Skincare Routine – Correct Steps And Everything You Need To Know

Beauty and Skincare

Healthy skin is not only a matter of DNA and “good genes”. Your daily habits and lifestyle have a huge impact on your skin health. If you don’t have a skincare routine but want to start one, you probably don’t even know where to start.

What is a skincare routine anyway? How many products to use? Which ones? In what order? What do those products do?

One thing is certain – there is no such thing as a correct skincare routine, although there is a way to apply your products and choose good ones for your skin type and needs. Why should you start skincare routine, you might ask.

Well cared for skin means you’ll have less problems and breakouts, less redness and irritation, and less signs of aging. Sounds nice enough? I thought so. Skincare routine is not complicated but not simple as many think. It’s not enough to rinse your face and apply any random moisturizer and call it a day.

To get the most benefit out of your skincare routine, you need to follow three steps: cleanse, treat, moisturize. Maybe you already clean your face, morning and evening. Maybe you even use good moisturizer. But what does “treating” your skin mean?

Treating means using serums and other products full of skincare super-stuff like vitamin C, acids, retinol and more. If you add that middle step in your routine, it can make huge difference over time and improve general health of your skin.

Today I’ll show you a basic step-by-step skincare routine you can use as a blueprint for your own regimen.

Recommended Daytime Skincare Routine

1. Cleanser

Cleaning your face is the first important step of your skincare routine. A cleanser gets rid of oils, dead skin, bacteria, dirt, and pollutants. The cleanser depends of your skin type so it’s important to pay attention what is in your cleanser, and what’s not in it.

If you have normal or dry skin, use a hydrating cleanser with peptides. If you are acne-prone or oily, use a very mild cleanser with salicylic acid. Avoid sulfates in general, because they can have a harsh effect on your face. If you cleanse too much or too often with a harsh cleanser, it will break down your skin barrier.

2. Toner/Essence

Toner is an optional step, but if you love a toner you should definitely keep using it. Toner can be a great way to balance your skin’s pH. If you have dry or sensitive skin, make sure you use a hydrating toner. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use a toner with glycolic or salicylic acid to calm your skin and breakouts.

Essences are more hydrating than toners. Essences like hyaluronic acid floods your skin with moisture. To apply, soak a cotton pad in liquid and gently pat it over your face. You can also use your clean hands to do the same thing.

3. Eye cream

You should gently pat eye cream with your ring finger all around your eyes, and not just underneath them. If your eye cream is causing your makeup to smear, choose a lightweight option, like a hydrating gel cream that sinks in quickly.

When it comes to eye cream, you should look for ingredients like peptides, which help tighten your skin and depuff, and antioxidants. You should also use formulas that contain hyaluronic acid (hydrating), caffeine (brightening), and ceramides (they lock in moisture and help strenghten your skin barrier).

4. Serum

When it comes to serum, I always recommend vitamin C serums during the day. No matter what your age, you need vitamin C in your life. It helps reverse a lot of the damage we get from the sun and pollution. You should always look for vitamin C serum that contains a stable form of vitamin C, so that the molecule will be able to soak into your skin.

At night, look for a serum with peptides to repair skin. For both daytime and nightime, look for ingredients like Niacinamide to reduce redness, hyaluronic acid to pull moisture into your skin, and AHAs and BHAs which help boost collagen and even out skin pigmentation.

If you have acne-prone skin you should always look for retinol, stem cells, and green tea. For dehydrated skin look for hyaluronic acid, lipids, and peptides. For hyperpigmentated skin look for vitamin C.

5. Moisturizer

You’ve treated your skin and now it’s time to moisturize. Moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated and helps strengthen your skin barrier. Moisturizers prevent water loss through the outer layers of skin. For daytime use, opt for a lighter moisturizer that will soak in quickly and won’t cause pilling under makeup.

What is the difference between a day and night cream? Day creams typically have a lightweight consistency. They are also equipped to protect your skin from the pollution, enviromental aggressors, and many contain antioxidants to minimize pollution based free radicals and sunscreen.

Night creams focus on repairing any skin damage and often have a rich, thick texture.

