Healthy Skin Test #3: Smooth Skin

Healthy Skin Test #3: Smooth Skin

Smooth Skin Test

This is the 3rd and final part of my healthy skin series. In this test we’re looking at the texture of your skin. Is it smooth, or not? (If you missed the first two tests, go back and try those first to check your moisture level and oil balance).

The texture of your skin can say a lot about its current state of health. If your skin feels rough, it may be severely dehydrated. If it feels bumpy, it may be congested and the pores need to be cleared.

How to get smooth skin

Watch this video to take the 3rd healthy skin test and see what you can do to improve the texture of your skin. By combining all of the tips I’ve outlined over the course of this video series, you can significantly boost your skin’s texture and appearance . . . and ultimately its overall health. 

In this video I mention this link to learn more about lactic acid and alpha hydroxy acids.

Need help getting your skin glowing again? Book a skincare consult with me to get a personalized plan and skin care prescription. 

DIY: Clay & Poppy Seed Face Polish

Exfoliating Poppy Seed and Clay Face Polish | Healthy skin starts with exfoliation!

Exfoliating is the number one habit you can start today that can dramatically improve the texture and appearance of your skin.

Exfoliating your skin 2-3 times per week will:

  • help clear congested pores of dirt and dead skin cells
  • help moisturizer penetrate better (therefore making it more effective)
  • smooth rough and textured skin
  • help with makeup application

Try making this DIY exfoliator at home!

Clay & Poppy Seed Face Polish

1 Tbs poppy seeds
5-8 drops of essential oils (tea tree for oily skin, lavender or geranium for dry skin)
1 Tbs kaolin clay
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs dried and ground chamomile flowers
1 Tbs dried and ground lavender flowers

First, add drops of essential oils to poppy seeds. Mix together. 

Exfoliating Poppy Seed and Clay Face Polish |

Next, add all other ingredients and mix together. Exfoliating Poppy Seed and Clay Face Polish |

Pro tip: If you want a very fine and even texture, use a mesh sieve to sift clay, baking soda, and herbal flowers. Once you’ve done this, go ahead and add the poppy seeds.

Exfoliating Poppy Seed and Clay Face Polish |

To use: Mix 1 tsp of polish with some water to create a paste. Gently massage onto skin for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rinse off and follow up with a serum, moisturizer, and oil.

Store dry face polish in an air tight container for up to 6 months.

Avoid these ingredients before going out in the sun

2015-05-12 Sunshine When I was younger I was convinced that I was allergic to the sun. While my friends were out reveling in the summer’s rays, I would be cowering in the shade afraid to expose my skin because every time I did, I would get itchy patches all over my body. It didn’t matter how much sunscreen I used, they would always appear.

It occurred to me one day that perhaps I wasn’t allergic to the sun, but rather allergic to an ingredient in my sunscreen. Ahhhh of course, that makes more sense.

Photosensitivity can occur after an ingredient is applied topically or ingested and the skin is exposed to sunlight – causing red, itchy rashes, sunburns, and/or hyperpigmentation.

For me, oxybenzone -a very common ingredient in sunscreens- is my offender. When I apply a sunscreens with this ingredient and expose my skin to the sun, an immune reaction occurs causing a rash.

You don’t need to have a predisposed allergy to certain ingredients though in order for your skin to react in the sun. There are many common ingredients (including some medications) that can cause your skin to be hyper-sensitive, burn, and over produce melanin (aka brown spots).

Over the next few months, as you spend more time in that glorious sunshine keep in mind these few products that could cause photosensitivity:

This might be an obvious one, since you probably already know that any exfoliation exposes fresh ‘baby’ skin to the elements – but it’s worth a reminder. Even if you didn’t just go for a chemical peel, check the ingredients in your home care products because you may not realize that your cleanser or moisturizer contain an exfoliating acid like salicylic, lactic, or glycolic. Read more on Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Never wear perfume and expose your skin to the sun. I’m not even going to get into why you shouldn’t wear synthetic perfumes in the first place (which can contain hundreds of different chemicals) but if you do, certainly avoid them while in the sun. Perfumes contain chemical ingredients that cause pigment-creating cells to over stimulate, resulting in brown patches where exposed. Not a pretty sight. Instead, try spraying perfume on clothing, or better yet, wear a natural perfume that uses essential oils – just avoid any with citrus oils.

Citrus Essential Oils
In my latest post on essential oils, I touched on some things to watch out for, but most importantly when going out in the sun avoid citrus oils which can cause skin irritation, sunburns and permanent brown spots. Also remember to check the ingredients in your products, you may not be aware of citrus oils in moisturizers, toners, or aftershave (bergamot often gets overlooked). Oh, and while you’re at it, please, please, please avoid using lemon juice as a DIY toner and skin brightener. The acids in lemon juice are far too harsh for the skin and can cause more damage than good – especially while out in the sun.



Skincare 101: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

AHA exfoliators

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)?

I know. You hear the word acid and you immediately think of an evil, acid-wielding villain from Batman.

No fear. Acids, specifically alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), are derived from fruit and dairy, and in my opinion, offer the best way to exfoliate the skin.

They typically come in a mask or serum form, and are sometimes called ‘fruit acids’. Rather than ‘mechanically’ loosening dead skin cells (typical of an exfoliating scrub), AHAs work to shed dead skin cells by dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds them together.

This may sound harsh, but in most cases (such as with lactic acid) AHAs can be fairly gentle and moisturizing. I particularly like them for treating acne since there is no physical abrasion (unlike a scrub) that could potential rupture pimples, spread bacteria, and over stimulate already red and inflamed skin. AHAs are also fantastic for clearing up congestion (black heads and white heads), brightening complexions, and lightening scars and dark spots.

Here are some common types:

Lactic acid: derived from corn or dairy products. This is considered a fairly gentle acid, and is good for most skin types; it’s also a natural humectant (meaning it retains moisture) and is therefore hydrating to the skin. This is my AHA of choice, and I am in LOVE with Pure + Simple’s Lactic Acid. I use it 2-3 times per week either all over my face, or just in spots that are prone to congestion.

Malic acid: most commonly derived from apples. It is less irritating than citric and glycolic acid, and is also a natural humectant.

Citric acid: derived from citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, and oranges. Excellent for brightening, and targeting age spots and scars.

Glycolic acid: most commonly derived from sugar cane. It has a small molecular structure that enables it to penetrates deep into the skin. However, it can be highly irritating and drying if used incorrectly, or too regularly.

Home care products will always have a higher pH level (aka less acidic) and contain a lower concentration of acid than professional use, however you should look for something with at least a 5% acid concentration and a pH between 3.5-4 for the product to be effective.

A little tingle is good . . . but a burning sensation is not so good!

VERY IMPORTANT: Always follow product instructions, avoid over use, immediately follow up with a moisturizer, and diligently wear sunscreen; as is the case with any exfoliation!!! If you’ve never used AHA products before, start with 1 application per week to avoid irritation and then gradually increase to 2-3 times per week.

When in doubt, consult a professional skin care therapist, esthetician, or dermatologist.

Have a question? Just ask! Write in the comments section below, or connect with me through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.