Ways to Love Your Skin & Skin Goals for 2020
As a skincare professional, I’ve been working in this industry for 20 years. I’ve devoted that time to uncovering the best ways to help myself and others live clear. Start this year off right with these skin goals.
Skin Resolution #1: Keep drinking water to hydrate your skin.
I know you’ve heard it before, but I have to ask: Are you drinking enough water? Your skin cells will thank you if you do.
Dehydrated Skin Cells Can Cause the Following:
- Make it difficult to repair or fade acne scars and marks left behind from breakouts
- Premature aging in the skin such as laxity, fine lines and wrinkles
- Irritation and inflammation
Since you’re probably sick of hearing “Drink more water”, I’ll be a little more specific about what you really need to do to hydrate your skin. Aim for consuming half your body weight in ounces of water a day.
Remember, drinks like coffee and alcohol will actually dehydrate the body more. If you plan on sipping these types of drinks, balance them out with extra water consumption. Learn more about hydrating skincare in the desert and dry climates.
Skin Resolution #2: Stay faaar away from tanning beds!
Trust me, I know how it feels to want that perfect, sunkissed tan. In fact, I actually managed a tanning bed in high school. I was fed the same lie that you have been: Tanning beds were a safer alternative to outdoor tanning. Don’t believe the hype! Tanning beds are actually MORE dangerous than natural sun exposure due to the high-pressure sunlamps. These lamps can deliver as much as 12x the UVA dose than natural sun rays.
To put it simply, tanning beds drown your skin in solar radiation at a dangerously high, carcinogenic level. Protect your skin from both tanning beds and natural sun exposure. Both are damaging and potentially dangerous, depending on the amount of exposure you receive.
Skin Resolution #3: Biotin is not your friend.
Biotin (B7) is largely marketed as a supplement with “magical” implications for your skin, hair and nails. I’m here to tell you that there is no data to back these claims. We don’t know for sure if Biotin has any of the benefits it is said to. What we DO know is that Biotin is actually a huge trigger for acne prone skin, resulting in inflamed and tender acne lesions. If you are struggling with acne breakouts, check your vitamins, supplements and even protein powder’s ingredients. Biotin may be the hidden culprit! Read more about the risks of taking biotin for your skin.
Skin Resolution #4: Take a "cooler" shower.
I know… I love a long, hot shower as much as you do. But, our skin doesn’t. Hot water can create a LOT of skin problems. Even some that a laser can’t correct! Not only will hot showers and baths strip the water moisture from your skin, but the resulting dryness can cause you to feel uncomfortable and itchy.
Washing your face with water that is too hot can also result in broken capillaries in places like your nose and cheeks. Which - yikes! - is an expensive laser treatment waiting to happen. Meet me halfway on this one. Keep your showers lukewarm and short.
Skin Resolution #5: Your skin is hungry… feed it what it needs!
You are what you eat… that’s what everyone says. Last time I checked, I'm not a salmon or leafy greens, but these superfoods do give me healthier skin.
Consuming lots of antioxidants helps fight the damaging free radicals threatening to break down our skin. Omega 3 fish oils can calm inflammation and hydrate your skin from the inside out. Combine both to give your skin a healthy, natural glow.
My Favorite Skin-Loving Foods:
- Wild Salmon
- Green Tea
- Sweet Potatoes
Skin Resolution #6: Always perform your post-workout skincare routine
Time is of the essence, and sweat is not your friend! If you are acne prone, it is essential that you always perform a post-workout skincare routine. Don’t let sweat dry on your skin. It’s the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply and turn your beautiful skin into breakout central. This will also help to prevent premature aging.
The salt in our sweat pulls moisture from our skin when it dries, leaving our skin more dehydrated, sensitive and irritated. Check out our Emme Diane Workout Skincare Guides for more tips and have a great workout!
Skin Resolution #7: Never Skip Your Nighttime Regimen
One of the most important times to really take care of your skin is before you go to bed at night. Just like how your muscles and brain repair and regenerate themselves while we sleep, so does your skin.
Also, don’t sleep in your makeup! This suffocates your skin and hinders the restorative process. Studies have even shown that skipping your nighttime skincare regimen can speed up the skin aging process. It takes less than 5 minutes to wash your face at night. You are so worth it!
