Skin care hints for older skin, the home spa

My idea of skin care…… doesn’t take nearly as much time has you think, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

  • Healthy eating
  • drink water
  • avoid sugar
  • limit caffeine
  • use retinol products make a home spa
  • use sunscreen every morning
  • use coconut oil or olive oil as a moisturizer

I know a long list that we probably haven’t done our whole lives until now.  Anything will help, I found eating well made a huge difference in the brightness of my face.  Juicing is another great thing to do for your body even for just a few days., this just cleans out your system and makes your taste buds think differently.

The biggest thing at this point is our faces and necks.  I’ve said before I use retinal creams, but I’ve found a new one that my skin doctor in the states told me about.  It’s expensive, but I also found you can get it in Canada much cheaper,usually generic but the same ingredient.  It’s really strong..

retin a

This is what I used to use


This is the one I use now…be careful.

When you first start with these, mix them half and half with your night your skin gets used to it, then you can decrease the amount of night cream.  If you find your face getting too red, then cut back on how often you use it and build yourself up.  It takes months, but you’ll see and feel a difference.  Check with your dermatologist; this beats getting injections…well, almost.

Another idea is to use glycolic acid the remove dead skin cells.  Start with a low percentage like 30% and go from there. There is a link to where I buy it on the cool sites page…

Acids can also help you moisturize. If you have dry-skin concerns, try hyaluronic acids. It’s not like the others in that it doesn’t dissolve dead skin. It’s a natural carbohydrate (unlike cupcakes) found in the human body that cushions and lubricates the skin. Babies are born with a high amount of hyaluronic acid and the amount in our bodies decreases as we age. It can be found in moisturizers and even be used as an injectable, withJuvederm and Restylane. If you want to ease into it, try CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM or Philosophy’s Take a Deep Breath Oxygen Gel Moisturizer, two moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid. 

Chemical peels are an effective way to treat sun damage, marks left behind from acne, and dull skin. They can be quite expensive to get done at a spa or doctor’s office, so more and more people are turning to at-home chemical peel kits.

At-home chemical peels are not that different from professional chemical peels, but they do have their risks. After all, there is no one watching over your skin during the peel to monitor its progress. However, learning how to use the peels properly, using quality peels from reputable sources, understanding what to expect, and being aware of potential side effects will increase your chances of getting good at-home peel results for less than half the price of a professional one. Keep reading to learn how to safely give yourself a chemical peel in the comforts of your own home!


Where to buy chemical peels

Before you can give yourself a chemical peel, you first have to get your hands on one. Many online retailers sell chemical peel solutions, either alone or as a kit, in a variety of strengths and percentages. You may be able to purchase take-home kits from spas or dermatologist offices, but they will usually recommend getting the peel done there instead of doing it yourself. There are also many different types of chemical peels and the one you use will depend on what kind of results you want and what you are willing to go through in terms of pain and downtime. Check this chart for a comparison of the different chemical peels and what they treat to help you decide which one suits you best.

Most places also sell a trial size peel. I recommend purchasing a sample to test on your skin before buying the full-size product. You never know if your skin will hate a certain acid or if a peel will be too weak for your skin, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

At any rate, make sure you purchase your peel from a reputable company with good product reviews. The company you purchase your peel from should also provide you with detailed instructions on how to use the peel. Aside from the quality of the chemical peel, customer service is another important deciding factor. You want to make sure the company will be there to help answer any questions you have about their peel and not flake on you when you need them most.


Before using the peel

If you are using any prescription products (like Differin, Retin-A, etc) discontinue their use 3-4 days before and after glycolic acid and lactic acid peels. Discontinue their use for 5 days before and 10 days after TCA peels. Sometimes, it’s also helpful to use an AHA product or retinoid nightly for two weeks before a chemical peel to get a more even peel. However, it’s best to do this after your very first peel so you can gauge your skin’s reaction.

If you are using chemical peels for the first time, use the lowest concentration peel (i.e. 30% lactic acid, 30% glycolic acid, and 8% TCA) and gradually move up to stronger peels as your skin gets used to them. Don’t start out with a very strong peel, thinking you will get better results for your money. You will just end up burning your skin! Your skin needs time to adjust to chemical peels, so gradually increasing the strength of a peel as your skin acclimates is the safest way to get effective at-home peel results.

You also generally do a peel every 3 weeks. Lighter peels like 30% lactic acid and glycolic peels can be safely done every two weeks. Deeper peels like TCA peels are best done only once a month at the maximum.

