30 Beauty Lessons You Should Know Before You Hit 30
I turned 30 last week. One night, I stayed up thinking of all the things I've learned in my 30 years and what I wish I learned sooner. That lead me to recall the tweaks and changes I've made to my beauty routine over the years so I figured I would compile a list of beauty lessons I've learned that might be a new lesson to you.
1. Remove makeup before bed
No matter how you take it off... makeup remover wipes, micellar water, facial cleanser, or coconut oil... remove makeup each night before bed to prevent breakouts, dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles. Long day and don't have the energy to go through your nightly skincare routine? Store some makeup remover wipes next to your bed for easy access before hitting that pillow.
2. Invest in an eye cream
The skin surrounding your eye area is thinner and more sensitive than the rest of your face; this is why we tend to show aging here first. Regular facial moisturizers can be too heavy and cause calcium buildups; while avoiding any sort of hydrating eye care, can lead to dryness which then promotes fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness. A good eye cream can be preventive to all these things.
3. Identify your skin type and treat accordingly
If you know your skin type, you'll be able to treat it the way it deserves. Selecting the wrong skin care products and cosmetics can result in breakouts, excessive oil production, or dry, flaky skin. Need help with your diagnosis? Read my blog post Understanding Your Skin Type to learn how to best care for your skin.
4. Balance your oil production with a daily / nightly moisturizer
Your face needs to feel moisturized day and night to maintain a healthy glow. Regardless of how oily or dry you may be, you can achieve this with a light moisturizer during the day and a heavier night cream before bed. Beauty oils are also a great way to stay moisturized and fresh. After washing your face, allow the water to soak into your pores before applying moisturizer or a beauty oil all over your face and neck, avoiding the eye area since that should be treated with an eye cream.
5. Clean your makeup brushes and blending sponges
Using dirty makeup brushes and sponges can result in clogged pores, breakouts, and even cause the bristles to roughen up your skin. Clean these tools a minimum of twice a month. If you want to read a detailed how to and why to, read my blog post Clean Talk: Makeup Brushes and Blending Sponges.
6. Keep your bed sheets / pillow cases clean
Regardless if you shower and remove every hint of makeup before bed, you should change your bed sheets and pillow cases once a week. Throughout the night we dirty our sheets up with: our natural body oils; sweat; our body products such as lotions, deodorants, and soap residue; dead skin; and other body fluids like drool. These can all cause clogged pores, breakouts, and skin irritations if not changed often. Avoiding changing your sheets defeats the purpose of practicing good hygiene before bed.
7. Cleanse your face morning and night
Depending on your lifestyle choices, you may not show signs of aging in your 20's but you should be proactive and develop a daily and nightly skincare regime to help prolong your youthful appearance. Cleansing your face in the morning can be a refreshing way to prep your skin for the day's makeup while cleaning your face at night can rid of any free radicals you've collected throughout the day and prevent aging, breakouts, clogged pores, unwanted excess oil production, AND your sheets will stay cleaner longer.
8. Resist the pop
I honestly enjoy popping blackheads and pimples BUT I know that causes scarring if it's not done correctly. Try to be patient and wait for the blemish to receive a white head, gently use an extractor... NOT YOUR FINGERS... to remove puss. Your fingernails collect bacteria and popping pimples with them can only worsen the situation. Be gentle, if you have to force it out, it's probably not ready, no matter how gnarly it may look. You can use a warm damp cloth to gently press on the area for easy extraction. If you do not have an extractor, use two Q-tips to press on each side and make sure to switch Q-tip ends before moving onto the next one.
9. Let your skin breathe
Sometimes your skin needs a break. Opt for a tinted moisturizer during the day while resorting to a full coverage makeup at night. Maybe skip makeup all together and allow your skin to drink up all the good skincare products you've applied.
