Perfect skin has
always felt like a carrot dangled in front of me — so close, yet so far away.
If there’s been a blog or magazine article professing the secret to perfect
skin, chances are I’ve read it and attempted to follow its advice. (Never fall
asleep in makeup: check. Stay out of the sun: check. Drink plenty of water:
check.) Yet, I’ve struggled to find a skin-care routine that really works for me.
(And, I still suffer from breakouts, sensitivity, dryness, and more.)
This year, I’ve made it my goal to kick up my complexion a notch with 10 skin-care resolutions courtesy of the one and only Kate Somerville. Whether it’s acne, a dull complexion, or
premature aging you’re worried about, Kate’s advice will take your routine to the next level, too.
1. Apply Sunscreen Every Day
According to Kate, sun protection is the single most
important element to keep in mind. When clients come to her with skin complaints, they're most often a result of sun damage. Sun
degrades the skin’s collagen and elastin, and affects our bodies' abilities to
create healthy new cells. Make it a resolution never to leave the house without applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 — even in the winter and on cloudy days. Look for a broad-spectrum
SPF (which means protection from all UV rays), like Kate Somerville Daily
Deflector SPF 50.
2. Make Sure You're Using The Right Products
the time to get to know your skin will help you navigate through the
aisles and aisles of products in stores. Is it oily, combination, or
dry? If you’re not sure, enlist a dermatologist or aesthetician to help you
assess your concerns. Also, keep in mind that different areas of your face may have different characteristics and
concerns. Kate explains that one common skin-care mistake is using the same
product all over your face. And, no matter what your skin is like, hydration is
key. If you're really oily, look for an oil-free formula with
Exfoliation should be
a part of every skin-care regimen. Kate recommends exfoliating twice per week
if you’re in your 20s, three times a week if you’re in your 30s, and up to four
times a week if you’re in your 40s. Exfoliation is really important because it
lifts dry, dull skin and allows products to penetrate and work more
effectively. Look for exfoliating formulas with fruit enzymes, like ExfoliKate (or ExfoliKate
Gentle). They gently dissolve
dead skin. Stay away from products containing sharp nuts or seeds, because they
can actually damage skin. Always exfoliate with steam (in the shower, for
example). Steaming not only warms the skin, but it also adds moisture to soften.
4. Don't Neglect Your Neck
Our necks can show our
age more than our faces. Kate recommends bringing any products you’re using on your face down to your
neck, and massaging them in an upward motion to create a lifting effect. Like
your face, the most important step is to wear SPF daily. Also, moisturize
morning and night.
5. Purify Your Water
The simplest thing you
can do to ensure that your skin is properly hydrated is drinking more water. We all know that by now. But, in addition to
this, Kate recommends looking into what’s in your local
water supply. Your water department should provide you with data on chemicals and impurities. You can then decide whether you want to use a home filtration system or
a purifier. Certain metals and impurities can be filtered out, but other
chemicals, drugs, and toxic materials cannot.
6. Watch Your Dairy, Coffee, & Alcohol Intake
What we put into our bodies is every bit as important as what we put on our faces, says Kate. Be wary of dairy. Studies suggest that certain foods can worsen or trigger acne. Also, as coffee may dehydrate the skin, you may want to limit your intake to no more than two cups a day. Keeping it to two drinks a day isn't a bad idea either. If you want to enjoy a drink, consider opting for red wine,
which contains the protective anti-aging compound resveratrol. Note: One
serving of wine is just five ounces, which is not always the average pour when you’re dining
Here are a few supplements Kate recommends:
Vitamin A is your skin’s “maintenance man” — it helps
keep everything operating properly. This vitamin repairs and reinforces the mucous
membranes and tissues that protect against bacteria and viruses. It keeps your skin from becoming dry, flaky, and wrinkled, and helps prevent acne.
Calcium is a major player when it comes to skin health. Low
levels of it in your skin can make you more likely to experience premature
aging and have a higher risk for skin cancer.
Vitamin C is vitally important to our bodies, and our skin in
particular. It is instrumental in forming collagen, helps heal wounds, and
fights free radicals.
Fish oil and flaxseed
oil (with essential omega-3 fatty acids) work to hydrate and lock moisture
into cells. Hyaluronic-acid supplements are also incredibly effective in
attracting more water to the skin cells and then locking it in by preventing
evaporation. (Before adding any
supplements to your routine, make sure you consult with your physician!)
8. Do The Double Cleanse
It’s important to
fully remove ALL of the makeup, dirt, debris, and other junk that’s gathered on
your skin. Kate promotes the "double cleanse" with her clients. First, use a
makeup wipe to remove impurities on the surface. Use both the front and backside of the wipe. Then,
apply a cleanser (suited for your skin type) to penetrate deeper and fully
clean the skin. You can also use a cleanser twice if you prefer.
9. Pop Properly
Let’s face it, sometimes it’s impossible to resist popping that pimple (even if you know you
shouldn’t!). If you’re going to do an at-home extraction, it’s important
that you at least do it correctly. According to Kate, here are the rules: Only extract if the
blemish is ready, use the proper supplies, cleanse and steam skin thoroughly,
and give the blemish a canal. Begin by gathering your supplies: your cleanser and
exfoliator, a clean washcloth, some tissue or cotton swabs, witch hazel, and
Neosporin. Cleanse and exfoliate skin, and apply a warm compress to steam.
Wrap your fingers in tissues or use cotton swabs. Start with blackheads by
gently squeezing with two cotton swabs or your tissue-wrapped fingers. Do the
whiteheads next, but only if they’re ready. Carefully squeeze the
blemish by pushing underneath it — not on top. Gently release
the infection by squeezing at the base of the blemish.
10. Get Regular Facials
Even the best at-home
skin-care routine isn’t a true replacement for regular facials. If you can
afford to set aside a facial fund, stop in to see your aesthetician regularly.
Exactly how often you need a facial depends on your skin type. Kate recommends
getting a facial every three to six weeks if you're oily or acne-prone, every four
weeks if you're dry, every four to six weeks if you're combination, every
six to eight weeks if you're normal, and every eight weeks if you're sensitive. Be sure to discuss any issues you’re having before you begin, so your aesthetician can choose a treatment that's targeted to you.
Cheers to 2015: the
year of perfect skin!