This is part 2 of a previous post . . . So last week, I did a post about Vivian Moreno, an esthetician I met some years ago who suggested I minimize the use of water on my face. You can read that post here: http://skingab.com/water-ruining-skin/
Initially I did not understand how one should minimize water, but Vivian provided me with some details, as discussed below. This is a VERY long post with a lot of detail. A lot of detail. So, if you’re interested in giving yourself a professional facial, that’s glycolic-based and learning about a regimen that helped to clear my skin from acne breakouts, please read this very carefully.
This regimen is what jumpstarted my path to esthetics, because I saw the power of facials and good, effective skin care products with a consistent regimen. For more context on this regimen, especially the minimal use of water, please review last week’s post: http://skingab.com/water-ruining-skin/
Tip 1: Never wash your face in the morning—this strips all of the protective oils that your skin has produced while you’ve slept.
Water is drying to the skin, that’s why we use a moisturizer or lotion. So, when you’re taking a shower in the morning, your face should be protected from the steam and spray of the shower.
I have experienced dry skin due to excessive steam, so I started using a moisturizer on my skin as a mask and once I wiped it off after the shower, my skin looked cleansed, hydrated and toned. The moisturizer actually acts as a bit of a cleansing agent, so you can still feel a bit of comfort in the fact that you’re still, in a way, cleansing your face.
It is beneficial to apply a thick moisturizer or a creamy cleanser to the face before showering, as this provides a layer of protection from the shower steam and water. Vivian and her husband actually make an occlusive product called Waterscreen. Occlusive products help reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by holding in moisture and protecting the skin’s top barrier layer, which in turn, helps to combat dryness. Occlusive products are noncomedogenic (do not clog pores). Waterscreen feels like a very light salve, Vaseline or Aquaphor product. http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=4
Again, a moisturizer is sufficient, or another occlusive product or even a product such as Un-Petroleum.
Tip 2: Never use a face wash that foams because it is too stripping (this includes benzol peroxide, salicylic acid, etc.–basically, any commercial products).
Cetaphil or a non-foaming facial wash, or waterless cleansers, like one of Vivian’s http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=1 help to protect the barrier of our skin.
The main point with these guidelines is to help you minimize the use of water on your skin. Water by itself can dry out the skin. Waterless cleansers are helpful when cleansing the face because they contain water, but are buffered with other ingredients that protect skin from the drying effects of water.
Since adopting these simple techniques of minimizing the use of water (and the detailed facial regimen that I will provide shortly) my skin rarely if ever breaks out and my skin texture and clarity have greatly improved.
I absolutely believe that our skin reflects our internal environment; however, a few years ago, that was my only focus and approach to the care of my skin. I was trying to clear my skin from the inside only. Now, while I was concerned about the facial products I used on my skin, apparently I was extremely misinformed about what products I should have been using.
It was not until I started focusing on both the internal environment AND the external environment of my skin, that I saw my skin truly improve. Facials have been a Godsend and I am a strong advocate of having these done at least once a month (two weeks ideally) until you see your skin clear up or achieve your desired results. In conjunction with a good skincare routine, it is imperative that you also maintain a good diet and lifestyle habits for optimal results. And once your skin has cleared itself and has begun building a strong skin barrier, you will then be able to see the true effects of your vitamins and food choices, the benefits they provide your skin, as well as your skin care products and regimen.
Your skin needs to eat too, and it must be nourished with its own skin “foods.” Until your skin “eats” skin products that provide it nourishment rather than imbalance and compromise it, it will be more challenging for your skin to withstand attacks from your hormones and other internal irritants. Every month I used to have hormonal cysts, but now that my skin barrier is fully intact and healthy, I never break out around my menses.
This regimen, adapted from methods and tips garnered from Vivian Moreno, have been invaluable to my skin and helped to clear my skin from consistent breakouts.
This regimen has helped my skin to function optimally. I believe it helps to achieve healthy skin that is able to breathe and is able to tell you what it needs and when. You will be able to understand and experience that less really is more.
