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Hotter Days Skin Care Routine

cooling down never felt so fresh

Since the beginning of ATBK, I wanted to write a post in the realm of skin-care. However, as one with an inner critic often does, I talked myself out of it and avoided the topic.

As you may have guessed by the title of this post, today I thought who cares. We learn from what other's offer to share, and this is one of those things I wish someone shared with me years ago - so here we are. 

There are a variety of ways we choose to start our days: eating a nutritious breakfast, exercise/stretching, sipping some coffee with a devotional.

I'm a fan of all of these things, but the one I look forward to daily is fitting in a solid skin care routine.

but why though?

We know there are obvious pros with regards to how a good cleanse can benefit our skin physically. 

However, I feel the priority is in doing it for the sake of comfort. Everything after that is sweet cream to our cold brew.

Before I get into what I use and why, I want to quickly explain why a simplified routine can bring more benefits than a "pretty face":

Skin is a person's largest organ and like any parts of our body, it requires attentive care, protection and cleansing to de-toxify and replenish properly (this is work that happens on the inside and out).

We've heard since grade school how certain foods hold dense nutrients that are key for our internal organ's to continue operating at high levels. When we would rather continue to feed it garbage (I'm talking non stop Dairy Queen and Hot Cheetoh's here), the production slows down and results in physical and mental damage.

Something we didn't get a lot of background information on in school was how to care for our skin from the outside - and how in doing so can make a positive impact on how our bodies and mind function since we're essentially "feeding" the skin.

Basically: Taking care of our skin doesn't stop at typical "skin care" talking points since what we put into our bodies has a large impact on our skin, as well.

Now to where I'm at and what I recommend here. 

In the last coupe of years, my skin went from combination skin (dry and oily in different places) to dry, sensitive and acne-prone: it would become flaky, scratchy, easily irritated and enflamed. I also have some acne scars as a gift from my pregnancy with Sequoia (fun stuff, you guys).

 

Since I didn't want to go about every single day itching my face or stay uncomfortable and distracted by my own skin, I decided to look more into what product(s) would help me stay sane and not do further damage. 

What I suggest here would work well for all skin types - but works extremely well for those with dry skin - especially in the warmer months we're heading into.

As we know, everyone's skin and the needs that come with it are different. That said, please consider doing your own research in addition to what you learn here to find the best fit or your skin before purchasing anything new (consider any allergies you have, irritable active ingredients in the products, possibly consult with your dermatogolist, etc.) ​

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hotter days skin care routine

Step #1: Cleanse/Rinse

Flash news: you don't have to wash your face with a cleanser in the mornings if you cleaned in the night before. Mornings are best used to "prepare" your skin, where as the evenings are good for "cleansing and healing" the skin. One way to start your morning - whether you plan on applying additional products afterward or not - is to rinse your face with some cold water. Yep, cold water. Hot water, though feeling like a day at the spa, can actually cause damage to your skin when applied repetitively (for example, when rinsing off your face wash).  Whereas cold water allows what you apply afterwards to actually stick and hydrate (which is what we want for the hot days of Summer). The two cleanser's I recommend are Youth to the People's Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser  ($36) and Krave's Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser ($16). Both include active ingredients that work to clean your clean the dirt from your pores and hydrate/plump your face in the process (hello, fresh face on a Monday morning). 

Step #2: Tone

For the longest time, I thought toner was essentially the second step in the make-up removing process (the first being make-up remover wipes, which are actually not the best for your face): wrong. Toner preps the skin for what's coming next, and that's typically the syrum's. When I say "prep", I mean it hydrates (famous word here) and allows your skin to truly soak in all the good stuff you are going to apply to it in order to reap the benefits of the syrums and moisturizer's you need. In the mornings after splashing some cold water on my face (and drying it off), I love to pat on some Heritage Rosewater Toner ($11). I've used a number of toner's and this one is hands down the best. With rose-oil to help soothe and soften sensitive skin and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of fine line by drawing the moisture to the surface of the skin, this wonder-toner creates a smooth canvas for what's to come (syrums and/or moisturizer).​ If you'd like to learn more about the proper way to tone, check out this video by LABeautiologist (also breaks down by which hazel is not a good thing for your face).

Step #3: Serum

I have to admit: applying a serum is not something I ever considered to have in my skin care regime until just a couple of years ago (thanks, Susan Yara). First off, I wasn't well educated on them - assuming it's only for those trying to prevent aging - but lo' and behold, there are many serum's with unique purpose's. The one I'm talking about here is Vitamin C - you may have heard of it, it's in orange juice? Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can even your skin texture and tone and gives an overall glow. Fights free radicals (uv rays, pollution) that we are constantly exposed to and can help your sunscreen work even better (we'll talk about that later ;) ). I'm using Olehenriksen's Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum ($65), which has a vitamin-C derivative (ethal ascorbic acid), which is less irritating than "straight-up" vitamin C. This is definitely a "treat yourself" product given the price and its' benefits.

Step #4: Moisturize

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To be honest, moisturizer is what I look forward to the most (I'm weird) - and it's also what I'm most picky about. Many a sticky, irritating, pealing facial creams and gels I've used and there are few that I find help prevent dry-ness and truly hydrate the skin. Current "holy grail" moisturizer is Farmacy's Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer ($38). Though tailored for those with oily prone skin, it's a light and cool relief for someone with parched skin, like me. It's key ingredients that make it work (and smell oh so good) are moringa seed extract (supports and refreshes skin), papaya extract (gently exfoliates to reveal a fresh-looking complexion) and a dry skin person's favorite, 
hyaluronic acid, acting to optimize skins' hydration. Another day cream I love is Krave's Oat So Simple Water Cream ($28).

Step #5: Apply Sunscreen 

Throw away the assumption that you only ever need sunscreen when you're planning a trip to the beach, lake or mountains - sunscreen is an every day skin care companion. I introduced facial to my morning skin care routine in attempt to prevent too much sun damage to  my sensitive skin because I heard that it helped in that arena. Here I am two years later using it daily and my skin feels (and I guess looks) much better. Things to consider when looking for the right facial sunscreen for you is the texture, feel, SPF, the finish that it gives (glowy? matte?), and whether it's chemical or mineral. Now here's why it's important: sun damage is one of the many causes of uneven skin tones and daily sunscreen application can prevent those effects. One of the most notable benefits of sunscreen is that it protects your skin against the sun's broad spectrum of harmful UV rays (and it helps keep your complexion even, so score). I'm currently using Biossance's Squalene and Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen ($30). Like moisturizer, it's hard for me to find a sunscreen that does the job and doesn't leave my face feeling sticky or flaky - and this one does quite the opposite, blending into my skin tone with protection and hydration (my two favorite things for the morning). The zinc oxide provides a protective outer barrier to reflect UVA and UVB rays; the water lily cools and calms the skins; and the sugarcane-derived squalane helps sunscreen glide effortlessly onto skin while locking in long-lasting moisture. 

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