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Inside the “Less is More” Approach to Skin Care

Guest Post by Constante Quirino | Ayr Skin Care

It is often said that “less is more,” but did you know this applies to skincare too?

Many women, in an attempt to achieve youthful, flawless skin, go too far, resorting to complicated and costly skin care regimes, elaborate cosmetic or surgical treatments, and unhealthy or even dangerous home remedies.

Our skin already does most of the hard work of taking care of itself. It justs needs a gentle helping hand along the way. Here’s a look at why less is more in skin care, and how you can use this idea to maximize the results of your daily skincare routine.

Less Vigorous Cleansing = More Natural Moisture

The first mistake that we often make is to think that frequent, vigorous cleansing will leave our skin squeaky-clean and blemish-free. While it’s true you can get your skin squeaky-clean this way, the squeak isn’t a good sign.

When you go overboard on harsh cleansers and apply a lot of friction to your delicate skin with face towels, you are actually stripping the skin of its natural healthy oils (sebum) and damaging the pores. This makes the skin red, inflamed, and susceptible to infection. Worst of all, your body is likely to start over-producing sebum to compensate for the moisture loss, resulting in more breakouts than before!

Instead, wash your face with a splash of cool water in the mornings and gently pat dry. Water has cleansing properties of its own while leaving your natural oils intact, and the cool temperature helps to tighten your pores and invigorate the skin. At night, use a moisturizing, natural soap that hydrates the skin while gently removing the dirt and grime from the day.

Sometimes we need a deeper cleanse to really unclog the pores from the root, remove the build-up of dead skin cells, and reboot our skin’s natural renewal process. An occasional facial is perfect for this. The facial shouldn’t cause irritation or breakouts when it is done by professionals who understand the importance of natural ingredients and who use the right treatments for your particular skin type.

Less Pore-Clogging Makeup = More Natural Breathability

The second way we often go too far with our skin is using too much makeup. Heavy foundations and toxic chemicals block the pores and dry out the skin, damaging the natural skin barrier and suffocating the cells. Your skin is an organ and it needs to breathe! This is really a case of prevention being better than cure.

Opt instead for light foundations or tinted moisturizers. Choose quality natural makeup instead of cheap and nasty products, and have at least one makeup-free day every week (at the bare minimum!) to allow your skin to breathe and renew.

The best thing about using less makeup? Less cleansing! When you avoid clogging up your pores in the first place, you’ll only need a light cleanser or gentle face soap in the evening before going to sleep. This way, you’ll save on expensive makeup removers and wipes, and avoid stripping the skin with hard rubbing in an attempt to get off that last bit of colour.

Here’s a surprising twist on the idea of letting your skin breathe: Give your skin a “fasting day” from moisturizer once a week, as well as from makeup. This will do wonders for your skin’s health, as it forces the skin to produce its own hydration and not grow lazy!

Less Irritating Chemicals = More Natural Repair

Ahh…the “quick fix.” How often do we experience a breakout or notice a new wrinkle, and rush to the drugstore straightaway for a miracle product to fix it overnight? These “wonder” remedies are attractive (and often costly), and they sometimes do work in the short-term, but they are only able to produce such rapid results because they contain harsh chemical ingredients that irritate and inflame, and will actually end up ageing your skin faster in the long term. Be particularly careful of going overboard with large quantities of vitamin C, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, retinoids, and exfoliators.

As the skin has a renewal phase of approximately 39 days (and this can become longer as you age), the best long-term plan is to be patient and work with your body’s own healing cycle rather than against it. Provide your skin with nourishing ingredients from the inside through a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins, and apply nourishment from the outside with wholesome skincare products that don’t disrupt your skin’s natural chemistry.

Protect your skin from environmental damage with a non-toxic sunscreen and sensible clothing to avoid burning and drying out your skin cells. This will also save you from freaking out and running to the shop for a high-chemical after-burn cream!

Less Unnecessary Products = More Cash for Quality Products

Once you start preventing skin problems by using gentle cleansing, minimal makeup, daily nourishment, and weather protection, you might start to wonder how many skin products you really need, and which ones. The aim is to work out what your skin needs to be healthy and happy and provide this regularly without skimping or going overboard.

The basics are really a gentle cleanser to remove surface impurities at the end of each day (such as a bar of nourishing facial soap), and a light moisturizer to compensate for the drying effects of weather and climate. You’ll also need a non-toxic, low-irritant sunscreen for the exposed areas of skin like your face, neck, and hands. Radiation from the sun can affect our skin even on cloudy days, and especially when the rays are reflecting off surfaces like concrete or snow, so it’s best to be prepared no matter the weather! And don’t skimp here: Sunscreen is probably the one place in skin care where more is more.

Any additional products you might need would be to treat specific issues you have with your skin, like an antimicrobial solution for breakouts or a toning serum for increased elasticity. You might use these treatments regularly or only for specific periods, depending on what your skin needs. And in every case (except the sunscreen!), see how little you can get away with using.

By working out a minimal routine that keeps your skin in good shape, you’ll have more room in your budget for buying quality products with simple ingredients. Natural ingredients like coconut oil and aloe vera often function as cleansers, anti-inflammatories, and moisturizers at the same time, so you can end up buying one high-quality product instead of three irritating ones!

