Are you ready to make this year your year of awesome skin?
Let’s make some resolutions, then. No, not the usual, wear sunscreen every day or remove your makeup before going to bed. I know you’re already doing all that. RIGHT?
I’m talking about new habits that are harder to adopt but will get you the clear, bright, flawless skin you’ve always wanted. Interested?
1. Feed Your Skin From The Inside Out
I have a VERY sweet tooth. Mr BWB always complains I finish ice cream and baklava before he evens has the chance to taste them (but, seriously, how can he think the Magnum Tub we bought on Monday will last till Sunday?! Hello, do you even know me?!).
It’s not just ice cream. I devour chips and cheese, too. Veggies and fruits, not so much. I struggle to eat my five portions a day. I call it a success if I eat three.
I can see that my skin (and my health) is paying the price. It complains by breaking out and becoming dull.
So, this year, I plan to eat a big portion of veggies with every meal, and substitute my mid-afternoon sugary snack with a smoothie or a handful of berries.
Because eating healthy makes us feel AND look fabulous.
Related: What To Eat (And What To Avoid) For Flawless, Glowy Skin
Struggling to put together a skincare routine that keeps wrinkles at bay and gives your skin a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started. It features product recommendations + right application order:
2. Start Double Cleansing To Help Your Skincare Products Work Better
I know, I know. Taking makeup off at the end of a long, hard day is an annoying chore. You want to do it as quickly as possible. But, if you don’t take every last trace of it off, you’re setting yourself up for a bad breakout..
And throwing your money in the bin, too. All that grime left on your skin will prevent those expensive lotions and serums you apply next to penetrate as effectively as they have to to work their best.
That’s why I started double cleansing. First, I use an oil-based makeup remover to take off waterproof and longlasting products, like foundations and sunscreens. My favourite is Banila Co. Clean It Zero. An oil in sherbet form, it removes everything super quickly without making a mess.
Then, I follow up with a water-based makeup remover to get rid of the oily residue and make sure my skin is thoroughly clean. Everything I apply next is guaranteed to work its best!
P.S. A lot of cleansers allow you to double cleanse in ONE step. Click here to find out my fave picks to save time (and money) at night.
Related: Do You Really Need To Double Cleanse?
3. Use A Serum Containing CEF To Keep Wrinkles Away
CEF stands for vitamins C + E + Ferulic Acid, the super powerful anti-aging combo made famous by Skinceuticals CE Ferulic.
Science is clear. CEF “ provides meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress in skin and should be useful for protection against photoaging and skin cancer.” Put simply, it helps fight the free radicals and treat the sun damage that cause premature aging.
A lot of women don’t use this combo because they assume it’s insanely expensive (thanks for that, Skinceuticals!). But, these days that are many affordable dupes around. My fave is Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster (it’s only $49.00!).
Now you have no more excuses. Go try it!
- Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80.00): available at Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK
- Paula’s Choice C15 Booster ($49.00): available at Feel Unique and Paula’s Choice
- Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($166.00): available at Blue Mercury and Dermstore
Related: The Complete Guide To Vitamin C Serums
Hi Gio I wanted to know your opinion in many skincare stuff but I wasn’t sure if it was better here or on a mail so I’d do it here:
Have you heard of Caroline Hirons? Well she says that you shouldn’t use cleansing products that foam because of surfactants and how they change skin’s pH to make it easier to keep bacteria and also dehydrating it. Instead she recommends washing your face with oils and balms with a hot flannel. What do you think?
Also do you think is a good idea use retinol at 21?
I have another doubts but I don’t want to make it a skin consultation.
Hi Efrain – I’m friends with Gio and I also read Caroline Hirons blog. I’m 45 (same age as Caroline) and up until 2 years ago I was using foaming cleansers as I always had very oily skin. Upon reading one of Caroline’s ‘Cheat Sheets’ I stopped using foaming face washes and started using balms and oils and it has made a huge difference! My face feels more balanced because it’s not being stripped. I also use wash my face in shower which Caroline says you shouldn’t do and I use a fresh flannel everyday. These little changes have made a big difference and they don’t cost much to implement.
With regards to the Retinol I don’t know if it would be beneficial for skin your age. You might just be spending a lot of money for no reason. What do you think Gio?
Annette, thank you for helping out. My experience with cleansers is similar to yours. My skin feels better when l started using balms and oils.
I dont think retinol is a necessity in your early 20s but if you can afford the splurge, do it. It’ll make you age much better.
Efrain, you can do it either here or by email. Whatever’s easier for you. I’d be happy to answer all your questions, if I can.
I don’t think foaming cleansers are all that bad. It depends on what surfactants they contain, in what concentrations, your skin type… Having said that, I’ve recently tried a few cleansing oils and balms, and it’s hard to go back to foaming cleansers. I find they work better at removing stubborn makeup, and leave my skin much softer. So, I’d definitely recommend the switch.
There is not an ideal age to start using retinol. Most women wait until their late twenties, others prefer to start in their late teens. Imo, the sooner, the better. Preventing wrinkles is a lot easier than getting rid of them. You don’t want to wait until they appear on your face to do something about that. I made that mistake, and now I regret it.
I’m going to use a LOT more niacinamide! I don’t know why I was so resistant to it before, but it seems like a much safer way of getting nice skin than hydroxy acids and retinol (not that I’m quitting acids… just going to scale back a bit!).
Michelle, do use more niacinamide! It’s one of my staples. It does so much for the skin, but is a lot more gentler than all the other workhorses of skincare.
How can we incorporate CEF into our skincare routine if we have sensitive skin? I love the idea of diversifying our skincare, and right now, I’m pretty covered in terms of having a moisturizing/hydrating routine. However, I want to do more than just moisturizer/hydrate so I’ve always wanted to start using Vitamin C, but I couldn’t figure a way to do so without irritating my sensitive skin.
HML, it’s wonderful that you want to do more than hydrating your skin, but that can be so complicated when it’s sensitive.
I’d recommend to pick a serum that contains a concentration of vitamin c not higher than 15%, and use it only a couple of times a week. Then, follow up with a moisturizer full of soothing agents, such as bisabobol, allantoin, and oat extracts (unless your CEF serum already contains them, of course). They should help counteract any potential irritation.
Are you using niacinamide, by the way? That too has anti-aging properties and is suitable for sensitive skin as well.