6. Sunscreen

You might not like it but you should apply sunscreen every single day, summer or winter, whether or not you go outside, to prevent UV damage. Sunscreen needs to be your last skincare step in order to be most effective. Daily and consistent sunscreen use helps to prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles, textural imperfections, and changes in the appearance of pores over time. 

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply at least every two hours.

This skincare routine works for day and for night but keep in mind that you don’t have to apply sunscreen before going to bed and that nighttime routine comes with some additional steps.

Nighttime Skincare Routine – additional steps

Makeup Remover

If you wear makeup, it is essential to remove it before going to bed. Removing all your makeup should be your first step at the end of the day. Don’t skip it!

Retinol

Retinol reduces fine lines, reduces pore size, increases collagen and elastin production, takes off dead skin, reduces oil production, unclogs pores, and evens out skin tone.  This is a strong ingredient, and beginners should proceed with caution when adding to their routines. Potential side effects can include flaking, dryness, retinol burn, and increased sensitivity to the sun, which is why you should stick to applying it at night.

Face Oil

Although you can use face oils as a part of your daytime skincare routine, oils are a great way to lock in moisture while you sleep. Don’t forget, oil comes as a last step of your nighttime skincare routine. If you use face oil in the morning, they should come before your sunscreen and makeup.

When it comes to skincare, there are some rules to remember – cleansing comes first, serum sits beneath moisturizer, and sunscreen goes on last. Understanding this order will ensure your skincare products work effectively because no one wants to buy expensive product and render it useless because of misapplication.

Do you have a skincare routine?

Shea Butter And Its Amazing Benefits For Skin

Beauty and Skincare

Shea butter is derived from the kernels of the shea tree’s fruits, and the shea tree has been nicknamed “Tree of Life”, thanks to its ability to heal many skin and hair problems, issues and conditions. Because of its great moisturizing and softening benefits, shea butter is also called “Mother’s Nature Conditioner”.

Shea butter is actually skin superfood that nourishes skin and deal with problems such as dryness, dark spots, blemishes, wrinkles, stretch marks, and discoloration. Shea butter also boosts collagen producttion, and promotes skin cell regeneration, without clogging pores.

Shea butter creates barrier on skin that protects it from harsh enviromental elements. Shea buuter supports skin elasticity and suppleness, and inceases circulation. It can be also used in hair care because it nourishes from root to the tip, repairs damage, protects against brittleness and dryness, without leaving a sticky residue.

Rich in Vitamins A, E and F, Shea Butter is a natural emollient that nourishes skin to promote its clarity and health. Whether skin is dry or oily, Shea Butter balances its oil production without clogging pores. It melts at body temperature and is known to soothe and hydrate mature skin as well as skin that has been damaged by the harsh effects of the elements. Its Cinnamic Acid content provides skin with a degree of protection against the sun, acting as a natural sun screen. Individuals with acne, eczema, rashes, or psoriasis can use Shea Butter for relief from their skin conditions without experiencing the side effects commonly associated with traditional treatments, which can have abrasive effects on skin. Gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, Shea Butter has even been used traditionally for baby care.

The word Shea is derived from the word S’í, the Bambara name given to the tree in Mali. Throughout Africa, the continent of its origin, it goes by many other names, including Kade or Kadanya in the Hausa language, Ori in some parts of West Africa, and Karité in the Wolof language of Senegal. 

In some of Africa’s poorest regions, the Shea tree has become important to the economy and to the livelihood. In these places, Shea Butter is most commonly known as ‘Women’s Gold,’ due to the fact that Shea Butter production is the source of income for many women in Africa. The women use Shea Butter to purchase food, clothing, personal items, and to afford an education, among other purposes.

According to historical sources, the use of Shea Butter has even been traced back to Egypt as far back as the first century at the time of Queen Cleopatra, when it was used largely in skin care products. Ancient accounts tell the story of Cleopatra demanding that large jars full of Shea Butter accompany her on all her travels so that she could apply the smooth, hydrating, soothing, and rejuvenating butter to her skin daily.

The uses of Shea Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils and balms, cleansing oils, lotions, creams, facial serums, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, shampoos and other hair care products, and ointments or salves.

Side effects and risks

Shea butter is an incredibly low-risk topical ingredient. Allergic reactions to shea butter are rare. Even people who are allergic to tree nuts, the family that shea nuts belong to, have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face.

