Category Archives: Hannah Sowd Skin Care

San Francisco Wellness Referrals

I frequently mention other practitioners or businesses during sessions with my clients so I decided to create an online list for easy reference.

Dermatologist: Dr. MacGregor is my personal go to for both medical and cosmetic dermatology.

Chiropractor: Darryl Hobbs offers a wide range of chiropractic and health services.

Fitness: I like full body, functional fitness classes that focus on safety. My current favorites are Burn and Basecamp.

Body Scrub: If you want baby soft skin, trust the ladies at Pearl Day Spa. It’s a traditional Korean Spa so the environment might be a little different but then end result is amazing!

Hair Salon: Hector personally trains all the stylists at his salon so you can’t go wrong for a cut or a color. Hector Estrada Salon

Need a facial in Seattle? Go see my friends at Dermaspace.

Should I Buy Skin Care Products From A Discount Website?

We’ve all been there, shopping online we find a serum our esthetician sells but for a fraction of the price.

What’s the deal with these products? Why is a serum $148 at most locations but $99 on a discount site? Is it too good to be true?

Every company sets an MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price) for their products, whether it’s skin care, clothing, or other items. Most companies even go so far as to monitor when their products can go on sale and how deep of a discount can be offered.

All accounts have agreed to sell products for the MSRP whether in person or online. Reputable companies want control over the pricing of their goods and will shut down accounts that don’t comply.

So how are certain sites selling the same product for less?

A large amount of these sales are expired product sold by a third party. Most retailers won’t risk losing their account just to offer an unapproved discount.

Or like I discovered recently, it could fake product.

I finished a favorite eye shadow palette only to discover it had been discontinued. A quick Google search led me to a few for sale on a discount site. Against my better judgement, I purchased it (they has great reviews!) only to discover it was a knock off. The packaging was identical; it was brand new and sealed but full of cheap eye shadow with no pigment.

Thankfully I spent less than $20 to learn that lesson.

A sales rep from a company I work with told me this story years ago. A customer returned a serum she purchased online because it just wasn’t the same as previous bottles. Their lab tested the contents of the returned bottle and it was apple cider vinegar not the $100 serum the customer thought she was purchasing.

If you can’t purchase your products directly from a professional, find a reputable website. Trying to save a few dollars on a discount site could be a disaster in the end.

The Top Five Oil Based Serums for Dry Skin

A well formulated oil-based serum should be easily absorbed and nourish the skin, it can be a life saver for dry skin!

Suntergity Rebound: Organic Antioxidant Renewal and Boosting Serum $78

This USDA organic power-packed serum blends 20 carefully selected organic oils and botanicals known for their ability to help combat UV induced damage and restore skin’s natural radiance. This concentrated antioxidant serum is also a delicious defense against future damage so we suggest you use it pre- and post- sun exposure together with your favorite mineral sunscreen. The heavenly scent of hibiscus and sweet orange will have you falling back in love with something good for you.

Dermaquest Radiant Skin Facial Oil $65

Radiant Skin Facial Oil is a blend of 9 essential oils that soothe irritated, chapped skin. This fast acting, leave on oil provides healing and anti-inflammatory qualities as it deeply nourishes dry, dehydrated and compromised skin. Use Radiant Skin Facial Oil to protect skin restoring suppleness and balance!

OSEA Essential Hydrating Oil $68

This ultra hydrating botanical oil restores a dewy luster to your skin. Naturally rich Jojoba and Sesame seed oils deliver advanced hydration, visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A blend of pure Lavender, Rosewood and Geranium essential oils provide a dewy, illuminated complexion and create a gorgeous aromatic allure. The perfect instant surge of hydration for a beautiful, radiant glow.

Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil $82

Nine natural oils multitask to help protect from free radical damage and to refresh skin’s appearance. Evening primrose, argan and jojoba oils help to boost hydration, reinforce skin’s moisture barrier, and soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Grapeseed and rosehip oils deliver vitamins c + e to improve tone and restore a healthy-looking complexion. Geranium and borage oils help balance skin. This quick-absorbing treatment provides instant hydration to help skin look and feel softer, smoother and brighter.

Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant +Superfood Face Oil $72

 A botanically active blend of a cold-pressed powerhouse of superfood seed oils, this formula nourishes the skin with antioxidants, vitamins, essential amino acids, omegas 3, 6, and 9, and naturally soothing agents for a luminous, radiant complexion. Vitamins A and C help to brighten the skin’s appearance for healthy-looking vibrancy, while they fortify the skin with antioxidants to support anti-aging. Sinks in, leaving skin hydrated, protected, and velvety soft for an obsession worthy glow.

The Top Five Sunscreens for All Skin Types

I’m a fan of a physical sunscreen. It works to prevent melasma and is better for the environment.

Here are my top five favorite sunscreens for all skin types.

iS Clinical Eclipse SPF50+ $44

Eclipse SPF 50+ is an ultra-sheer, lightweight formula that absorbs quickly for a non-greasy matte finish. Formulated specifically for daily use and extended outdoor activities. 
Eclipse SPF 50+ is a unique fusion of scientifically advanced physical sunscreens, transparent Titanium Dioxide and micronized Zinc Oxide, coupled with pure Vitamin E. This antioxidant-rich blend provides superior water-resistant broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer $45

A rich, non-greasy, “chem-free” face sunscreen that offers Broad Spectrum Protection against damaging UVA & UVB rays. Infused with youth promoting antioxidants, this 3 in 1 product functions as a face moisturizer, sunscreen and make-up primer. Red algae, aloe vera, jojoba, sunflower, pomegranate, cucumber, and green tea provide the face with additional sun defense and hydration. Large doses of uncoated, non-nano zinc-oxide protect the skin while providing anti-inflammatory properties that help with rosacea, acne, and melasma.

Super Goop Smooth and Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Screen $38

A 100% mineral primer in one translucent formula that blurs pores and mattifies skin. Wear underneath makeup for more coverage during the week, or on its own for less coverage during the weekend – and either way, you can rest assured that you’re getting SPF 40 protection. Major bonus points for the fact that butterfly bush extract helps guard your skin from blue light too.

Cerave Face Sunscreen $11

CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50 provides broad spectrum, lightweight sun protection plus 3 essential ceramides to help restore skin’s protective barrier. Water resistant for up to 40 minutes.

Dermaquest Youth Protection $50

DermaQuest Youth Protection SPF 30 blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays while simultaneously combatting signs of aging for a protected, more youthful complexion. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide deflect and shield skin from UVA/UVB rays while shea butter and jojoba moisturize. Lines and wrinkles lighten as antioxidants absorb to nourish your facial features.

DIY Coconut Sugar Body Scrub

Two close girlfriends had baby showers this summer and I set up a DIY body scrub station as a party favor at both parties.

This gave me the opportunity to play around with a lot of fun ingredients and make new combinations for yummy DIY body scrubs!

I’ve always favored sugar over salt as an exfoliating agent and found that adding finely shredded coconut is effective and aromatic.

Here is one of my new favorite combinations:

Makes about 4oz.

5 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons rose petals (I buy dried rose petals and run them through a food processor)
4 Tablespoons avocado oil
5-6 drops geranium essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Store in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Can be kept in the refrigerator if you don’t plan on using it up within 4-6 months. Not recommended for use on the face.

What I learned from my “Botox Vacation”

Full disclosure, I’m a fan of injectable neurotoxins. In the hands of the right doctor, they are a great tool to for people who want to look youthful.

I had my first Botox treatment at 35 years old. The vertical line on my forehead had been there long as I could remember, getting more pronounced with each passing year. The prospect of softening it was intriguing.

The procedure itself didn’t feel as invasive as I expected. It took about 10 minutes and the result was subtle. I was so happy with the results, I continued to have injections every 5-6 months.

I’ve paired Botox with other anti-aging treatments (chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and LED treatments) and I’m generally happy with my face a decade later.

Then I had two Botox treatments in a row where the results changed dramatically. My eyes looked heavier and my forehead too frozen. I discussed it with my dermatologist but the corrections he made didn’t really help.

Unsure of what to do, I took a “Botox vacation” and let my face go back to its natural state.

I was curious; had a decade of paralyzing my forehead muscles affected their movement? Was Botox really “preventative” like some doctors said? Would my forehead be smoother than it was before?

My “Botox vacation” lasted a nine months. During that time, all the movement returned to my forehead; I’m happy to know my muscles still work! The heaviness left my eyelids as the Botox wore off but the vertical line on my forehead also returned.

