Top 10 Beauty Essentials

Categories: Beauty Products, Skin care
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beauty essentialsIf you want to look beautiful and stay beautiful, there are certain beauty essentials that will help you achieve that goal. Although so many over-hyped miracle beauty products exist, here’s a list that will actually give you results! This is my Top 10 list of beauty essentials – it’s what I find to be most beneficial to maintaining my skin and overall appearance. What are your beauty essentials?

Top 10 Beauty Essentials: 

1) Sunscreen
It’s no surprise that sunscreen tops my list! Sun damage is the number one way to prematurely age your skin, so aside from staying indoors 24/7, sunscreen is your skin’s best friend! The sooner you give up tanning and start using sunscreen, the younger you will look later in life! But even if you were like me and tanned up a storm until you were 25, it’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen daily. This is the best anti-aging product ever!

2) Enough Sleep
Sure everyone skimps on sleep because there are a million seemingly better things to do, but lack of sleep makes you look old and tired, gives you bags under your eyes, makes your skin look ruddy, gives you bloodshot eyes – and that’s just in the short term! Long term sleep deprivation taxes your body and ages you faster inside and out. I try to sleep 7-9 hours a night. I know that sounds like a lot, but there’s nothing worse than having people tell you that you look tired all the time!

3) Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is just about as boring and difficult as getting enough sleep, but again it’s essential to your health, and the healthier you are, the healthier your skin and body will appear. Cut out the bad stuff (sugar, simple carbs, soda, processed foods, and trans fats), and load up on tons of antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. I love sugar, so it’s horrible to me that it causes your skin to wrinkle faster, but it does!

4) Exercise
Exercising regularly is another difficult task, but it helps de-stress you (and stress is a major cause of aging). Exercise increases blood flow and circulation, and it helps prevent diseases, which can prematurely age you. A lot of people also get a “healthy glow” after exercising. I’m not sure if I’m one of those people, but I just know how many health benefits exercise provides, and slowing down the aging clock is definitely one of them! Toning up flabby skin, and reducing cellulite are other reasons I find exercise essential.

5) Retinoids
Topical prescription retinoid creams are one of the few products that have been proven to soften fine lines and wrinkles, even out your skin tone, and help with acne (depending on which retinoid you use). The over-the-counter ingredient retinol is also a proven wrinkle fighter, as long as you pick a retinol product with an ample amount of retinol, and make sure to avoid jar packaging. Personally I don’t waste my money on many hyped miracle creams – I just stick with retinoids like Renova for wrinkles, and Differin for acne, plus wrinkles. These aren’t miracle products, but they do give some visible results.

6) Antioxidants
Topical antioxidants give your skin a little extra prevention against sun damage, pollution, and second-hand smoke, all of which cause a breakdown of collagen and elastin. Luckily a lot of new sunscreens and moisturizers now come with antioxidants, or you can apply an antioxidant serum in the morning before your sunscreen. I haven’t seen noticeable results from antioxidant products, but to me they are just extra protection against aging. A lot of people do claim they see results with topical Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, Idebenone, etc. but I haven’t seen any results – I just know they are good preventive anti-aging ingredients. Also, you can speak to your doctor about vitamin antioxidant supplements. I take a multivitamin and several other daily vitamins. I haven’t seen any results from oral antioxidants either, but I take them knowing they may be preventing aging  – it’s just impossible to know for sure!

7) Good Skin Care Regimen For Your Specific Needs
A simple skin care regimen that addresses your specific skin care issues is essential. Everyone can benefit from using a gentle cleanser, sunscreen and antioxidants, and either a retinol/retinoid product (which increases the skin’s turnover rate), or an exfoliating product like glycolic acid, or a weekly facial scrub. Regular exfoliation keeps your skin looking smoother and younger. If you have any skin problems like Rosacea, Eczema, Melasma, or severe acne, it’s important that you see a Dermatologist for help. For mild to moderate acne, I have a slightly more complicated acne regimen that works for me. If you have dry skin like I do, moisturizers are great for temporarily plumping up your skin and preventing flakiness, but if you have oily skin, you can probably skip them. I also recommend reading the book “The Skin Type Solution” which gives you a skin care regimen for your specific skin type.

8) Makeup!
I wish I didn’t love makeup so much, but like most women, I feel naked and exposed without it. If you are prone to acne, make sure you avoid makeup and skin care products that cause cosmetic acne. I try to keep my makeup pretty simple so it only takes me about 5 minutes to apply everything, but it makes me feel a lot more presentable to the world. 

9) Big UV Protection Sunglasses & Satin Pillowcases
Aside from wearing sunscreen, sunglasses are another essential sun safety beauty tool. They not only keep your eyes protected from UV damage, but sunglasses further help prevent crow’s feet and wrinkles around your eyes. Plus they prevent you from squinting and creating even more wrinkles. Look for sunglasses that say 100% UV protection, or UV 400. You don’t have to go with big sunglasses, but the bigger they are, and the more they wrap around your face, the more of your face that is protected.

A lot of people think satin pillowcases are silly, but if you want to wake up without giant creases in your face, satin pillowcases are a must! I used to have the “just rolled out of bed” look for over an hour or two when I had regular pillowcases – I would get to work and the creases would still be there! Now I wake up without any creases, and satin pillowcases are also gentler on your hair than regular ones.

