Beauty Tips

6 Mistakes You Make When Washing Your Face

How can you possibly make mistakes in face washing for goodness sake? It should be pretty simple, right? Dunk your face in a sink full of water, work up a little soap lather on a washcloth, scrub it on and then rinse it off. Ahhh, but it takes a little more care and thought; how you wash your face, when, how frequently, and what you use all make a difference.

With a little consideration of method and products, you can improve your skin health, curb acne breakouts, and reduce skin inflammation. To these ends, I will become the Queen of Clean for your enlightenment.

Wash your face before bed

Even if you don’t wear makeup you should always wash your face at night before turning in. All day natural oils and sweat collect on the skin as well as dirt and pollution from the environment. Leaving this accumulation of gunk on your skin at the end of the day can cause acne breakouts, skin irritation, and inflammation.

Don’t skip the morning cleanse, friends

Cleansing your skin before bed is fine, but another rinse in the morning is a good idea. Germs like to leap from your pillowcase to your face as you sleep so you should wash your pillowcases often. Even then, bacteria from your saliva and oils from your hair make their way to your fresh new pillowcase and then to your face and eyes. A quick rinse in the morning will freshen your skin and ensure that any other skincare products you apply have the best possible base.

Keep the water temperature low

Hot water may feel good in the shower especially just after a muscle numbing workout, but it could also be causing damage to your skin. High water temperatures can cause dilation of blood vessels and the possible breakage of delicate tissue as well as strip the skin of its natural oils. Your skin will more quickly dry out and become itchy and flaky, so use lukewarm water to cleanse your face instead of hot.

Don’t use only a makeup wipe to clean your face

A makeup wipe or cleansing cloth is not good enough to deeply clean your face. They remove makeup and surface dirt but also leave behind a residue. If you do use them, rinse away the residue and then use a gentle cleanser for a deeper clean. Wet your face with lukewarm water and apply cleanser using your fingertips in a circular motion for 20 to 30 seconds, then rinse and softly pat dry with a clean towel.

Use the correct cleanser for your skin

That new cleanser on the market that your co-workers and crafting pals keep raving about might not be the best for you. Skincare companies create different product lines for different skin types for good reason.

  • Normal skin has an even skin tone and a soft texture with no blemishes, red or flaky patches, and the skin surface is neither dry nor greasy. Look for a simple cleanser that doesn’t go too heavy on the exfoliants or the moisturizers. Find a solution here for normal skin.

  • Dry skin has a dull skin tone and looks rough, flaky, and is often itchy. If your skin is on the dry or sensitive side, choose creams and lotions that are designed to hydrate while cleansing gently. Find a solution here for dry skin.

  • Oily skin appears shiny, often showing blackheads and pimples and is more prone to acne. Gentle foams and gels will be the best choices to cleanse an oilier complexion without leaving the skin totally stripped. Find a solution here for acne-prone skin.

Moisturize right after you clean

Studies have shown that applying moisturizer while the skin is still damp after cleansing will help to lock in that hydration. Waiting even a few minutes will allow the surface cells to dehydrate and they will become more resistant to retaining moisture. As an added note, even if your moisturizer does have an SPF factor, apply a sunscreen on top to ensure adequate protection for your skin.

So, how did the Queen of Clean do? Are you now enlightened and glowing in the knowledge of correct washing procedure? In all seriousness, if you follow these tips and use the links shown above for more information, you will have beautiful skin, glowing with health.

This guest post is sponsored and written by FacingAcne.com

Beauty Favorites Made with Real Honey | The Holy Humectant

I absolutely adore honey as an ingredient -- whether it's in my food, haircare, skincare or body products. If there's raw honey blended in the formula, I'm all for trying it out.

Honey is a humectant which means it pretty much locks in all of the moisture your skin, hair and body has ever needed. Whenever I use a product with raw honey, I experience some of the longest lasting moisture ever especially during drier winter months. Honey is my holy grail. Many tend to stay away from the ingredient because it's thick but, in all honestly, it's pure liquid gold.

Some of my current favorite beauty products containing real honey:

Honey Leave-In Conditioner | Camille Rose Naturals

With naturally coily and kinky hair, it can be super tough retaining moisture. As long as my hair remains moisturized during the week, my twistouts and other styles can last for days. The Honey Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner from Camille Rose Naturals is perfect because I can pair it with my favorite styling butter (Almond Jai Twisting Butter), let my hair dry overnight and unravel super soft twists in the morning. This leave-in conditioner literally conditions the longer it sits.

