Friday, February 5, 2016

Face Care Essentials - A.M. routine

Happy Friday and welcome to my blog!

So today I am going to share with you my face care routine. In order to not make this post super super long (it is already very long!) I am going to split this up into a morning and evening routines based post.  I should warn you that a lot goes into my routines AND most of the products are not able to be picked up on local retail selves - sorry!  I KNOW it is a major pain in the butt.....(sigh), but at least everything I list here can be ordered online and that can be a bonus!

A couple of years ago I did a post much like this but the products I used were SO different. I mean really really different. I used to base my use of skin care products and makeup by popularity or what a celebrity was endorsing - not so uncommon, right?  The problem was that my skin never got any better and I was always on the hunt for the next product that could make up for what the previous products lacked. I thought my skin was getting worse partially because I was getting older so every year I was just going to have to "try harder" or buy more products or spend more money or start doing in depth procedures to get the results I wanted. I had wrinkles, dry patches, oily patches, breakouts at least once per month, lots of milia (little white bumps) on my chin and sometimes my cheeks and probably worse of all, my dark skin patches and spots (hyper pigmentation) were getting worse and worse. I could clearly see these things every time I looked in the mirror or even a picture of myself. I knew at 30-something I did not want to have all these skin issues and if I didn't do something by 50-something I would look much older than my years.

The one day, by chance, I had been listening to a natural health podcaster that I listen to pretty regularly when they had a guest on, Trina Felber, who was talking about her new book, Beauty's Dirty Secret. While I was listening to her it just all started to skin care and beauty care routines really mattered to my health and the health of my skin!
I had been changing my family's diet and my own diet over the last few years and we were seeing the enormous health benefits of it, but what I hadn't really considered was our personal care and beauty products. It was a big "DUH!" for me.  I had noticed certain things get better with my skin since making the changes in what I was eating but had become frustrated when those positive changes stalled or reversed. Now I was realizes it wasn't just about what I was putting in my body but I needed to pay attention to what I put ON it as well. I bought Trina's book. Read it in a couple of days and things have been looking up ever since :)

Check out this book - it is life changing!
Beauty's Dirty Secret

In the months since I began changing my skin care routine and products I have noticed big changes in my skin - and I'm not the only one. I have had friends and maybe most amazingly, my husband, (I say this because I can cut 4 inches off my hair and he won't notice, but he noticed my skin before anyone else did!) say that my skin looks great. I have been with my husband for the past 22 years and he has told me in recent months that my "skin has never looked better"! Really...never?! That's amazing since we have been together since I was a teen, but he is right, It has truly never looked better and it's the first time in my life I have not been slathering chemicals on my skin!

I really want to share with you what I use, why and how so that you can start to see what a difference it can make in your life, too. I know it's hard to give up the products we are currently using even if we don't really feel like they are working. We want them to work. We have faith they will work. And we are seduced by the pop culture that tells us this is what all the beautiful people use. Please trust me when I tell you if you move away from the chemical products your skin will get better. Just take baby steps. If you don't want to trash everything tomorrow then just try a couple of things for a while and see the difference. I think you will become convinced and you will replace the rest of it quickly. 

Okay, so for my routine, here is what I use: 
(please know that I am not being endorsed for the mention of or your purchase of ANY of the products in this post!)


1. Face Wash: I have three products I like and use on a rotation. First is Primal Life Organics BARE Face Wash.   I really can't say enough good things about this face wash. This was the very first thing I changed and man did it make a difference right away. The smell, texture and color may be strange to you at first, but the results will make you a believer!

Not long after I began going the more natural route with my skin care I was introduced to a new skin care spa in our area called "Peaches Skin Care". It was opened by Lisa Pfeiffer, who had started the company (and their flagship store) in southern California before opening her second store here in Montgomery, OH. I noticed a difference in my skin immediately after the first facial at Peaches and have been going back ever since. I use many (almost all) of their products and will show you many of them in this post. You can order them online and I will link those below. 
I like this particular cleanser because it full of antioxidants - many of which are known to help with reversing signs of aging like dark spots which I have had for years. My skin's hyper pigmentation has faded so much that I no longer wear any foundation - ever! Considering 6 months ago I would barely go anywhere (even the gym) without some kind of foundation - at least a tinted bb cream - this is a very big deal! I know that the use of Peaches Skin Care line and going to their salon monthly for a facial has really contributed to that. All of there products are geared toward helping with hyper pigmentation and other common skin issues. 

