Is your skin peeling from the winter cold? Mine too, and it’s a reminder to change my skincare routine – not what I use but how I use it.
While using more or switching to thicker products is instinctive, I found these (simple!) tips below to be faster and better at alleviating dryness, because they work with skin’s natural function instead of imposing more.
Cleansing once a day
Instead of cleansing day and night, do 1 good cleanse at night (or morning, depending on which better suits your lifestyle), assuming you are already using the right cleanserfor you!
If you crave a steamy shower, go ahead but please wash your face at the sink, keeping water temperature as cool as it is pleasant for you.
I like to splash my face with cold water at the end (after fluffy thick socks).
Another layer of moisturiser
Within 5 minutes after cleansing, apply your existing moisturiser in 2 consecutive layers to enhance moisture retention.
This is especially helpful if you have fussy, difficult skin prone to breakouts which does not like change.
Last but not least, be consistent with what you choose to implement.
You may even see results within one day, because taking away less is significantly more effective than adding more.
I’d like to share what I’ve found to be the most effective treatment for any form of congestion, from blackheads to papules, from years of formulating plus having the privilege of sensitive and congestion-prone skin!
It is not a product, but a way of prevention by thorough gentle cleansing. After all, prevention is the best cure.
If you’ve tried every kind of anti-blemish ingredient from BHA to Accutane to, watch comedogenic ratings more than Netflix and dipped from brand to brand with average results at best, this is very likely going to work superbly** for you.
Rather than tell you about this cleansing technique, I’ll show you in the video below!
Glow, Glass, Gloss. Different words in used in different times, describing the ever coveted light-from-within-the-skin.
Though there are now more products than ever promising extreme radiance, the demand for glow ups is never quite satisfied. Are we not using the right or latest products/ingredients? Are we not using enough? I thought I’d create an ultimate guide to having and maintaining impeccable glow now and possibly for ever.
This scope of topic is kind of big (we are talking about glowing for life!), so I’ve separated this in 2 parts – the science and the beyond. This Skin Journal instalment focuses on the science/ingredients, and the beyond instalment is on BLOOM, as it is best experienced.
What Makes Skin Glow?
Structurally, glowy skin has an even surface layer that hold adequate moisture (water). The evenness of moisture-filled cells reflects light in the way that our eyes ‘see’ as glowy.
This implies that glowy skin has 2 conditions:
Intact barrier structure
High water levels
Intact Barrier Structure
The outer layer of our skin, the epidermis, has a structure of a ‘brick and mortar’ (see image below). Our skin cells are akin the ‘bricks’; our natural skin oils and moisture holding factors are akin the ‘mortar’ between the cells, acting like glue that holds the cells together.
Our epidermis consists of different stages of cells – the youngest ones start at the bottom, and as they mature they move upwards towards our skin surface. Together, all the different cell stages of the epidermis forms our skin barrier. This rebuilding/moving up of skin cells is always happening, which is how our skin continually renews itself from bottom up throughout our life.
When the time or condition is right, the outermost layers – what we see as ‘skin’, gets sloughed off (desquamation). This can happen naturally or stimulated by exfoliation.
Exfoliation promotes desquamation, a process which declines with age. However, excessive exfoliation – in the form of acids, scrubs, peels, microdermabrasion or laser, not only disrupts the outermost layers, but also the younger cells deeper down in the epidermis, breaking down the wall-like structure of the epidermis.
The ‘brick and mortar’ structure of the epidermis is always intact in glowy skin. There is no premature removal of skin cells that forms the ‘wall’ of the skin.
High Moisture Levels
We talked about how our epidermal cells change as they move from the bottom up.
As in the diagram above, the cells are fuller in shape at the bottom, then eventually flatten out at the skin surface as they mature. The fuller they are, the more water/moisture the cells hold.
The outermost cells, which are the flattest, hold the least amount of water. When desquamation is slowed down, excessive layers of these flat cells start to pile on the skin surface. Our skin starts feeling rough because our skin surface is full of dried cells. This accumulation of cells gives that dull lacklustre appearance.
Best Glow Boosters
Exfoliants remove the outermost skin layer, which always contain less water compared to the cells beneath it. This is why the effect of exfoliation on luminosity is immediate, making exfoliation addictive. Please do not over-exfoliate, as this breaks down your barrier structure. There is NO GLOW with NO WALL!
Exfoliation can be physical like scrubs of any kind, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, lasers; or chemical like AHAs, BHA, enzymes and retinoids. Newer or stronger does not give better results. New exfoliants/treatments continually emerge, but their mechanism and function remain the same.
Since water is the other part of the radiance equation, humectants are incredible glow boosters as they increase skin’s moisture content by binding directly to water (while oils moisturise indirectly).
There are numerous types of humectants, e.g amino acids, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol. Some have a good story behind them, others do not.
The ‘best’ humectant is the one used at a good concentration in a formula suitable for your skin, not the most fancy or exotic one.
Anything exposed to air can oxidise, like how a cut apple turns brown. This happens to a small extent with our skin, so anti-oxidants (ingredients that prevent this oxidation process) can brighten overall skin tone.
There is a vast variety of antioxidants in cosmetics. Examples are natural oils, vitamins, (niacinamide, C, E, A), ferulic acid, Lipochroman and some peptides. Stronger is not better – the stronger the antioxidant, the more likely it causes irritation, which compromises the barrier structure. No wall, no glow!