10. Less is always more
We've all, at some point in time, been a victim of packing it on to hide whatever it is we don't particularly like about ourselves. Sometimes that can age us and also be distracting to the people having to look at us. Choose one feature you love about yourself and make that the focus. This can be difficult to some but if you have: great lashes, wear neutral shadows to make them pop; perfect teeth, focus the attention to your smile and sport a bold lip; amazing cheekbones, work that highlight girl; or the sexiest eyes on the planet, smoke it up and be neutral with the lip. This will keep you looking youthful, interesting, and confident.
11. Listen to your mom about SPF
I grew up on the beach the majority of my life and once I grew old enough to go on my own, I rebelled by skipping out on the SPF. In my mind, I was immune to those UVB rays which cause sunburn but in reality, those UVA rays got the best of me causing hyperpigmentation and premature wrinkling on my decollete. If you're going to be out in the sun for long periods of time, protect your skin with a lotion or spray containing SPF. A great option, free of harsh toxic ingredients, is Beautycounter's Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30.
12. Skip the tanning bed
If the beach wasn't enough, I made frequent trips to the tanning bed. Even if you layer yourself with tanning lotions, the tanning bed is just awful for you. Not only do beds speed up the aging process, people who depend on them for color before they turn 35 increase their risk of Melanoma by 75%.
13. Cig no more
You may not notice the effects now but smoking dramatically speeds the aging process. Not only will you see the effects in your skin, you'll notice your hair appears dull and lifeless and prematurely yellowing teeth.
14. Eat your greens
Spinach, kale, broccoli, arugula... GREENS! Eat them. They are filled with beta-carotene which is an antioxidant known for renewing and repairing your skin! Not to mention leafy greens also contain loads of other vitamins and nutrients the body needs to stay strong and healthy. Little hint-- the darker the green, the more benefits you'll receive.
15. Get your beauty rest
Up until I was 27, I was determined to do everything I could within a 24 hour period which meant most nights I slept for maybe four hours. NO BUENO! Lack of sleep can actually throw off your hormones which can cause a number of health issues. You'll receive youthful looking skin, more energy, a healthy immune system, greater memory, and a balanced appetite if you attain 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
16. Stay hydrated
They say everyone should drink 8 oz of water per day and there is major truth to that. Any time I neglect to drink water, I am more exhausted, moody, hungry, and my skin... oh my skin looks exactly how I feel. If you're having trouble keeping track of your water intake, I highly recommend the app, Waterlogged.
17. Rethink your alcohol intake
Happy hour with the ladies is fun but make sure you're drinking responsibly. I don't only mean calling an Uber or relying on a DD, I also mean to stay hydrated as you're drinking. Alcoholic beverages are loaded with sugars and leave you dehydrated. The more you drink, the more tired your skin will become due to the deprivation of nutrients and vitamins. Order a water with that beer or instead of vodka cranberry, order a vodka water. Stick to a drink or two and enjoy yourself.
This is something I struggle with but every time I dedicate myself to staying in shape, I feel so much better which is reflected in every aspect of my life. It can be as easy as going on a daily walk or opting for the stairs over the elevator. The more you get your blood flowing the better you'll sleep and the more energy you'll have. You may even tighten up that bod a bit and see a decrease in cellulite.
Exfoliating your face and body can help boost the elasticity of your skin, increase blood circulation, and lessen the appearance of scarring and hyperpigmentation. Use an exfoliating scrub or mask on your face once or twice a week and a loofah to exfoliate as you cleanse your body in the shower. Shaving is also a great way to rid of dead skin. Read my blog post Shaving Face to learn why it's beneficial to shave your face.
20. Avoid alligator skin
As a child, I remember my stepmom telling me to put lotion on after every bath so I didn't turn into an alligator... I despised the feeling of lotion, but I despised the feeling of alligator skin so much more, so I listened. Your skin is the largest organ of the human body; staying moisturized is vital to healthy skin. If you're out of lotion, opt for coconut oil. Slab it on directly after a shower and allow your body to drink it all up before getting dressed.