Does my forehead look better now than it would have if I didn’t get all the injections over the past decade? Not necessarily.

I decided to see a new dermatologist and he used a different injection pattern to lift my brow while still softening the vertical line. I’m happy with the results and will probably get back on my regular injection schedule but it’s also nice to know what my face looks like without a little help!

The Sacred Spring at Glanum

Even when on vacation, I can’t help but check out all things spa and wellness related! I love the history of bath houses and thalassotherapy.

The Glanum archeological site near St Rémy de Provence, France is home to the remains of a healing sacred spring as well as ancient Roman Baths so I had to have a look.

The Sacred Spring was an underground cave with water flow and an additional tunnel that channeled wind. The wind created a noise that caused the people in 200 BC to considered it “devine”. They decided the “devine water” must have healing powers so an alter was built around the cave.

Over the years, this alter became more elaborate, eventually with stairs leading down to the water and treatment areas surrounding it.

Roman solders would travel from all over to receive treatments with the “devine water” for gout and other illnesses. They often stayed at Glanum for months and it was customary to leave a gift of a carved stone pillar in exchange for treatment. These pillars often included engravings of legs which led historians to figure out the water was used to treat disorders of the legs.

Next to the Sacred Spring, there are stone slabs (ancient massage tables) thought to have been used for massage and water treatments. The indent near the top held oil for the treatment.

Around 75BC Glanum became a popular destination for its Roman Bath house. The bath house was for rest and relaxation, not just healing purposes like the spring. Men used a mixture of sand and olive oil to exfoliate their skin before soaking in the pools of water.

The history is fascinating and the site is beautiful. I recommend checking it out if you’re in the area!

Visiting The Lavender Fields of Provence

Lavender has been called “the soul of Provence”. This region in the South of France currently grows a large percentage of the world’s lavender supply.

On a recent trip to the area, I couldn’t pass up the chance learn a bit about this popular plant. I’ve worked with essential oils for over two decades but haven’t had the chance to see this kind of production up close.

Since WW1, the French Government has encouraged lavender farmers in the area. Farmers cleared almond orchards to make room for lavender. The leaves, flowers, and essential oil from the plant have many uses. Lavender flowers are even an ingredient in the popular cooking spice “Herbs de Provence“.

The plants bloom in late June and are harvested in early August so July is considered peak time to see the purple fields. During our trip in early May, we saw purple flowers starting to bloom but quickly learned these are lavendine plants, not lavender plants.

Lavendine is a hybrid of lavender and camphor. The two were blended to create a heartier plant that can flourish in a wider range of climates and has a longer growing period. This creates a less expensive end product that is used to scent mass produced soaps, candles etc.

 

You must find “lavande vraie” (literally translates to “lavender true”) for 100% pure lavender essential oil. The expert I spoke with near the village of Les Baux de Provence insists only “lavande vraie” has the medicinal healing qualities the lavender plant. Lavendine will not produce the same results for relaxation, help with inflammation, wound healing etc.

Next time you find yourself in the South of France, I highly recommend learning about the local lavender farmers. It’s a beautiful part of the local culture!

 

Anti-Pollution Skin Care

Anti-pollution skin care is a trending but what does it mean?

Environmental pollution at an all time high; how does it affect your skin?

No matter where you live, air and water quality are getting worse and a weakened ozone layer has strengthened the intensity of the sun.

How does skin care protect you from environmental pollution?

Proper cleansing and hydration of the skin is the first step.

The skin is one of your largest organs and it’s primary function is protection.

Clean, hydrated skin functions at an optimal level to protect your system from pollution. Dehydrated skin has a compromised barrier so it becomes more susceptible to damage from environmental pollution.

Antioxidants like green tea and vitamin c help fight free radical damage from environmental pollution.

SPF with a physical ingredient like zinc or titanium dioxide helps provide an invisible barrier between your skin and the environment. These ingredients provide the best protection from the sun as well.

Use a cleanser that removes your makeup, sunscreen, and the traces of dirt from your day. When clients tell me they don’t wash their face at night because they don’t wear makeup, I tell them to run their finger across the window of their car after driving around all day. All the same particles end up on your face!

The combination of an antioxidant serum and a physical sunblock will provide the best protection from the elements on a daily basis. Save the heavy, anti-aging creams for nighttime when your skin is in repair mode.

