ask kimberlyloc, part 1

beauty blogge skincare advice

Beauty blogger skincare advice. Take it with a grain of salt, OK?

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you saw last month’s call for questions and blog post topics you want to see on kimberlyloc.com.

Of the responses I received, there were lots of one-off questions and suggestions that seemed to be perfect for a regular “ask kimberlyloc” column.

While I’m no dermatologist, aesthetician, makeup artist or other card-carrying medical or skincare professional, I am a beauty junkie who’s tried A LOT of products and has strong opinions. If I had a sister, these are the things I’d be telling her.

So, we kick off this new series with three questions pulled from the emails you sent me. Want to see your question featured? Simply contact me and let me know what you want to read about on this blog!

Should I be using cleansing wipes?

Yes and no. If you’re an avid fitness buff who regularly gets sweaty, but doesn’t have time to shower immediately after your workout (like, you live close to your gym and prefer to just take the 10-minute drive home), then YES, you should keep cleansing wipes in your bag.

My thinking behind this is that the longer you let your sweat, sweaty makeup and more linger on your skin (and then dry, ew), the bigger the chances for clogging, congestion and breakouts. You can easily avoid this by showering immediately after your workout, washing your face or using a cleansing wipe to get a first-level cleanse.

(If you’re able to, I also recommend working out sans makeup to continue to minimize the clogging and irritation.)

If you’re using cleansing wipes as a substitution for washing your face every night, the answer is a big, fat, NO. While it’s better than nothing, it’s a bad habit to fall into. Plus, many cleansing wipes can be irritating, be it the formula itself or the texture of the cloth. Keep ’em in your gym bag.

If you’re using a cleansing wipe every night as a makeup remover before a full cleanse, I’d still recommend weaning yourself from the practice. Besides the environmental impact using disposable wipes every day, I find cleansing wipes minimally effective at melting away makeup (especially eye makeup). Instead, I prefer oil cleansing — it’s much more effective at melting everything away.

If you must have cleansing wipes, the best ones I’ve found are Acure Organics Fragrance Free Argan Oil Towelettes. They’re gentler, melt away makeup better because of the oil content and won’t irritate fragrance-sensitive skin.

What are the best, most-effective products for those on a budget?

Is this a trick question? While I can’t answer that question in a sweeping generalization, I can recommend some product categories to splurge on vs. spend on. Does that work?

For me, a cleanser is a cleanser is a cleanser. Sure, you want to find the right texture and formula for your everyday needs, but at the end of the day, this is a wash-off product. You’re just doing the very basic here.

Where I prefer to invest is in moisturizers or targeted treatments — anything that actually stays on your skin all day or all night.

And when I say “invest,” I don’t mean “spend tons of money on one magical product.” Instead, I mean invest some time and, yes, some money, trying a few things to see what you really like.

So, if a list helps, here’s my prioritized order:

  1. Face Cream (preferably something with hyaluronic acid for moisture retention)
  2. Face Oil (preferably something with vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid for skin brightening OR a one-ingredient multitasking oil)
  3. Targeted Skincare Treatment (acne, redness, etc.)
  4. Acid Exfoliant
  5. Hydrating Mist or Essence
  6. Eye Cream
  7. Cleanser

Check my ultimate guides, faves page and past morning and evening routines for ideas!

Would you like to see updated routine posts?

What’s something I should be doing weekly?

Do you want the trite answers (prioritize sleep, be mindful of your water intake, take vitamins) or the product-junkie answer.

Of course.

Weekly beauty activities, typically dubbed “Spa Sunday” or “Mask Monday” in my apartment, include:

  1. Masks
  2. Acid Exfoliation
  3. Total Body Exfoliation

Masks

For masks, I like to alternate purifying and hydrating masks, depending on my skin’s needs that week. Sometimes I will double mask if my skin is especially fussy; that means I’ll use the purifying mask just where I need it (T-zone, typically) and the hydrating mask only on my cheeks and eye area.

Would you like to see an ultimate guide or favorites list for masks?

Acid Exfoliation

When it comes to acid exfoliation, I am a total convert. While I will sometimes still use a gentle facial scrub, I much prefer the power of acid toners and acid-based masks to exfoliate my skin and keep acne at bay.

If you’re new to acid, tread lightly and look for gentle fruit acid exfoliators (Herbivore Botanicals, Tata Harper, Tualique, Juice Beauty and Acure are good starting points) to see what kind of results your skin gets.

I personally am a dedicated P50 fan thanks to Caroline Hirons and have worked up to using this acid toner every other night to keep my skin bright. But, I started at just once a week to see if my skin would be OK with it, and I haven’t looked back ever since.

Total Body Exfoliation

If you love scrubby things, save them for your body! This is where I go wild with wonderful sugar-based scrubs that keep my body touchably soft and flake-free.

My favorite body scrubs have a dense texture that’s easy to spread without feeling too slippery. The sugar has to be finely enough milled (no big chunks, please!) to give a perfect exfoliation. My favorite body scrubs are from Rachel’s Plan Bee — the mix of sugars, clays and shea butter make them dense and luscious for your entire body.

A bonus for days you use a body scrub: you really don’t need to use body oil, body lotion or the like once you’re out of the shower. The best body scrubs leave your skin drenched in moisture so you can get on with your day. I like to use body scrubs once a week after shaving to get the silkiest legs ever.

See more body scrub reviews.

What random green beauty questions do you have for me? Is this series fun, helpful or just meh? Tell me in the comments!


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  • Amy

    Kim, do you have a recommendation for natural deodorant that is not an antiperspirant (stick form and glides easily)? And one that is unisex or for male? I’m looking for a clean deodorant for my husband but he doesn’t like antiperspirant (so no baking soda?) in it. Thank you!

    • Hi Amy. Let’s clear a few things up first:

      Deodorant, by definition, is not an antiperspirant. Deodorant simply deodorizes stink but does NOT prevent you from sweating.

      By definition, antiperspirants are not natural … because they contain aluminum, which block you from sweating.

      Baking soda is *NOT* an antiperspirant. It is a stink killer.

      Most natural deodorants use baking sodas, and for stinky people, myself included, it’s the only thing that makes a natural deodorant work.

      Check my ultimate guide to natural deodorants for my favorites: http://www.kimberlyloc.com/2017/01/04/best-natural-deodorant/

      For what it’s worth, my boyfriend prefers Meow Meow Tweet’s tea tree deodorant. It’s in a jar vs. stick, but he has adapted and it works for him.

      Good luck!

      • Lee Mcadoo

        I use baking soda as a deodorant and it works a treat, in fact it works better than all other natural shop bought deodorants that i have tried. I simply just add a little water till it turns into a paste and apply under the arm. If you wish you could add a drop of your favourite scent of essential oil.
        http://www.buffandbutter.com