Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year! Make Your Skin a Priority this Year

I hope that your 2013 is off to a great start!

I'm not a big resolution maker though I try to pick a few things to try to improve upon.  Last year I vowed to be better at brushing the poodles' teeth.

The year before it was to wear more color.  I had a plethora of black shirts and they were always easy.

This year I resolve to eat more color.  My list of colorful fruits and veggies that I eat is very limited.  Most people just laugh at my picky eating habits but for various reasons I need to be better about it moving forward.  I'm pretty good about lean meats and healthy carbs but I need to branch out past broccoli, carrots, edamame  and peas.

If you're still looking for a new resolution or goal for 2013 than I recommend that you decide to make your skin a priority this year.

I know so many people that will spend $200 on a pair of shoes or a purse and will buy ten pairs of $150 jeans but can't bring themselves to spend more than $10 on drugstore brand skin care.  I'm not saying that drugstore skin care doesn't work, some brands like Olay, Neutrogena and Roc are fantastic and have a lot of R&D dollars backing them up, but why the prejudice against skincare?

If you think about it as a "cost per wear" issue you'll be wearing your skin for at least the next 50 years and you'll only be wearing those jeans for the next 2 years.  Does that make a $150 bottle of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Acid seem more affordable to you?  Maybe not but I'd like to think of skincare as a long term investment in myself.  It's not just about looking youthful and healthy, it's also about combating sun damage and preventing skin cancer.

There are so many products out there touting the next best thing in skincare so where's a gal to start?

Since you can't use everything, I've personally chosen to focus on four key ingredients with PROVEN effectiveness and would like to share them with you.

1) Sunscreen:  This one should be a big "Duh" to everyone at this point but I'm always shocked at how many people don't wear sunscreen daily.  If you prevent damage and aging than you don't have to spend so much trying to correct said damage.

A lot of people will say, "My makeup has sunscreen in it so I'm good." That is not true because most people don't apply enough makeup to get the required amount of sunscreen.  I've previously mentioned my dermatologist's brand here and I like it because it contains both a physical and a chemical sunscreen to cover all my bases.

If you're looking for a new sunscreen I make the same recommendation to you that I recently made to a friend of mine which is to swing by Walgreens and grab something from La Roche-Posay.  I was really excited to see that Walgreens carries this brand now because it used to be found only in high-end department stores or spas.

This brand is known for their fantastic sunscreens containing the antioxidant complex "Mexoryl".  Like Neutrogena's "Helioplex" or SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Acid these antioxidant complexes make sunscreen more effective.  I've used the Anthelios SX SPF 15 in the past and it is a lovely, easy to wear sunscreen that is moisturizing and layers well under makeup.  Neutrogena makes great sunscreens at an affordable price but I strongly prefer the texture of La Roche-Posay better and I think it's worth an additional $15.

2) Retinol: This Vitamin A derivative has long been touted as the "Gold Standard" of anti-aging.  Retinol does everything from fighting hyperpigmentation and acne to decreasing wrinkles by stimulating collagen production.  Start with this while you're young and you'll keep that youthful glow for years longer than you would all on your own.  There are two new night products I'd like to try that contain retinol.

The first is from fellow blogger and med school student turned entrepreneur Nicki Zevola from  Nicki is one of my all-time favorite bloggers and has the med school background to back it up.  She won a competition to help fund the start-up of her skincare company and this Time Release Retinol is the first product she's put out.  The time release part of this product is what's really exciting because it makes the product gentler on your skin since the retinol is slowly absorbed instead of overwhelming your skin the second it's applied.

The other is from Kate Somerville and is called RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream.  Kate Somerville knows her stuff so I'd feel confident that this big new release will pack a decent punch.  It has soothing and hydrating ingredients to help keep your skin from getting too irritated or dried out from the retinol.

3) Vitamin C:  There are a lot of antioxidants out there but I love Vitamin C because it has the ability to fight hyperpigmentation, increase collagen production for firmer skin and protect skin from UVA and UVB rays.  Layering this under your sunscreen also makes it more effective.

I have been using the previously mentioned SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Acid for a while now and there's a reason it's considered the best Vitamin C serum out there.  The additions of Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid  amplifies its effects and to stabilize the Vitamin C, which has a tendency to naturally breakdown quickly and lose its effectiveness.  

Many products that claim to contain potent vitamin C don't even use the stabilized version and they lose their effectiveness faster than you would imagine.  The SkinCeuticals version costs $146 but is worth it!  You only need to apply it once in the morning for protection that can't be washed off for 72 hours.  I'd rather spend a little more on something that actually works than continue throwing good money after bad on a less effective product.

If you live in Denver, I buy my SkinCeuticals at The Woodhouse Day Spa on 17th in Uptown or at Spa Vital at Pura Vida in Cherry Creek.  Rejuv in Wash Park used to sell it but I haven't been there in a while so I'm not sure if they still do.

4) Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid (aka AHAs):  My skin loves Alpha Hydroxy Acids.  These help with exfoliation and fight breakouts without too much irritation or dryness.  Lactic Acid is actually very hydrating by nature.

I personally use Arcona's The Solution Pads but there are a ton of Glycolic Acid cleansers, toners and lotions out there to choose from.  It's easy to go to Sephora or Ulta and pick up a few samples to try. 

As far as Lactic Acid goes, AmLactin is great for body use and Kate Somerville has her Clinic-To-Go Resurfacing Peel Pads that are convenient and non irritating.  I've used these sporadically for a while now.

I hope this post helps you decide to make your skin a priority this year! Unlike a new sweater, you can't just buy a replacement in a few years when the current one wears out!  

Happy New Year!

Photos: ©Kate Somerville©SkinCeuticals©FutureDerm, Me

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