First things first: before you start buying “brightening” makeup products, you have to make sure yourr skin is in tip-top shape. When it comes to achieving a brighter skintone, exfoliation is going to be your #1 priority.
I have had many women sitting in front of me in my chair to get their makeup and skin care done over the years. My own frustration is the curious look I have received when I ask, “How often are you exfoliating?” Friends, you MUST exfoliate!
Dead skin cells accumulate on the skin. It’s just something that happens to us all. However, you can exfoliate the skin to slough off the dull, flaky cells. Unfortunately, many people skip this step and try to remedy the problem by slapping on more moisturizer. You cannot moisturize away dead skin cells-- you are only trapping them in with your skin creams.
My first face scrub was St. Ives Apricot Scrub back when I was a teenager. Looking back, I cringe, as this product had nutshells and a heavy artificial fragrance. Nut shells are harmful to your skin, as they can cause it to be scratched or even tear.
Another popular ingredient in exfoliants are plastic microbeads-- Polyethylene beads. These hurt our ecosystem. Besides, do you really want to rub plastic beads into your skin?
Here are my favorite products for glowing skin:
Splurge: Foreo Luna -- I much prefer this cleansing tool to the popular Clarisonic for hygienic purposes. The T-sonic technology removes dead skin cells (I use mine with my Exuviance facial cleansing creme). Here is my original review of the Foreo Luna. I use the pink Luna for sensitive skin and I have been using it for almost two years. $199
Bargain: The Makeup Eraser facial cloth is will exfoliate your skin nicely without a more expensive facial cleansing device. I recommend using it in a gentle circular motion with your favorite creamy cleanser. $20
Splurge: Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA10 gets stellar reviews on the Ulta website with good reason. This is, without a doubt, the best one step at-home peel I have ever used. It contains 10% citric acid, arginine & more and leaves skin dewy and radiant. $65
*ALERT: This product will be part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty TOMORROW (3/18) and will be 50% off for one day only!
Bargain: Avon Anew Clinical Retexturizing Peel is an affordable, yet effective, alternative to higher priced products. There is glycolic acid, camellia, honey, algae extract and wheat germ in this popular product. Need a consultant? I recommend one of my friends, Melissa Marcellette. Enter her name at checkout. $22 (on sale now for $14.99)
Splurge: Exuviance Vespera Bionic Serum has achieved holy grail status for this skin care product junkie! Infused with antioxidants Vitamin A, C & E, as well as grapefuit extract, marine botanicals and polyhydroxy acids, this serum has made a noticeable impact on my almost 40 year old skin. It is really, really amazing. A little goes a long way and I have seen an impact on this pesky brown spot that I have from childhood sun exposure. I cannot say enough about Vespera! $75
Bargain: Avalon Organics Age-less Illuminating Serum is another winner in my book. I blogged about this in November, comparing it to a $220 product from Tata Harper. The Avalon was, in my eyes, far superior. If you are on a budget or just do not splurge on skin care, give this one a whirl. You will not be disappointed. $20
Splurge: Clarins Bright Plus HP Brightening Repairing Night Cream is a rich, yet silky, night cream with Raspberry and Alchemilla extracts, as well as potent Vitamin C. There is also Sea Lily Extract, which is grown exclusively for Clarins in Brittany. $69Bargain: Boots Botanics Complexion Refining Light Night Cream is more proof that you can find high quality products on a shoestring. If your skin is more acne-prone or oily, please do not hesitate to try this product. It contains willow bark extract, which is a relative of salicylic acid, to unclog the pores and exfoliate the skin. Additionally, it contains antiseptic Rosemary. $13.99 -- ON SALE NOW for $5.60 on the Boots website!