21. Protect and repair your hair
Technically, you're hair is kind of dead but that doesn't mean it should look it. Protect those locks! After showering, squeeze excess water from you hair, and apply an oil or spray that is designed to protect and repair hair. This will prevent heat damage, speed up drying time, replenish moisture and extend the life of your color.
22. Deep condition your hair
Heat styling, hair ties, hair color and even some hair care products can leave your hair limp and fragile. Deep conditioning your hair can reduce breakage, add shine and improve the overall health of your hair.
23. Allow your hair to get dirty
Growing up, we were told to wash our hair everyday but a great way to keep your hair strong and healthy is by spacing out your shampoos. Our scalp produces conditioning natural oils; shampoos can strip our hair of those natural oils which can be drying and even cause frizz. Try to wash every third day or at least every other day. I typically style my hair down the first day, half up the second day, and wear a hat or an updo the third day. If you feel you must wash everyday, skip the shampoo but rinse to cut down sweat and oils before styling as usual. Opt for a dry shampoo to bring hair back to life. My personal favorite dry shampoos are Aquage Dry Shampoo and Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo.
24. Embrace those eyebrow hairs
Remember the late 90's / early 2000's when everyone had microbrows? I think my eyebrows are still recovering from that time. As we age, our eyebrows become thin and sparse, embrace that fullness for as long as possible, especially since bold brows are currently in. Browscape by focusing on the space between your brows and the fine, little hairs that seem completely separate from the actual brow shape.
25. Skip the heat altogether
I worked with a hair stylist who used to always tell her clients not to use their hot tools at the highest setting possible because your hair is way more fragile than the chicken you cook on 350. This is so true. Heat can deplete the hair of its moisture and compromise the cuticle which leads to breakage and split-ends. Allow your hair to air dry as often as possible. You can give your hair texture by applying a salt spray or mousse.
26. Care for your lips
Cracked, dry lips are never fun to deal with. Prevent feeling chapped by using a sugar scrub or the bristles of your tooth brush to rub away dead skin before applying a hydrating lip balm. This will keep your lips smooth and kissable while providing a great canvas for a bold, matte lip. You can easily mix raw sugar and honey for a tasty made-at-home scrub or opt for one like, Fresh's Sugar Lip Polish. Two of my favorite go-to lip treatments are Fresh's Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment and Beautycounter's Lip Conditioner Calendula Balm.
27. Free yourself of toxic relationships
Over the years I've found myself surrounded by people who only caused stress, pain, or some kind of negativity in my life. It's important to end these relationships or at least distance yourself as much as possible. How does this affect your body? Any time you're harboring emotions these people cause you, it affects your sleep and overpowers your thoughts. Negativity is far from healthy.
Smiling is contagious and the more you smile, the better you'll feel. Smiling releases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These "feel good neurotransmitters" aid in stress, depression, and a healthy heart. Smiling has also been proven to make you new friends... you know, to replace those toxic relationships you're going to end.
29. Cry when you need to
I may take this to another level at times because I literally cry when I'm happy, sad, angry, or laughing but letting out your tears can be refreshing. When you lock away your emotions, you can become super stressed which then disrupts your sleep and throws you into a negative downward spiral.
30. Do you. Don't focus on what everyone else is doing, do what feels best for you.
I just wrote this point as a reminder for myself. It's interesting because in my younger years, I just took chances... I didn't think twice about anybody's opinion as far as how I dressed, who I chose to be friends with, or where I chose to live. As I've gotten older, and maybe it's the influence social media can have on me, I tend to be incredibly insecure with my choice of outfit or the way my hair and makeup looks. Am I acceptable to my peers? It's annoying. The most freeing feeling is not caring about anyone's opinion and being your authentic self. When you feel free and happy with who you are, you'll appear more confident and people will gravitate towards you. That to me is the most attractive quality anyone can have.