1-2 days before you use the peel, start washing with a soap-free cleanser (a cleanser without sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate). This will ensure that the peel penetrates your skin effectively. All acid peels work best when skin hasn’t been cleansed with overly alkaline products.

Depending on the type of chemical peel you are going to do, you might want to clear your schedule for a couple of days so you can sufficiently recover from the peel without having to be in public with a red and sensitive face. How many days of downtime you will need will depend on the kind of peel you are getting, so check the instructions that come with the peel you buy.

Make sure you have all the products you will need for post-peel care (see below) before you do the peel. That way you won’t have to run out to get something when your skin is sensitive from the peel.


Spot testing the peel

Before you give yourself a full-face chemical peel, do a spot test. This patch test is very important because it helps you know how your skin will react to the peel, how long to leave the acid on your skin, or whether the acid is too strong before you use the solution on your entire face. You can take a risk and skip the spot test, but if your skin doesn’t agree with the acid, you will have to deal with the consequences on your whole face instead of on a tiny patch of skin.

To give yourself a spot test, prep your face like you would for a full-face peel (see below) and apply some peel solution on the skin below your ear along your jaw line (about an inch in diameter). If you are doing the peel on your hands, patch tests your hands. If you are going to do the peel on your neck, patch tests your neck. I usually apply peels with a q-tip because using your fingers can cause the skin on your fingers to peel as well.

You can leave the spot test on for one minute (or longer if you can tolerate it) before washing it off with water. The spot test will tell how long you should leave on the acid during your full-face peel. For example, if you left the spot test on for 5 minutes and it didn’t feel like anything, then it would probably be safe to assume that you can leave the peel on your entire face for 5 minutes as well. But let’s say that after 2 minutes, the test spot area started to burn. If that’s the case, then you should probably do the full-face peel for only one minute. Spot testing is the best way to tell how long you should leave the peel on your skin.

After 24 hours (wait 48 hours if spot testing a TCA peel), if the spot tested skin seems okay, proceed with the full-face peel, following the directions for use precisely. If your tested spot skin is very itchy or red or gets raised bumps, do not put the peel on your skin as you are probably experiencing an allergic reaction. If this is the case, keep your skin covered with polysporin or cortisone cream and avoid using the acid in the future.


How to give yourself a chemical peel

To give yourself a chemical peel, wash your face with a soap-free cleanser and thoroughly dry your skin. Apply some sort of prep solution to remove any remaining surface skin oils and prime your skin for the peel. Most at-home chemical peel kits come with a prep solution, but if you run out or choose not to re-purchase the product, you can prep your skin with Sea Breeze astringent, witch hazel, or even diluted rubbing alcohol.

After the prep solution dries, liberally apply the peel to your skin using a small brush or Q-tip. Avoid the sensitive areas of your face around your eyes, nostrils, and lip corners. You can also apply petroleum jelly to these areas to prevent any acid from getting into them, as you should do with TCA peels.

If this is your first time using the chemical peel, leave it on for one minute (or longer depending on your spot test results) before neutralizing with a neutralizing solution.

To make the neutralizing solution, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda (make sure your baking soda is fresh – if it bubbles or foams when mixed with vinegar, then it’s good) with 1 1/2 cups of water.

You can neutralize the peel by splashing the affected skin area with the neutralizing solution or gently wiping the area with a soft washcloth soaked in the neutralizing solution.

Beware, the neutralizing solution may actually sting more than the chemical peel itself!

Alternatively, you can neutralize the peel by washing with a basic cleanser or splashing with plain water. Follow up with a good moisturizer and sunscreen or stay out of the sun.

The peel will make your skin turn red and sting. The stronger the peel, the more it will burn. This is normal, but if it starts to make your skin frost or sting uncomfortably, neutralize the peel immediately, even if it’s before the one minute mark.

You can leave the peel on longer than one minute if and only if your spot test went well. As you give yourself more peels, you can increase each subsequent peel time by one minute and start leaving the peel on your skin for longer periods of time.

After your skin adjusts to the peel, you can either start layering peels to make them stronger (applying one layer, waiting 5 minutes, and then applying a second layer) or start using peels with stronger concentrations. Even if you use the same type of chemical peel but just a stronger version of it, always spot test on your skin before doing a full-face peel.

Some people like to use strong peels right away because they want good results and don’t want to waste both time and peel solution by starting off with a “weak” one minute peel, but it really is better to start off slow. Would you rather start off slow and “waste” a peel or start off too strongly and permanently damage your skin? Slow and steady wins the race.

