Monday, March 18, 2013

Ten Ways to Improve Your Skin

The effects of UV radiation (sunlight). See item #1 for an explanation.
I am at the age where my skin is starting to showing initial signs of aging. So in the last year or so, I've done some research on skin care. The lessons I've learned apply just as much to women as they do to men, so I want to share them here. Some of these points will be obvious to some readers, but they will be news to others - as they were to me. Full, vibrant, healthy skin is the primary sign of a your youth, and your youth plays a big role in your physical attractiveness. Whether consciously or subconsciously, men notice your skin; so take care of it.

1. Wear a daily moisturizer with sunblock. Wearing sunblock daily should be something you do as regularly as brushing your teeth. Get into the habit of realizing that when you walk out into the daylight without protection, your skin is being abused and bombarded with UV radiation - even when it is cloudy (clouds don't block UVA light).

If it is difficult to recognize the severity of this effect, take a look at the picture here of William McElligott, a 66-year-old truck driver, who didn't wear sunblock. He spent 28 years on the job. While driving, half of his face was shaded from the sun by the cab of his truck, which reduced the effects of UV radiation. The effect is obvious. Imagine your face looking like his (but on both sides) every time you go outside, and you will probably find yourself motivated to start wearing daily moisturizer with sunblock.

SPF 15 should be enough for most people (use a higher SPF is you spend more time outside than average). Note that it is also worth getting a daily moisturizer that has anti-oxidants such as green tea and cucumber extracts, vitamins C and E.

(I shouldn't need to mention that tanning beds are the devil. By tanning, you are seeking out the skin abuse described above and merely trading a nice but temporary skin tone now for premature aging later in life - and possibly cancer.)

2. Use Retinol, which is a form of Vitamin A. It essentially tells your skin to act and look younger. It is the drugstore version of the FDA-approved anti-wrinkle compounds often prescribed for aging skin and wrinkle treatment (retinoids). Make sure retinol is an ingredient in the anti-ageing or tone-correcting serums you use. Neutrogena makes a great fragrance-free and oil-free option: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream. (Don't worry if your skin feels dry or a tad flaky for the first few weeks of use - it will wear off.) You can find more information about Retinol here.

3. Wear facial moisturizer while you sleep. This will lock in moisture, which will be used to repair your skin while you sleep. There are special types for night use, but the general rule of thumb is that you should use a thicker cream if you have drier skin, while those with oily or acne-prone skin should use a lotion or gel. Try CeraVe PM or Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

4. Wash your pillowcases frequently, at least every time you do a load of laundry. Your pillow case accumulates dirt from your hair, face, hands, and even from the air (dust). This is all transferred straight to your face every time you lay your head down at night. Get two sets of pillowcases and get in the habit of putting the fresh ones on every time you take a load out of the dryer

5. Pad your face dry after you shower or, even better, let it air-dry. Don't scrub your face dry with the towel the way you dry the rest of your body, as this will irritate the newly washed skin and push bacteria into your pores.

6. Use lukewarm water to wash your face, even in the shower. When water is too hot or too cold it shocks your skin and can cause capillaries to rupture. This brings with it discoloration, which is unattractive.

7. Choose your soap/cleanser carefully. Soaps dissolve dirt, but in the process remove the oils that your skin produces to protect itself. The ingredients that hold most bar soaps together also clog your pores, and the added fragrances can be irritating. Many people are still accustomed to using bar soaps, and remain victim to the heavy marketing of their favorite soap's scent (they can't feel clean without it). Don't follow their lead. Choose a fragrance-free and sulfate-free cleanser, such as CeraVe or Cetaphil foaming face wash - particularly for use on your face. These will clean without the loss of oils and irritation.

8. Exfoliate with caution. While exfoliating scrubs are praised (and heavily marketed) as giving a deep clean, your skin doesn't need a deep clean every day. When you use exfoliating scrubs, you are using abrasion to remove impurities and dead skin; but in the meantime, the abrasive particles cause damage to the healthy skin underneath. You are effectively putting thousands of tiny scratches on your face - removing the bad stuff, but also creating potential sites for infection. Pay particular attention to #5 and #4 when you are exfoliating, and moisturize immediately afterwards  Note that scrubs with polyurethane beads, (round, plastic, smooth ones) will not tear skin and are fine for use as an exfoliant. There are also chemical exfoliants available that have anti-aging properties.

9. Wash your towels frequently. Just like your pillowcase, your towel accumulates dirt. When you touch it to your face, especially right after washing it, you are infecting your open pores with bacteria.

10. Moisturize immediately after washing your face or showering. You know that "dry" feeling you get after standing in front of the mirror for a few minutes after showering, especially in the winter when the weather is cold and dry? That is the feeling of the immediate evaporation of moisture due to the lack of oils in your skin. Shorter showers with lukewarm water will prevent this, but you should also apply moisturizer immediately to your still-damp skin after getting out of the shower. This will lock in the moisture.

Thanks to reader and medical esthetics student Laura Payne for her help in adding some depth to these points for me, as well as the product recommendations. Check out her work here: (Blog) (Twitter) (YouTube)

Related Posts
1. How to Improve Your Hair
2. Your Skin Color Matters
3. One Way to Improve Your Look


  1. What my mum told me was to always change the pillow sheets twice as often as the rest of the sheets. Along with towels, I wash them in extra hot water.