Skin Resolution #7: Use only Fragrance Free Laundry Detergent
Always opt for fragrance-free laundry detergents. Look for the words "free & clear" or "free of perfumes and dyes". Fragrances and dyes in skincare products can be irritating to the skin. The same is true for laundry detergents. That "freshly washed" smell that we get from our laundry detergent is a HUGE culprit for skin rashes, irritations and breakouts. Sooo not worth it! Give your skin a little love and eliminate this irritant.
Skin Resolution #8: Save Your Neck…Literally!
Always be sure to apply your skincare products to your neck and décolleté (your neck, shoulders, upper back, and chest). Many women make the mistake of using the "leftover" product you've applied to your face on their necks and décolleté. Really, your neck and décolleté deserve as much attention as your face!
Use the same amount of product on your neck and décolleté area as you do on your face, especially when it’s sunscreen! (Use stronger products and serums such as retinols and alpha hydroxy acids with caution. The tissue on your neck is sensitive and might not tolerate them as readily as the skin on your face.) My favorite neck skincare routine can be found here.
Skin Resolution #9: Remove your makeup gently
If you are being too violent when you remove your makeup, you may be contributing to premature aging on your face! Applying too much friction (causing darkness or redness on the eyelid) or tugging too hard at delicate tissue (causing premature wrinkling and sagging) should be avoided when removing your makeup.
Our soothing Micellar Water is the perfect, gentle remover for eye and face makeup! After using this remover, follow it with your Emme Diane™ Bright Eyed Illuminating Serum and HydraRevive Eye Cream. Hello, bright eyes!
Skin Resolution #10: Clean your makeup brushes every week
Makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Help keep your skin clear by washing them once a week with your Emme Diane Foaming Cleanser or makeup brush cleaner (like Cinema Secrets). Your brushes will last longer and your makeup will apply better too!
Skin Resolution #11: Install a shower filter
Did you know that most tap water contains hard water chemicals including chlorine? This causes dry skin, itchy skin, sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and is also a known trigger for acne prone skin. Consider installing a water filter (either to your shower head or a house filter) to alleviate these conditions. Leave your skin and hair soft and silky!
Skin Resolution #12: Ask for professional skin advice!
The internet is saturated with skin tips, tricks, advice and solutions of all kinds. Sadly, I would say there are only a handful of them I agree with. While the intentions are good (and even the theories), the resulting effects on your skin are usually less than desirable. If you are having trouble with your skin, or simply need a good skincare routine, reach out to a professional!
At Emme Diane, I give each and every client personalized skincare coaching to help them understand the reason for their unique skin concerns, how to correct them and additional tips for living clear. My belief is that in order to have healthy, beautiful skin, you have to become an expert on your own skin…and I can show you how! The best place to start is with my free online consultation where we can troubleshoot your skin and come up with the best game plan for you.
Skin Resolution #13: Properly cleanse your face
Step One: Wash your hands first. Dirty hands should never touch your face.
Step Two: Cleanse first to remove your makeup. Many times, a creamy cleanser (like our gentle cleanser) is helpful to remove makeup. Pay special attention to the eye area...no tugging or hard rubbing, please!
Step Three: Cleanse again to actually clean your skin. Use the appropriate cleanser for your skin type and be thorough (30 seconds of massaging your face in a gentle circular motion is sufficient).
Step Four: Rinse with lukewarm water. Water that is too hot will strip and dry your skin.
Step Five: PAT your face dry with a towel...no rubbing allowed!
Step Six: Apply your toner to a cotton round and gently wipe your face to remove any traces of residue and bring your skin back to the correct pH balance (This will give you the most benefit from your lotions and potions!)
Will truly clean skin, you’ll reap the maximum benefit of your skincare regimen! Of course, don’t forget your sunscreen.
Skin Resolution #14: Wear moisturizer...even if you are oily!
If you are super oily like me, you might think that you don't need to wear a moisturizer. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, one reason skin can be excessively oily is if it lacks water moisture. Since our skin can't create its own water moisture, a lack of water moisture sends out oil glands into hyperdrive to compensate. The result? Oily skin.
