Your Ultimate Guide to Flawless Beauty
With the exception of certain individuals blessed with extraordinary genes, the rest of us have to work a little (some more than others) to achieve a flawless look. I don't want you to get me wrong here. I'm by no means advocating that we must all strive to be perfect. What is perfect anyways? I personally don't believe in perfect. Looking flawless is more about being comfortable in your own skin and feeling confident about the way you look. I also wish to point out that looking flawless is not reserved for those with large bank accounts. It is more than possible to achieve a flawless look for little.
In each section of this article, I will give you inexpensive, moderate and luxe beauty tips for you to choose from as well as an organic option for those who are watching carefully what they put on their skin. All of these products will give you wonderful results and most are available on mazon.com (for those living in the USA) or Well.ca and Amazon.ca (for those living in Canada). Feel free to pick and choose which tips work better for you.
"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."— Marilyn Monroe
From the Inside Out
You've heard the saying, "You are what you eat." Well, that's actually mostly true. If you have dull hair, a dull complexion, skin problems, feel tired all the time it could be a result of what you eat.
All the miracle lotions and potions out there to combat everything from cellulite to wrinkles will never be as effective as a good plastic surgeon or eating a proper diet. Even celebrity dermatologists like Dr. Jessica Wu, author of Feed Your Face have come out and said that what you eat does have a direct affect on your skin. Let's face it (no pun intended), you won't find too many recommendations online for eating more sugar, trans fats, or processed junk food. Not only are they directly linked to serious health problems, but are also linked to pre-mature aging, wrinkles, eczema, acne, and a host of other unwelcome unattractive side effects.
In the meantime, I will give you a quick list of what to eat and what not to eat.
Note: I am not a doctor, so check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet.
Green veggies: kale, chard, spinach, broccoli, arugala, etc.
Sugar: includes syrups, jams, jellies, candy, molasses, etc.
Yellow veggies: peppers, squash, etc.
Tomatoes (cooked is better)
Transfats, hydrogenated fats, saturated fats
Protein such as tofu, lean red meat or lamb
White: flour, pasta, bread, etc
Salmon and shrimp
Highly processed foods
Beans and lentils
Nuts and seeds: flax, walnuts, almonds
Foods that are high on the glycemic index
Dairy: cheese, milk
Berries and pomogranites
Processed meats: lunchmeat, weiners, etc
Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, limes, etc.
Whole grain products: bread, pasta, etc.
Processed foods, refined grains, sugars and even dairy are directly linked to causing an inflammatory response in your body, mostly due to the elevated levels of insulin in your body from eating these types of foods. High insulin levels are shown to increase your skin's oil production and weaken collagen and elastic tissue (which usually leads to wrinkles and sagging skin).
How Dairy Affects the Skin
Even organic milk, yogurt and cheese can contain high levels of naturally occurring cow hormones that can elevate insulin production just the same as sugary sweets or refined grains, thereby damaging the skin.
Eat organic when possible but don't fret if that's out of your price range. A simple light scrubbing under water or a soak in water with salt or vinegar can help reduce the amount of chemicals on most fruits and veggies that are not organic.
Flawless Beauty Tip for Inner Beauty
(Perfect for any budget): Even just cutting back on how much salty, or sugary sweets you eat can make a big difference as can drinking enough water throughout the day. Do what you can with what you have. Personally I have found that eating more fresh fruits and veggies is much easier on the wallet than buying processed, boxed, pre-made foods in my grocery store. Even if it's just one green smoothie a day, just by doing something good for yourself will make you feel better on the inside.
Flawless Skin Beauty Tips
Now that you're hopefully drinking more water and eating more fruits and veggies you'll want to work on creating a flawless complexion from the outside.
Your skin care routine may include a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and various elixirs and serums, none of the above, all of the above or just a few. Properly taking care of your skin is equally as important as what you put into your body.
The most important thing you can do for yourself right now is determine your skin type. If it's been a while since you really paid attention to what kind of skin you have, now is a good time to make sure that what you are using on your skin is appropriate and not working against you. The classification for skin types is oily, combination, normal and dry.
Cleansers For Flawless Skin
Regardless of your skin type the best cleanser you can use on your face is one that is gentle and also efficient at removing make-up. Depending on your skin type, you may only need a splash of water first thing in the morning. Do what works best with your skin type and for you in general. Always use warm, not hot water and gently pat your face dry with a towel.
Inexpensive: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Spectro Derm cleansers, Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser.
Luxe: Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser lotion, Dr, Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk, La Roche Posay-Toleriane Dermo-cleanser.
Organic: Avalon Organics CoQ10 Facial Cleansing Milk, Andalou Naturals Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser, Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream
Toners for Flawless Skin
When it comes to skin care toners are a matter of personal taste rather than need. Depending on your skin type and how you want your skin to look and feel a toner may not be necessary for you.