What to expect after a chemical peel

After you get a peel, your skin will be red for a few hours, maybe even the whole day. To ease this redness, you can use cooling products (i.e. aloe vera gel) or cooling masks or simply wrap your skin in a cold towel. What I like to do is stick my face in a cool-mist humidifier.

Your skin will also be a bit drier and you may physically flake or peel in certain places, especially if you did a TCA peel. If you do flake, don’t pick at it! Let your skin peel naturally or you risk damaging it. You can help your skin a bit by applying moisturizer more frequently throughout the day and drinking extra water. You can even coat your skin with a thin layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor to ease any discomfort.

There is pretty little down time associated with glycolic and lactic acid peels. In fact, most people don’t peel at all unless the peel is very, very strong. TCA peels, on the other hand, are different and do require down time.

Whatever chemical peel you use, just be sure to moisturize well and avoid the sun like the plague or wear a good sunscreen at all times because the peel will make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Always be patient with your skin. I tell myself that my skin didn’t get bad overnight, so it’s not going to get 100% better overnight either. Chemical peels take time to work and you will have to get multiple treatments before you start seeing your desired results. As long as you follow the above tips, you will be able to safely give yourself an at-home chemical peel that works.

Next we need to talk about exfoliating…

home spa

You can do this at home, so relaxing

What is Exfoliation: It is a process that takes away dead skin cells from the surface of your body skin that are the cause for clogging pores and aging signs. For this purpose, you need to use a type of face wash that contains tiny, sand-like particles. Gently scrubbing such particles on your body skin scrape away dead skin cells and uncover newer ones, leaving your skin soft and flawless.

Why you need to exfoliate your face: You need to do it for three reasons: (i) Firstly, It totally cleanses the skin, removing the build-up from the pores and helping to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. (ii) Secondly, it smoothens and improves the skin’s texture to give your face skin soft and flawless look (iii) and thirdly, it stimulates blood flow to your face to give the appearance of youthful glow.

How often you should Exfoliate your Face: In normal conditions, exfoliating your face twice a week is enough. But if you have sensitive or delicate skin, twice a week might be too much for you and can leave your face skin irritated. On the contrary, if you have naturally oily skin or live in a warmer climate, you might need to exfoliate your skin more than twice a week to counter the greater buildup of dead skin cells.

How to Exfoliate your face at home: Follow these easy steps to exfoliate your face:

1. In case you have long hair then you need to hold your hair away from your face with the help of hair tie or head band.

2. Remove make-up and cleanse your face with your regular cleanser. You need to have a fresh, clean face in order that the exfoliation treatment which you apply may properly penetrate the skin.

3. The next step is to steam your face. Or alternatively, you can wet a clean wash cloth under hot water and then place it to cover your entire face for 1-2 minutes. This will open your face pores, soften your face skin making it more responsive to the exfoliation treatment you apply, thereby making the deep cleansing process easier.

 4. To exfoliate your face at home, you can try either chemical or physical exfoliation with an over-the-counter scrub, or if you like you can make your own exfoliation scrub as follow:

Put three tablespoons of regular white sugar into a small bowl. Add to it one tablespoon of water. Mix the sugar and water with your finger until it is a slightly thick paste.

5. Use your finger or put the paste onto a clean soft wash cloth or rag and gently scrub the paste in small upward circular motions over your entire face to remove the dead skin. Continue this process till you have exfoliated the skin of your entire face.

 Caution: Don’t mistake by doing it with heavy hands. Let the exfoliating particles do their job. While exfoliating just glide across the face and don’t over-do it.

6. Rinse the scrub off thoroughly with tepid or lukewarm water and then splash your face with cold water to close the pores. Take care to get all the scrub off. Otherwise, you may feel like having a sticky face.

7. Pat dry your face gently with a clean soft face towel.

8. At the end apply your anti-aging serum (if you have one) and/or regular moisturizer. You can also consider applying a sunscreen or sunblock if you are going out in the sun after exfoliation, as your dead skin cells having been removed the fresh skin is prone to get damaged in the sun.

Natural Beauty Tips:

1. You can apply the above exfoliation process at night before sleeping.

2. To exfoliate your face, use products that are meant for face only.

3. Do not over-exfoliate, as you might end up doing more harm than good.

4. Ensure to keep your face moisturized at all times, if you exfoliate regularly. Exfoliation causes the skin to dry out and the dry skin is prone to wrinkles.

All said and done, my face has improved over the past few years, got rid of a lot of sun spots and keeping age spots under control.  Love my home spa time. Just for a bit extra, I do use the retinoids and the peels on the top of my hands.  It has lightened the brown spots, wish I could use it on my whole body….lol



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