    A very important point which was missing: alcohol intake. You should drink 8 glasses of water a day, at least, and you can add one for every unit of alcohol you drink. Nothing dehydrates you from the inside as much as alcohol does.

    And of course the obvious one; no smoking.

    Regarding the moisturizer - the advice I got from my dermatologist was the opposite. Your skin will try to bring out its own moisture after being dehydrated (by a shower) and you should let it do so before adding moisturizer. Sometimes I clash on the lotion right after a shower and a few minutes later I feel as though it's too oily - the skin's own moisture is coming through. IME (and according to my advice), it's better to wait 5 minutes.

    1. Regarding the moisturizer - you might be right. Or it could also be that it depends on the type of skin you have (dry/oily).

      I would be interested to hear what knowledgeable readers have to say about this or other points.

    2. I thought that if you drink enough water throughout the day the moisturizer at night won't be necessary.

    3. Btw, I have combination skin. I use a Clinique moisturizer with SPF 25 and no oil during the day. I sometimes use it at night, some nights I use no moisturizer but a lotion I have on prescription in case I have any clogged pores. I change every second day or so - products work best when you mix it up, because your skin can become a bit "resistant" (in the same sense that you shouldn't use the same shampoo/conditioner for too long).
      For the best result, go to a doctor and get the right stuff on prescription. At the very least, shop skin care at the pharmacy. Everything sold in perfumeries are products which didn't pass the test to be sold at pharmacies (that includes Dior and Chanel skin care).

    4. I had two dermatologists and was told two different things. One said that moisturizing the face is not good because your body makes its own oils. (But you mustn't use a drying face wash--Cetaphil cleanses gently and moisturizes, so you don't need lotion afterwards). The second one advocated moisturizing the face just once/day. Personally, I combine the two--Cetaphil and no facial lotion + eye cream to prevent wrinkles overnight.

      Other tips:

      1) wash your face every night (to take off the makeup) and every morning.

      2) Satin pillowcases (reduce friction, so less wrinkles). This is also good for your hair.

      3) Toner to clear makeup missed by cetaphil

      4) Drink a lot of water

      5) Although I haven't yet, check out Japanese and Korean skincare products--these cultures are very into anti-aging and have a lot of high-quality vitamin-packed serums like SKII, BB cream and other overnight serums. My good friend who is Korean was shocked that I didn't have an overnight serum routine, as she has been applying facial products 20 min/night starting from age 19.

    5. Also, if you feel dry after showering, try shower oil. I use this at least once a week--it locks in moisture and softens your body. There's also a shower lotion by Olay, that is supposed to work with heat, but this doesn't work as well as oil.

    6. I've read that there are multiple types of moisturizers, those that prevent moisture loss from skin (occlusives) and those that add moisture to skin. Putting the former on top of your skin after a shower or bath, when your skin has absorbed water, can moisturize your skin, but using them on non-moist skin will not be beneficial for dry skin. The latter type are better to add moisture.

      It's written on a few websites that seem reputable to apply (occlusive, at least) moisturizers immediately after showering:

      Sources: (she's talking about oils, but I assume it applies to other moisturizers, too).

      Mineral oil is a good, cheap occlusive agent, but I don't like how it feels. It has an undeserved, bad reputation.

      Drinking water doesn't moisturize your skin- at least, there isn't evidence of that, really.


      Satin pillowcases might help with something, but it's not clear. And sleeping on your back makes sense (and I do- but I naturally prefer it, anyway), but apparently there is little evidence that it will help with wrinkles- that is, beyond short-term ones. I couldn't find evidence about its relation to longterm wrinkle formation.


      Not everyone needs a moisturizer, but even then, it can be a vehicle for other beneficial ingredients. I use an Olay body moisturizer nightly, which contains niacinimide and glycerin, among other ingredients, and Neutrogena night cream with retinol nightly on my face, which has moisturizing ingredients. My sunscreen also has moisturizing ingredients. I find those are sufficient for me to be neither oily- nor dry-skinned.

      Note that you have to read multiple sources, because even doctors say stupid shit and I've found opposing statements... Usually I look for people who seem to care about things like citations.

  2. This blog isn't updated anymore, but it helped me figure out my acne problem:

    Also, if you have good insurance check with your doctor to get a generic prescription retin-a cream. It's significantly less expensive than buying retinoids over the counter.

  3. Does anyone know of a good "natural" moisturizer?

    1. Clinique and Avena have a lot of natural products.
      Ask at your pharmacy.

    2. coconout oil
      grapeseed oil
      honey (let it sit on face then rinse it off)
      avocado mask
      banana mask
      witch hazel

      Honestly, these tips Andrew gave would be a lot better if everything was substituted with using natural, organic products. There are SOOOO many harmful chemicals in these garbage products that in the long term only cause worse damage to your skin, thus making you rely on stronger and stronger stuff.

    3. remember, your skin ABSORBS all of these products!!!