Reasons to use shea butter in your skincare routine

It’s moisturizing

If you have dry, dull skin, shea butter may become your new best friend. It helps retain moisture by forming a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, which reduces the loss of water and keeps your skin hydrated. Shea butter moisturizes hair, too. By conditioning the scalp, it can also reduce dandruff, and it can make hair stronger and prevent breakage.

It’s safe for all skin types

Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies. There’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter. It also doesn’t contain chemical irritants.

It’s soothing

Thanks to the fact that it contains both vitamins E and A, shea butter is also beneficial in treating irritated skin, sensitive or not. You can use it to soothe dry patches, windburn, sunburn, abrasions, even diaper rashes on babies.

It eases inflammation

Shea butter slows the production of inflammatory cells that contribute to irritation and skin conditions, so if you struggle with chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, the fatty acids in shea butter will help ease inflammation. Because shea butter penetrates the skin quickly, you’ll feel relief sooner rather than later.

It makes you look younger

The vitamin A and E in shea butter can do more than soothe skin. They can also make you appear more youthful. Shea butter also helps promote cell regeneration, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also boosts collagen production, and gives you the plump look. We all love plump look, don’t we?

It won’t make your skin oily

Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.

How to use shea butter?

Shea butter can be used on its own, but it’s just as commonly used as an ingredient in cosmetics. It is best incorporated into a moisturiser with other ingredients so it’s easier to spread, since it’s usually a thick solid at room temperature.

You can apply shea butter directly to your skin and hair, as a conditioner or on the ends of your hair. For the face, it may be best to use at night as it can be tricky to apply makeup over it. Wherever you’re applying it though, remember a little goes a long way. 

Shea butter is full of essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out. Although it’s considered safe every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.

If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider. 

If you would like to make your own products with shea butter, start with this easy and simple, but powerful and moisturizing shea butter balm.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax (or soy wax)

Combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe glass container. Microwave to gently heat up the shea butter and beeswax. Pour into a 4 to 5-ounce glass jar and let cool. Stir again. Use on dry areas. It’s great for the knees, elbows, and can even be used to treat and prevent chapped lips.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

cooking

I wonder, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love cookies? I often say – cookies are good for the soul because eating them will make you feel good. There is no dessert that comes in more shapes, sizes, flavors and textures than cookies.

I’m a big cookie lover. I love searching for recipes, experimenting and I find making them is just fun. It also relaxes me. But what if you feel lazy and don’t want to bake but still crave for some good cookies? Well then, I might just have perfect recipe for you.

If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you’ll love these cookies. You just need few ingredients and 15 minutes to make them. Simple as that. Try them..you won’t regret it. They are sweet, simple, quick and just a perfect lazy day dessert.

No baking, no heating the oven. Just simple but delicious no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

– 3 cups oats

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1/2 cup butter

– 1/2 cup milk

– 2 cups sugar

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

Preparation:

1. Mix together the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. It doesn’t have to be perfectly mixed because it will all come together in a pot.

2. Heat the milk and butter in a pan over medium-high heat, until the butter is melted. Whisk in the sugar, salt, and cocoa until smooth. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, until you see large bubbles, stirring often.

3. Stir in the peanut butter and oat mixture, and continue cooking for 1 minute longer, stirring constantnly (until the mixture is still fluid but starting to hold a shape).

4. Remove from the heat (but leave the pot near to keep the mixture warm). Scoop the mixture with the spoon, and drop onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Allow to cool and become firm.

5. You can store your cookies in an airtight container for up to one week (but, they won’t last that long because they are so delicious).

* You’ll get around 35-40 cookies from this mixture.

Enjoy and let me know what you think when you make them yourself.

Best face oils for all skin types

Beauty and Skincare

Do you ever feel that taking care of your skin is a full time job? If so, you are not alone. We all feel that way especially as we get older. As we age, our skin loses moisture and elasticity, and that causes wrinkles, fine lines and dryness. To fight wrinkles we use serums, creams, moisturizers, anti-wrinkle treatments, sunscreen, eye cream…what not!?

One thing is certain – when it comes to wrinkle treatments, the options are endless. There are many products available to reduce wrinkles and fine lines but if you want to add just one extra thing to your skincare routine, make it a quality oil.