Do you have questions about your skin and what products you should be using? Have an Online Skin Care Consult with Hannah!

Radioactive Skin Care?

This article documenting the radium skin care trend from the 1920’s and 30’s is fascinating.

“Radior” Chin straps are guaranteed to contain Radio-active substance and Radium Bromide. If placed on the face where the skin has become wrinkled or tired the radio-active forces immediately take effect on the nerves and tissues. A continuous steady current of energy flows into the skin, and before long the wrinkles have disappeared, the nerves have become strong and energised, and the tired muscles have become braced up and “ready for service.”

(Radior advertisement, 1915)

It was thought to literally give you a glowing complexion!

Should I get Botox?

Clients of all ages ask me “Should I get Botox?”.

The answer is never a simple yes or no. First, think about what you are trying to change.

Botox will temporarily soften lines on the glabella, the forehead and the “crows feet”. It works by paralyzing the muscle so it is considered to be very effective.

However, just because you’ve paralyzed a facial muscle and no longer have a wrinkle, you still may not look the way you expected. It may require several session to perfect the injection pattern and get the results you want.

Botox relaxes the muscle under the skin but does not treat the surface of the skin. If you are unhappy with the texture of your skin, have large pores and discoloration Botox alone will not make your skin perfect.

You will need to have a treatment every 3-6 months depending on how fast your body metabolizes the product. Injectables are very effective anti-aging tools but consider the overall cost when adding them to your routine.

If you decide to try Botox, find a reputable dermatologist who does a lot of injections. The science behind injection patterns and dosing is constantly being adjusted for better results. Choose a doctor who is up to date.

Avoid discount websites and deals that seem too good to be true, this is your face!

How did people protect their skin before sunscreen?

Do you ever wonder how people protected their skin from the sun thousands of years ago?

Clothing, scarves, and shade were early methods of protecting skin from the sun. However, applying products to the skin for additional protection also started thousands of years ago.

Early civilizations used a variety of plant products to help protect the skin from sun damage.

Ancient Greeks used olive oil to protect their skin from the sun and to condition it after sun exposure. Modern science tells us olive oil has an SPF of 7-8 (and this protection breaks down when the oils is heated) so it is NOT considered effective protection from the sun but given their options, it was better than nothing.

Ancient Egyptians used extracts of rice, jasmine, and lupine plants. Again, these ingredients offered low levels of sun protection but were proven to be very beneficial to the skin and are still used in skin care products today.

Burmese women have used Thanaka cream to protect from sunburn for over 2000 years.  Thanaka is a creamy paste rich in vitamin E and is applied on the face in pretty designs. It also provides a cooling sensation and has anti-inflammatory properties to calm acne.

Zinc oxide, a popular sunscreen ingredient today, was being used for medicinal purposes as long ago as 500 B.C.E.

In the 16th century, pale skin was very important to the the upper class. The clothing of the era covered the body from head to toe but ladies were required to wear uncomfortable Visards to protect their skin from the sunburn when traveling in open carriages.

Thankfully, by the 17th century parasols and bonnets had become popular as a means of protecting the face from the sun.

The production of sunscreen as we know it today started in the 1940’s. More user friendly versions appeared on the market by the 1960’s and in the 1970’s the formulas protected against both UVA and UVB rays.

When faced with options like a Visard or a can of greasy “red vet pet” I’m happy to have my Suntegrity!

What happens when you drink 100oz of water a day?

A few months ago, I started drinking 100oz of water per day.

Drinking 100oz of water per day is no small feat. The first few weeks were rough, drinking water all the time seemed like a chore and I was running to the bathroom every hour.

Between week 2 and week 3 my body adjusted. Bathroom breaks became less frequent and I woke up craving water. I easily downed 32oz before leaving my house in the morning.

What else did I notice?

I drank less coffee without even trying, my morning water became almost as important.

Four people complimented my skin and asked if I had tried a new treatment!

The texture of the skin around my eyes changed.

I don’t get hungover from two glasses of wine like before!

My one PMS pimple has stopped making it’s monthly appearance.

The jury is out on whether increased water consumption will directly hydrate your skin, but the positive effects have been obvious for me.

I’m fortunate because I can sip on fruit flavored spa water all day and I’m never far from a bathroom.

This is one lifestyle experiment I’m happy to continue!