And That’s How Less Is More

“Less is more” skin care really is simple. All you need to do is to give your skin the materials it needs to repair itself, and keep toxins and environmental damage out. Your skin will do the rest!

 

Digicel Play: End Game

In my last post, I shared my experience with Digicel Play and their representatives and many of you shared similar stories on my social media pages. I am happy to report that Digicel and their team reached out to me on Saturday, extending their apologies and the delivery of service on Monday (today).

The technical team arrived at 8 a.m this morning to conduct the installation. Due to a minor issue, the actual installation didn’t take place until after 9 and concluded by 11:15 am.

I would like to extend thanks to the team in expediting this installation in the manner that it did. Kemar and his team were very professional.

Thanks also goes out to Mr. Henry, the VIP Account Manager at Digicel Jamaica. He followed up as well and ensured that I was satisfied with my newly acquired service.

Last but not at all least to all of you who shared your stories, thank you.

It is unfortunate that the situation had to be dealt with after expressions of displeasure, however, I am glad that this experience has opened the lines of communication for improved customer service.

Let this be an encouragement to those of you who have yet to get redress. Do not be afraid to hold any corporate service provider accountable.

Digicel Play: The Corporate Wolf

For over a year, Digicel Jamaica has been advertising their Digicel Play service of being “best in home entertainment with reliable, lightning-fast speeds, the best and most popular TV channels for the best value.”

While many persons have bought into the illusion that Digicel is selling, myself included, be warned that they are just wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Let me explain.

For months, I have been told that the Digicel Play service was not in my area yet the occupants on the main road and at the top of my street were able to access.

No problem.

Disappointed with our current service, my fiance and I were looking to upgrade our current internet service as we work from home and many projects that we complete for our clients are usually large in size and takes several hours, to upload through a secure platform.

As you can imagine, this hurts our business as most of our projects are time sensitive.

Two weeks ago, I saw the Digicel Play tent set up on the main road and out of curiosity, we pulled over and asked the seated representatives if the service was now accessible to my premises. The gentleman ( A Digicel Play Representative) exact words were,

“Yes. We have made installations and upgrades in the area and it is now available.”

My fiance out of surprise asked the gentleman to clarify that we were able to access the service on our street because we have been told several times in the past that the service had yet to extend to our premise. With certainty, the gentleman reassured us and took our contact and promised that a sales representative would contact us in the next 30 minutes.

Surprisingly, he delivered on that promise because exactly 30 minutes a sales agent, whom I will not name right now spoke with us and reaffirmed the gentleman’s previous statements.

Happy that our slow internet days were now over, we made the decision to sign up. We told the agent that we would drive back to the location to sign up. However, she insisted to drive the service bus to our location.

This woman and her team arrived in 5 minutes time to my home and we signed up and made a deposit of JM$4000. This was Tuesday, May 15th. She assured us that we would be contacted by Wednesday or Thursday to confirm an installation time on Friday.

Wednesday came, no call.

Thursday, a representative contacted me to mention that the signing rep did not submit some of the paperwork, however, the installation call would be received on Friday.

Friday, no call.

When we worked 9-5, our company was an affiliate of Digicel so we knew a couple of friends who still worked with them, especially in the Digicel Play department. To my displeasure, my source reported that the service has not extended to my home.

Cue scratch record here.

I could not comprehend what was happening. I was told it was there, we signed up, they took my money and I am now waiting for the promised service.

To quote DuttyBerry, me boxcova!

Next Tuesday, May 22nd, I contacted the Digicel representative who I signed with, to receive an update. She proceeded to give me some highfaluting reason about the service being down in the area and as soon as it’s up I would be contacted. My fiance asked her to be frank about the situation and she denied that this was a scheme to get her quota up.

Frustrated, I contacted the headquarters on Friday, May 25th just to get an update. A lot of excuses and nothing concrete about when I would get the service I paid for.

Fast forward, two weeks and 3 days later, no service.

In another fit of frustration, I contacted Digicel only to be told that the FAT or whatever that is….is full and they could not ascertain this information until after they submitted my documents and a refund is being processed.

The Facts

1. I signed up two weeks ago, therefore on day two or three, I should have been told that there was no space available.

2. I was being fed childish excuses and was given the runaround.

3. The refund is being processed but I would have to wait up to three months, by then I am more than certain if I don’t follow up, no one will contact me. (That’s if they really intend on giving us a refund)

It took only ten seconds for our card to approve their payment but it will take up to three months for the money to be returned.

Conclusion

Now, I can’t help but feel scammed and I did mention this to the rep on the phone. Scamming is a huge factor of crime in Jamaica and the authorities are out there running after common folk when the real criminals are sitting in their air-conditioned offices, drinking coffee and collecting people’s hard earned money.

