right out of the shower, before I moisturize.

I can honestly say that I rarely spend more than five minutes on my skin care routine. Most of my speed comes from just knowing what I’m going to put on and having it available to grab quickly. The rest comes from careful product selection beforehand. I know what my concerns are, and I’ve found product that meets as many of my concerns as possible.

What tips do you do to take the best care of your skin in as little time as possible?

 

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