10) Good Hair Care
Honestly no matter what I do to my hair, it never looks that good, so I’m still waiting for the day I can tell you what I did to achieve lush, thick, bouncy, super shiny hair. Because I have dealt with hair loss for several years, I know first-hand how traumatizing it is to have thin hair that just keeps getting thinner, and no matter what you do, nothing really works that well. Currently I’m trying to be gentle on my hair and have been using gentle shampoos, and I keep my hair styling products to a minimum. I’ve experimented with so many different hair care products and topical treatments, but there’s nothing I have tried that I love! The sleeping enough, eating well, taking vitamins, and exercising regularly tips will also help make your hair look great (in theory at least). What are your best hair care tips?  

Bonus Beauty Essentials: Injectables like Botox and Restylane
I know a lot of people are afraid of having Botox and fillers injected into their face, but these treatments really do wonders to soften wrinkles and expression lines, and to add volume to your face. Despite all of my preventive measures, this year I have seen the lines in my forehead getting deeper, and you don’t know how bad I want Botox right now! I just can’t afford it, so for now I’m using Frownines every night, which prevent me from waking up with giant frown lines in my forehead and between my eyes (the lines still come back later in the day).

A lot of these beauty essentials don’t offer instant results, but they help to prevent aging, or they gradually help to improve your appearance. If I suddenly eat perfectly for a week, or exercise every day like I should, I don’t notice instant results, but cumulatively, the healthier you keep your lifestyle, the healthier you will look. Not everyone is born with great genes when it comes to aging, but at least there’s a lot that you can do! What are your beauty essentials???

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12 Responses to “Top 10 Beauty Essentials”

  1. Trisha Says:

    I love wearing really big sunglasses too, so that they totally cover my crow’s feet. I need all the help I can get and wearing sunglasses is easy.

  2. Beth Says:

    Volumizing shampoo is one of my beauty essentials. I have thin hair too, and I can’t live without it.

  3. Marilyn Says:

    Clarisonic face cleaner is the bomb, hard to justify at $220, but once you use it, you will be hooked. My skin is noticeably better – adult acne much improved, it seems to have stimulated my skin and made it look much younger and clearer. In terms of hair care products, Kerastase is the best hair care line out there, they have totally turned my hair around and well worth the extra money.

  4. Cara Says:

    Beth I totally agree with the volumizing shampoo, I could not live without it because my hair would literally look like paper. But with my skin I am constantly finding it very dry and itchy, I use my high end moisturizer every morning and night but it makes my skin so oily while also rejuivenating it; which angers me! I want something that will rejuvinate my skin while NOT heightening my acne. I have been doing more and more research on skin care products to keep my skin healthy and glowing. Has anyone ever heard of a galvanic spa????? I stumbled upon it and how so many people swear by it….Fact or fiction????

  5. Toxic beauty Says:

    I have been hearing things about the Clarisonic…I think it may be about time to try it!

    As for my beauty essentials, the most important one is using chemical free, organic skin and hair care. I haven’t used a “commercial” cosmetic in over 3 years…if I did, I’d probably have a horrible reaction!

    Another beauty essential I use is leave in conditioner. It doesn’t even matter if i use conditioner in the shower, my hair is still tangly! The leave in conditioner helps me comb my hair.

    My last beauty essential is pressed powder. When I just want to have a smoother look and don’t want to bother with foundation, I just swipe some pressed powder (Real Purity organic) on, then some blush and I am out the door with a simple polished look!

  6. Toxic beauty Says:

    Cara, I have not heard of galvanic spa…but does your “high end” moisturizer contain toxic chemicals? That might be doing more damage to your skin then you think. I’ve tested many different organic and natural brands and can recommend some I think would work for you. Aubrey Organics makes some lovely skin care products for combination skin which i think might work for you. They are effective and affordable. Check out some of my reviews here: http://naturalbeautyra.info

  7. Poly Says:

    My personal biggest beauty essential is green tea. I try to drink 2 cups everday because it makes my skin GLOW(!!) and it helps ease my acne. Unfortunately I’ve found that taking green tea supplements just doesnt have the same effect and has no noticible effects on the skin despite how many i take.

  8. Gaby Says:

    I have to disagree on skipping the moisturizer if you have oily skin. My skin is oily and I still need moisturizer. I think finding a balance is the key.

  9. TC Says:

    I try to follow most of these tips. Although I lived in a second story apartment that was subject to the people smoking below us for a couple months. Not only did the second hand smoke take a toll on my skin, but the stress of having to breath in it in took its toll too. I hate apartments for this specific reason!

  10. beth Says:

    Yes I have oily skin at certain times of the month and I couldn’t live without moisturiser – a definite essential – smoking or even people around you smoking is a real pain on my skin – I can feel the difference in minutes !

  11. Julie Wong Says:

    Love your style of writing! Tell me, have your tried Mary Kay products before? I’d love to get your review!

  12. mandy Says:

    this all sounds good it aplan that i need to stick to – have you tried the karin herzog oxgyen products im thinking of trying them and would appreciate your view and opinion on them it suppose to have a really positive effect on your skin, but am in 2 minds to try them. your advice would be appreciated ty x

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