Not so long ago “oil” was a dirty and forbidden word in skincare. Everything was “oil free”. Remember? Oil was considered the main culprit when it comes to skin problems, clogged pores, pimples and acne. Well, not anymore. Oils are our skin friends.

Oils can penetrate deep into the skin, trapping water and moisture in, but keeping toxins out. Oils can still clog your pores but not all oils. Mineral oils are dangerous for sensitive and acne prone skin, and olive and coconut oil can easily clog pores.

Unfortunately, trial and error is your safest bet at determining what oils will work for you. There are oils that are less likely to iritate like marula and argan but your skin type and genetic makeup will determine what will work for you.

Maybe you are afraid of oils on your skin. Maybe you have oily skin and the idea of putting more oil on your face seems insane. Maybe you have super sensitive skin and think you can’t use an oil. Or maybe you just don’t like oils in general and don’t trust them.

Whatever the reason, you should know one thing – face oil is great product that can actually treat your skin problems, issues and give you bright, glowy, clear and healthy skin. Every skin type can use face oil, you just have to find right one for yourself and your skin type.

Let’s find you your perfect oil.

Dry Skin

When your skin is dry you might think that any kind of face oil will work for you. Because why not, right? Skin is dry anyway and will drink anything you put on it. But, it’s not that simple. Some oils are naturally more lightweight (jojoba, pomegranate and grape seed) so if you are dryer type you want to use richer oil that is high in oleic acid – a fatty acid that lock in moisture, helps condition skin, and reduce irritation from dryness.

What oils to use?

Almond Oil

Almond oil is gentle, incredibly hydrating, and simple enough with everyone with dry skin, dermatitis or eczema. It’s very high in vitamin A so it’s great for line smoothing and zit-fighting when used over time.

Marula Oil

Marula oil manages to absorb into skin within a few minutes, but it’s still rich enough to calm and moisturize your skin during the day or night.

You can put those oils directly on your face or mix 3-5 drops with your moisturizer, and apply to your face and neck. You can also apply oil over your moisturizer to provide a protective barrier to prevent dry air from pulling moisture out of your skin.

Oily Skin

Oily skin and oils..you’d think that is impossible combination but it’s not actually. There is a common misconception that oily skin and face oil shouldn’t mix. But the truth is, if you produce excess amounts of oil, it’s actually your skin’s way of letting you know that you need it.

If your body senses a lack of oil, it will produce more to compensate. By adding it yourself, you’ll be slowing down the body’s natural oil production, and balancing out your skin.

What oils to use?

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is incredibly lighweight and breathable oil so it’s great for any skin type, especially for oily skin. Jojoba oil breaks down and dissolves sebum, so it help control your shine.

Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is a bit more drying than jojoba oil. It is also natural astringent, so it will help mattify your skin. If your skin is so oily that you never felt a dry patch on your skin, opt for grape seed oil.

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin you have to find a formula with zero mineral oils (like rose, lavander and peppermint) because mineral oils tend to irritate sensitive skin.

What you need is calming, gentle, soothing, and nourishing oil. Just make sure to patch test it first (apply it below your ear near jaw) and wait for 24 hours for a reaction. If your skin seems okay and normal, you can use oil in the morning, at night, as the last step of your skincare routine.

What oils to use?

Aloe Vera Oil

Aloe vera oil is filled with anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, but it’s also naturally antibacterial and astringent, so it’s great for sensitive skin that’s also oily and/or acne prone.

Moringa Oil

This oil is packed with antioxidants (protecting your skin from free radicals), fatty acids (repairing skin barrier), and anti-inflammatories (calming irritated skin). Moringa oil is very lightweight, moisturizing, and you can even layer it under makeup.

Acne-Prone Skin

Most acne treatments are filled with ingredients that strip your skin of natural oils. When your skin is dry, it produces extra sebum, leading to blackheads and pimples. Acne safe face oils work to protect and nourish your skin, and your body can heal acne (or zits) without causing you more.

Before you use any oil on acne-prone skin, try patch-testing one on the most acne-prone area of your face because it will be the most reactive and most accurate spot. Try it for a week and if nothing bad happens, add oil as a last step of your skincare routine.

What oils to use?

