I love sharing with my daughter my old tried and true beauty tips and secrets.
Her hands have been chapped since the cold weather began this year. So I whipped out the extra-moisturizing hand cream – not lotion – cream. It needs to have a buttery thicker texture to have the best effect. But, before I had her use it, I showed her how I wash my hands with a washcloth and firmly scrub the backs of my hands to exfoliate. When hands are still damp, the cream goes on. Thick.
Then, the magic. I gave her a pair of my cotton gloves to put her moisture-coated hands in just before bed. We both wore them all night. The next morning – our hands were smooth soft. I really think she was impressed – which in itself is a miracle. The gloves work every time.
For myself, I apply Retin-A every night on my hands – even in the winter. Once that has absorbed in – usually about ten minutes – I will apply a humectant-based cream. I prefer glycerin as a humectant for my hands. Once that has absorbed, I lightly spray my hands with rosewater (or just plain water) and apply the heavy-buttery cream. Gloves go on all night, and I wake up with much much smoother and softer hands.
But not as soft as my fifteen-year-old daughter. I wonder why?
I love putting on lip balm. There is something luxurious about moving a pretty, juicy-smelling moisturizing balm across my lips. Yeah, I probably overdue it, but so what? They aren’t very expensive, They are so healing and fun.
Most importantly, lip balms keep lips soft, moist and protects them from the insult of cold dry weather. Dry, chapped lips are awful. They are uncomfortable, painful and don’t look good with or without lipstick.
Every night I apply lip balm before bed. During the day, whenever I have the opportunity, I apply a juicy moisture balm. During moderate weather, I will use a soft, moisture balm with glycerim to add moisture and oils to lock it in. I harsh winter weahter, I use thicker, balms, with beeswax and oils to apply a thicker barrier between the elements and my lips.
My lips stay comfortable throughout the winter and always look plump and healthy.
It’s no secret that I love Beautycounter Dew Skin tinted sunscreen (I sware, I am not affiliated with Beautycounter at all). But it is pricey.
To extend its life, I use a silicone beauty blender (or sponge – whatever you want to call it) to spread and dab the cream on my face and neck. It takes a little longer to do this way, because the absorption is only on one side (my face). The silicone does not absorb any product at all, so all of it ends up on/in my skin.
I spread it gently at first, then dab dab dab it onto and into my skin. Dabbing is key, as it creates a much more natural look than the streaky lines when I smear it.
It looks great, and I use about half the amount of product as I would if I were using my fingers. Saves money, and looks great. That’s a win.
My hands are aging a little more aggressively than my face. It doesn’t really bother me though. It is much more important that my face look fresher and young than my hands. Besides, I beat the heck out of my hands with gardening, washing, carrying heavy objects and banging my knuckles so they bleed – attractive things like that.
On the other hand, as you know, I take very good care of my facial skin. Always have. Ever since I was a teenager.
So, I use my most powerful facial-skin weapon on my hands too. Retin-A. I put it on every night. Pretty thickly too. My hands don’t dry out from it like my face does if I apply too much. When it has soaked in, I rub on some nice-smelling hand cream. Always with a combination of a humectant (like glycerin) and an occlusor (like dimethicone, cocoa butter, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum) which creates a thin film over skin and locks the moisture in.
I started applying Retin-A to my hands about a year ago. They look significantly younger than they did. I will never be a manicure model, but they look better.
When the weather gets colder, my skin gets absolutely parched unless I am very careful washing my face. The dry cold disrupts my already fragile moisture barrier and I have to use extremely mild cleansers.
When I need a cosmetic that has qualities I can’t find in a product on the market, I make it myself. That is what I did with the cleanser I now use. It is a gentle, nourishing and very simple formula, with avocado oil, vitamin e, and panthenol. I don’t need any other oils or lipids than these in a cleanser. Less is absolutely more when it comes to cleansers.
Of course it has ingredients which clean – but without sudsing and stsripping – the molecules just bind to grime and are whisked away when I rinse.
Simple science is what I always use in products I make for myslelf.
If you are interested in trying my favorite cleanser, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you a sample. It is amazing. I bet you’ll think so too.
First you need to know, I started doing this over 15 years ago. Now, “smoothies” are very popular, but I want you all to know, I did it first!! Ok, I was at least among the early ascribers.
Every morning, I throw in a blender, carrot juice, a scoop of vegan protein powder (with stevia as sweetener) and a two huge handfuls of spring mix lettuce, and/or baby spinach, and/or some raw broccoli, and a splash of vanilla almond milk – lightly sweetened with honey, and whirr it up.
Dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli are nutrition super-stars and considered the most nutritious and beneficial foods of all. Not only do they have loads of vitamins and minerals, nutrition professionals are discovering seemingly limitless phytochemicals that carry enormous health benefits. They really are magic. I think most Americans don’t fully grasp the expanse of benefits these vegies bestow on us.
So I drink them every day. By putting them in a blender, NOT A JUICER, I enjoy the full benefits of the whole food.
I am generally not crazy about greens, so, while I do eat salads – usually with tasty dressing – I prefer to drink my nutrition every morning.
This starts my day with a boost of energy, hydrating and supplying nutrients to my skin from the inside, where they work even better, and I don’t feel so guilty on the (many) occasions when I choose to eat not-so-healthy stuff later in the day.
It’s a win-win. Do it.