Six secrets to your best skin ever

All of your products should be pH correct, not just balanced.

by Linda Leibl — 

Having worked in makeup, cosmetics and skincare for more than 25 years, I am often asked questions on skincare regimes, systems and basic ingredients. As such, I thought it was time for an article about basic skin products and their application.

1. Cleansing your face — Remove your eye makeup first with an eye makeup remover that is safe and gentle, has an oil-free formula and leaves no residue. A makeup remover with comfrey and raspberry extracts is ideal for removing mascara, shadow and even glimmer.

Next, remove your makeup with a creamy, soothing wash or cleanser, then thoroughly clean your face a second time, including the neck and upper chest area.

Make sure your cleanser is pH correct and botanically based; otherwise, it will strip and dry out your skin, causing it to deteriorate and age more quickly. A correct pH product will not disrupt the acid mantle on the top layer of your skin. This is your protection from the elements. Also, never use rubbing alcohol. This is like using turpentine on your face.

All of your products should be pH correct, not just balanced. Most companies in the U.S. manufacture products that are not balanced correctly and may cause more harm than good to your skin. Products should ideally be 6.5 to 7.5, or close to that range. This is similar to the pH of your swimming pool. If you’ve ever seen a pool that is improperly balanced, you’re aware of how ugly the resulting bacteria make it look. The same effect can happen to your skin, causing it also to become damaged, and to deteriorate and age quickly.

Tip: Your skin will age vastly every time you do not remove your makeup at night. When you are in your 20s this will not show as much; however, if you continue to do this as you get older, aging will occur much more quickly. Let your skin breathe at night while you sleep.

2. Using a toner — Like a good cleanser, a toner helps maintain the pH level in your skin while removing excess dirt, oil, bacteria and makeup left after the cleansing process. This product removes the final traces of your cleanser and restores balance, which maximizes your moisture retention.

A toner will visibly firm and smooth your skin surface. If you have normal to dry, or combination skin, you need a toner. You will also use an astringent if you have oily skin. A toner is a necessary product in your regime. Without one, over the years your skin will appear dull and lifeless, your pores will become large and you will develop blackheads, especially on your nose. Spritz in the morning and at night, or use a white cotton square to wipe your face clean.

3. Moisturizing your skin — Make sure your moisturizer is pH correct and botanically based. Apply a day moisturizer with an SPF (sun protection factor) in the morning and a richer moisturizer at night.

A day moisturizer will protect, moisturize and visibly firm your skin. This will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Your nighttime crème is formulated to deliver targeted protection against moisture loss and will strengthen, firm and renew the appearance of your skin while you sleep. Aloe, sesame, sweet almond and wheat germ oil are a few key ingredients.

4. Protecting your skin — Use a full-spectrum sunscreen that has protection from UVA and UVB rays to protect from aging and burning. You need at least an SPF of 8 in your day moisturizer and a SPF of 30 or more in your sunscreen for living in a hot, dry climate like Arizona.

Apply on your face and neck, including the back of your neck if you have short hair, plus any exposed skin on your chest. Compare your tummy to other areas of your body to see how much your skin has tanned or is damaged.

5. Applying masque treatments — Intensive treatments, under the direction of your aesthetician, will guide you to the results you want from your home skincare regime. Masques draw impurities to the skin’s surface. They also address dehydration, dryness, redness, uneven texture, pore issues and oiliness. This will hasten positive results for more beautiful skin, as well as slow down the aging process. Masques help improve color, clarity and firmness. Avocado, kaolin and sunflower seeds are excellent ingredients to look for in these products.

6. Exfoliating your skin — This is crucial to beautiful skin. This process removes the top layer of dead skin cells. This can be done with a gentle scrub that doesn’t contain sharp exfoliates like walnut chips. A scrub will leave your skin looking refreshed, youthful and luminous.

Micro-dermabrasion is a professional form of exfoliating the skin that can be used alone or in combination with your home regiment and other procedures, depending on your age, skin type and goals. Again, your aesthetician can help you put together a total program for faster results and relieve you of any confusion about the process.

Take the time to learn about what you are putting on your face and body. Consider spending a little more money on products that are pure, safe and will provide the results you want.


Linda L. Leibl, B.S., therapeutic aesthetician, founded Advanced Skin Technology in 1993. Visit to view before-and-after photos and information on Linda’s background, services and products. 480-443-3445 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 4, August/September 2008.

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