Honey Hydrate is available for $13.99 at Target.com and CamilleRoseNaturals.com

Honey Cat Mask | Crecell

I was introduced to the Honey Cat sheet mask at a Jenny Beauty Supply event I was working in the fall. It was probably the cute little cat on the packaging or the fact that it was an attractive hot pink that drew my attention. Either way, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I ended up purchasing one to try and fell in LOVE.

When I opened the mask, it was so incredibly saturated with honey  -- 15,000 ppm to be exact. Plus, I could smell it. That is by far the highest amount of honey in a skincare product that I've been able to find. If you mask multiple times per week, then you actually might be set with just using this mask once and exfoliating as usual throughout.

10-pack Honey Cat sheet masks are available at Zoetik.com and Amazon.com for $30

It's Raining Men Shower Gel

As I was shopping Valentine's Day goodies at Lush last month, I was looking for a good shower gel to pair with my cocoa-scented products and was pointed in the direction of It's Raining Men. Now, I use Bubbly and Snow Fairy from Christmas all year long, so I haven't really ventured out in the shower gel department...but I'm very glad I did. I will be out of my little bottle soon and need to replenish with a larger size ASAP because the honey was so nourishing for my skin. The scent is sweet, soft and subtle, too. I typically favor bubble baths, but showers just got much more exciting with this product -- a new fave. Lush has had tons of other honey products current and discontinued that are/have been amazing as well.

It's Raining Men is available in 4 sizes: 3.5 oz for $9.95, 8.8 oz for $14.95, 17.6 oz for $24.95 and 35,2 oz for $32.95 (approximate figures -- check the Lush Cosmetics website for your country)

Orange Honey Bath Elixir | Camille Rose Naturals

Camille Rose Naturals is a favorite brand of mine and I have several favorites from their collections. Recently, they released the Body Collection consisting of 3 bath and body blends: Orange Honey Bath Elixir, Caramelized Cane & Sugar Balm and Cupuacu Sweet Cream. I literally take the Cupuacu Sweet Cream with me everywhere, but I love to drizzle my bath with the Orange Honey Bath Elixir for a soft layer of bubbles in the bathtub. Add a little bit of milk and you'll have a soothing milk & honey bath fit for a queen.

Orange Honey Bath Elixir is available for $9.99 at Target.com and CamilleRoseNaturals.com

TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask

The TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask is an older favorite of mine from earlier in my natural hair journey. Aside from occasionally revising it, I tend to gravitate towards my Algae Renew Deep Conditioner, so I haven't really tried a ton of honey hair masks to compare; however, I do have my eye on Bekura's YAM Nectar Hydrating Hair Nourisher (I love their Tapioca Palm Buttercream).

This hair mask is a deep treatment that is made with real honey to pump the hair with plenty of moisture. A good twenty-minute steam treatment with this on and your hair will thank you!

Kiehl's Vitality Skin Renewing Cream

I've always been a fan of Kiehl's. The way they bring clinical and botanical ingredients together always captures my attention in the skincare space. The Vitality Skin Renewing Cream is made with real Manuka honey and can be used for day or night. While many tend to think of hydrating products as water-based and lightweight, this is actually a fairly thick hydrating cream. Remember: a little bit goes a long way here. 

Kiehl's Vitality Renewing Cream is currently discontinued at all retailers. I will update with retailers when it becomes available again.

Tip: Personally, I feel like the scent of honey can sometimes be so strong in skincare that it doesn't always complement the scents of other products very well. Obviously that isn't the point of skincare but, when it's right under your nose, it can be difficult to ignore. If your senses understand where I'm coming from, try using toners and serums that do not have stronger scents -- go for unscented.

What are your favorite beauty products made with honey?

GLOW Skincare Series | Best Exfoliators of 2017

Best Treatment | Kate Somerville

I tried Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment a few years ago after attending the Nordstrom Beauty Trend Show and it was such a fabulous addition to my routine. I never got to try the cleansers or anything, but this one was a gem. Like many of my favorite skincare products, this exfoliator consists of clinical strength and natural ingredients. Papaya, pineapple and pumpkin enzymes are key ingredients that help enhance exfoliation, but I know it's the cinnamomum cassia leaf oil that captured my heart. The scent is wonderful (I'm big on scents)! Aside from that, it is not an abrasive exfoliator -- it's actually gentle and gets the job done.