Generally speaking, regardless of your skin type any toner that contains alcohol or any other harsh ingredients is never good for your skin. Irritation to your skin can reduce your skin's ability to produce collagen (hello premature wrinkles!). If you regularly use a cleanser, you shouldn't have to use a toner afterwards. However, some toners contain beneficial ingredients like salicylic acid for acne prone skin or moisturizing properties like aloe vera for dry skin.
According to the website Paula's Choice, "The right toner can give your skin a healthy dose of what it needs to look younger, fresher, and smoother, right after cleansing and throughout the day."
Inexpensive: Rose Water (can be purchased at grocery stores),
Moderate: Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner
Luxe: Murad Hydrating Toner
Organic: Avalon Organics Lavender Hydrating Toner
Inexpensive: Simple Soothing Facial Toner
Luxe: Clarins Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion
Organic: Cocoon Apothecary Rose Dew Facial Toner
Inexpensive: Thayers Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera toner
Moderate: Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
Luxe: Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris
Organic: Weleda Refining Toner, Pangea Organics Toner
Moisturizers for Flawless Skin
Moisturizers are an essential part of any skin routine regardless of your skin type if you are looking to achieve flawless skin. Moisturizers serve many functions.
Functions of Moisturizers
- moisten and hydrate your skin
- attract moisture to the surface of your skin
- can reduce the appearance of fine lines due to dryness
- protect your skin from harmful UV rays
- improve skin's firmness
- create a smooth surface on your skin
- double as a base for your make-up in place of primers
- give a dewy finish to your skin beneath your make-up if that look is desired
- reduce the oiliness of your skin
- create a protective barrier on your skin to keep out certain environmental toxins in the air
- can address other issues of concern such as wrinkles, skin elasticity, firmness, plumpness and so forth
- can add beneficial nutrients and antioxidants to your skin to help nourish it
- give your skin a tint of colour without going out into the sun
- can help lighten or brighten your complexion as well as even out skin tone
There are so many reasons to not only seriously consider incorporating a moisturizer into your beauty regime if you don't use one but also many reasons to pick the right one for your skin type. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Inexpensive: CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM
Moderate: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Original Formula
Luxe: Ommerse Daily Renewal Creme
Organic: Dr. Hauschka Revitalizing Day Cream
Inexpensive: Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream
Moderate: Earth Sourced Antioxidant-Enriched Natural Moisturizer
Luxe: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream (very luxe @ $430!)
Organic: MyChelle Dermaceuticals Pumpkin Renewal Cream
Inexpensive: The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream
Moderate: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide Soothing Protective Non-Oily Lotion
Luxe: Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer
Organic: Derma E Soothing Oil-Free Moisturizer with Ant-Aging Pycnogenol
Perfect Overall Moisturizer for Your Face
Masks, Serums, and Exfoliants
The addition of serums, masks or exfoliants are also a fantastic way to keeps your skin looking young, fresh and glowing. Again, you need not spend a ton of money on these products to get the results you want. Sometimes all you need is in your pantry or refrigerator.
The same tip for cleansers and toners applies here, it's best to use a product that is formulated for your skin type and if you're not sure, pick products that do not contain irritating ingredients such as fragrance or alcohol that can strip your skin and cause more damage than good therefore not allowing your body to do things like repair itself naturally and produce collagen (which you want).
The older you are, the less efficient your skin becomes at removing dead skin cells. Exfoliants that contain AHA or BHA are best rather than exfoliants containing granular beads that may scratch your skin and inflame it more than actually remove dead skin cells (which you want).
Masks: If you have oily skin you want a clay-based mask. The drier your skin the more you will want to use a mask that contains hydrating ingredients to help your skin retain moisture. Most masks should be used once or twice a week.
Inexpensive: Boots Botanics Intensive Moisture Mask
Moderate: Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask
Luxe: Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask
Organic: Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr Hydrating Mask
Inexpensive: Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pore-fecting Papaya Enzyme Mask
Moderate: Olay Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask
Luxe: Bioxidea Paris Miracle 24 Face
Organic: Acure Organics Facial Mask
Inexpensive: Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask
Moderate: Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
Luxe: Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
Organic: Eminence Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment
Serums: Most serums are geared towards either adding nutrients/antioxidants to your skin or helping to keep wrinkles at bay. They are used after a toner, and before you apply your moisturizer.
Exfoliants: As mentioned above it is best to use an exfoliant that uses AHA or BHA rather than granular beads because those can scratch and irritate your skin and the whole point is to lift dead skin cells from your skin so the new, younger, fresher skin can be more visible.
How Flawless are you?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Carolyn Dahl