    4. clinique and avena are NOT "natural"
      read the ingredients on some of their products, do a google search, and then see how "natural" they really are.

    5. You're free to smudge vegetables on your skin, but these products contain a lot of the stuff your skin needs, including a good SPF. Most products will have SOME artificial ingredients. And everything is natural if you break it down enough. They do more for my skin than lemon zest.

    6. I wouldn't obsess over natural stuff. Some products contain unnatural ingredients that do no harm to the skin. Further, some ingredients sound unnatural but have chemical names. It's worth doing your own research and ignoring propaganda from the green brigade. Not anything 'unnatural' is bad. Some natural products will still irritate some skins.

    7. This is the paraben free moisturizer that I am currently using with spf: Earth Science - Almond-Aloe Moisturizer. I got it at Whole Foods for $12 dollars. I also like the Origins brand A perfect world moisturizer with spf 25. Ole Henriksen has an amazing morning moisturizer that works to eliminate acne: Shear Transformation. It is more natural, but it does contain some silicones that are controversial. The benefits to my skin make the risk worth it.

      Bliss brand has a great moisturizer. Add argan oil to your daily moisturizer to get more skin hydration.

    8. It's true concerning Clinique. I used to use their products when I was in my mid-teens. With time, I learned to read the labels on creams and was really disappointed when I found out their ingredients are just plain cheap and not good for your skin.

  4. Great suggestions, Andrew!

    I would like to add Ahas are great for exfoliating the skin and revealing the fresh skin underneath. I suggest products with glycolic acid in them like Md forte cleansers, Aha Souffle, and even weekly at-home glycolic and/or lactic acid peels. For those suffering with adult acne, I would suggest into looking into not only Ahas, but Bhas like products with salicylic acid in them and or salicylic acid at-home peels.

    The retinol is a great idea and if one can even get prescription strength tretinoin (found in retin-a), that would be all the more effective. A good hydrating eye serum or creme is especially important as well as the first signs of aging typically occur around the eyes.

    Vitamins and supplements to look into: hair, skin, and nails from GNC in addition to Carlson's fish oil. All of the above can pretty much be found on amazon with the exception of tretinoin which can only be attained with a prescription.

    I personally do not scrimp one bit when it comes to skin care and my skin has benefited tremendously by doing careful research and applying the right kinds of products. I am not one of those people who had great skin growing up, but now I am complimented almost daily for my complexion.

    1. Wow. Thanks for the tips. Can I ask if you are around the same age as me? I'm only asking because I'm 22 and want to know whether I should be doing the same skin care you are doing.

      I definitely invest more in skincare than I do in make-up. Have you come across any good websites in particular which advise on skincare, or is this just gathered from personal research? I tend to read a lot of beauty blogs but it can be hard to figure out what is worth buying and what is not.

      Currently I'm looking for something that'll get rid of the hormonal acne I get around my chin, which I never even had before.:/ Boo!

    2. I agree with you on what you mentioned. The only misconception I think that a lot of people have is that they have to supplement with vitamins. Actually, your diet should contain enough vitamins that you don't need to supplement unless you are dieting. The best form of vitamins is from the food you eat. A lot of the vitamins in supplements are actually flushed out of your body because they are not absorbed. Also, a lot of vitamin supplements contain too much of the cheap vitamins, like thiamine 2000% and very little magnesium 5%. This was an example.

      Women that are of childbearing age and sexually active should be taking folic acid to prevent against neural tube defects in the fetus, if they get pregnant. Otherwise, everyone should be taking fish oil and baby aspirin with high cholesterol. Otherwise, no other supplements are necessary. Make sure that your fish oil has a higher dose of DHA versus EPA. This is what differentiates between the better fish oil brands.

    3. lucy--are you on birth control? i went on it when i had a boyfriend but it ended up having the positive side effect of totally clearing up my acne so i've stayed on it even though i'm not having sex regularly

    4. @Anna - I was on it before but no longer take it so I did wonder whether that shifted my hormone levels a bit and contributed to the spots. I don't really want to go back on it though.

      I came off birth control about a year and a half ago after being on it since the age of 17 (I'm 23 now). I only started getting chin acne when I started a proper skincare regimen about 6 months ago which I'd been lazy about before. I don't it's the products though. Maybe it took a while for my body to adjust to new hormone levels.

  5. The picture of the driver begs the question as to why he did not do something about his face when he could clearly see the damage. Men no longer get a free ride to lack of grooming a health care. That said. The post started off with a good idea, but it is lacking a few things.

    Yes, Andrew said sunscreen/sunblock but I am going to say it again, because it is the #1 thing you want to do.
    You want Retin A which is way stronger and more effective then retinol
    Vitamin C serum- learn to make it yourself and have a better serum and save yourself $100 a bottle.
    Facial exercise- don't laugh they do work

    These four things will hands down beat the aging monster in his/her tracks.

    This is the best site ever to get your skin in tip-top shape.

  6. Hi there, Lucy. I am a couple years older than you at 24 . Most people would consider my skin care routine intensive for my age, but most people settle for mediocrity and do not work hard to attain the things they want.

    The sites I've found especially helpful in my research are and Amazon reviews are tremendously helpful in addition to just general googling and reading articles on the active ingredients of a given product.

