I’m a fan of Paula Begoun, The Cosmetics Cop. I’ve been reading “Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me” for years. I haven’t always taken her advice and I don’t always agree with her makeup/product reviews, but I really appreciate her research and opinion. I admit that I get caught up in new launches and frilly, smelly “wonder” creams. But, now that I have had another birthday pass and I’m noticing more discolorations, I’m determined to get serious about my skincare routine. I need products that work. The cool thing about Paula is that she often has affordable products to recommend and she can justify her recommendations with research. Now Paula’s Choice Beautypedia, an online skincare and makeup reference guide, is free to access. I’ve been using that site for product recommendations while shopping at the drugstore. It’s awesome. And there’s an app!
Here are 10 of Paula’s suggestions on how to transform your skin. This is from a PR release so you’ll be seeing it on other sites. I added my thoughts to each one. Think of it as my skincare confessions.
1. Exfoliate with BHAs or AHAs. (Not with a scrub).
I always get these confused. An AHA is an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic and lactic acids. A BHA is a beta hydroxy like salicylic acid. Paula says that these acids “get rid of built-up dead skin cells, unclog pores, reduces breakouts, rebuilds collagen, smooths out wrinkles, and allows dry skin to heal”. Currently, I am not using any BHAs or AHAs. I will be adding one to my routine soon. I’m not happy with my dull skin. I’ve been using scrubs and Paula does not recommend physical scrubs because they deal with the superficial layer of the skin and may harm/tear skin with uneven or course particles. Here’s Paula’s favorite exfoliators.
2. Eat right.
Paula recommends a diverse diet filled with superfoods like dark berries and salmon. Living in the Pacific Northwest, there is an affordable and accessible healthy food culture, I feel I do eat “right”. Or at least try to. My meals are filled with foods in a rainbow of colors: purple, yellow, orange, green. However, Paula recommends avoiding salt and sweets. Oh, there’s my downfall. Too much salt gives a bloated look (but I love sushi!) and too much sugar actually damages collagen. But, I love cupcakes 🙁 And fruits count in this category. I’ve downloaded a calorie counting app months ago. It helps keep track of things like sodium as well as calories. Just one more thing to worry about…
3. Wear sunscreen every day.
I do this. And I’ve started wearing sunscreen on my hands daily. Never too late to start, right? Paula says this is the most important anti-aging tool. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Here’s Paula’s favorite sunscreens.
4. Remove all of your makeup. (It’s more important than you think!)
I try. I really do. I have never slept in my makeup but this doesn’t mean that I always do a perfect job removing eye makeup at night. I wake up some days with raccoon eyes. Of course we all know that sleeping in makeup may cause blemishes. Sleeping in eye makeup may cause puffy eyes. Paula recommends using a gentle, water-soluble cleanser to remove all traces of makeup. And here’s her favorite makeup removers.
5. Don’t rely on only one product.
Paula recommends that every one use a gentle cleanser, antioxidant toner, sunscreen, moisturizer, AHA or BHA exfoliant, and treatments if needed. Oh, I’m a product junkie and she just justified my obsession. I do use more than one product. Are they the right product for me? Probably not. I’m working on that. I’m educating myself.
6. Don’t pull at your skin.
Don’t excessively rub, tug, or pull at your skin. I don’t think I do that. I know that I have read before not to sleep on your side because it will cause wrinkles. Oh, well. I can’t sleep any other way. Ad to me a good night’s sleep is more important. Plus, a well rested person has better looking skin. I’ll have to set this tip out. (This ties in to the 1929 ad above).
7. Consider a foundation with anti-aging benefits.
Today’s foundations are much better than those of old. They contain antioxidants and sunscreens. I’m trying to find an anti-oxidant rich foundation that works for me and has an added SPF. Here is Paula’s favorite foundations with sunscreen.
8. Antioxidants, antioxidants, and more antioxidants!
Paula believes in topical antioxidants for the skin because they help heal the skin. She has many to suggest. And as always, educate yourself, don’t believe all the hype of new launches. I’m working on that 🙂 Here’s some of Paula’s favorite serums.
9. Save up for a dermatological treatment.
Many people believe that a $300 cream can fix a problem that a dermatologist can. Most of these over the counter products don’t work. In the long run, it’s cheaper to get a treatment like Botox, dermal fillers, lasers, chemical peels, etc. This is up to you and your feelings about such procedures. I know if I get desperate enough to want to spend $300-$500 on a cream at the beauty counter, that I will stop, walk away, and talk to my dermatologist.
10. Give up bad habits.
Do I have to? Paula suggests giving up smoking, tanning, and irritating skincare ingredients. I know that I need to drink more water and get aggressive about using products for my skin type and concerns. And I need more sleep. Don’t we all?
So, what’s your skincare confession?