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Excessive makeup has been all the rage these past few years. With the rise of social media came tutorial after tutorial on heavy makeup looks (including the ever-popular contouring ala Kim Kardashian). The issue is, all those products can clog pours, result in breakouts and damage the appearance of your skin.
That said, too much foundation is not the only issue our skin is facing during this coronavirus lockdown. All those squirts of hand sanitizer and operating-room-worthy handwashing routines can leave your skin dry and itchy.
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To dig in deep and see how we can really improve the appearance and health of our skin during these makeup free days, Fashion Reverie caught up with holistic esthetician, Stephanie Smith, owner of Stephanie Smith Skin Care in Franklin, TN and a Suki Skincare partner.
In a time of social distancing, “allowing the skin to take a break from pollution and makeup is priceless. The cells in the skin have [a big job of] repairing themselves, and this is much easier to do if they are not weighed down by artificial colors, and ingredients that clog the pores,” Smith explains. “Picture your skin cells wearing heavy Hazmat suits.”
Mineral makeup is the exception, but even then, it’s important to give your skin time to rest. Additionally, most of us are under quite a bit of stress—whether that’s from financial worries to helping take care of your family. Stress has perverse effects on all our organs, so it’s no surprise it also negatively effects our skin. Smith explains, “[stress] hampers the body’s ability to repair itself, leading to imbalance, sensitivity and breakouts.”
While you use this time to step away from the makeup, hair repair and take of your skin further, Smith shares her seven top tips for beautiful skin that you can practice now while stuck at home, or any time.
1. Simplify Your Routine
I always recommend that if my clients are experiencing stressful times, such as transitional changes in their life, it’s a good idea to simplify their skin routine. Perhaps, your normal routine is five steps, that may be too much to maintain under the circumstances.
2. Use Cosmeceutical Grade Multi-taskers
One way to do that is with multitasking products that contain “cosmeceutical”Ingredients. (Cosmeceuticals contain concentrated, active ingredients that are able to penetrate the layers of the dermis, to effectively change the skin.) Examples of some multi-tasking products include cleansers and toners that also exfoliate, facial oils that can also be used as a cleanser and eyebrow growth serum, and masques that hydrate and reduce the appearance of pores while feeding the skin nutrients.
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3. Sleep In It
What’s fabulous is to find a skincare masque that you can sleep in, which behaves like an exfoliant, serum, and night cream in one.
You wake up, shower it off, and your skin looks like you’ve been to the spa. Masques have such concentrated ingredients that they often are excellent alternatives to a night cream. I lazily applied the Moisture Rich Brightening Masque from Suki Skincare last night, fell asleep, and couldn’t believe how hydrated and glowy my skin looked this morning.
4. Keep an Eye on Skin Health
During this time of few visits to the doctor, don’t forget to pay attention to new spots or moles on the skin that are changing, or are sensitive to the touch, both of which can be signs of skin cancer (I’ve had it twice).
If you’re not sure if a spot is changing, take a picture with a smartphone, or have a friend [who’s quarantining with you] take one, and then compare it to a picture taken each week. This makes it very easy to see changes, since you can enlarge the photos on your camera. If you are concerned, send the photo to your esthetician, (we’re trained to screen for skin cancer!) or a doctor.
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5. Use Facial Oils to Protect the Face
If you are a healthcare worker, and are experiencing inflamed, sensitive skin due to wearing a masque, apply a facial oil, and then blot with a towel before you put one on. The oil will soothe and protect the skin, and guard against loss of moisture, which leads to cracks and dryness on the skin’s surface.
Using an oil to cleanse your face is also a relief at the end of the day. A good facial oil blend will feature oils that won’t clog the pores, such as jojoba, hemp, and sunflower. It can also contain essential oils to balance and heal the skin, such as lavender and chamomile, which are soothing.
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6. Use Body Oils to Protect the Body
If your hands are in a state of emergency from all of the washing and hand sanitizer, keep a body oil by the sink and apply it to wet hands after washing a few times a day. It will protect the skin and give it the nutrients it needs to heal.
The body can tolerate heavier oils which stay on the surface as a barrier and can also be used for massage. Good choices include sweet almond, olive, carrot seed, avocado, and wheat germ.
7. Wash Your Face Well
If we’re washing our hands for 20 seconds—that’s two rounds of the “Happy Birthday” song—wash your face for at least that long as well, to effectively remove germs!
Following these steps will help speed up skin recovering and keep you healthy and looking great! “There is definitely a learning curve to adapting to our ‘new normal,’” Smith shares. “To put things into perspective, I like to think of it this way: Beautiful skin is like toilet paper. Everyone wants it, but the world won’t end if you have to improvise.”
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Want to learn more and have a one-on-one consultation? You don’t need to travel to Tennessee! Smith has teamed up with Suki Skincare to offer virtual treatments right now over Zoom. Check out sukiskincare.com to learn more and book a social distancing approved treatment!