The Ten Skin Commandments

Ten Crack Commandments
The commandments template I use.

One of my favorite Biggie songs is “Ten Crack Commandments.” I don’t personally have any experience in that area, although I feel like I do, thanks to Frank White. But there is an area I think I am qualified to create commandments for. (Actually, there are two areas– but I’m afraid Orange Leaf will blacklist me if I publicize my Ten Soft Serve Commandments.)

So let’s get this thing started. It’s time for a beauty pop quiz. Are you ready?

Skincare: Good makeup as

a) Telescopes: Banking

b) Spam: Cupcakes

c) Water: Gardening

d) Logic: A Real Housewife cast member

If you guessed “C,”–always guess “C,” you must know that–you are correct! Skincare is an essential part of good makeup. You can use all the high quality makeup products on the market, but if you don’t take care of your skin, your makeup can only look so good.

(Extra credit to anyone who can find all of my hip hop references in this post. There are several of them, so if something sounds a little off to you or you don’t get it, study up on your 90s and early 2000s hip hop.)

As someone who often gets complimented on their skin (I’m talking about when I have no face makeup on), I feel I can drop some knowledge here. In honor of The Notorious B.I.G, below are my Ten Skin Commandments.

1) Find a cleanser that works for your skin type and use it every night. If you think you can get away with always using makeup remover wipes, or you (gasp!) regularly go to bed with makeup on, you’re dead wrong. Don’t be a Lazy Lucy. It takes under five minutes to wash your face–you can find the time. Oh, you got no time for face cleansing? But you just beat a level on Candy Crush? Busted.

2) Use an oil-based makeup remover followed by a cleanser, or use an oil-based cleanser. Especially if you wear face makeup, I really think you need an oil-based makeup remover or oil-based cleanser to fully remove your makeup. No, oil-based products won’t automatically make you break out or cause your face to go from normal to oil slick. I have oily skin and I use an oil-based cleanser every night, and my skin has actually gotten less oily since I started using it. But if you are hesitant to do that, at least use an oil-based makeup remover before your normal cleanser. Good skin is clear, right? And can we agree that sleeping in your makeup or not fully removing it causes breakouts? Then please please please take this oil-based makeup remover/cleanser idea into consideration. My favorite oil-based makeup remover is Dermalogica Precleanse, and my absolute favorite cleanser for all skin types is Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil.

*Note* I do not recommend using oil-based  makeup removers or cleansers to remove eye makeup. Your best bet there is a gentle makeup remover, like Bioderma Sensibio H20.

3) Exfoliate exfoliate exfoliate. Do it three times per week and your skin will be a better person for it. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, making skin feel softer and look brighter. If you have oily skin, it will help remove some of the surface oils. Dry patches? Sloughs them right off. Dull skin? It’s going to help give you that glow you crave. I recommend ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment by Kate Somerville and Gentle Cream Exfoliant by Dermalogica.

4) Rule number four, I know you heard this before: exercise regularly. It gets the circulation going, which immediately makes your skin look more alive. If you are the type who gets very flushed after a workout, you may disagree with me, but Coolio down first, then re-evaluate. When I miss a bunch of workouts in a row, my skin looks blah. As soon as I get back to it–I’m talking the first workout back–I can see an obvious difference.

5) Use an SPF moisturizer every day. It’s common knowledge that the sun causes signs of aging (wrinkles, pigmentation, uneven skin tone) to accelerate, so you’ve got to be shithouse crazy (or 730, if you prefer) to ignore every knowledgeable makeup artist, esthetician and dermatologist out there who says to wear sunscreen on the daily. (Let’s not forget about the very real risk of skin cancer, too.)

6) Don’t just slap on your moisturizer. Take a few extra seconds to really massage the product in and you will see instant results. When I was in Esthetics school, we spent what felt like 1 million hours on facial massage techniques. There really is something to be said for massage and how it increases the circulation. To massage your moisturizer in, use the pads of your four fingers (stay back, Thumbkin) and make small circles around your face. It really works!

7) Get glow, get glow. I use Jergens Natural Glow for Face year-round. In the summer, it gives my skin enough color for people to believe that I live in a beach town (I use the body one during the warm weather months too). In the winter, when I can turn translucent if not careful, it gives me a slightly sun-kissed look so I don’t resemble, as my cousin Jack would say, “one of them day-time vampires.” It comes in formulations for fair to medium and medium to tan skin tones. I don’t want to call it shimmer, because that may make you think of a disco ball or a stripper, depending on your frame of reference. So I’ll just say it contains something that gives glow and radiance to the skin. It’s subtle, but it makes a difference. I feel like I look healthy when I’ve been using this for a few days. Not like a day-time vampire at all, whatever the hell that means…

8) Don’t eat bad shit. For me, bad shit is the stuff that my stomach is sensitive to. I started eating clean a few years ago for health reasons and my skin has had remarkably few breakouts since. SO MANY cases of chronic acne are actually due to food allergies/sensitivities. I’m no doctor, so do what you need to do figure it out. But as someone with an extremely sensitive system, I do suggest trying to listen to your body. If your body does not like something you are eating, it’s going to tell you. It might be in the form of stomach irritation, migraines, eczema, or breakouts, but it will find some way to give you the message. So listen up, it’s got a story to tell.

9) Number 9 shoulda been number 1 to me: don’t skimp on your beauty sleep. There is a huge difference in my skin when I get enough sleep, and I know I’m not the only one effected by sleepless nights. When I walk into a room to do wedding makeup, I can immediately tell if the bride slept like a baby or tossed and turned between nightmares of table assignments gone wrong. Yes, you can see tiredness on many people when you look at their eyes (dark circles or puffiness), but I’m referring to the skin. If you are rested, your skin looks bright and smooth. If you are tired, it looks dull and uneven. I personally notice it on myself after a nap. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up from a nap, looked in the mirror and thought “What amazing product did I use today?” 9 out of 10 times, I realize I don’t have any face makeup on. I know cell turnover and repair happens during a full night’s sleep, but I swear even a 30 minute nap does something magical to my skin. I am convinced that lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the skin. Sorry, new moms, please don’t hate me for this one.

10) When your skin needs an extra boost, try one of these miracle products. (These work considerably better if you’re following the other commandments.) The Radiant Serum by La Mer hydrates and adds radiance to the skin. It’s pricey, but I’m not in charge of your budget. Beauty Flash Balm by Clarins gives a temporary brightening and tightening effect (no lie, you can feel it happening) and creates a smooth base that allows foundation to apply beautifully. If you’re tired because, say, you have been going out like a 21 year old recently (guilty), meet your new best friend. It’s great for mature skin–I use this on most of the mothers and grandmothers of the bride who I work with–and it can be used as a mask as well. I wouldn’t use any of these miracle workers every day because I do think the skin gets used to them, but when your dermis needs a pick me up, they are there to help.

I could add some other commandments, like “Thou Shalt Not Pick at Blemishes,” and “Stress Less” (or “Just Break Up With Him Already”), but I’m sticking to the tried and true TEN Commandments format. It seems like a lot when it’s all written out like this, but I promise you it is very do-able. And I’m a big believer in the 80% rule. If you follow a good skincare regimen 80% of the time, your skin will probably look pretty fantastic. Supplement as needed with specific products to target any problem areas (i.e. rosacea, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, etc.) but I think these commandments will give you a really good base to start off with.

Gotta go, gotta go, more blogs to write up.

Have a beautiful day 🙂