    Adult acne is a tricky one! Personally, I went on accutane at age 21 which helped a lot, but it was rather tedious what with the monthly blood and pregnancy tests. I've found that taking fish oil, which is packed with vitamin A - the vitamin which isotretinoin (accutane) is derived from - really helps me maintain the results of accutane. However, if your acne is mild enough salicylic acid, especially in peel form, may be all you need to keep that at bay.

    Of course everyone's body is different so it's important to consult one's physician, research, and experiment to find what works for you. Above all, you should be maintaining a clean diet, drinking water until your pee is clear, and exercising 3-4 times a week. Good luck!

    1. Thanks soleil,

      I'm pretty excited to see what results I get from your recommendations, especially the at home peels. I don't take fish oil capsules but eat fish every day. Will check out those websites too.


    2. Check out saje... All natural... Expensive but my acne has cleared up tremendously. I've done it all sans accutane and my skin has never looked better. I'm now looking into what I can do for scarring. It has been a really big issue for me and at 22 it's nice to finally have found a potential solution. Acne has really knocked my confidence down a few notches.

    3. @Allie, I used to have acne and have used bio-oil nightly on my face for the last couple of years to deal with he scarring. I can't recommend enough- my skin is now completely clear nd I regularly get complemented on my skin

    4. I might give it another try... I started to breakout from it :(

  7. When outside always wear sunglasses. No matter how cloudy.

    Buy a silk pillowcase.

    100% Pure has all natural products.


  8. Something that I've been learning about is how bad sugar is for your skin. It causes skin to age big time (not to mention that it makes you fat). Here is an article that explains sugar's aging effects:

  9. Remember to use spf on your lips to prevent them from getting thinner.

    full lips= youthful/fertile

  10. Most people have a skincare morning and night routine. In the morning, I use a cleanser and pat my face dry. I follow with a toner, rosewater or witch hazel or any other brand toners. Toners are used to neutralize the pH (i.e. acidity) of your skin after using cleanser with acidic chemicals for acne treatment like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Apply the toner to your face with a cotton pad. Next, I apply a face serum with Vitamin C. After it dries pretty quickly, I apply a morning moisturizer with spf if I am leaving the house. If I am staying in that day, I apply the Ole Henriksen Shear Transformation moisturizer. It does wonders to eliminating acne, though it does contain silicone as one of the products.

    The most potent form of Retin A is found in prescription face creams like Tazorac. There are over-the-counter retin A products but they don't work as well. In general, I would not use retinoids unless you need to. You should wean off retinoids once you get your skin under control. They do have side effects of making your skin sensitive to sun, severe dryness, skin color changes, etc.

    At night, it is wise to wash your face and apply a night cream. Night creams are generally thicker and work on your skin over the night. So, get some sleep!

    Most of all, your face is a reflection of what you put into your body. As with anything else, you are what you eat. Skin irritations may be the result of gluten sensitivity or eating high fat, low fiber diets. I have recently cut out dairy out of my diet. Some people have mild lactose intolerance that affects their skin. Also, there are a lot of hormones and additives in dairy products.

    Lastly, quit smoking. Limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men. I would only drink red wine on a daily basis. The active ingredient in red wine is resveratrol that protects against heart disease, a leading cause of death.

    This is what I would add to Andrew's list. Just thought I would pass this along for anyone interested.

    1. @Valentina, I completely agree with you that our skin is a reflection of what we put into our bodies. I am a massive fan on James Duigan's Clean and Lean program - he highlights the dangers of sugar (supposedly ages the skin by breaking down the cellular structure of surface cells), alcohol and processed foods

  11. If your issue is PUFFINESS and/or BAGS around the eyes, you need an eye cream that contains caffeine. The caffeine absorbs the water that you are retaining under your eyes. I use an eye cream called Algenist but I think it was pretty expensive. Also cucumber treatments and some people swear by preparation H which is actually a hemorrhoid cream.

  12. The Clarisonic facial cleaning brush makes a huge difference

  13. Hi Andrew! I stumble upon your blog last night and yeah I backread (got me up all night). I've read the book The Rules and I am a Psychology major so, I am wondering if you have read the book or if your a Pscy graduate?

  14. As a woman of 46 who looks in her early 30s (not trying to blow my own trumpet here but many many people have told me so, both men and women) I think the most important thing is to
    1) Keep out of the sun and use sunblock eveytime you go out - starting in your late teens
    2) Have a healthy lifestyle starting in your early 20s - no partying, getting drunk, doing drugs, smoking, staying up all night frequently.
    3) Relax and do yoga. Keep calm, be spirtual and meditate.

    Look at Kate Moss now. She used to be so fresh and pretty - my hubby had a major crush on her then. All those years of hard partying has taken its toll.
    Linday Lohan is another example - she is only like 25 ? but she looks like she is in her mid to late 30s.