Use a water-rich humectant (like our Skin Quencher Gel or Dew Drops Hydrating Serum) and a light-weight, non-greasy lotion (like our Pure Light Lotion) to bring balance tame those ambitious oil glands and bring your skin back to it’s hydrated self.
Skin Resolution #15: Be careful with your perfume
Did you know that spritzing your perfume on your décolleté is doing a world of damage to your pretty neck and chest? Aside from the drying effect of alcohol on your skin, the fragrance can create irritation and cause the skin to be much more sun sensitive (meaning you will incur sun damage more rapidly on the areas you’ve sprayed perfume on!)
Instead, apply perfume to the “pulse points” on your body that emit heat, allowing the fragrance to be diffused all night long. These pulse points are the wrists, behind the ears, inner arms and behind the knees.
Skin Resolution #16: Makeup cleansing cloths are a tool, not a routine
While you can certainly use makeup cleansing cloths as a tool in your skincare routine as a disposable washcloth (I prefer the inexpensive and skin friendly Fragrance-Free Baby Wipes…Kirkland brand are the best!), they should only be a part of your cleansing routine.
After massaging cleanser on your skin, use a damp baby wipe to remove product residue from your skin (this is especially helpful if you have lash extensions).
Skin Resolution #17: Give your skin the magic touch
Did you know that taking 30-60 seconds to massage your skincare products into your face has more benefits than you think? When you use upward strokes to apply moisturizer or sunscreen to your face and neck, it actually gives the skin a little lift! Think the opposite of gravitational pull. This stimulation also creates a healthy glow by increasing circulation.
Pro Tip: Follow a lymphatic drainage massage chart to “detox” your skin, alleviate sinus pressure and “slim” your face by flushing away fluid retention. Wow! That is a lot of benefits for taking a minute to pamper yourself.
Skin Resolution #18: Get Fishy!
Want glowing skin? Healthy fats are the way to go! Healthy fats (also known as Omega 3's, healthy fats or Essential Fatty Acids) are your skin's best friend for several reasons:
- Taking your Omegas daily will help prevent dry, flaky skin and premature wrinkles. They also help regulate the oil glands in your skin (much appreciated if you are really oily like me!).
- They help maintain our skin cell membranes as effective barriers — allowing water and nutrients in but keeping toxins out.
- They have amazing anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve skin conditions like rosacea, eczema and even acne. (Yes, I do have all my acne clients taking omega supplements… the results don’t lie!)
- They can also offer protection against sun damage. In a skin cancer study, people who ate diets rich in fish oils and other omega-3 fats had a 29 percent lower risk of squamous cell skin cancer than those who got very little omega-3 fats from food.
From foods, your best sources of Omega 3’s can be found in salmon, flax seeds, walnuts and enriched eggs. Other healthy fats include coconut oil, avocados and olive oil.
Since it is sometimes not feasible to include these skin superfoods in your daily diet, it is wise to take a supplement such as enteric-coated fish oil capsules such as OmegaVia Fish Oil. Always check with your doctor first before taking supplements.
Skin Resolution #19: Pat - Never Rub - Your Face Dry
Repeated friction on the skin can cause a world of trouble for your skin. Always pat your face dry when you wash it (instead of rubbing with your towel). If you use a towel to wipe sweat off your face, remember to pat in this case as well.
Skin Resolution #20: Apply a facial mask or treatment weekly
This is another secret to healthy, glowing skin. Apply a facial mask or treatment one a week. Not only will it enhance the results you are getting from your skincare products, but it is also a way to practice self-care! I can’t pick a favorite facial mask, but if I had to… here are my top contenders.
Sulfur Refining Mask
Perfect for deep pore cleansing, exfoliating, brightening and refining the skin
Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
Perfect for hydrating, brightening and exfoliating the skin
Cucumber Cooling Mask
Perfect for soothing, hydrating and calming the skin. Many of my clients will use 2 of these masks back to back. For example, they may use the Sulfur Mask for 3 minutes to achieve a deep pore cleanse, then either the Pumpkin (to brighten) or the Cucumber (to hydrate). It all depends on your skin needs.
