Maybe it’s because I just had a significant birthday—let’s just say I’m no longer in my mid-30s–but I’ve been paying closer attention to my skin these days. I don’t have any more time or money to spend on my skincare but I know investing both in it now will slow down the amount of repair I’ll have to do later.
New for me this year are dark circles and puffiness under my eyes when I wake up. My 31-weeker, now age three, is potty training and getting used to her “big girl” bed so frequent wake ups mean less sleep for me. So I reached to a professional for help. She was kind enough to answer several reader questions below!
Rica Carney runs Elixir Skincare Studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her sunlit space is a perfect reflection of Rica’s personality and view on skincare– bright, thoughtful and intentional.
For my birthday, I treated myself to the the signature Elixir facial which included a thorough skin analysis, steam, gentle cleanse, lymphatic drainage facial massage, illuminating eye treatment, replenishing lip treatment, customized face mask, arm and hand massage and treatment, and moisturizing spf. All the products used are gentle, natural and specifically chosen for your skincare needs. I’ve been to several day spas in Tulsa and this was hands down my favorite facial.
Your special savings
For locals, simply mention this post from Preemie Mom Camp and you’ll receive $10 off any facial during December. Rica is also giving ANY reader 20 percent off products during December. Book a treatment or ask her any questions online at elixirskincarestudio.com or 918.740.3458.
You all asked some GREAT questions of Rica. Here’s what she had to say.
1) How can we combat dark circles from late nights with kiddos?
Proper hydration and proper sleep! Unfortunately, as we age, our collagen production begins to decline. This includes the delicate area around the eyes, making dark circles more prevalent. The skin below the eye is thin, so as the collagen under our eyes depletes, those dark circles become more noticeable.
Truly, giving our body the proper nutrients, hydration, and sleep it needs are the best ways to combat dark circles. Otherwise, concealer may be your best friend. A cult favorite, RMS Beauty “Un”Cover-up is a nutrient dense moisturizing formula that hides dark circles, blemishes, and redness. It has quickly become a client favorite for us!
2) What about puffy eyes?
Put your eye cream in the fridge for an extra cooling and soothing boost! Lymphatic drainage around the eye area can also help move stagnant fluid away from the eye area and through your system. I offer lymphatic drainage during the facial massage in every treatment. I’m also happy to show my clients how to do a mini version at home for themselves.
3) What is a good treatment for eczema or super chronically dry skin?
When dealing with eczema, you should avoid harsh detergents. The fabrics we clean with detergents come into contact with our skin everyday, from the clothes we wear to the sheets we sleep on. I recommend Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent, an Austin, Texas based line which offers a line clear and free of dyes and fragrances.
I also recommend a gentle face cleanser free of sulphates. I offer a cleansing milk with an aloe base that includes green tea and cucumber. It is great for every skin type, especially dry and sensitive. I also offer effective moisturizers for dry and sensitive skin. The proper moisturizer used daily will help protect your skin barrier from environmental factors that can lead to irritation. Consistency is key, so proper cleansing a moisturizing is going to benefit you. Do you think one green juice is going to give you all the nutrients you need for the week? No, and the same applies to skincare. We have to give our skin the nutrients, moisture, and protection it needs every single day in order to see results.
4) What do you think of microdermabrasion? Is it helpful or hurtful?
I personally never recommend it. It abrades the skin, and then vacuums the dead skin cells with a suctioning action. Neither of those actions are going anywhere near my skin! If you are sensitive, acne-prone, have rosacea, prone to redness or weak capillaries, the answer is no. While extremely resilient skin types may see an immediate glow and smoothing of the skin after a microderm treatment, overall these treatments used excessively and repeatedly over a long period of time can lead to a weakened skin barrier, broken capillaries, and irritation.
5) Any tips for hormonal chin breakouts?
My go to acne fighting ingredient is salicylic acid. However, it is a powerful ingredient and less is more when using products that contain acids. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, so it is extremely important to use sparingly and follow the directions.
I also like clients to consider their diets in regards to reoccurring acne. Dairy contributes to inflammation and acne is an inflammatory skin condition. Try removing dairy from your diet and make sure to incorporate more vegetables and nutrients to aide your body in the repair process, which will help your skin heal more quickly from pesky breakouts.
6) What is your favorite skin product or treatment?
Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30. This is an amazing product for mothers who don’t have a ton of time to spend on their skincare/makeup routine. It provides moisture, anti-inflammatory ingredients, antioxidants, sun protection, AND it contains color adjusting earth minerals to even your skin tone.
7) What’s your best skin tip for women in their 20s? 30s? 40s?
All ages need to cleanse, moisturize, and protect their skin. As we get closer to our 30’s & 40’s, it’s a great idea to incorporate serums with vitamin C, peptides, or retinol. However, the right retinol can be tricky. Not all retinols are created equal. I recommend gentle retinol, or more specifically Retinaldehyde. Arcona, our best selling line, offers a nighttime serum utilizing Retinaldehyde & peptides to make your skin behave younger, smoothing fine lines while improving discolorations, and building collagen.
8) What’s your favorite skincare tip?
Be intentional and mindful when approaching skincare. Skincare should not feel like a chore. Taking time to gently massage your cleanser into your skin is a moment to show yourself, your skin, your body that you value it.
Next time you go into the bathroom to cleanse your skin, or even if you’re in the shower, think about how you’re cleansing away the dirt and pollution from your day. As you apply moisturizers or serums, think about how you’re feeding your skin nutrients, moisture, and protection. It can take two minutes or 30 minutes, but that time should be spent intentionally, it makes a difference in what can be such an enjoyable process!
9) If someone is looking for a simple morning and evening skin treatment routine what do you recommend?
Here’s my go to simple routine: cleanse, moisturize, protect. Cleanse with a microfiber facial cleansing cloth. You can use the cloth to work the cleanser into your skin while gently buffing away dead skin cells. Or you can cleanse, and the use the cloth to remove the cleanser. The cloth provides the most gentle form of physical exfoliation without really having to add an extra step in your skincare routine. Next, moisturize with a moisturizer that includes a mineral form of SPF. That one step offers your skin moisture & protection.
For your night routine: Cleanse (the same way stated above). Use a targeted nighttime serum that offers the benefits you’re looking for, and moisturize.