Best Exfoliating Textile | Muslin Cloth

The first time I used a muslin cloth in my skincare routine, it was with my EVE LOM Cleanser. EVE LOM actually sells muslin cloths to repurchase even after owning one of their products, but you can also get them on Amazon with multiple cloths. This textile is great for exfoliating the skin with a one-step cleanser before moving to the toner and moisturizer...and it's not rough on the skin.

Best Tool for Sensitive Skin | FOREO

I never got around to trying the Clarisonic that everyone raves about, but I did try the Clinique cleansing brush through Influenster. While the two may (or may not) be comparable, I found that it was just too much for my skin even with soft bristles. Shortly after, I had the opportunity to also try the FOREO. It's so much more gentle and my skin doesn't start to feel rubbed raw after use morning and night making it my recommendation for sensitive skin! The different colors are actually meant for different skin types. Here's an old YouTube I filmed about my FOREO. It's a SUPER throwback, so don't laugh! *covers eyes*

Shop my favorite exfoliators:

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GLOW Skincare Series | Best Moisturizers & Illuminators of 2017

Best Pre-Makeup Glow | Peter Thomas Roth

I ordered the Peter Thomas Roth Prism Cream in a set from QVC out of which I only liked this cream and the face mask. It's great for moisturizing and adding a real pre-makeup glow that will peek through complexion makeup. A little bit of this cream really goes a long way, so a lot doesn't need to be applied. More could leave the skin shining in a much less flattering way. I recommend it under a light to medium layer of liquid foundation or alone. I also love wearing it when I don't wear makeup and just want to run errands -- I'm 100% here for a grocery stop glow!

Best Honey Hydrator | Kiehl's

I've tried a handful of moisturizers and creams with honey in the last couple of years as Manuka honey has become more and more popular. The benefits of honey are excellent for smoothing the skin and locking in moisture. If you have dry skin, the Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream is a must-try. It's even ideal for in between seasons when the skin tends to suffer or get a little patchy to use morning and night.

Best Affordable Day & Night Duo | derma e

Typically, I switch up my day and night creams, so they don't exactly coordinate by brand or collection. However, Derma e's Hydrating Day & Night Creams are the two I tend to gravitate towards on a regular basis. They're both very hydrating as it states in the name, but I think it's the light fragrance that I really adore. The Hydrating Day Cream doesn't interfere with my makeup and the Hydrating Night Cream keeps my skin on point as I get my beauty sleep at night.

Best Inexpensive Eye Cream | e.l.f.

Age shows up the quickest around the eyes, so for anti-aging it's important to take care of the skin around the eyes. Eye creams can get ridiculously expensive and, while I will splurge, I don't exactly want to spend $100+ on an eye cream. The e.l.f. Illuminating Eye Cream is the least expensive that I've purchased that seems to get the job done for me. It's non-fragrant, hydrating, and soothing. As a matter of fact, I use it on days when my eyes are suffering from intense allergies. Getting this eye cream is as simple as popping into your nearest Target store.

Best for Priming | Embryolisse

A few years ago at the very first Makeup Show in Dallas, I was introduced to Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré. It's greatly used amongst models, celebrities and makeup artists on set and I can see why. This product is a moisturizer, primer, and makeup remover all-in-one. It may be a little pricey for some, but it lasts for a long time and a little bit goes a long way keeping the skin hydrated for 24 hours. In my opinion, this is perfect for all skin types...but definitely those with sensitive skin.

Best for Everyday & Active | Alchimie Forever

If you're always on-the-go, like to work out or are often outdoors, Alchimie Forever of Switzerland's Daily Defense Cream SPF 23 should absolutely be in your bag. The European blueberry is Alchimie Forever's signature ingredient and the antioxidants for the skin are amazing blended with Vitamins C & E and edelweiss. I like to wear it especially on my light makeup days with a tinted moisturizer first thing in the morning. It can be reapplied throughout the day and its 1.7 oz size is just under the TSA limit for liquid items, so it's a great carry-on cosmetic bag item!