Peaches Classic Cleanser ($26) - I use this every morning with my Clarisonic brush

And the other cleansing product that I really love it from Dr. Trevor Cates new skin care line Daily Essentials System called Clear. It is an amazing product and the most pure cleanser that works hard to maintain your ideal pH level on your skin with essential oils and incredible extracts that your skin will just drink up!  
One of the best parts of this product is that the ingredients are grown, harvested and manufactured in the UK which has very high standards that must be followed for beauty products. Something that the US does not have...unfortunately. It helps you to know that these products entire ingredient lists must be shared with you (yes, that's right the products produced in the US do not have to give you an entire ingredient list!) and they must be grown and harvested with some pretty strict standards that are designed to keep them safe for human and animal use, in addition to not being harmful to the environment. 

2. Toner: I think this is a super important step that is often overlooked because we just don't understand why it's needed.  Basically our skin has a pH balance that is knocked out of whack every time we clean it with an alkaline cleanser (pretty much all over the counter products in our drug stores or cosmetic stores) making it ramp up oil production and cause all kinds of cascading issues from there.  We have to clean our skin so what do we do? 
Well, we can start by using one of the cleansers I have listed above which are very pH balanced and we can also use a toner after cleansing.  Even if you are using a great pH balanced cleanser,  a toner after cleansing helps to close up the pores on our skin to protect them from becoming filled with the days grime and dirt - bonus! If you don't want to buy a toner or just want to try the completely natural route you can use Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon juice or even cucumber juice. Put some on a cotton ball and gently wipe it on your face after cleansing being careful to avoid the eye area. 
I personally love to use ACV to restore the proper pH balance on my skin and removes harmful bacteria that can lead to breakouts. It is important to only use organic, raw and unfiltered ACV such as Bragg's. It also contains the "mother" which is a living organism teaming with helpful active ingredients and bacteria for your skin. This is where all the benefits come. I apply this typically at night, but you can use it a.m. and p.m. if you would like. I keep the Bragg's ACV on my bathroom vanity (no refrigeration required) and to use it I just shake the bottle well, apply some directly to a cotton ball and apply to my entire face (keep it away from your eyes). It does smell (this is why I typically only use it at night) and it may burn a little as it comes in contact with any skin impurities. You may want to dilute it with water the first few times you use it until you get used to it. I would allow the ACV to sit on your face for 10 minutes before applying any moisturizers, make-ups, etc.

If you prefer to purchase a pH balancing toner that smells good and feels good then I highly recommend the one from Peaches Skin Care. Their Perfect pH Toner comes in a spray bottle and you can lightly mist it on throughout the day even to refresh your skin if needed between washing. I take this in a carry on size bottle when I fly anywhere and always mist my face with it a few times throughout the flight and then after I have landed. It really keeps your face from drying out or becoming too oily during a flight and your skin just looks and feels so much better.

3. Moisturizer: Even if you have oily skin it is very important to moisturize your skin. Your skin needs the nourishment and "drink" to continue to turn over cells and look healthy and hydrated. I have a two products that I like a lot. One I have been using for a while is  Peaches Signature Firming Creme. Lately I have also been turned onto The Spa Dr. Enriched Moisturizer and really love this product. 
I have been so happy with all the other Peaches products and when I couple that with the cost savings over other products I have used in the past I just can't see a reason not to continue using them. On the other hand the Spa Dr. Essential line is truly made with the most incredible and completely organic ingredients while the price is still minimally to moderately priced. I will try each for a month before making a decision and will update you once I have my results. If you use either of these or do after reading this post please let me know what you think!  

So that pretty much wraps up my A.M. face care routine. The much more "complicated" routine I have is my evening routine. I will follow up this post with my evening care routine so you'll have that as well. 

Before I go I want to leave you with one final thought. It is vitally important to keep your skin care products as natural as possible which many of you may know, but what you may not know is that it is just as important to make sure that the products you are using as mildly acidic - like the ones I have listed in this post.  Research shows that it is that delicate pH balance on our skin that goes hand in hand with skin issues like acne, rosacea, eczema and so many more. And your pH balance is also the number one thing that keeps our skin looking youthful and this is affected by want we ingest, as well as, what we put on topically. As we age our skin becomes more alkaline and that is an environment that can lead to our skin drying out and allowing the formation of wrinkles and discoloration just to name a couple of common concerns. 

I really hope that this post was helpful to you and you learned something maybe you had never known or thought about before. 
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments so please take a minute to let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend!

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