Smooth Operator: How to Get the Most Out of Your Moisturizers

Out of all the vast selection of beauty products out there, I have to say that I think moisturizers are my favorite. Don’t get me wrong: I love me a good blush or a stunning nude lip, and am not sure of my ability to survive without foundation, concealer, or mascara, but beyond just a standard love for these sorts of things, I think this category of products has stolen my heart the most.

If I had to say why, well, a) dry skinned folk such as I sort of require hydration outwardly as much as anyone else does inwardly. Without a twice daily dose of snail mucin and hyaluronic acid, I’d be itching my face like a dog with fleas all day long. B) Moisturizers are just darn cool nowadays. There are so many different ingredients and formulations that not only fight the dryness demons, but even tone, fight blemishes, rip through scarring and PIH, adding bounce, shine, and glow to even the most tired of faces…the list goes on and on.With things like lipstick, they may make you look good for 8 hours or so, but moisturizers can change the way your skin ages! Instead of blackening your lashes or changing your lip shade for the day, moisturizers will give you firmer, plumper, younger looking skin, that, with consistent usage, will give you actual benefits in terms of anti-aging and how your face looks once the makeup comes off. Its much more permanent in terms of results.

In tribute to my love for all things hydration-related in both the skin and hair care worlds, these are  my own personal moisturizing tips I follow on a regular-if not daily-basis:

Tip #1: To achieve amazingly soft, smooth legs, use a cheap conditioner to shave instead of shaving gel or soap. You don’t have to use your 50$ bottle of premium awesomeness, but an 8$ jumbo-size of a drugstore brand will help soothe razor burn and irritation before it even starts. If you follow up with a body lotion afterwards, and then, to take it a step even further, sleep in yoga pants or leggings, when you wake up in the morning, your legs will literally be smooth as silk and soft as butter. The nicest thing for me with this method is that I find if I use conditioner instead of shaving gels, I don’t have to apply lotion post-shave. My legs not only feel like I’ve already allowed some to soak in, but the irritation that I *always* seem to get afterwards, is minimal to non-existent. Its great for those times when you don’t have time to shave, but really need to shave…you know what I mean…

Tip#2: Apply your moisturizer 5-10 minutes before applying foundation/BB cream. You’re skin will have that glowing-from-within look from the sealed in hydration and help prevent those foundation “dry patches” that form later in the day. You’ll look instantly refreshed and awake, all day long. For even more powerful results, use a sheet mask before applying your base.

Tip #3: During my young adolescent years, my mother taught me this trick of applying my moisturizer onto my face before the toner had fully dried from the previous step. It seemed like a good money-saving technique; you didn’t have to use as much moisturizer because the toner would help spread it around. While you may use less this way, by not letting each layer fully sink in before applying the next, its cheating yourself of each product’s full benefits. Let each layer soak in before applying the next one to see maximum results.

Tip #4: Use your body heat to help your skin soak up products. Rub the product gently between your hands and then press it onto your face, letting your hands sit on the skin for a few seconds.  Once you have covered all the area of your face this way, pat in the moisturizer (serum, cream, etc) with your hands and fingertips.

Bonus Tip: When patting moisturizer around your eye area, use gentle tapping motions-as if you were playing a piano.You don’t have to bat at your eyes like you would pat an essence into your cheeks. Just whatever you do, don’t rub or tug at the delicate skin there!

Tip#5: Have you and your hair lost that lovin’ feeling? Hair masks are a great way to restore your hair into a healthier-looking more manageable state. Many hair masks that you can buy in local drugstores or online give very good results, often time rivaling most salon conditioning treatments.

If you don’t want to drop the 5$ or so an average hair mask costs,  there are TONS of at home DIY’s that can help restore your hair to its former glory.My personal favorite is to warm up some olive oil or coconut oil and then saturate my hair with it, leaving it under a shower cap for a few hours. If my hair needs extra love (which is pretty much 24/7) and I have a day to myself, I’ll warm up my oil-soaked hair underneath the shower cap every so often with a blow drier, keeping it warm all day as needed. A quick vinegar rinse for added shine and my hair will be so different, I’ll hardly recognize it.

*please note that at all times, oil and hair are kept WARM, not hot. If you can’t handle it with your hands, don’t put it on your scalp!

Tip #6: Apply your moisturizing products from thinnest formulation to thickest formulation, paying attention, if you can, that humectant-based layers are sealed in by emollient layers are sealed in by occlusive layers. This optimizes the moisturizing effect of your whole routine.

Tip #7: Dull skin is never any fun, and for those with dry skin, you’ll know what I mean when I say, the “dry-dull” effect. Non-well-maintained dry skin can form a mask-like layer of dead skin cells that makes even the most well-rested person look 5-10 years older than they actually are. To combat this, especially come colder months, I use a chemical exfoliator to help remove the dead cells and reveal newer, fresher skin underneath. Once my skin is freed from the “mask,” I give myself a quick facial massage with my moisturizers, helping my skin to detoxify and stimulate blood flow to get the glow back on track.

These are my main tips and tricks for staying comfortable in my own skin (literally!). Ironically, seven is also the number of skin care products I’m loving and using in my current skin care routine 🙂

Have you ever heard of any of these tips before? Tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below! Thanks for reading lovelies.

 

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