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How a terrible blow dry saved my face

How a terrible blow dry saved my face

Just a few years ago when I had just turned 30, I visited a hair salon during my lunch break. I’ve always taken good care of my hair so one of my beauty must-dos is to get a blow dry weekly. I have even mastered the art of not touching my hair to make a blow dry last. So, that day, I went to the next door salon that I had never been to. Now, you would think that in a hot and humid place like south Florida, hair stylists would know what to do with latin hair. I am talking about coarse, long, abundant hair. Well, that was not the case but that’s a different story.

As I was getting the worse blow dry ever and feeling miserable about it (I knew I was going to end up paying for it), this stylist gave me one of the most important beauty-related pieces of advise I have gotten. She looked at me and said: “Your lips look dry. You look dehydrated.” She grabbed a glass of water, handed it to me and proceeded to ask about my skincare routine. When I shared with her I didn’t have one, she spent the next 30 minutes lecturing me on how important it is to take care of your skin and to start as soon as possible. I am thankful for that.

These are the tips that she shared with me during the blow dry session:

  • Start young. You should start with a skincare routine as a teenager, even if simple, with the purpose of creating a habit
  • Get a facial every so often to clean out the pores and all the dead cells
  • Buy some products

That last tip was the complicated part. Being completely naive in the skincare world, I had absolutely no idea of where to start.

Luckily, one of my co-workers was a woman in her late thirties, with an absolutely gorgeous complexion, with very few wrinkles and subtle but beautiful makeup. I have to warn you, not every skin type is the same and not every skin care routine will work for you but I think it is always good to start with recommendations from somebody you know.

So, we used one of those lunch breaks to put together a demonstration of all of her products, feel their textures, understand their uses and get an idea of the prices. After that, I was able to finally put together a list of steps and products to try.

One of her best tips was to go to places like Macy’s or Nordstrom and ask for samples. These products are usually expensive, so it is a great idea to try them out before purchasing a full size bottle.

Now, the steps to follow plus the products I use (my skin type is mixed-oily, with some hyperpigmented spots that I acquired with sun and pregnancy. Also open pores, especially on my nose):

  • Morning routine
    • Face wash: Neutrogena Pomegranate Facial Scrub.
    • Toner: Clinique Step 2.
    • Serum: I used to love the Estee Lauder even skin tone illuminator but it was discontinued. Then I found out Clinique is owned by the same company and that the equivalent product was the Dark Spot Corrector. So far I am not loving it.
    • Treatments: Here is where I apply the Clinique Pore Corrector.
    • Moisturizer: I use the Clinique Step 3, gel moisturizer. I am yet to find a moisturizer I like that includes sunblock with good SPF.
    • Eye cream: I use the Clinique Eye Cream, very thick but I love it because it gives me the sensation that I am deeply moisturizing a very delicate, sensitive area, and one that is prone to wrinkles. If I have less time or I didn’t sleep well, I use the Clinique Roll-On Dark Circles Corrector.
    • Sunblock: I looked for one that would feel very thin yet would offer good protection. I really like the Shekaido one but I am now trying an Olay one that was very highly recommended by a salesperson in Sefora. So far I like Shekaido more.
    • Makeup: I do very minimal makeup on a daily basis that includes concealer, loose powder, blush, lip gloss and a brow gel. I only use primer, foundation, mascara, eye shadow and eyeliner if I’m going out.
  • Night routine: I’m yet to accomplish incorporating a nighttime skin care routine, the reason being exhaustion. The steps are very similar, minus sunblock and makeup but the products could be different. Although I am usually unsuccessful sticking to the nighttime routine, at the very least I wash my face with Neutrogena Pomegranate Facial Scrub and if I am able to muster up the energy for it, then I would also spray rose water on my face as a toner and apply a moisturizer.

There’s always something good to learn even from seemingly bad experiences. From that disappointing blow dry I was able to incorporate a successful skincare routine that has completely changed the way my face looks and probably even the rate at which I will start noticing the signs of aging.



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