I am asking you to have an open mind to the information I am sharing with you. I am also asking you to have a bit of patience with the regimen I will provide. And, I am asking that you are very careful about who you share this information with. There are many naysayers out there who will think this regimen makes no sense. I am not saying the regimen is for everyone, but if you follow the steps and product recommendations, your skin will most likely respond favorably. I have shared this regimen with a number of my friends and associates, and it has worked for everyone.
One of Vivian’s mantras is that “the ultimate skin care is no skin care.” She believes this regimen is skin care freedom. I have to agree. Once I began practicing this method, I was freed from acne and freed from the bondage of always moving onto another product and then the next, with no tangible or consistent results.
If you are using prescription topical medications, such as Retin-A, this regimen might not work as well. I am not a doctor and the suggestions provided here are not to be taken in the place of medical guidelines from a doctor. I would advise you not to do this regimen if you are taking any prescription topicals. First, I will provide a “Basic Regimen” and then the more detailed one, the “Facial Regimen Treatment.”
Basic Regimen: 4 nights of washing your face at night and moisturizing—nothing else.
- Wash face in the evenings only. Recommended cleansers: Cetaphil, CeraVe, a cleansing lotion or Vivian’s cleansers: http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=1. These cleansers can actually be applied to the face themselves and then wiped off, without the use of water. Just apply one of these cleansers to your face, rub it in, as though you were washing with water, then wipe off with a dry washcloth or paper towel. You can do a double cleanse using this same method too. Water isn’t really necessary since these products are heavily water-based.
- Washing the face in the morning strips the protective oils that your skin has produced while you have slept.
- Apply your favorite moisturizer or a light one like Cetaphil, CeraVe or one of Vivian’s which are loaded with antioxidants: http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=5
Facial Regimen Treatment:
Now it’s time for the facial regimen that will work to clear your skin. This regimen helps to “treat” your skin, address acne and other skin issues, ultimately allowing you to achieve clearer, healthier and more balanced skin. During the days that you perform the facial regimen, your skin is “treated” with high-performance and concentrated products, similarly to a professional facial, to help your skin learn to function better.
For the health and balance of your skin, it is best that this regimen, which consists of masks, scrubs and alpha hydroxy acids only be used for 3 days in a row and the other 4 days consist of light cleansing—the Basic Regimen (at night).
When starting the Facial Regimen, I suggest performing it for 3 nights in a row for about 2-3 months. After this time, assess the condition of your skin and decide if you want to reduce the Facial Regimen Treatment to 1-2 nights per week or switch over to the Basic Regimen and use the Facial Regimen Treatment protocol in those times when your skin needs extra attention.
Facial Regimen Treatment (STEPS): Perform for 3 consecutive nights only.
Start the Facial Regimen before bedtime (See the section on Product Recommendations for information on making the oatmeal mask and for other product suggestions):
1. Facial wash (CeraVe, Cetaphil, cleansing lotion or one of Vivian’s cleansers: http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=1
Let the cleanser sit on your skin for 2-5 minutes. Do not use water to remove. Wipe cleanser from skin with a washcloth or very soft paper towel.
- Apply a toner to your skin. Wait for it to dry before moving to the third step.
2a. Optional, but Recommended: Reviva Lab’s Oxygen mask is optional, but can be used during one of your treatment days. It really helps to give the skin an extra boost. To incorporate this into the regimen, I first apply toner to my face, let that dry, then apply microdermabrasion cream, then apply this oxygen mask after I remove the microdermabrasion cream. I leave the oxygen on for about 20 minutes, wipe off and then continue the rest of the regimen. You can use this each time you do the regimen or when your skin needs a super boost. If I haven’t done the regimen in awhile, I add this to really make my skin look vibrant.
3. Apply a thin layer of microdermabrasion cream. I recommend Vivian’s http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=6 or a microdermabrasion scrub from Reviva Labs.