Regardless of which glow-enhancing ingredient/treatment, used at home or professionally, neither product nor method is as important as the balance of maintaining an intact barrier (of high water content), keeping excess epidermis minimal.
This balance is not achieved intellectually nor theoretically. The best/highest concentration of everything often give undesirable effects like irritation or breakouts. Experiential understanding is necessary for the best results for your skin, which is why we offer our expertise of choosing all the right glow-enhancers specifically for you in your Brilliant. and Complete Regime.
The Fairy Godmother Factor
I said that there are 2 (structural) factors affecting skin glow. There is actually a third one, the most powerful one, which I call the Fairy Godmother Factor. This requires us to go further.
Glow is about having an intact skin structure without the excess/unwanted layers. From a higher perspective, radiance relates to how much we are willing or able to let go of our excess baggage, what we no longer need but still hold on to.
These baggage ‘accumulate’ in us, much like the excess dried out and flattened epidermal layers in various ways. They include
“My skin must be always clear for me to be happy with it.”
“Resting when I am tired makes me lazy.”
Scrolling online till late night – can’t sleep well – wake up exhausted to have more caffeine through the day that keeps you awake at night – back online at night again.
Never giving yourself enough time before, always rushing to get or be somewhere.
If someone criticises you, you immediately get defensive or place all blame on yourself.
When you feel angry, upset or uncomfortable, instead of fully feeling whatever you are experiencing, you distract yourself with work, getting company, praying or meditating.
Yes, even ‘good’ practices are coping crutches if they distract instead of direct you to face your Truth.
You are your own Fairy Godmother
Every single one of us has baggage. Some are conscious, most are unconscious as they were imprinted in us by our caretakers, family, culture or society.
As long as these unwanted beliefs remain, we continue to suffer. But we can choose to discard and change them, no matter how long we’ve carried them.
The first and most important step, is your willingness to become aware of any unwanted beliefs you hold. Then you pay attention, for this awareness can arise anytime, especially when you are not actively thinking about this matter.
When a belief/habit/pattern makes itself known to you, you work with it one at a time, to transmute and change it to a belief you do want.
These are your baggage, your stuff. You and only you can transmute it to something that makes you – not anyone else, feel good. You are your own Fairy Godmother.
How To Transmute
Now you have the information, understanding and tools! What’s left is the actual doing of the ‘spiritual exfoliation’ or transmutation, to get the Lady Galadriel Glow.
Here is where this part of your guide ends, and the next begin. I’m excited to see you in BLOOM to experience your own magic of transmutation.
So you’re already consistently using what’s best (most compatible) for you, eating/sleeping/life-styling well, but still not happy with your skin?
Doing all things of the same level eventually gives a ‘plateau effect’. This is probably why some people believe changing up products is good. However, for reactive/problematic skins, experimenting and switching products frequently is counterproductive. Besides, we get limited results when we address an issue from one perspective (in this case, with products).
How can we improve our skin in other ways? Here are 3 things will supercharge your skincare. They are all simple, free and available to you right now.
1. Hold Focus of Awareness
Slip slap slop is mindless application. We don’t want to be on autopilot with our routine. Whatever you are doing, focus on what your product is doing when using it.
For example, when cleansing, bring your attention on how the circular motions dislodge all impurities; when exfoliating keep in mind how the excess hardened skin cells are now removed etc.
If you do not know what your products should be doing, find out (from a reliable source..!). However, if information is coming out of your ears yet you’re still unclear, your routine has many products.
2. Deep oxygenation
Oxygen is imperative for not just survival, but optimal function of our entire body including the skin. The quickest way to oxygenate is with our breath, as we were designed.
The way we breathe affects the amount of air/oxygen we intake, which in turn affects how much oxygen our organs get. As babies we naturally breathed in and out of our bellies. In adulthood, consistently dealing with some level of stress (adrenaline) causes us to default into shallow breathing – confined to the lungs with short and frequent breaths.
We can undo this default (unconscious) way of shallow breathing by consciously taking deeper breaths in and out of our belly, or diaphragm, and slowing down the rate of breathing. When you inhale, slowly take in as much air as you can deep into the belly, allowing the belly to fully expand. During exhale, gradually let the air out of your belly as it deflates. Repeat.
Deep oxygenation of our body is the most effective way to maintain well-being, youth and vitality for we breathe 247 – much more frequently than what we can ever do, eat or apply.
3. Contemplate how your skin holds you in place.
We find it easy to see all the things wrong with our skin, but we rarely acknowledge everything else that our skin is already doing brilliantly.
Our skin literally holds us together in place. It allows us to physically operate (liquid without a cup…), protects us from countless invisible microbes and adapts to our environment to make us more comfortable (hello sweat) every single day.
Frequent contemplation on what our skin is already doing for us unconditionally instead of fixating on what’s wrong, shifts us into a different relationship with our skin – one of true gratitude. What you give is what you get. Eventually this appreciation will be reciprocated, often in surprising ways.
That is it! The only catch, is that they are not instinctive..yet. I’ve shared how you can start to incorporate them daily here. If you consciously put them into practice, they will become habitual and really pay off. Try and see for yourself, I’d love to know when you noticed changes!
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