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is amazing oil that deeply hydrates skin but without clogging your pores. It is also full of fatty acids that fade acne scars and reduce redness.

Pomegranate Oil

Pomegranate oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, but it’s also lightweight. It will help fight bacteria in your pores, calm the rest of your (inflamed) skin but won’t feel like a greasy and heavy mask on your face.

Normal Skin

I don’t like the word “normal” but if you don’t break out, if you are not sensitive, dry or oily then you have perfectly normal skin and you should be thankful for that. That also means you can use basic face oil without having to worry about irritation or clogged pores.

Because normal skin is less dry, you don’t have to apply oils directly on your skin. Try mixing 2-3 drops of oil into your nighttime moisturizer.

What oils to use?

Argan Oil

Argan oil is soothing and rich. It sinks in quickly and it’s high in vitamin E – an antioxidant that helps prevent skin damage, fine lines and dark spots. You can massage it on in the morning or night (or both) as the final step of your skincare routine.

Squalane Oil

Squalane oil is like a drink of water for your skin. It is super hydrating and is full of anti-aging benefits. Squalane oil is a great moisturizer, it’s easily absorbed and prevents water loss from skin. It helps to repair the barrier of your skin. Squalane can also increase the luminosity of skin, lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and help reduce redness.

Bonus tip:

Never mix face oils with a sunscreen. If you alter its original formula by mixing in an oil, you probably won’t be getting real sun protection or benefit to prevent wrinkles and brown spots.

Divine Berry Clafoutis

cooking

Imagine something magical. Something creamy. Something fluffy. Something sweet and elegant. Imagine hot summer in your aunts perfect garden. Imagine summer in France. Now imagine super quick dessert that is so easy to make you just won’t believe it. This dessert is called clafoutis but you don’t have to imagine it because you can make it all by yourself.

No matter what’s the level of your culinary skills, you can’t go wrong with this summer recipe. Clafoutis [kla-foo-tee] is a baked French dessert made of thick egg batter and fresh fruit, usually black cherries but you can put anything you like and the result will be equally good.

Clafoutis originated in in the rural region of Limousin, France and spread all over the France in the nineteenth century. This custardy dish became so popular all over the country that everyone fell in love with this rustic fruit dessert with a rich and savory texture that hovers between cake and custard.

Clafoutis comes from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill”. This dessert is true to its name because clafoutis is made by filling the baking pan with a sweet (but not too sweet) egg batter and fruit on top. Traditionally, clafoutis is made with un-pitted black cherries. When heated, the cherry pits infuse the batter with an almond flavor.

Some say that a clafoutis made with anything other than cherries is called flaugnarde. Clafoutis or flaugnarde, you can put any fruit you can imagine, like berries, peaches or apples, to name just a few.

If you have some leftover berries in your fridge and would like to indulge in a perfect, elegant and easy dessert keep reading. Especially if you love French culture and food and healthy recipes. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this is the healthy recipe. But, you know, it’s not unhealthy either.

It’s not too sweet, it’s fruity and light. You can serve it warm, cold or at room temperature and you can even make it in advance. One thing I can guarantee you – there won’t be any leftovers for tomorrow.

Berry Clafoutis

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes (depends on the oven)

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

– 1/2 tablespoons of butter

– 1 cup milk

– 3 eggs

– 1/2 cups sugar

– 1 tablespoon vanilla

– 2/3 cups all purpose flour

– 1/8 teaspoon salt

– 2 cups berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)

– powdered sugar, for topping

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Place a pie dish in the hot oven with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Let it melt and spread it evenly to coat the pie dish.

2. In a bowl add eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla and blend well (with hand mixer) until combined and foamy. Add flour and salt and mix for another 1 minute.

3. In the hot pie dish, pour half batter and let it sit for 2 minutes until batter is set (this will help the berries remain in the middle). Spread berries in an even and generous layer on the set batter and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour remaining batter on top of berries. Smooth the top (you can do it with the back of the spoon).

4. Bake for 30 minutes (depends on the oven so make sure to check it every now and then). Knife should come out clean when it’s baked, and the edges will be golden brown. Clafoutis will also rise while baking and deflate as it cools.

5. You can serve clafoutis warm after baking. You can also serve it at room temperature or cold. Don’t forget to sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving.

Bon Appétit!