  15. Ladies, sleep on you back! Sleeping on your side can cause lots of wrinkling down the road.

  16. I still think a sunbed here and there (4-5 times per year) is worth it. I dont smoke, I dont eat junk, I take care of my body, but i want a little golden brown. Love tanning in the summer, too. People always panic about something.. first its sat fat, then it's fluroid in toothpaste, then its UV, then it's fertilisers, there's always something to be called "devil" and to be panick about. I think everyone should take things a bit easier. I love your articles Andrew but I think you are a little bit too demanding. So what if I will have wrinkles at 50? My mum has them. She looks her age and nice. Since when is it wrong for someone to look their age?

    Of course I have a nice skincare routine too, and have good skin. I may even look younger than my age (31) but seriously, so long as i feel good in my body, i really dont think a few wrinkles will make my other half love me less.

    Sometimes reading this blog makes me feel that you're implying that men are so ridiculously shallow. That's not my experience.

  17. Andrew, you should emphasize that glass blocks UVB light, not UVA, so the difference between the halves of that truck driver's face shows the damage of UVA only. That is a fantastic picture and I'm going to copy it. People tell me I'm nuts for wearing sunscreen daily (have since I was 14 years old, for beauty. Not to appeal to boys, though, whom I didn't like til I was 17), and I tell them what we experience as seasonal variations in UV is mostly variation in UVB, but UVA is the bigger wrinkle concern. I'll cite this picture if I want to give evidence for my case.

    I am highly skeptical about that pillow-washing stuff... But, I'm going to look into it. ...I can be bad with touching my face. I doubt it affects youthful, glowing skin, but pimples and blackheads are a different story...

    Maybe you should add sources for women to look at. There's a lot of crap out there. I like cosmetics cop Paula Begoune, by a bunch of cosmetics chemists, Futurederm, DermTV and, and they're all online. What's offputting to me is when seemingly good sources disagree significantly. That's why you need multiple sources, always, I guess. The details can matter, like whether you can put something under a chemical sunscreen in the morning. If that largely decreases its efficacy, you could make mistakes for decades, with consequences. Or, whether you can combine a chemical exfoliant with retinol without hurting retinol efficacy, etc. From what I've read, they don't frequently disagree, and even then, most agree.

    If I were you, I'd put sunscreen at the top of that list, not bottom. Also, SPF 15 and 30 correspond to roughly 93% and 97% filtering of (mostly UVB) spectrum and SPF often goes with the amount of UVA filtered, so I wear above SPF 15; 4% more filtered per day can't hurt, and the price is usually the same.

    Also, mentioning vitamin D supplements is a good idea, if you don't drink enough milk or have other fortified food to meet about the RDA. Life is full of trade-offs. I live in Canada, and apparently even with no sunscreen, it's advisable to supplement vitamin D in the winter (again, it could be through fortified food), because you could never get enough from the sun.



    1. Lastly, the environmental working group measures and makes public their measurements of absorpancy spectrums of sunscreens. I don't buy their chemical warning stuff, but it's illuminating to see how much or how little of the UVA spectrum is filtered (it's so easy to find good UVB protection). What really mattered to me was that a)I didn't realize ingredients I though of as excellent aren't that good, necessarily (it seems you need either 20% zince oxide or avobenzone plus mexoryl SX, not just avobenzone, to get "excellent" protection, not just okay to good), and b) for moderate UVA protection, like with stable 3% avobenzone, you can buy cheaper sunscreens than I was. So, now I use Equate from Walmart, less than a dollar an ounce... sunscreen can be an expensive habit, so I was glad that the EWG wrote it is stable, because I couldn't have known, otherwise, and wouldn't have risked it.

      Lastly, I have gained a lot from your website in how to relate to men, and just wanted to say thank you for putting the time in to make it exist. ... Staying kind of on topic- that is, with regard to appearance- I never used to think about style, or things like that, just natural beauty, but I've found that feminine clothes (which I now sincerely love), nice grooming and hair care really can make a difference to how I look and feel and it is a new thing to me. You are the sole motive for my considering hairstyle, for growing my hair out, for researching hair products, in addition to skin (not just thinking hair is dead and products are uniform. Don't rough of the cuticle to keep hair shiny and I'm good to go. There really is more you can do, apparently)- and for taking more fashion risks. ... That's not even talking about relating to men, which only in-part came naturally to me. I cut one guy off thanks to one of your articles and found it empowering. ... Anyway, good job on the website.
      That is all.

    2. Wow... my brain was not working. You did put sunscreen first... Looking forward to reading that med student link...

    3. I actually moved it because I wanted it to be closer to the image of the man. (You'll also notice that I moved some of the info from the image caption into the point itself.)

    4. I'm interested in what you said about how the efficacy of sunscreen decreases when you put something under it. Is it better to wear moisturiser on top of sunscreen?

    5. Thanks for your comment Marie! Could you explain a bit more your sunscreen routine? I'm not sure I understood what exactly you buy from Walmart... Do you mix your own products to make your sunscreen? Also, does the sunscreen you use make your skin shiny? In which order do you put on products in the morning (moisturizer, toner, foundation, sunscreen)? Thanks!

  18. I wrote something similiar in a comment in the post:

    On feb 2nd, 5:31pm towards the end of the comments. Truly the biggest thing that has made a difference for me has been staying out of the sun as much as possible, definitely not sunbathing, wearing an spf 15 moisturizer since I was 16, exercising, and hyaluronic acid cream for the eyes. I'm 30 and I don't even need to use Retinol yet.

