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The Most Important Skincare Step You ALWAYS Forget!


Important skincare step exfoliation dermae scrub dermae mask

I’m guilty too.  I’m getting better at removing all my makeup every night and applying moisturizer.  But there’s this one step that I always forget and that is exfoliation.

The Most Important Skincare Step: Exfoliation

There are three reasons why exfoliation is an important skincare step.  The first reason is exfoliation removes dead skin cells.  Secondly, it prevents and cleans out clogged pores. Plus, exfoliation revives dull skin.

Exfoliation can seem scary especially for people with sensitive skin, acne prone skin, or dry skin.  People with sensitive skin shy away from exfoliation because harsh exfoliation irritates your skin.  There is a common misconception with exfoliation.  Many of us associate exfoliation with little tiny beads that you rub against your skin to get ride of the dead skin cells, but this isn’t always the case.  There is actually chemical peels that are super gentle and exfoliate the skin.  Or pre-soaked pads with chemicals that can help skin shed off dead skin cells without stripping the skin.  This type of exfoliation is also great for people with dry skin because who likes that really weird tight feeling you get from using harsh cleansers and exfoliants?  Some people with acne prone skin like these exfoliants too.

My Favorite Exfoliants + GlamGlow Dupe

Personally, (especially after a bad breakout) I prefer a physical exfoliant because I feel like it helps with skin circulation which will help me skin heal better while the exfoliants prevent hyper-pigmentation from the spots.  Lately, my favorite physical exfoliant is from DermaE.Their Purifying 2 in 1 Charcoal mask is a mask and exfoliant in one!  I love two-fer products.  The mask is actually quite similar to GlamGlow SuperClearing Mud mask, so if you’re looking for a dupe.  This is it!  The only difference I found between the two is that the exfoliant in DermaE is a bit harsher than GlamGlow, but they both leave my skin feeling soft and smooth and helps control breakouts.  So, I’m in love because saving money is always awesome!

The Purifying Detox Scrub from DermaE is also fabulous.  It’s very similar to the Soap and Glory Face polish that I love.  It’s a much gentler scrub that can be used multiple times a week. When my skin is relatively clear, I love using this to help revive my dull winter skin.  The cold weather has definitely taken it’s toll on my skin.  Right now, I’m in love with this scrub and bronzer because it gives me that summer glow I love (even in 20 degree fahrenheit weather).

 

**Disclaimer: I received the DermaE purifying detox scrub and charcoal mask free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

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The Korean 10 Step Skincare System for Acne-prone Skin


10 step skincare acne prone skin

Normally, I’m all for the 3 step skincare system: cleanser, spot treatment, and moisturizer.  And I have been a huge supporter of this lazy skincare system for years now.  Until recently, those few steps were enough to keep my skin clear and kind of soft.  (I was terrible at remembering to exfoliate…)

But with stress from work and school combined with my three hours of beauty rest every night, my skin is far from clear or soft.  So, I decided to try out the 10 step skincare system.

What is the 10 Step Skincare System?

The founder of SOKO glam, Charlotte Cho, wrote a book called The Little Book of Skincare, where she explains the importance of replenishment, hydration, and exfoliation.  She recommends people of every skin type to use a non-stripping cleanser because oily skin is usually the result of dry skin trying to replenish itself with sebum.  With excess sebum, pores will clog and your skin will break out and blackheads will emerge.  Charlotte emphasizes the importance of hydration because hydrated skin heals better and hydrated skin is more even toned and smooth.

In her book, she lists out 10 steps:

  1. Oil Cleanser
  2. Water Cleanser
  3. Scrub
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum
  7. Mask
  8. Eye cream
  9. Moisturize
  10. SPF lotion

The Importance of Double Cleansing

So, you might be wondering, “Why are there two cleansers?”  Well, Koreans really believe in clean skin.  Double cleansing will help you remove all your makeup from the day and really clean your pores.  First, the oil cleanser breaks down your makeup and cleans your skin without stripping it of all its natural oils.  Second, the water cleanser cleans deeper in to your pores to make sure that there is no makeup residue left.

By double cleansing, your skin will be cleaner, have less clogged pores, and have smaller pores.  Pore size is reduced because there is no GUNK stuck in them!

Why Should I Exfoliate?

Exfoliating is an important step in keeping pores clean, your face smooth, and your face more even-toned.  The reason why exfoliating works is because the process of exfoliating removes dead skin cells.  As a result, your skin looks more radiant and even toned.

There are two types of exfoliation chemical and physical.  Chemical exfoliations are more gentle while physical exfoliation involves sugars or tiny micro-beads and can irritate the skin because of the physical abrasion.

Personally, I use a chemical exfoliant every two days and a physical exfoliant about twice a month.  This routine has helped my cells regenerate quicker and my acne scars to heal faster.  My skin also feels smoother and looks more even-toned.  If this routine irritates your skin, try exfoliating every three days.  Skincare needs to be catered to your skin, so do what’s best for it.  Plus, after double cleansing and exfoliating your skin will be better prepped for essence and serums.  Because your skin is clean, it can absorb products better.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydrated skin is healthy skin.  This is the reason why there are 7 steps dedicated to hydration in the 10 step skincare system.  Toner is used to hydrate and clean whatever residue is left on the skin after double cleansing.  After wiping your face with a cotton pad soaked in toner, apply an essence.

