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FAQ / Tricks of the Trade

Basically Beautiful’s Beauty Editor, Caroline, has answered some of the most common skincare questions.  A practical, no nonsense approach to your best skin.
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What is the difference between “organic” and “clean”?

Caroline: Organic beauty is the formulation of cosmetic products using organically farmed ingredients.  These ingredients are grown without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO), herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and more.  A product earns the USDA Organic seal when it contains 95% or more organic ingredients.  Clean is a little bit trickier and there is no official “clean designation.”  “Clean beauty includes nontoxic and noncontroversial products that are proven safe and effective,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King.  Products that are clean should be formulated without parabens, phthalates, SLS and SLES, formaldehyde, mineral oil, lead, or artificial fragrance.

What is the single most important step in skin care? 

Caroline: Cleansing is the most important step in your skincare routine.  You will receive the most benefit from your serums and moisturizers when they are applied to clean skin.  We are exposed to dirt, oil and pollutants on a daily basis in addition to our skin’s natural oil production and debris left behind by makeup.  Do your skin a favor and cleanse twice daily!

What is the most common skincare mistake most people make?

Caroline: The biggest skincare mistake is not being consistent!  Find a routine that you can do twice daily.  Your skin responds well to habitual behavior and to see results you have to stick with it.  If you have trouble doing your nighttime routine, I recommend cleansing as soon as you know you are home for the night, this way you wont skip it because you are too tired late at night. 

There are so many products on the market, where is my money best spent?

Caroline: It is best to invest in your serum and moisturizer because they have the most potent ingredients of all of your products.  Choose ones that you can continue on a regular basis as opposed to randomly splurging on a product that you may not be able to keep up with.  Continued use of the same product will yield the best results.

If my skin is combination and sensitive at times, what skin type am I? 

Caroline: The short answer is both!  Sensitive skin can have any pore size, including combination.  Sensitive skin is the fastest growing category and the beauty business is recognizing this, so now you can easily find products that treat sensitive skin that is dry, oily, mature or combination.  A skincare professional can be a helping hand to select appropriate products.

What’s the best thing to do for your complexion to prepare for a big event?

Caroline: The night before your event, give yourself an at home red carpet facial treatment.  After cleansing, I recommend doing a light peel to brighten your skin and boost radiance.  Then follow with a hydrating or plumping sheet mask to replenish your skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.  After removing the mask, massage in your night cream and sleep in it.  You will wake up to glowing skin ideal for makeup application so you can shine at your event.

How often should a person go for a professional facial?

Caroline: Ideally every 4 to 8 weeks.  On average it takes between 30 to 60 days to regenerate after a professional treatment.  Having a facial every 4 to 8 weeks will help keep your skin in optimum condition.

What is the simplest routine for skincare?

Caroline:  The simplest skincare routine is the 3 basics, Cleansing, hydration and sunscreen.  If you require a quick routine, look for 2 in ones such as exfoliating cleansers or moisturizers with sunscreen included.  You can achieve great results when keeping it simple by using high grade products that are appropriate for your skin type and concerns.  Ask an esthetician for advice specific to your skin’s needs.

How do I layer products?

Caroline: With skincare, sometimes more is more!  To treat multiple concerns you can layer products, especially oils and serums.  Always layer by texture, applying the lightest formulation as the first layer and building up.  For example you can start with a lightweight hyaluronic serum to hydrate the skin, followed by a vitamin c gel to brighten the skin and then an oil to moisturize.  Allow your layers to absorb before applying your moisturizer.  The final layer is your SPF before any makeup.

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