    1. People underestimate the importance of a good moisturizer. If you use one very early on in life, you won't need to turn to anti-aging creams and such so soon to turn back the effects of aging you can barely do much about at that point in time. It has made all the difference for me.

    2. What makes a good moisturiser? This is one thing I haven't learnt because as far I'm aware, they are all the same.

    3. Mia, I read your fantastic comment in the other thread! When you talk about a microdermabraison kit, do you mean the machine or the product? Also, concerning hyaluronic acid, do you think it's a good idea to get the liquid and to add it to your own creams? It would be less expensive that way. However, a problem that seems to arise often, if you look at the negative Amazon reviews, is that the H.A. tends to go rancid quickly.

      A product I like to use is Apple Cider Vinegar, as a toner. I have really pale "alabaster" skin that tends to get pink if it's even a little irritated, cold, etc. The ACV helps control the redness, evens out prior spots or discolorations and really gives me that "glowing complexion." I mix it 1:2 with water and apply it with a cotton ball, morning and night. You have to use the unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV (e.g.: It really makes a shocking difference!

    4. Thanks Andrew, that is helpful to know. In case anyone missed it:

      @Lucy, you know I've been wearing the same moisturizer since I was 16 actually, it's the Neutrogena one, Intensive all day Moisturizer with spf 15 I believe. It is kind of intense I guess but I had the dewy look for years in my early twenties. I wore just that and no foundation and my skin was perfect. But it might work well for me because I've been using it since I was young. But I think because it's such a strong moisturizer it has prevented the effects of aging.

      I actually still don't use foundation to this day. But it might be because I have really good skin for using the moisturizer from such a young age, taking care of my skin rigorously, and exercising. I don't eat a lot of sugar, and exercising regularly keeps my skin clear! What you eat is so important too. Vegetables and fruit, raw foods, non-processed foods, etc. This is what I believe you will look like when you wear too much makeup:

      I mean her face looks bruised there. @Lyna I usually use the home kit that you can get in stores. Actually now I use this micropearlbrasion from "Thestarmaker" but it's just a product that I found that I like and have stuck with. Nothing crazy. As far a hyaluronic acid eye cream I use Mario Badescu's which is about $20. It's very dense and lasts a long time. I use that religiously. I just know that it works. I also use it on any lines I might see forming and it does the trick!

      Hope that helps! :) This is an important topic because no matter who we are one day we are going to age. And some of us will most definitely age better than others. I've seen it for myself. :) Gentlemen can also give their girlfriends/wives this advice.

    5. I think Kim Kardashian looks fine in that pic you posted Mia. If that's 'bad' skin then I hate to think what mine is...

    6. @Mia - Thanks! I've learnt so much from only a few of your posts. I agree with you about foundation. I don't plan to use it unless I really need it. Sometimes I wear it on nights out but it's a pain trying to make sure that it all comes off at the end of the night.

  19. I had flawless skin until age 23, and have since been battling adult acne. I've tried everything listed here tenfold, and only recently discovered that hypothyroidism is largely to blame. Get your blood levels checked with your general practitioner or endocrinologist If other treatments have not worked.

  20. I use Hylunia Healing and Restoring Cream as a nightly moisturizer; It is the one product of theirs that I will not go without under any circumstances. I also use their Beyond Complex C (a small amount underneath the Restoring Cream) every morning and night. Also, every week I use one of their hydrating facial masks (They are all amazing) and I even leave on the antioxidant facial mask overnight sometimes. I don't know if you are supposed to but I wake up in the morning with very dewy skin that I just splash with some cool water. Their acne wash was a little too harsh for my skin, but other than that, all the products that I have tried from them so far have been more than phenomenal. I also drink green tea and water a lot. I take a Vitamin C (every day), Women's Under 50 Multi-vitamin (every other day) and fish oil (every day I don't eat fish) at night before bed. Also, and this next step may not work for everyone, but I put a little sweet almond oil on my face, neck and decolletage as my nighttime moisturizer after washing and spritzing with rose water. I also almost never scrub my face with anything harsh. I prefer to use either a Clarisonic or unbleached cotton rounds. And also, especially during the summer months, I walk around with a bottle of rose water in my purse with a little sweet almond oil added, and I spray my face and neck in the bathroom or wherever periodically throughout the day. I also try to moisturize my hands whenever I wash them. I wear sunglasses whenever the sun is shining and sometimes when it isn't. I moisturize as soon as I step out of the shower or bath, And I use the Hylunia Healing and Restoring Cream with Spf almost every day. I don't like makeup very much unless it is Afterglow cosmetics. All of this seems to work for me, so I figured it might for someone else. I am almost 25 and people are always mistaking me for the 14-16 age range, which is about how long I have been taking meticulous care of my skin. So, there might be something to these products.

  21. SPF and moisturizer really are your best friends. I wear a moisturizer with SPF 15 in it, followed by a priming power, and I finish off my face by applying Bare Escentuals Matte Powder Foundation with SPF 15. I have been wearing SPF on my face since I was 19-20 (I'm 24 now), and I am of African American descent. The melanin of my skin already gives me great protection from the sun, but I still wear SPF daily. At night, I apply a collagen boosting serum (Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C Serum). I get it from Sephora for $85 a bottle.