In my theory, I believe that these Digicel Play representatives were trying to reach their quota for the month and falling short in all their efforts, they decided to concoct a scheme. A scheme advising people in certain areas KNOWING that Digicel Play was not available, that new installations were being conducted and they were ready to sign up new customers. They proceeded to sign up several individuals such as myself knowing the bureaucracy and hassle it would take to get a refund. With up to a three months wait period, several persons who signed up would probably give up on getting a refund and of course, they win.

We are certain we are not the only ones caught up in this. Let it be a warning and document all of your dealings so you will have proof if they fail to deliver.

If you have experienced anything like this or anyone you know is in a similar situation feel free to comment and share your story.

Self-Care Sabbatical

I had 0 intentions of taking a self-care sabbatical last year. Honestly. In fact, I had lots and lots in store for Sheviimc.com for 2018. However, it seems that the Universe was determined for me to deter my focus to other areas of my life.

I decided not to fight it as indeed, I needed to focus on other projects.

Looking back, I’m actually appreciative of this unplanned pausing. It just goes to show that things don’t always work out how you plan and you can never go wrong with a little self care as I’ve mentioned in my blog post here.

My life had been pretty full with the launch of a new aspect of our business, the influx of production projects, health issues and writer’s block, I just really needed a breather. You would not believe how many times in my ‘spare’ moments, I’ve sat down with my laptop at home or my favourite cafe and stared at the blank page. Sometimes just one sentence. ONE! Of course, it was gibberish.

On the plus side, I’ve finally found my caffeinated drink of choice! Am I the only one who feels intimidated at the coffee counter? So many drinks and so many annoyed stares.

Honestly, I didn’t expect my absence to go further than a month but sh*t happens but I missed you guys so much and I missed writing. I was making so much progress but sh*t happens and we just have to deal.

However, I’ve been working out the kinks in balancing all the craziness and the blog. With that said, I’m officially back and I can’t wait to hear back from you guys. Many of you have reached out to me during my absence and I love you all for that.

I have a lot planned for the blog so keep sticking with me.

Nuff Love,
Shevoneese

Guest Post: 5 Signs You Need to Change Your Skincare Routine

Changes

Much like you cannot possibly wear a breezy dress during winter, your skin changes its mood with each season, requiring certain adjustments and updates, and there are so many other circumstances that can cause your skin to become in desperate need for a different routine.

So, before you randomly start hunting for the new set of the latest moisturizers on the market and the next miracle purifier, let’s take a look at a few early warning signals your skin may be sending you when it’s time to revamp!

1.    Change of location

You don’t have to move to the other hemisphere for your skin to feel the difference. It’s more than enough to head a few hours south or north from your current location, and the change in the levels of moisture, dryness, pollution, sun exposure, harsher winds, you name it, and it can wreak havoc on your lovely complexion.

So, it’s best to do your homework before you take the trip, and learn about your destination. Heading somewhere sunny and you’re already leading a battle against blemishes? Then perhaps a new facial wash such as the Body Shop infused with tea tree oil is in order, to refresh and cleanse properly in the new climate.

2.    Well beyond expiration date

When was the last time you checked the expiration date on your collection of bottles? If you’ve been applying the same cream for the past two or three years, chances are that a resupply is long overdue. Click To Tweet In fact, take a long, hard look at your complexion and do a little revision: has this particular set of creams, lotions, serums and whatnots helped you, or have they merely done a mediocre job?

Think of it as spring cleaning for beauty, and clear your cabinets from all the outdated products. Then see which ones did an excellent job, restock, and which ones didn’t really dazzle you, meaning that perhaps you’ll need something different. Give that multi-purpose coconut oil a go, maybe, or a wash that’s both face and body-friendly for your skin type.

3.    Itchy, flaky, irritated skin?

Sometimes the same product seems to work wonders for months, and suddenly cause your skin to break out in hives, or you feel itchy and redness only gets worse by the day. This won’t come as a surprise, but most products are packed with synthetic chemicals, and the accumulation of some of them can cause your skin to react this way.

Synthetic fragrances in your products might be the key culprits of allergic reactions, so it’s wise to consult a dermatologist before you make a change – they can make a suggestion depending on your current condition and what will serve you well down the road.

4.    Clogged Pores

Heavy creams and oily products don’t always work for everyone, and if you’ve noticed that your skin is literally suffocating under all that buildup, it’s time for a detox with the help of healthy exfoliation. We often underestimate the importance of regular scrubbing, and clogged pores are a clear sign you’re in need of a good cleanse.

For instance, Cosmedix line of scrubs can come in very handy in purifying your complexion gently, but thoroughly, with the help of poppy, jojoba and date seeds, combined with salicylic acid. And of course, come hell or high water, don’t forget to apply your sunscreen afterwards.

5.    Where are the results?

You’ve been religiously using the same set of creams and lotions for months on end, but the results still fail to appear – now, as much as you may like your products, whether it’s their lovely scent or the texture you love, if they can’t deliver, you need to let them go.

Just like rashes and irritation are clear signs of a mismatch, a lack of visible results and improvements is equally important to take into consideration. Especially if you’ve used the same product for a very long time, your skin may become resistant to its effects, so it’s time to surprise your pores with some new skin-friendly goodies!

 

 

Peter is a beauty editor at HighStyleLife magazine, living in between the UK and AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.