beauty: 2 posts

Skincare Tips for Travel

The concept that underpins my travel skincare has a clever and original name. It’s called a Giant Ziploc Bag. It looks as glamorous as a giant Ziploc bag can look. I gaze with envy at the cute travel cases real mavens sport (one of which is my mom), but I remain loyal to my method, because for all of the advances of the beauty industry it hasn’t created a travel case that satisfies all of my needs while not taking up half of suitcase. A Ziploc bag may lose out on charm, but it can’t be rivaled on practicality.

For me the goal of packing for a trip is to ensure that away from home I can find the same comforts. The insouciant advice of beauty magazines to pack the essentials and buy the rest at your destination is fine if you stay at luxury hotels in NYC. I’d love for one of those editors to end up in the Ukrainian countryside, or worse, Paris on a Sunday evening, and try to find a store where a toothbrush can be procured, to say nothing of more involved toiletries. When I speak of comforts, though, I don’t even need a soft bed and functioning plumbing. Those I can do without. What I can’t do without is my sunscreen and a rosewater spray. For all of my idiosyncratic ways, I’m an easy traveler. I just love taking care of my skin. Suffice it to say, if you’re a minimalist and happy just with soap and water, then this post is not for you.

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A Guide to Skincare Layering

If you were to read beauty magazines, you’d be forgiven for thinking that layering skincare is a skill beyond the ken of mere mortals. One is expected to have a working  knowledge of organic chemistry, active ingredients and the latest in Asian skincare discoveries. Failing that, one should simply follow the magazines’ recommendations and splurge for the editor’s favorites.

In reality, layering skincare is fairly simple. All of us do it to an extent when we start with a toner and finish with a moisturizer. It always helps to know what Vitamin C does to one’s skin or how to use AHA as part of a routine, but layering doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Nor does it have to take up a big chunk of your morning.

The other day I timed how long it took me to finish my skincare in the morning, and I discovered that it was around 5 minutes. So, I thought that it might be a good idea to describe what I do in more detail, demystifying the layering process. Whatever skincare products you use, you can tailor your routine to your skin type and your goals.

From Light to Heavy

The main principle of skincare layering is to start from products with the lightest texture and build up to the heaviest. The idea is to ensure that all layers absorb properly without diluting each other. Toner goes on first, if you’re using it. Wait for it to be absorbed, which should take a minute and then move onto the serum, moisturizing lotion or moisturizing cream. It’s a good idea to wait a little before moving onto another product, 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

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