Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures
Navigating which health and beauty practices work best for you can be a daunting process. I was lucky enough to learn from my QUEEN of a mom, who taught me about everything from the importance of habitual daily skincare to the convenience of travel-size containers.
A common misconception about health and beauty lies in the separation of the two. First, it is important to acknowledge that health and beauty should not be two separate entities – they should go hand-in-hand, and when you take proper care of yourself and your body, they absolutely do.
In an industry with over 63,816 employees and $62.46B in revenue in the U.S., skincare products make up the largest part of the beauty market, at 36.4% of the market share. Daily skincare has steadily increased in popularity with younger generations – 54% of 18-29 year-olds practice daily skincare, compared to 52% of 30-59 year-olds, and 44% of 60 and over. 65% of females and 37% of males use skincare products daily, according to Statista.
As I get older, it’s fun to now share health and beauty tips with my mom as I discover new products and tricks from friends, magazines, beauty box subscriptions, free trials, etc.
I can thank FabFitFun for discovering some of my favorite products, including Dr. Brandt’s anti-aging scrub, mineral peel face spray by O.R.G skincare, Whish’s charcoal face mask, and Marrakesh oil hair styling elixir.
But I mostly attribute my rituals to my mom; I picked up the following habits from her guidance:
1. Stay hydrated – a simple but essential tip. Buy water by the case and always carry a water bottle or two with you. You’ll also save money by not paying for overpriced water bottles while you’re running errands, or feeling thirsty on campus, etc. For every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage you drink, you should have at least one glass of water to counteract the dehydrating effect of these beverages. Staying hydrated is key to maintaining clear skin and feeling energized throughout the day.
2. Practice daily skincare routines morning and night. I adopted my skincare routine from my mom. After trying many drugstore and luxury brand products, both of us now stay true to Clinique’s 3-Step Care System. The first step in the system is a gentle cleanser, followed by a clarifying toner, and lastly a moisturizing lotion. My mom has been using this system since 1979 and constantly hears she doesn’t look a day over 40. The nice part about this system is the special attention to skin type; Clinique offers four different toners based on your skin type (very dry, mildly dry, moderately oily, very oily). She appreciates that this system allows customers to adjust their routine as they age.
3. ALWAYS remove your makeup before bed. Nothing kills your skin (and pillows!) like sleeping with mascara, foundation, and lipstick. Your pillow and sheets will remind you of this mistake. It is crucial to allow your pores to breathe, especially after a day of wearing makeup. Makeup free days are also a huge help to your skin, but don’t forget to moisturize morning AND night!
4. “Beauty sleep” is no joke – just like eliminating stress, getting enough sleep can make a huge difference for your skin. Inadequate sleep and irregular sleep cycles can negatively affect skin’s appearance and potentially lead to premature aging.
5. Don’t pick at your skin. Use face masks or pore strips and allow the products to do the thorough cleansing for you. It can be tempting, but it’s not worth the scarring. For use 1-2 times a week, Biore pore strips and Clinique’s charcoal face mask both work like a charm. For a quicker charcoal mask formula, Whish’s charcoal mask works miracles in less than five minutes.
6. Be careful of foods that you eat. If your skin has a sudden breakout, consider your recent diet and what might be irritating your skin.
7. Always moisturize daily and use a moisturizer with SPF or sun protection designed for your face to avoid oily skin. Also, remember to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially when at the beach or by the pool. When you’re tempted to skip sunscreen, remember anti-aging creams make up 26.3% of the global facial skin care market – no one wants premature wrinkles!
In addition to Clinique’s 3-Step Care system, our product recommendations for daily use include Vaseline aloe lotion (aids in both sunburn relief and maintaining a tan), Bath & Body Works’ shea butter hand cream, and Burt’s Bees chapstick. Moisturizing restorative treatments and lip scrubs can be a huge help, especially in the winter when lips (and skin) are more prone to dryness.
8. Use heat protectant. Like sun protection for skin, heat protection for hair can make or break your mane. I’m a big fan of Living Proof’s restore instant protection spray, which adds shine while protecting against heat and UV damage with a weightless formula.
9. Get travel size containers to maintain your hair and skin care routines away from home. Skin tends to dry out during travel, especially when there’s a dramatic change in climate; so, make sure to pack hand cream, face moisturizer, body lotion, and chapstick. Target has great, cute TSA-approved travel size packs for creams, moisturizers, sprays, hair products, etc.
10. Exercise daily. Exercise not only has positive effects on physical and mental health, it also can prevent skin deterioration and cleanse pores through secreting sweat. Exercise increases blood flow and stimulates sweat glands, cleansing the body of toxins that can clog pores and cause breakouts. Increased blood flow leads to increased oxygen delivery to the skin cells, which aid in maintaining healthy and hydrated skin. Endorphins released during exercise can also aid in relieving stress and tension, and therefore can help to counteract the negative impact stress can have on skin.
I feel incredibly lucky to grow up with such a savvy mom– my youthful skin and healthy hair are in large part thanks to her influence. At 25 years old, I still get double takes from bouncers examining my driver’s license upon entry into a bar. Last week, a bouncer used multiple scanners to validate my identity. Despite the hassle, I’m flattered he second-guessed my age. Hopefully, the routines I learned from my mom have the same long-term preventive anti-aging effect on me that it has had for my ever-glowing mother. In the words of Diane Young: “My last name is Young – I’ll be forever young.”