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Skin Care at Home 101

So many times, as skin care specialists, we are asked again and again, which products do I use first on my skin? Or, how do I layer my skin care products? End the confusion by following these easy steps for your at-home skin care routine.

STEP 1: Cleanse

When using professional and pharmaceutical grade skin care products like Jan Marini or dermalogica, two of our favorite product lines, only a pea-size amount of your recommended cleanser is required with each application. Cleanse skin thoroughly morning and evening to remove makeup and dead skin cells. Follow your cleanse a few times a week with an appropriate resurfacing product, such as dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant. Rinse cleansers away completely, making sure nothing remains in brows or on hairline. We also recommend that facial cleansing routines be done outside of your shower routine, as a shower's hot water is often too stimulating and will affect your skin care results.

Fave cleansers: Jan Marini Bioglycolic face cleanser (morning), Jan Marini C-esta face cleanser (evenings), or dermalogica's Special Cleansing Gel.

STEP 2: Tone (optional)

Many clients love the extra moisture a high-quality toner brings to their skin. A toner, sprayed on lightly and pressed gently into the skin surface, tightens the skin and prepares it perfectly for the next step with a serum application. Only use toners that hydrate, and never use alcohol or any other type of astringent on acne prone or aging skin.

Fave Toners: dermalogica's Multi-Active toner and Antioxidant Hydromist (firms skin instantly!)

STEP 3: Serum

A good serum is hands-down one of the best products you can add to your at-home skin care routine. A serum is formulated to penetrate to deeper layers of skin, to nourish and rejuvenate for the best results possible. Again, only use a pea to dime sized application of the high-quality serum recommended by your skin care specialist or esthetician. We often include a retinol serum or cream at night, and a vitamin C serum during the day for use at home.

Fave Serums and Retinols: Jan Marini Age Intervention Retinol Plus and dermalogica Bio-Lumin C serum.

STEP 4: Eye Cream

Fine lines and wrinkles, those crow's feet, that so many of us start to notice as early as our mid-30s are often the cause of skin care complaints. A good eye cream, used daily, can help minimize the appearance of these annoying changes in our appearance. A very small dot of a recommended eye cream or eye serum goes a long way.

Fave Eye Creams: dermalogica Stress-Positive Eye Lift or Gratiae Replenishing Eye Cream or Serum.

STEP 5: Moisturize

As our skin ages, we retain less moisture. A good moisturizer applied day and night as part of your regular skin care regime enhances the skin's natural barrier, helps skin retain moisture, and give that extra hydration we need to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Fave Moisturizers: dermalogica Skin Smoothing cream or Intensive Moisture Balance, Jan Marini Transformation cream.

STEP 6: Sunscreen

The best way to prevent wrinkles is to wear sunscreen every day. Never leave your house without it! A professional mineral facial sunscreen with a Broad Spectrum SPF of at least 40 is the best. Physical sunscreens do not contain chemicals, are safe for your skin and the environment, and usually contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide only as the sunscreen's active ingredient.

Fave Sunscreens: Tizo Primer/Sunscreen which comes tinted or non-tinted SPF 40, dermalogica's Dynamic Skin Recover SPF 50 (a chemical sunscreen but very good).

If you're not following a six step skin care routine, that is perfectly fine. Proper cleansing, serum application and a good moisturizer are an easier 3-Step program to follow. Adding a sunscreen is a definite plus.

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