Skin Care Summer Essentials: Prepping Your Skin for the Beach

While enjoying that time at the beach there are things that you shouldn’t do prior to your beach trip in order to protect yourself.

If you suffer from hyperpigmentation from post acne scarring to age spots make sure you prep your skin with that in mind.  Either use a Vitamin C product (which protects from environmental factors and helps lighten dark marks) or if your dark spots need to be treated you should be using a product with hydroquinone, which will help lighten, and eventually get rid of the spots.

There are also things you shouldn’t do before going to the beach:

  1. Don’t exfoliate within 2-3 days before going to the beach.  If you exfoliate and happen to get sand on your body and/or face it can leave your skin irritated and feeling raw.  That includes physical (i.e. a scrub) and chemical exfoliators (i.e. retinol).
  2. Don’t have any invasive treatments done.  Microdermabrasion, certain facials that exfoliate, and chemical peels are just a few of the things that should also be avoided.  The sun can cause reverse damage, undo the benefits and even cause more issues.  If you are going to have one of these done wait for at least a week after you’ve left the beach.
  3. Treat damaged skin.  If you have skin that is broken, irritated, red, or extra dry treat that skin before going to the beach to avoid more irritation.  The sand will exfoliate your skin; if you go there with irritated skin it will just over exfoliate.
  4. Avoid dehydration by increasing your water intake.  Sometimes we end up being at the beach all day.  Make sure you have enough water in advance and take water with you to the beach.

Most importantly have fun while at the beach.  This list may sound like a lot but it’s not.  You and your skin will appreciate the preparation.

Stay tuned for the next post that explains what you should do while at the beach!

Skin Care Misconceptions

There are so many misconceptions when it comes to skin care that come from a variety of places.  Today I’ll be explaining a few of the most popular I’ve heard from clients.

People with oily skin shouldn’t moisturize.

This is totally NOT TRUE!  Everyone, regardless of skin type, needs to moisturize.  Oily skin should avoid oil, not moisture.  Hints the description oily.  Oily skin feels greasy and makes your face shiny.  No one wants to deal with that.  Moisturizer provides the necessary moisture your skin needs.  SOLUTION:  Use an oil-free moisturizer.  This will give you the moisture you need without adding to the oil your skin naturally over produces.

Scrubbing my face will make it cleaner.

When I worked at the makeup counter I had a customer, a young guy probably about 18 or 19, tell me that he wanted something that felt like a brillo pad to clean his face because no to brillo padthat’s the only way it felt clean.

Please, please, please do not scrub your face too hard.  The skin on your face is very sensitive and can bruise easily.  Scrubbing hard will not get your skin any cleaner.  In fact, it will irritate it and make it more sensitive to the products you use…..and it’ll lead to a whole other set of problems.  So if you cleanse your face twice a day using good products you won’t need to scrub.

You only need sunscreen on sunny days.  And you only need sunscreen if you are outside for long periods of time.

cloudy day rays

And the sun’s rays pass through glass (obviously) so while you’re driving your car, you’re not outside but you are still affected by the sun’s rays.

Expensive skin care products work better.

Good skin care products can be pricey, however, just because a product is expensive does not mean it will work.  For example, I am not a fan of any department store skin care.  Brands like Estee Lauder, Lancome, and MAC all have skin care.  In looking at ingredients for some of their products they are mostly fillers.  And products from these brands can be very expensive.  I’d rather spend money on products used at spas or at least sold at stores that focus on skin care.  These brands sell skin care, makeup, perfume…..too much.  Pick an area and master it.  Just my opinion though.

I’m allergic to facials.


This one is ridiculously funny to me.  Now, people can be allergic to ingredients to certain products but not to a whole facial.  What a lot of people don’t understand is that there is a chance your skin can purge after a facial, meaning bring the impurities to the surface.  It doesn’t happen to everyone but it is a possibility.  I had a client say she was allergic to facials because she broke out after one; I tried to explain it to her but she didn’t get it.  If you go from not cleansing your face at all or “cleansing” it with water only your skin isn’t used to being cleansed properly.  A facial gives a deep cleanse and uses professional products.  The purging is  your skin’s way of getting rid of all the junk in the pores from not being cleansed correctly.

Once the skin purges you should have a clearer complexion.  The problem is a lot of people don’t want to do anything at home, get a facial once a month or once every other month and expect all their skin issues to go away.  It doesn’t work like that.  You have to put in work.  80% of what you skin looks and feels like comes from what you do at home.  An esthetician or dermatologist can only do so much.

What other  crazy myths have you guys heard?  I want to hear about them!

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You want me to exfoliate where????

So the weather is warming up and everyone has been hitting the gym religiously since New Year’s Day to get in shape for the summer.  Tropical vacations, beach trips, or just a trip to your local pool is on everyone’s mind.  Well while you’re working out you need to make sure your skin is looking right too…..and not just the skin on your face.

A lot of times people tend to forget about exfoliating the entire body.  Just like your face your body should get a good scrub 1-2 times per week.  If you sweat a lot from working out or being outdoors you can exfoliate more often.  Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells by scrubbing, whether it be with a tool or an exfoliating product.


These are examples of the types of tools you can exfoliate with using regular soap.  They are textured and will create the friction needed to get rid of those dead skin cells on the body.  You can also use a loofah or a sponge.

The only thing I don’t like about tools is that they hold a lot of bacteria and need to be changed often.  I prefer using a scrub.  All I do is put some of it on my hand and apply all over my body…..yes ALL OVER!!!  Regardless of what you use, after exfoliation you’ll notice an immediate difference in the way your skin looks and feels.  Apply a moisturizer and it will go on so much smoother.exfoliating sponge

My favorite body scrub is the sugar scrub by Tree Hut. They also make a salt scrub but my skin doesn’t like salt scrubs; sugar is good for sensitive skin. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and are almost always on sale buy one get one half off at Ulta.    One of my favorite scents is the mango.

mango scrub

Ok, so now we have that out of the way let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  Here are places on the body most people don’t exfoliate but should:

  1.  Pubic and Bikini Area – Mostly everyone goes to the beach or pool when it gets hot.  Don’t get caught slipping with ingrown  hairs (that can cause hair bumps) because that is NOT a pretty sight.  For those who shave, it is much more common to get an ingrown hair.  Remember, you can get a blemish or “bump” anywhere there’s a pore or hair follicle.  When hair follicles get infected it creates a bump.  Your pubic area is not immune so do everyone at the beach (and your boo) a favor and exfoliate down there year round, but especially in the summer.  And exfoliating down there 5-7 days before a wax helps the hair come out easier.

My favorite “down there” exfoliator is Clinique’s Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream.  It clinique exfoliating creamcomes in a jar.  Don’t get it confused with another Clinique exfoliator that has almost the same name.  The one in the jar is the best for “down there” because it has salicylic acid in it.  And the micro beads are not abrasive because this product is a cream, but still does a good job of exfoliating.  Use this on an existing hair bump and it’ll be gone in 2 days or less!

2.  Butt – Exfoliate your butt!  It’s a part of your body right?  And it is exposed a lot more in the summer so make sure that booty is soft!

3.  Back – So this is the hardest place to reach obviously.  I’ve learned to master the art of doing it on my own using my scrub.  It took some practice.  Or you can use a body brush with a longer handle (shown in the top picture).  Exfoliating your back also helps your tanning lotion or sun block penetrate better.  You don’t want your back to be a different color than the rest of you….not a good look.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post!  Go exfoliate!!!