Shop my favorite moisturizers and illuminators:

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GLOW Skincare Series | Best Masks of 2017

Best After-Glow and Instagram Selfies | Peter Thomas Roth

Who doesn't like to glow? At first, I thought the Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask was full of BS. Besides the high price of $80, I'm kind of sad that it took me so long to try it. I mean...as a college kid, I didn't have the money to spend on such an expensive mask when it first came out. Thank God for the beautiful souls at QVC coming through with the sets and easy pays though. At this point, I've now tried three of the other products from this collection -- some I love, some not so much. The gel eye patches and sheet mask were just "bleh"...but the regular mask? OMG. I love the glow I have after I use it because of the real shimmers of 24 karat and colloidal gold blended into the formula. It's also cute for cute Instagram selfies, of course.

$56-80 | Available at PeterThomasRoth.com and QVC (smaller size as well), Sephora, Ulta and DERMSTORE

Best Fresh Mask Collection | The Body Shop

While LUSH Cosmetics is one of my absolute favorite brands, right now The Body Shop has been my go-to collection of "fresh" face masks. These masks are sold individually, but I received them from The Body Shop as a PR gift. However, they're collectively amazing. They're not exactly as fresh as LUSH because they have a much longer shelf-life, but they each have a set of benefits for the skin and I can actually use ALL of them without running into nut allergy problems. I have found my favorites at LUSH, but if I want to use one of their masks that I haven't tried, then I must read the ingredients super closely as it may contain ground almonds or something...and that's just asking for trouble. Been there, done that. I always find myself reaching for. Read my full review of The Body Shop face mask collection.

$28 each | Available at The Body Shop (online and in stores) and Ulta in British Rose, Himalayan Charcoal, Ethiopian Honey, Chinese Ginseng & Rice, and Amazonian Açaí

Best for Banishing Breakouts ASAP | Glossier

Whenever I'm having a messy breakout that needs banishing like...yesterday, I turn to Glossier's Mega Greens Galaxy Pack. It's the detox mask of my life, y'all. I bought it during a Black Friday sale after wanting to try their products for a long time and fell in love with it. This is NOT a mask that I use all the time -- I use it sparingly. I only grab for it like medicine...when I absolutely need it. Times that call for this mask are: hormonal breakouts before my cycle (or other causes) and when the oil from my fro causes me to breakout on my forehead. Balancing, purifying, refining, nourishing...this mask does it ALL. Key ingredients in the formula are: leafy greens, a superfruit antioxidant blend, orange peel oil, white kaolin clay, and hydrating/moisturizing avocado oil and aloe. This should for sure be in your PMS care kit along with the chocolate, salty snacks, and Netflix subscription. No shame, girl.

$22 | Available at Glossier.com

Best Hydrating Sheet Mask | Farmacy

Once upon a time, I used to be really into sheet masks. In the last year, I've drifted away from using them and have moved on to mud masks -- I'm obsessed. They allow me to still move around and multi-task. Every blue moon, I'll pull out a sheet mask and just chill. A few months ago, I used one of the Farmacy Coconut Gel Hydrating Masks for firming. Farmacy was one of those brands I noticed at Sephora, but followed through with purchasing because even though I'm a beauty blogger, I do have a budget! I promise it exists. Maybe I've been out of the sheet mask game for too long, but I was intrigued with the gel concept. I loved that it clung to my skin and I could kind of be active while I waited. I leave them on for about 20 minutes (or 30 if I doze off) and remove the mask before pressing the remaining formula into my skin and neck. Definitely hydrating!

$24 for 3-pack | Available at Farmacy.com and Sephora (online and in stores). Also available in assorted packs.

Best for Baby Soft Skin | Charlotte Tilbury

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of being invited to a media/influencer event at Nordstrom to sit down with the Charlotte Tilbury to view and swatch products when they made their debut in the stores. She was the absolute sweetest and actually acknowledged African-American skin which made me fall in love with the beauty of her brand. We took home several products from her line, but the one skincare product that I swear by is the Goddess Skin Clay Mask. My mom and I actually took turns with it until we emptied the tube -- it is THE BEST if you want to achieve tightened pores and baby soft skin that will likely make you mistaken yourself for a newborn. Just kidding...but really, it is a stellar, light fragrant face mask that's worth the price. 

$55 | Available on Charlotte Tilbury's website and Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Bergdorf Goodman

Shop my favorite face masks:

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