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A daily regimen is on everyone’s mind, but how many steps and products do you really need? Sadly there is no magic bullet to deliver all our skincare goals, but with 5 easy steps, you can turn back the hands of time and keep your skin looking youthful. Five may sound daunting but below explains why you need each step to achieve glowing healthy skin.

Exfoliate:

The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, outer skin of an onion to reveal the living layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion or a controlled chemical reaction, removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows treatment ingredients to penetrate the skin and work more effectively.

**Exfoliate your skin two to three times a week, unless you suffer from rosacea or eczema. Depending on the season and climate where you live, exfoliation can be increased or decreased.

Cleanse:

Cleansing or washing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from applied night treatments and regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin. Cleansing the skin at night is a must! No exceptions here. The skin is exposed to many pollutants from just stepping foot outside your home. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second-hand smoke, and many other pollutants wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what.

**Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to breakouts and or rashes.

Treat:

Pollution releases microscopic particles or free radicals that can go deep into the skin and cause damage to otherwise healthy cells. The outcome is a loss of elasticity (wrinkles and sagging) and Hyperpigmentation (dark spots). Pollution can cause uneven skin tone, dehydration, dryness, dark spots, expedited aging, wrinkles, sagging and deterioration of collagen.  Consider using products that employ the highest regarded pollution fighting ingredients, such as, Organic Red Tea, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Retinol and Resveratrol.

Hydrate:

Look for ingredients that hydrate and repair. Plant stem cells are powerful ingredients that hydrate and repair damaged, aging, sagging skin. Organic Red Tea extract also restores important anti-oxidants and Birds of Paradise restore skin’s youthful appearance by reducing uneven skin pigmentation, dull and lackluster complexion resulting in an increased illuminated glow. Plant and botanical based oils are also a terrific way to get hydrated! Loaded with Vitamins C , E and F, Baobob, Kalahari, Marula, and Mongogo oils not only deliver hydration but also overall brightness and luminosity.

Protect:

Sun protection is crucial all times of the year but especially during the summer. Reapplication every hour when in direct sunlight and up to three times daily (AM/Mid—day/Afternoon) when going in and out of indoor/outdoor areas. As a general rule of thumb: if you are going to be outside for 20 minutes or more, SPF is recommended.

** “I always recommend an SPF of at least a 30. Wearing SPF safe clothing, like hats and glasses are crucial and extremely beneficial for sun protection.” Dr. G.

Social media, weddings, baby showers-seems there is always a picture being taken. Summer is here and with it comes parties, BBQs and vacations where you will be in one if not many pictures. We all want to the look the best we can even if its an impromptu selfie. Below are a few tips we borrowed from Rachel Zoe and a few others we came up with ourselves.

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Image via Nothing Less Than Perfect 


Exfoliate: 
Everyone should be consistently exfoliation and  if you know you’re going to be photographed get scrubbing! Face and body exfoliation reveals fresh, glowing skin and makeup goes on much smoother. If you’re not a fan of scrubs try an at home peel. Fresh A Peel is effective yet gentle and targets dark spots-a must for summer!

No more grease:Blotting papers are a must for every makeup bag. There are so many different types now to choose from. Make sure you blot instead of rubbing to avoid removing makeup. Our favorite is Tatcha!

Shine the right way: Invest in a highlighter and accentuate cheek bones, brow bones and shoulder bones. Our two favorites are BECCA for the face and Body Bling for the body. Body bling will add a wash-off bronze look with a glow. BECCA can be used just about everywhere and has a luminosity that looks gorgeous and ethereal in photos.

Tame frizzies: Humidity is not always friendly to hair and frizzies and fly aways can make a perfect outfit look messy.  If you’re in a pinch can use any lotion by rubbing a tin bit into hands and then just lightly smoothing the frizz areas. A dryer sheet also works very well.

Strike a pose: Might sound silly but striking a pose really does look good in a picture. You want to be captured having fun and looking happy, and over doing an expression can look more real in a picture. When posing for a picture always turn your body and head on a slight angle, this will elongate and narrow the way you look. If it is a full body shot, bend one knee into the other.

Summertime means more time outdoors in the sun, water and heat. Taking sun safe precautions is the most important step but what about easing up on all the beauty treatments that can cause annoyance and waste time during summer months. Skin, hair and nails all need a break and summertime is the best time to utilize warm temperatures and humidity.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.58.06 AMPhoto via Dust Jacket

As skin regimens change in the winter they also need to be adjusted for the summer. If you live in an area with high humidity ease up on the heavy moisturizers and protective oils. Heavy hydrating products can cause clogged pores and breakouts during warm months. Try transitioning into a hydrating serum that contains lightening agents like Alpha Arbutin or Kojic Acid. Not only will this eliminate one step from your regimen but a treatment serum can also help to protect and reverse sun damage and dark spots. Botanical oils and dry oils can also serve the purpose of a serum, treatment and moisturizer in one. Oils should never contain Dimethicone (can clog pores) so read the ingredients before purchasing.

Easing up on exfoliation during the summer can be beneficial for the skin too. Although important in a healthy skin regimen, exfoliation whether physical or chemical may cause redness and irritation if overdoing. Ditch the acid wipes and pads and try a gentle lactic acid mask once a week. Lactic acid is particularly appropriate for sun damaged skin, dark spots and Hyper pigmentation. Lactic acid molecules are larger than Glycolic molecules so they don’t go as deep as fast, therefore targeting the top layers of the skin (where the darkness appears). Scrubs can take a back seat during the summer too. Over scrubbing can make skin red and dry especially if skin has been exposed to the sun or sea. Save scrubbing for a few times a week ( if needed) and focus more on finding a refreshing, rejuvenating cleanser that gets the skin clean. Gel based cleansers that are formulated without harsh chemicals are the best for summertime.

Gel nails look amazing but they really can cause damage to the nail bed and cuticles. After just a few months of continuous gel manicures, nails are left soft, thin and peeling-usually breaking off after the gel is removed and then not reapplied. Try keeping the nails short by cutting them often which will allow new healthy nail to grow. Always use a hand lotion or nail oil (vitamin E) to moisturize the nail bed and cuticles. Nails are made up of the protein Keratin, try soaking in milk, which has protein and whitening properties.

Over shampooing, coloring and styling-tool use can dry and frizz hair. During the summer the temperatures are high enough and if you happen to live in hot and humid weather you can kiss that blow out goodbye. Try skipping the hair dryer and opting for a damp lose braid. After washing make sure all the water is towel dried out of the hair. If you have curly, frizzy or wavy hair use an anti-humidity product or a keratin based product. Braid hair to the side very loosely and let dry. Humidity can be your friend if using the correct products. You’ll look beach ready in no time. If you have flat or straight hair try a salt or beach spray. Apply using the same steps.

Nothing is more beautiful than being natural Happy summer!