“Alexa, wash my face.”

Smooth and radiant skin is something I have to work for, I'm breakout prone and my pores get congested easily, If I'm not exfoliating regularly my skin will look dull and textured. With the help of treatments, my skin has come along way and I rely on them weekly to help keep me clear and smooth.

There are so many masks, and treatments to choose from it can get overwhelming, it's been a long road full of breakouts and Sephora points ($$) but I'm excited to share a little skin care knowledge and my ride or die skincare products that have changed my skin.

 If we're not well exfoliated dead skin will not only pronounce wrinkles but also have our skin looking cakey. That's right, the famous cakey phrase we like to reference when talking about foundation. Depending on the amount of coverage and finish (matte or natural) you're using, your skin can look textured and dry.  When clients sit in my chair and tell me they don't want their foundation looking cakey, they just unknowingly stepped into my skin care class. Your foundation will only look at good as the skin you are covering up.

Working with different skin types and clients I've learned we sometimes look for the foundation to do the job of what our skin care should be doing. I notice such a big difference in my foundation when my skin is well exfoliated, I'm smoother and way more glowy. By keeping these dead skin cells on our face for longer than they should be, our skin is not able to breathe; this is also why it's damaging for us to sleep in our makeup. Not to mention if you're not exfoliating you're not getting the most out of your skin care, your products are not penetrating as deep as they could be and your only treating dead skin cells.

New skin travels each month from the lowest layer of your skin all the way to the surface to what we all see. On average, your skin survives for 30 days; this slows down with age which makes our skincare routines so much more important; this process is called Cell Turnover. As new skin comes in our skin sheds, but the dead skin cells don't just all fall off all at once, they hang out till they're ready to go- cute huh?

When I first found out I was pregnant I was very conscious on the ingredients I used on myself because I knew everything I used could possibly get to baby, I wanted to keep everything clean and as natural as possible. I found through testing different natural products and ingredients that my skin just didn't react well to the all natural products and furthermore, It  did very little for my skin. In the beginning of my pregnancy I had a bit of a glow but as the months went on my skin just looked exhausted, like I lived in the desert. 

This is a selfie of me 6 months pregnant unable to use any of my regular skin care products. While I did purchase baby safe products, this photo confirms they did very little for my skin. My wrinkles are way more noticeable,  my pores enlarged, and my skin drier- Even with the Miami Heat

 This photo was taken 3 months postpartum using all of my regular treatments. I feel my entire face is much more radiant and smooth. My forehead looks way more hydrated, therefore plump and less textured.

So to review. .

  •  Exfoliating will reveal newer, brighter skin.

  •  It will help your existing skin care deliver better results.

  • Makeup will wear longer as its not sitting on dead skin and rather on a smooth, supple surface. 

There are so many masks and treatments to choose from, it can get overwhelming. There's been a lot of trial and error on this end but let me tell you; these skin care products have changed my skin. We only have one face and taking a little extra time and sometimes cha-ching to pamper ourselves, is well worth it. I've recommended a few high functioning treatments that get the job done, and some in just a few minutes, perfect for the girl on the go. All the masks below remove dead skin, hydrate and are anti-aging, and that my friends sounds like a winning cocktail in skin care. DISCLAIMER: I am not an esthetician, If you have sensitive skin and or visit a dermatologist for skin care concerns its best to seek advice before using any of these treatments or doing a patch test behind your ear. Also, keep in mind when using ingredients that pull toxins from the skin, its possible you will break out. I do not recommend trying new skin care products before a special event. Glam Glow SUPERMUD Charcoal: Pulls Toxins Cucumber Extract: Hydrates Mandelic Acid: Aids in diminishing acne scars Charcoal for the win here- it helps to pull toxins while also exfoliating to get down deep into your skin to help clear your breakouts. You can use as a spot treatment or all over.  Ole Henriksen COLD PLUNGE Willow Bark: Gentle exfoliator Kaolin Clay: Detoxifies, Mattifies Avocado Oil: Hydrates This super oil absorbing mask is perfect for summer and oily skin. It will leave you matte and clean without over-drying. It’s high in antioxidants like green tea extract to fight off damaging UV rays from the sun. It also cools upon application- great for those 90-degree summer days we've been having.

  Photo Credit: @Katesomervilleskincare

Kate Somerville

Exfolikate "The Hollywood 2 minute Glow." Lactic Acid: Exfoliates Pumpkin Enzymes: Enhance skin exfoliation. Aloe Vera and Honey: Soothe and Hydrate

This exfoliator is a game changer. My skin feels so much softer, and I see such a significant improvement in my skins texture. I've been using this exfoliator for about 5 years now and will never let it go. I usually apply this right before the shower (leave on 2-minutes) it makes for quick removal. Love how they combined natural ingredients too. Dr. Dennis Gross Daily (2 - minute) Peel Pads Lactic Acid: Hydrates, lightens and brightens Glycolic Acid: Exfoliates Resveratrol: Antioxidant derived from grapes. These quick but effective pads only take 2 minutes of your time, and they minimize the appearance of acne scars, exfoliate, hydrate and help improve the texture of my skin. I use the Extra Strength, but they also have regular and gentle based on your skin sensitivity. When I got pregnant and had to stop using these peel pads because of unsafe baby ingredients, I was devastated, and I noticed the difference almost right away.

And Finally. . My bonus share:

Kate Somerville EradiKate 10% Sulfur

Ever wake up with a giant pimple and don’t know what to do? This spot treatment uses Sulfur to dry up that annoying pimple, Even the under the surface ones that hurt! As soon as I feel one coming on I use a q-tip, and dot face where It’s needed. This little guy was a life saver the week of my wedding! It’s important to follow with a serum and moisturizer to hydrate your skin after exfoliating. After using exfoliating ingredients, your skin is likely to be sensitive to sunlight so make sure you don’t skip your SPF, even in the winter. 

 It’s easy for us to purchase these skin care products but if we’re not routinely using our creams, serums, masks or peels; it’s a waste. Up keep is everything so make sure your keeping up with your skin care day and night for optimal results.  

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XXOX, Vivian