    I'm also a vegetarian (I've been one for 8 years now), and I drink water like it's my job. I'm also pretty active, I don't smoke, and I drink alcohol moderately.

    I imagine that I will look 30 when I'm 50, considering my routine and genetics.

    1. White people don't wear lotion enough. Check out this shit, it is hilarious:

    2. I'm mostly AA too, and people keep saying that they don't get why I wear spf protection because they claim I don't need it, but I don't think a little extra protection ever hurt anyone either. I keep trying to go vegetarian, and I keep failing miserably :-/. Hopefully one day I will have your resolve to stay away from meat.

    3. Lol. Just watched that clip that Andrew posted, and it really did make me laugh out loud. Nice.

    4. That clip was hilarious. Yes, everyone needs to use lotion, even if ash doesn't show on their skin. I am a 38 year old Arican American woman and most people think I am in my mid 20s. This is what works for me:
      Cleansing - I only use cleanser on my face in the evening. I use Mary Kay Deep Cleanser 3 for oily skin. It removes makeup well but is very gentle and does not over-strip oil from the skin. Harsh cleansers that remove too much oil will cause your skin to compensate by producing more oil. Skin does not need to be cleansed when you wake up in the morning. All it needs is to be wiped with a wet washcloth. Wet washcloths breed bacter, so use a fresh washcloth each time you wash your face.

      SPF - I use Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF30 every day. Physical sunblocks that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide can leave a whitish cast on your skin. I wear foundation so that is a nonissue for me. However, if this is an issue for you, use a chemical sunblock that contains avebenzone, oxybenzone, or ecamsule.

      Supplements - Yes we should eat healthy, but everyone doesn't. GNC Womens Ultra Mega works wonders for my skin when taken twice daily.

      Moisture - I use Mary Kay TimeWise moisturizer for dry skin even though I have oily skin. It contains antioxidants. Sometimes I use Cetaphil moisturizing lotion for all skin types. Both products are noncomedogenic (will not clog pores).

      Exfoliants - I love Alpha Hydroxy Acids in a 10% - 12% concentration for evening the skin tone and warding off breakouts. Alpha Hydrox and Paula's Choice make excellent and affordable products. But you must be sure to use SPF everyday, otherwise the newly uncovered skin cells will be exposed to UVA and UVB rays.

      Anti-Oxidant Serum - I haven't started using this product yet, but will soon add it to my skincare routine. Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate has excellent online reviews.

    5. Body moisturiser too I think is a must. One of the main things that men comment on with regards to my appearance is soft body skin. I get those exfoliating mitts from the pharmacy with a nice shower gel to scrub gently then while the skin is still moist apply either baby lotion or cocoa butter in copious amounts. You can get these creams very inexpensively: this one is very good and the guys I know love the smell of it..a guy friend tried to rob it off me once:

      It's easy to neglect but the body skin needs looking after too and makes a large difference especially on sun exposed areas and on areas prone to breakouts (backne..yuk).

  22. Great site. I like it better than David Wygant's blog. I'd like to add a few additional tips to this list: first, get enough sleep. I know when I get less than 7.5 hours my skin doesn't have that "glow" and I think I look younger when I get enough rest. Secondly, drink water...doesn't have to be the requisite 8 glasses a day, but pure water definitely helps keep your skin hydrated. Lastly, on that note, you are what you it goes without saying that fruit, veggies, grains and lean protein will do more good for your outward appearance than eating a lot of sugar, processed food and crap. I keep hearing that too much sugar ages you faster, as it breaks down collagen quicker.

  23. When I first found and devoured almost the entirety of your blog in the span of a few days, I meant to write you and suggest this very post!

    About sunscreen, mil veces yes, and when you go choosing one (or any cosmetic product, really), check it out in EWG's Skin Deep database: They do a good job of apprising you of the safety of the ingredients--these things are not regulated well, and some of the things on the shelves are pretty toxic, even sunscreens.

    Re: retinoids, get a prescription strength one, and start using it in your 20s if you are in your 20s. I've been using the Spanish formulation of Retin-A, Retirides, with 0.05% tretinoin (which... I didn't even have to go to the dermatologist for it since "Spain is different," and it only runs me €13 a tube), for about 6 months now, and I REALLY notice a difference--my skin is firmer with nary a blemish, not even when I get my period, and it's erased some fine lines I was getting around my mouth, just literally erased them. You need to be cautious when you start; a good idea is to use it every third night at first and then step up to every other night and then every night if and when your skin can handle it. Some are scared away from prescription strength retinoids because at first they can make your skin worse, red and peeling and scary--if you use too much and go too fast. This NY Times article gives a great overview:

    I noticed you didn't say anything about diet, exercise or sleep in your post. How could you leave them out?! Here are some of my personal tips:

    - Ditch your coffee for hot chocolate and green tea. Chocolate (dark chocolate) increases your skin's natural UV protection and will make your skin firm and vibrant; I drink a cup almost every day (and here's my recipe: get high quality dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher (I like Lindt 85% but usually need to add a pinch of sugar because bitter). Heat a cup of milk on the stove until it steams a bit and remove from heat. Add ~50 grams of chocolate and leave it to soften for two minutes. Turn the burner back on and heat, constantly stirring, until the milk is almost to the boiling point and thickens into liquid chocolate heaven. Pure. Bliss.) Green tea I drink all day as if it were water. It's really a miracle beverage and helps prevent skin cancer among its myriad health benefits.

    - Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. They literally make you prettier:

    - Make sure you get your essential fatty acids. They are great for everything including your skin and hair: I try to get a lot from my diet and also take cod liver oil (which has the added benefit of supplementing Vitamin D) and Evening Primrose oil (which is especially good for women. It contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is hard to get in a normal diet, and aside from its benefits for skin, hair and nails, I can tell you that it has made what little PMS I had disappear entirely. Srsly--I have zero cramps and breast pain since I started taking it, NONE!) every day.

    Diet is really just crucially important for your health in general, and if you are healthy your skin will be too. Research your superfoods and eat them! And don't put shit in your body: fast food, chemicals... someone mentioned sugar and it is THE WORST, and not just for your skin.

    1. [cont...]

      - Exercise every day; it will make you glow. I dunno about you, but I hate gyms and wouldn't be able to stick to going to one--they bore the fuck out of me and I can't bear gym culture. But I've been training aikido for 14 years and I could not recommend it more highly... it's got everything: not only is it ideal physical exercise for the human body, but it's also social and spiritual and better therapy you will not find anywhere. It is never boring. I also haven't had a car in over ten years and bike and walk everywhere, but if you live in America that may not be feasible.

      - Never skimp on sleep. Just don't do it.

      Besos! :*

  24. I have naturally great skin, and once I started the pill it became pretty much perfect; I even have a natural blush, somehow. This is my best feature, and it really carries me far. As a pale little white girl, I was often made fun of amidst the tanning culture of rich suburbanites as a teenager. I'm glad I never gave in to the tanning booth addiction. I wear a zinc/titanium-oxide sunscreen on my face and neck every single day; whenever my arms or other body parts are exposed in the warmer months I do the same. Already at 24 years old, most of my former peers in high school already show signs of aging; and people still assume I'm a teenager because of my flawless complexion.

    I will do some research on Retin-A; I didn't know there was legitimate research backing up its anti-aging properties. I've heard similar things about Vitamin E.

    You should also note that the typical "SPF 15" facial moisturizers don't do much to protect skin from UV rays, and most of them have weird man-made chemicals in them which have been known to mess with women's hormones.

  25. i do most of these things, and I have worn sunscreen faithfully for the last 20 years (I'm 30). I have very fair skin, but sunscreen really does work. I've also never smoked (that should be on the list as something not to do). People normally think I'm 23-25.

  26. Be careful with retinoids if you have sensitive skin. I used a retinoid recently in an area of sensitive skin on my face and it has since become discoloured as a result of chemical burn. These chemicals are so very powerful and even if your skin is tough, use the smallest amount and start off slow. For those with sensitive skin I find the most bland skincare works the best. I use the brand Simple because it is mild and without fragrance.

  27. I love the looks I can get with this. It's a definite Iink is Skinlastin. already know which is my favorite and it surprised me - the <a winner. Of course the whole box is great.

  28. each time i used to read smaller articles which as well clear their motive, and that is also
    happening with this paragraph which I am reading now.

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  29. Exercise always helps. It enhances our blood circulation, which in turn promotes skin health and vibrancy. A regular exercise regimen also nourishes the blood cells and cleanses the skin by flushing out its waste products. Exercise reduces stress, and reduced stress-levels help reduce acne and eczema. Scientists are also of the opinion that stress impacts the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin. Therefore, regular exercise has a solid, positive impact on our skin.

  30. Andrew, I really enjoyed this post. I am an esthetician and I am always trying to tell people about prevention when it comes to skincare. Another little tip on the pillowcase advice, satin pillow cases are the best to use. Cotton pillowcases absorb our natural oils from our hair and faces making both dry, dull in appearance and less "youthful". Added bonus, satin sheets are super sexy and feel amazing on your body :)

  31. Moisturizing is a must to have a healthy skin. And good moisturizer is very important. You can find one here.

  32. Really great skin comes from the inside out. A lot of women have poor skin due to stress which imbalances hormones and cause breakouts, depletes the body of vitamin C causing thinning and drying out of the skin, and inflammation from eating the wrong foods. I studied everything I could about nutrition and tried out a lot of it out until I found what works for me. The best book I've found that combines all of the knowledge plus helped me out with what I didn't know yet is The Beauty Detox Diet. My skin really looks bright and clear, refined and hydrated when I follow the protocol

  33. Is this a sponsored post? Or you actually have expereince (either personal or vicarious) with these products?

    Just curous

  34. It is essential that you have to keep up with the moisture of your skin, by drinking lots of water and even maintaining good exercise.

  35. Great idea for up-cycling! This would be good to do after a party. I wonder what kinds of flowers you could make with forks and knives too.
    cara mengobati kurap di selangkangan


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