Essence is a light lotion.  It absorbs quickly in to the skin and gives it a good dose of hydration.  Once the essence absorbs into your skin, apply a serum to your face and neck.

Serums are a concentrated solution that hydrates and nourishes your skin with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

To really nourish and hydrate your skin, you need to invest in a good sheet mask.  A sheet mask is a paper mask that is soaked in serum.  You take it out of the package and unfold the mask.  Once you have carefully unfolded the mask, place it over your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.  Plus, the mask really helps your skin absorb the serum and lock it in.

The Importance of SPF

After doing all that work, you have to protect your skin from UV rays with a good SPF lotion.  UV rays can damage skin cells which causes pre-mature wrinkles and discoloration.

Once your applied your SPF, you can continue with your makeup routine.  Trust me, your makeup will actually go on your skin better because its smoother.  BONUS!

10 step skincare lumpro c

The Products I Use

Since I have acne-prone skin, I customized the perfect 10 step skincare system for my skin-type.  The ten products I use are:

  1. Garnier Fructis Oil Cleanser
  2. DermaE Purifying Charcoal Cleanser
  3. Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose In It
  4. The Body Shop Mattifying Tea Tree Toner
  5. SK II Facial Treatment Lotion
  6. LumaPro-C Skin Brightening Pigment Corrector
  7. Tony Moly Tea Tree Mask/ Dr. Jart Clearing Solution Mask/ Glamglow Superclearing mud mask
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Cerave Moisturizer
  10. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen

My Results + Product Reviews and Tips

My skin feels softer, smoother, and more even toned after two weeks with this 10 step skincare system.  I still have breakouts because I ate way too much dairy and had an influx of hormones from that awesome time of the month we all love.  To help with the scarring and hyper-pigmentation left from my blemishes, I use the LumaPro-C Skin Brightening Pigment corrector.  This serum evens out my skin while also making it feel baby soft.  The serum has vitamin C in it too!  And Vitamin C is one of the key ingredients for radiant skin.

If you can’t find a good essence or don’t want to splurge for the SK II one that I’m using, try applying a second more moisturizing toner.  It will give you the same benefits of an essence at a fraction of the cost!

After all this, I’m sure you already know the answer to the question: Does it work? Yes, the 10 step skincare system works. And I promise it doesn’t take up too much time.  Actually, it only takes me 20 minutes to finish this skincare routine from beginning to end (if I do the sheet mask).  On days without the mask, I’m done in 10 minutes.

Would you try this 10 step routine?

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6 Benefits of Chia Seeds for Hair and Skin that You Didn’t Know + Bonus Review

Chia Seeds Benefits Hair

Chia seeds are one of the hottest food trends right now.  Not only are chia seeds great for weight loss but they’re also great for your hair and skin too!  The benefits of chia seeds are endless.

They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, and iron.  The antioxidants and minerals found in chia seeds help your hair grow stronger, fuller, and shinier. Plus, chia seeds also improve your skin with bacteria fighting antioxidants and skin rejuvenating minerals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

1) So,not all fats are bad. These ones are actually some of the best. Omega-3 fatty acids can actually treat dry hair and promote the growth of strong, shiny hair. How you may ask? Well, this antioxidant improves blood circulation throughout your body. By carrying fresh blood to your scalp, your hair gets more nutrition, making it less dry and damaged.  In addition to the extra does of nutrients, these healthy fats also nourish hair follicles at the scalp which improves hair growth and prevents the development of dandruff.

2) Improved blood circulation helps your skin become more hydrated, radiant, even-toned, and smooth.  The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds also contain ERP and DHA which have bacteria-fighting properties and skin rejuvenating features.  Another amazing benefit of ERP and DHA is its ability to reduce skin damage from UV rays and treat hyper pigmentation in the skin because they inhibit the synthesis of melanin in the skin. As a result your skin is more even toned and radiant.

Protein

3) Hair is made of keratin. This protein can get stronger when you consume or apply more protein to your hair. The high levels of protein found in chia seeds encourages hair growth and makes hair shinier and stronger.

Zinc

4) Zinc is one of those vitamins listed in many multivitamin supplements. But what does it really do? Researchers have found that Zinc promotes hair growth by stimulating hair follicles and increasing cell growth.

5) When you consume or apply supplements containing Zinc to your skin, it can reduce acne and clogged pores.  Because Zinc improves your immune system, your body can better defend itself from bacteria which leads to clogged pores and inflamed acne spots.

Iron

6) Much like Zinc, Iron promotes hair growth by increasing the amount of hemoglobin going to our scalp and hair follicles.  With higher levels of iron, our hair follicles are stronger and more likely to stay attached to our head.