LED Light Therapy

LED therapy uses therapeutic light wavelengths to treat the skin. The technology has been scientifically proven to stimulate fibroblasts that increase collagen and elastin production as well as kill acne causing bacteria.

Over 40 years of research shows LED has powerful therapeutic benefits on living tissue. In the 1960s, it was noted that certain single wavelengths had therapeutic effects on treatment tissues through a process called photo-stimulation.

Cancer researchers discovered a single red frequency combined with a topical cream kills certain types of skin cancer cells. The skin tissue regenerated and the appearance of the skin also improved with these treatments. The red LED light alone produced positive results in the treatment of rosacea, aging skin, and sun damaged skin.

NASA found LED light waves helped to stimulate cell growth which promoted healing in weightless environments.

LED light therapy is a cleared by the FDA as a cosmetic procedure. It is painless, safe, and effective to help reverse the signs of sun damage and aging as well as heal acne lesions and rosacea,

Red LED light encourages collagen production and increases blood flow to the skin therefore increasing cellular metabolism and strengthening the capillary walls.

Blue LED light is effective for treating acne. In clinical studies, blue light has shown to generate singlet oxygen which attacks the bacteria which is the root cause of most acne flare ups.

How I Controlled My Sugar Cravings

My sugar cravings have always been out of control.

I can skip alcohol most nights and I love green vegetables, however a decadent dessert paired with a cappuccino gets me every time.

I don’t worry about my moderate coffee consumption but sugar doesn’t do my skin or body any favors.

I’ve seen the memes on social media; “Eat spinach when you are craving chocolate, your body really wants magnesium”. Would you really eat a plate of spinach instead of a slice of chocolate cake? I wouldn’t.

Additionally, it takes almost two ten ounce bags of spinach leaves to meet an average adult’s daily recommended magnesium requirement. That’s a lot of spinach!

My neurologist recently recommended a daily 400mg magnesium supplement to help my migraine headaches, it had the bonus side effect of curbing my sugar cravings. I didn’t need to eat mountains of spinach when I was craving chocolate cake, I just stopped craving chocolate cake!

After a few months of decreased sugar intake, I have seen positive changes in my skin, my sleep habits and my mood.

According to WebMD, the daily recommended does of magnesium for adults is 320mg for women and 420mg for men. Always consult your doctor before taking adding new supplements to your daily routine.

 

 

My Anti-Aging Eye Routine

As I approach my mid-40’s, I see more signs of aging in my eye area so I’ve stepped up my anti-aging eye routine.

The delicate skin in the eye area is 10 times thinner than the skin on the rest of the face. This skin is also in a constant state of movement, so fines lines or “crows feet” are commonly one of the early signs of aging.

I’m not opposed to surgery or injectable solutions but I’d like to save surgical options for my next decade and I have mixed feelings about the results I’ve seen from Botox for “crows feet”.

Eye lifts were in the list of the top five esthetic surgical procedures performed in the United States in 2016 according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

While working to expand my online store last year, I tested many eye creams and ended up with irritated eyes on a few occasions. I learned a lot about what ingredients work and which ones to skip.

The right combination of topical peptides, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and stimulants can give this delicate area the extra boost it needs to get me thru my 40’s without going under the knife.

This is the routine that has made a visible change for me:

Morning:

Alchemie Forever Rejuvenating Eye Balm
This lightweight eye balm is perfect for daytime. The antioxidant rich formula protects against environmental assaults while the Vitamin K reduces the appearance of dark circles.

Evening:

sowd therapy for skin: firming peptide eye therapy
The creamy formula uses Matrixyl 3000 to stimulate the cell renewal that slows with age. It also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients so you wake up with less puffiness. When I have an extra few minutes, I use my Jade Roller to massage the eye area before applying.

Weekly:

Patchology Energizing Eye Patches
These are amazing! The patches are embedded with gel-activated galvanic micro current technology, after 20 minutes my eyes look years younger. I use them once a week or before I have an important event.

Dietary changes:

I eliminated 90% of the added sugar in my diet and reduced my alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks per month. Cutting out alcohol isn’t a problem for me, I enjoy drinking less as I get older but I love sugar and seem to crave it at times. I discovered a calcium/magnesium supplement helped curb my sugar cravings so much.