Skin Resolution #21: Hands off...Absolutely NO picking!
When you have an alien growing on your face, it can be hard to keep your paws off! As much as you’re tempted to, picking and popping your pimples can make your breakouts much worse. They may take months to heal and potentially create scarring.
Instead of picking, do this:
❄️ Ice pimples for 1-2 mins
💡 Use a nightlight when washing your face to keep you from inspecting your skin
✍🏻 Keep your hands busy
🚫 Place signs that say "no picking" in your bathroom mirror
👐🏼 Wear gloves
💅🏻 Get your nails done
🙅🏻 Avoid putting your hands on your face
🚶🏻 Put your hands in your pockets or sit on your hands
👨👩👧👦 Get other people involved to hold you accountable
💪🏻 Don't give up! Breaking a habit takes time. You’ve got this.
Skin Resolution #22: Do some spring (or winter) cleaning
The new year is a great time to purge your bathroom of expired skincare and makeup. This is crucial, as your skincare products are only effective when their active ingredients are still working (especially sunscreen) and your makeup will harbor harmful bacteria over time.
Here’s approximately how long your products last:
Skincare Products: 2 years
Makeup Powders: 2 years
Sunscreen: 1 year
Liquid or Cream Foundation: 1 year
Lipstick & Lipliner: 1 year
Mascara or Eyeliner: 3 months
And of course, wash your makeup brushes weekly!
Skin Resolution #23: Ice Your Skin
You've heard me say to ice your face reduce inflammation and hinder the progression of acne bacteria...but did you know there are other anti-aging benefits?
Anti Aging Benefits of Icing Your Skin:
- Reduces inflammation (the #1 cause of aging in the skin)
- Increases circulation giving you an instant glow
- Reduces puffiness and soothes tired eyes
- Assists in allowing your active products penetrate the skin more easily
- Give yourself an "ice cube facial massage"by rolling 2 ice cubes in a continuous circular motion around your face after cleansing. Then pat dry and continue with your nighttime routine!
Skin Resolution #24: Wear your SPF...everyday, no matter what!
Most people I talk to tell me that they wear their sunscreen daily…which is amazing!
However, many also admit they are guilty of:
1. Not putting sunscreen on when they drive their kids to school/running a quick errand
2. Not putting sunscreen on before their morning workout
3. Not putting any sunscreen (or moisturizer) on when they are coming to an appointment with me (because they are ‘just going to wash it off’)
4. Not putting sunscreen on if they think they will be inside all day
5. Not putting sunscreen on if it is cloudy or stormy outside
6. Not reapplying their sunscreen throughout the day
These are HUGE skin mistakes..maybe the biggest of all! I know I may sound a little obsessive, but believe it or not, most of the sun damage that happens on your skin is a result of cumulative, short, daily exposures to the UV rays. That’s not counting days at the beach or by the pool.
Even a simple 15 minutes in the sun can accumulate sun damage (brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin) Also, many people think if it is a cloudy or stormy day that they don't need to wear their sunscreen. This is SO not true.
Even on a stormy day, if there is still enough light for you to see, this means that the most damaging and longest UVA rays are still very present (and in some cases, reflect off of water particles, causing them to intensify). So whether it’s rain, sleet or snow, please apply and reapply your sunscreen!
Skin Resolution #25: Never air dry your skin
Letting your skin air dry after cleansing (or not moving on with the next step in your skin routine after cleansing) will cause your skin to dehydrate quickly. Be sure to apply your toner, serums and moisturizers when the skin is still damp to trap in that moisture. Once it evaporates off the skin, it can take days to replace and rehydrate.
Skin Resolution #26: Apply a toner after cleansing
Toners are frequently overlooked as being insignificant to skincare routines. However, the benefits of using this valuable liquid can make all the difference with your skin.
For dry, dehydrated skin, a toner will introduce crucial water moisture to the skin (which, by following with applying your moisturizer right away, will help seal in that moisture to give your skin a more dewy, radiant complexion.)
For oily/acne prone skin, a toner will help remove any residual traces of oil, makeup or debris that could potentially clog the pores and create microcomedones (the beginning of a breakout). It is an essential step for deep cleansing the skin.
