Building Your Best Skincare Routine

Okay, ladies (and gentlemen), Let's be honest, we all have a MILLION different skincare products tucked away in our bathroom cabinet. Between the sweet lady at the mall and the celebrity endorsed products that are suppose to keep us young and radiant, it can be hard to know what is REALLY worth using on our skin and what might actually be causing us more harm than good.

Our skin is not only the largest organ of our body but it also plays an important role in our body's detoxification system. The skin, is not just something that shows our youth, but it actually is an essential organ in our overall health and well-being. Many times when we see blemishes, wrinkles, or changes in pigmentation, we assume it is a skin problem, when in fact, most skin conditions are actually a sign of imbalance in our internal body. This is why I ALWAYS use a Whole-Body approach when treating the skin.

So here are the top 5 things you need to know when building your ultimate skincare routine:

Pick Your Poison

Did you know that on average a woman's beauty routine exposes her to 515 synthetic chemicals EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is thought that at least 60% of those chemicals are absorbed by our body. Many of these said chemicals have already been listed as carcinogenic (cancer- causing), hormone disrupting and/or toxic to our liver. The craziest part is that although the FDA knows that many of these chemicals have been linked to harmful conditions, they have only banned 8 and restricted 3 of these harmful chemicals. The European Union, on the other hand, has banned over 1,300 chemicals commonly found in cosmetics.

So how do we stay safe if the FDA isn't doing it for us? Check out the EWG (Environmental Worker's Group) database of clean products. All of the EWG verified products have not only completed strict quality standards but they are also specifically focusing on avoiding all documented cancer -causing and hormone disrupting chemicals to help keep you and your family safe.

Less is More

If you are using more than four products on your skin, it's too many! Start small and work your way up. Start with finding a chemical free cleanser that will help keep your pores clean. My favorite is from a colleague of mine, The Spa Dr. Gentle Cleanser. This cleanser contains argan oil, aloe, arnica extract with a organic white coconut base to help keep your skin clean while maintaining your skin's natural pH. (available on the Zen Counter!).

When it comes to makeup, it can be tempting to want to cover up your inflamed, acne prone skin. Trust me, I have totally been there. But here's the thing, covering up your skin won't help your skin heal, so let your skin breath by simply applying a moisturizer instead of heavy foundation. Not totally ready to go Bare skin? Consider using a tinted moisturizer (that contains spf of course!).

Top Natural Tinted Moisturizers:

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Drinking more water helps your body and skin get rid of toxins. This is the easiest and cheapest way to get more radiant skin. So how much water should you be drinking to boost your glow? The truth is that "drinking 8 glasses of water per day" is just not enough. So here is what I want you to remember: Drink half your body weight in ounces per day. (Say WHAT?!). Let me give you an example, if you weight 150lbs, you will want to drink 75 ounces of filtered water per day. Make sure to drink your water out of stainless or glass containers to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals found in plastic. And if you're like me and seem to drink more water when sipping it through a straw, order some stainless steel straw to keep you sipping away.

Is Plain Water Getting Boring? Try these Spa Worthy Infused Waters!
-Blackberry, Orange and Mint Water
- Watermelon & Mint Water
- Blueberry & Lavender Water
- Peach & Sage Water
- Grapefruit & Rosemary Water

Feed that Skin
Want to know a secret? The key to my patient's glowing skin is. . . feeding their skin. Yep, that simply. It's not about some expensive procedure or costly product but instead about giving your body the nutrients it needs to get that natural glow. Not only does a healthy diet provide your body with key nutrients but it helps reduce inflammation, improve detoxification and supports hormone balance.

Sweat it Out
I can not tell you enough how many times I have heard patients say that they try not to sweat because they are worried they will break out. This is totally not the case! Getting your daily sweat on is not only a great way to combat stress related acne, but also helps rid your body from daily toxins and increases key circulation to your skin. So here's what you need to know.

- Make sure you sweat with a makeup free face, ( I pack babyganics wipes in my gym bag).
- Always take a shower to wash off your sweat as soon as your done.
- Bring your own towel to the gym to dry off your sweaty face. (Typical gym towels are full of harsh chemicals, instead opt for your own towel).

So friends, I hope that got you excited to take your beauty routine to the next level and I challenge you to join the conversion by following us on instagram @drzennmd

In health and happiness,
Dr. Zen