Keep up your water intake and eat a large quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. When you becomes dehydrated, your eyes are the first place it shows!

QC Terme Roma

When I discovered QC Terme, I thought it was too good to be true!

On a recent trip to Italy, we had a 6am flight out of the Fiumicino airport following  a week on the Amalfi Coast. I wanted to find accommodations as close to the airport as possible to ease our transition.

QC Terme is resort hotel with a spa 10 minutes from the airport, the perfect solution.

The QC Terme brand has properties all over Italy, follow their Instagram and you will want to make time to visit them all!

I booked a package including a hotel room, unlimited access to the thermal mineral pools, massages, and breakfast. After traveling for 2 weeks, it seemed like the perfect last day in Italy.

The day we arrived consisted of a ferry from Sorrento to Naples, followed by a 2 hour train ride from Naples to Rome so we were ready to relax.

The hotel is rated 5 stars and was lovely in a typically European way. Service at check in was wonderful but after that, we were left to wander the facility alone which was a little confusing.

We managed to find our way to the “wellness farm” and relaxed in the thermal mineral pools before our massages.

massages

The massage facilities were top notch; heated beds and luxurious rooms. Plus I had one of the best massages I’ve had in my travels to European countries, generally the pressure is too light and they use too much oil but this was perfect.

feet

Sadly, we had to rush out very early in the morning the following day. I would have loved to enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the grounds.

Overall we had a relaxing stay at QC Terme Roma, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a spa break before or after a long flight!

Stress and Your Skin

The fast pace of modern daily life creates stress and your skin will suffer if you don’t take time to balance your activity with some downtime.

What is your favorite way to take a time out, create balance in your life and help your skin when life gets overwhelming?

When my life is at “peak stress”, time is always scarce. I embrace daily wellness tips I can incorporate into my routine without taking up much time.

Water

When you wake up in the morning, you are dehydrated, no question.

Reach for a large glass of room temperature water before you start on the coffee and keep sipping throughout the day.

This insures you stay hydrated and helps keep your energy levels up, I drink less coffee if I start with water and feel better overall.

“Clock Out”

Decide on an electronic end time for your day and stick with it.

This is the time your phone gets turned off (use an auto-reply for your email if you need too), stop checking social media and replying to text messages. There is nothing that can’t wait until you “clock in” the following morning.

This gives your brain some much needed downtime and gives your skin a break from screen time.

Treat Yo’Self

It’s not the time to throw caution to the wind and run to the nearest department store with your credit card or break your diet with an entire cake but do a little something special for yourself.

I usually default to getting a manicure for a few reasons; I won’t regret it when my credit card bill comes next month, I’m forced to set aside my phone and relax while my polish dries and for the next week my pretty hands make me feel like I’m pulled together when I may be on the brink of disaster internally!

Mask

A face mask makes everything better. Throw it on while you’re brushing your teeth, washing your hair, even while you are reading this blog…

Spring Cleaning Your Skin Care Closet!

Is it time to spring clean your skin care closet? Once a year, take the time to clean out your collection of skin care products.

Divide your skin care products into three groups:

  1. Skin care products you use regularly and work well for your skin type, your “core routine”.
  2. Skin care products you stopped using because your skin changed and they no longer work for your skin type.
  3. Skin care products that were gifts or impulse purchases, some of these items may even be unopened or you only used them once before deciding they were wrong for your skin type.

Many skin care products have a symbol of a jar with the number of months the product is considered fresh after opening.
Many products have a symbol with the number of months the product is good after opening.

First, discard any items that have been open for more than one year or are past the expiration date printed on the bottle. The active ingredients will no longer be effective. Also, discard any unopened items you have had for longer than three years. Preservatives start to fail around this point so there is no guarantee the product will be safe for use.

Skin care products with active ingredients will also have an expiration date.
Skin care products with active ingredients will also have an expiration date.

Next, re-evaluate the products in group two. Are these items you might use when on vacation in a warmer or colder climate? Can you re-purpose any of these items? For instance, can you use a granular scrub that’s too harsh for your face on your heels or elbows? If not, toss them.

The items in group three can be difficult to part with because the packaging is so pretty or they cost so much! That’s why you were moved to buy them impulsively. Host a swap party for your friends; have everyone bring several new or barely used skin care products that don’t suit them and trade for items better suited for their skin type. Everyone wins!