An easy way to incorporate chia seeds in to your hair routine is with HASK chia seed volumes get shampoo. This shampoo smells amazing and the conditioner leaves your hair soft and full. I wash my hair three times a week with this shampoo and conditioner combo and I’m loving the results.  The conditioner never leaves my hair heavy or oily.  It just gives my hair a nice volume boost.  When I blow dry my hair, I can definitely see a difference in volume that I didn’t have before. Plus, HASK shampoos and conditioners don’t have any sulfates or parabens.

For your skin, try making a DIY mask with chia seeds and coconut oil. The mask will leave your skin hydrated from the coconut oil and smooth from the exfoliating chia seeds.

 

**Disclaimer: I received the shampoo and conditioner free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own. **

The Two Best Products for Acne Scarring + Bonus Reviews


Acne Scarring products

I started breaking out when I was 13.  My cystic acne has left my skin with hyper-pigmentation and pretty severe scarring.  Recently, I’ve started using Kate Somerville D-Scar Serum and Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex to help combat my uneven skin tone.

I’ve had pretty severe breakouts since November.  I had clusters of huge painful cysts around my chin and jawline.  So, I couldn’t give these two products a try.  But now that my skin is slowly healing.  It’s time to break these babies out.

Let’s start with why I chose these two products.  The Exuviance cream has anti-aging properties to help with skin suppleness and elasticity.  Plus, the name of the cream is Evening RESTORative complex.  After that many breakouts, my skin definitely needs any help it can get.  The cream has a light floral scent and comes packed with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and an array of botanicals to repair damaged sin and prevent wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid restores moisture in to my skin.  This is very necessary since I used 10% sulfur solutions and benzoyl peroxide to treat my blemishes.  Both these acne treatments are effective but also very drying.  But now that my skin is healing, Vitamin A, C, and E actually helps with cell restoration, so my skin can heal faster.  Plus, dermatologists have found that these vitamins also leave your skin brighter and more even toned.

Now, I know what you’re thinking anti-aging products at 23??? Well, here’s a secret.  You’re never too young to start combating aging skin.  We’re constantly being exposed to sunlight and who can really say they get their full 8 hours every night?  Excess sunlight and lack of sleep can make you age way faster than you’re willing to admit.  And with aging skin, prevention is key.  Another reason why I love using anti-aging products is because the formula dermatologists put in to serums and creams to fill in wrinkles can actually fill in the pock marks and scarring on your skin too.

I apply the Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex every night and every morning, I use the Kate Somerville D-Scar Serum.  The reason why I chose the Kate Somerville D-Scar Serum to treat my hyper-pigmentation and acne scarring is because the serum is applied with a roller ball which can help stimulate cell regeneration as you rub it over the scarred tissue.  Plus, the cooling roller ball makes sure that the product is absorbed quickly in to the skin.

After 4 weeks of using these two products, I have found that my skin texture is softer and smoother.  There isn’t a huge difference in my acne scarring and hyper-pigmentation yet but I can definitely see a reduction in redness and the depth of the scar.  When you’re an acne sufferer, I promise that any little bit helps.  With these two products, I’m becoming more and more comfortable with going out bare-faced.

If you have any products you use to treat acne scarring and hyper-pigmentation, then leave it down below!  I’m always up to try new products!

 

**Disclaimer: I received the Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex free of charge for reviewing purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own.**

Primer from Studio Gear l First Impressions

Primer Studio Gear Skin Objective Face Perfecting

Acne. Hyper-pigmentation. Redness. I have it all.  So I love trying out new products that have “skin perfecting” features.  The Studio Gear Prime Objective Skin Perfecting Face Primer definitely fit this description.

This primer is very similar to Smashbox Photofinish.  Both products have a gel-like texture, no scent, and blends beautifully in to the skin.  My skin feels noticeably softer and smoother after applying this product.  I’ve been using the Rimmel London Wake Me Up foundation and this foundation is quite dewey on my combination skin, but this primer really helps this foundation stay on my face and not break-up throughout the day.  Trust me, patchy looking cake-face is never going to be a trend.  With foundation, you want your skin to look even toned and smooth.

Plus, whenever I apply this product on my face, my concealer stays put.  It does not crease or get patchy throughout the day.  I mean seriously, it is stuck like glue and that is one thing I’ll be happy to have stuck on me.  Because the gum stuck on the bottom of my new shoes does not make me happy and it also NEVER comes out.  You’ll always have that small little patch that you couldn’t pick off.  Anyway…let’s get back to the primer shall we?

So, I love how this product keeps my face looking fresh longer without having to apply ridiculous amounts of setting power throughout the day.  Plus with setting powder, you’ll easily become cake face by the time 5 O’clock rolls around.  Not to mention, who has time for touch-ups anyway?  Even with dewey foundations, I know I won’t look like an oil slick if I applied my prime objective primer that morning.

The Prime Objective also doesn’t break me out.  During that special time of the month, my skin had huge breakouts and this primer layered beautifully under my concealer.  My breakouts healed relatively fast and I don’t know if it was the new toner I tried or this new primer but I’m not changing anything in my skin routine.  If it isn’t broken, why fix it?

What’s your favorite primer?

**Disclaimer: I received this product free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**