For all skin types (and probably the most important reason to use a toner) is that it restores the pH balance of the skin (Also known as your acid mantle).
I’ll let you in on a secret. Our skin is incredibly smart!
It actually produces its own frontline of defense against bacteria or infections, which is comprised of our own natural oil and sweat. However, when we wash our skin, our skin can be stripped of this protective measure.
The quickest way to restore your pH balanced acid mantle is by using your toner!
Aside from protecting your skin, pH balanced skin is prepped and ready to fully accept the active ingredients in your skincare products for maximum results.
Don’t throw your toner to the wayside. Without it, your skin is more apt to reject the precious nutrients or actives as it is “feeling too vulnerable”.
Skin Resolution #27: Turn down the heat
Heaters (especially space heaters and fireplaces that literally "fry" the skin), car heaters and even ovens can dry out the air so significantly that it will take a toll on your skin, causing water moisture in your skin to evaporate off. This process leaves your skin tight and dry.
Instead of cranking up your heaters for warmth, bundle up in warm clothing and use extra blankets on your bed. You can even consider a mattress warmer or electric blanket.
Pro Tip: Another way to balance moisture in the air is by using a cool mist humidifier. Not only will it help hydrate your skin, but it will also keep your sinuses more hydrated (which can help prevent illness during the cold/flu season).
Skin Resolution #28: Don’t succumb to sugar-sabotage
An overabundance of sugar causes an inflammatory reaction in our skin called Advanced Glycation End (or AGE, for short). This inflammation attacks our collagen and elastin fibers (the tissue that keep our skin young and firm) and accelerates the aging process. In this case, wrinkles are just the start of things. You can also expect a loss of radiance and elasticity in your skin, which translates to sagging.
These signs begin to show up around our early 30’s as sun damage and environmental factors begin to show. Do your best to minimize the sugar in your diet… you are sweet enough!
Skin Resolution # 29: Apply an eye cream/serum daily
Your eyes are the first part of the face to show signs of aging. This is why I suggest using eye cream or serum for everyone over the age of 20.
To get the most benefit from your eye cream/serum, here are a few best practices:
- Apply underneath the eye during the daytime and all around the orbital bone at night (the bone that circles around the top of your cheekbone and below your eyebrow). Be sure avoid applying too closely to the lash line as the product might get deposited into your eyes and cause irritation.
- Use your ring finger when applying your eye cream as it is your weakest finger. Any repeated or excessive pulling/tugging on the eye area will eventually lead to premature wrinkles…be gentle!
- Start early! As mentioned above, it is best to start using an eye cream as early as 20 years old. Prevention is key when dealing with the skin…especially the eye area.
Skin Resolution #30: Moderation is key
While it’s said that wine has many great anti-aging benefits, there is a darker side of wine consumption… and I’m not just talking red vs white!
Wine (like all alcohol) dehydrates the body as well as the skin. This dehydration will pronounce fine lines and wrinkles in your skin, creating a crepey appearance.
White wine has a higher sugar and sodium content which can lead to swollen skin and puffy eyes. Meanwhile, red wine can create a histamine reaction in some people causing the skin to become inflamed and red…especially those who have sensitive skin or rosacea.
In order to gain the anti-aging benefits and reduce the harmful benefits, limit yourself to one glass of wine and make sure you drink enough water to compensate.
Skin Resolution #31: Love your skin
That's right...LOVE every pore, every pimple, every freckle, every wrinkle.
Having had problematic skin since age 11, I know how hard it is to not only feel uncomfortable in my skin, but to deal with the everyday effect it had on my confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.
One thing I have learned treating skin for 17 years now: NO ONE has perfect skin. Everyone's skin ebbs and flows. But most importantly, the flaws and imperfections you think everyone notices...guess what? They don't! (...they are probably too busy worrying if you are noticing THEIR flaws)
So I say "Enough beating ourselves up about it! Let's love our skin and our imperfectly perfect selves... just as we are!" You are beautiful no matter where you are on your skin journey. At Emme Diane, we can help you navigate to a place where you can wear the skin you’re most comfortable in.