It is best to apply the microdermabrasion to dry skin. Dry skin helps to give more traction to the product and lets it perform better. Apply the micordermabrasion as you would a mask (a thin mask). You do not want to apply the microdermabrasion cream too thickly because there will not be enough traction for it to actually exfoliate your skin properly. (Please make sure to buy an actual microdermabrasion product, not a facial scrub, but one that is specifically a microdermabrasion product).
Let it sit for about 2 minutes in order to dry. Once dry, begin to gently rub your skin to exfoliate. It is best to rub in a long vertical manner. Depending on the microdermabrasion cream, you might notice that your skin takes on a waxy appearance and looks somewhat oily, or it could look a bit dry after you exfoliate with the microdermabrasion cream. Do not rinse. You can wipe away excess residue with a soft washcloth or paper towel, but do not use water at this point. It is perfectly okay if you still have microdermabrasion residue still on your face.
4. Apply an oatmeal mask. I use Vivian’s mix http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=10
or make my own from mixing organic steel cut oatmeal grains with Chamomile and Spearmint herbs I take from tea bags. Mix an equal portion of oatmeal with your facial wash or light moisturizer (waterless or non-soapy cleanser; CeraVe or Cetaphil or another cleansing lotion work well, to make a paste. I have also added, Boot’s Botanics Complexion Refining Toner, to the oatmeal to make a mask; you can be creative in this step, you just want something that will bind with the oatmeal to make a paste).
Apply the mask to your face and let it dry for approximately 15 minutes.
5. Remove the mask by rubbing it off of your face, vertically, with clean dry hands. Do not use water to remove.
6. Apply a thin layer of glycolic acid cream. I use Vivian’s glycolic creams http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=3
or Reviva Labs Glycolic Acid Cream. PLEASE NOTE: if you are new to glycolic, start with the 5% cream!
You will most likely feel a slight sting. Let it sit on your face for one minute only. DO NOT REMOVE. It is okay to apply the glycolic on top of any oatmeal mask residue that might still be present on your face. After several weeks of doing the Facial Regimen Treatment, you can leave the glycolic on a little longer.
7. On top of the glycolic, apply a generous coat of Vivian’s Skin Water http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=2
Or Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream or a very thick water-based moisturizer.
Any of these will turn off the sting of the glycolic. After 5-10 minutes, wipe the mixture off with a dry towel. Do not rinse or apply water to your face. If your skin feels uncomfortable during this step, try lightly misting your face with water to relieve the sting, but if it is unbearable, wipe your face clean.
8. Apply a thin layer of Waterscreen, jojoba oil, salve, or another occlusive to your face to seal in moisture. And, that’s it.
** This Facial Regimen is to be done for 3 nights in a row. On the fourth night, you will begin the Basic Regimen.
Again, the Basic Regimen is to be followed for 4 nights in a row:
1. Facial Wash
2. Apply a light layer of Cetaphil or CeraVe moisturizers or Vivian’s http://www.biokorium.com/product.asp?c=5 or another antioxidant moisturizer .
3. Seal with an occlusive like Vivian’s Waterscreen or jojoba oil (this is an optional step).
** This Basic Regimen is to be done for 4 nights in a row. After the fourth night, start back with the Facial Regimen.
I urge you to try this regimen for at least one month. Please stick to the exact details as much as possible and be consistent.
In the mornings, before getting into the shower, it is important that you protect your face against the steam, as it can dry out the skin and exacerbate acne, or other skin conditions, such as eczema. A moisturizer as a mask or the Waterscreen (mentioned above) are good options to “protect” your face. Daily exposure to shower steam can dehydrate your skin making it necessary to replace the loss moisture, however, if you protect it before getting into the shower, your own moisture and oils will stay intact.
- Once out of the shower, wipe off the moisturizer or Waterscreen with a dry, soft washcloth or paper towel. You can then apply your preferred serums, moisturizers or other morning products to your face as usual.
If you have questions about this regimen, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here or contact Vivian at Biokorium: (951) 686-7134.