6 steps to beautiful skin

My treatment room

I am writing this post because I have gotten numerous emails asking me about this subject of skincare. I am a 52 year old esthetician with sensitive, aging skin. I am not a dermatologist. I'm telling you what I have learned and what works for me.

I believe beauty is an inside job. Beauty first starts as a belief in oneself, that I'm ok just the way I am. At my age I don't feel the need to use botox or restalyne or even foundation to enhance, plump or cover who I really am. This is my personal beauty revolution. Acceptance is key to being beautiful inside and out. There is enough stress in normal day to day living and I don't want to add any more to my life through unreal expectations that are sent my way via Madison Avenue's airbrush system. So first and foremost, I accept who I am and what I look like. Secondly, what I put in my body is vitally important as to the condition of my skin. A diet that is rich in plants and whole grains helps skin function better than one that is full of meat, dairy and processed food. Our bodies were not designed to eat meat or overly processed food and it shows in a vast array of skin conditions, from allergies to poor skintone. So if your daily diet contains food that comes from animals or out of a package and you have any skin problems whatsoever, I'd fix my diet before thinking any product is going to help. The third thing on my list is fresh air and exercise. For years I got dressed in special clothing got in my car and drove to the gym to work out. I now put on a pair of comfortable shoes and walk out the door. I walk briskly outside, rain or shine for 40 minutes each day. The fresh air and sunshine help me relax and release tension I may be carrying. I also include a daily yoga/meditation practice that takes about 10-15 minutes. While these steps take care of the inside (my psyche, my digestion, my muscles) they also have a huge effect on the outside (my skin.)

So what do i put on my skin? It's really very simple.

Step 1 ~ A gentle cleanser. I use Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser. It gets a rating of 3 on the skin deep website, but any gentle cleanser will do.

Step 2 ~ I put on a good sunscreen/moisturizer for daytime and at night switch to a good moisturizer w/o sunscreen (I use Aveda's Green Science.) Honestly I use Dermalogica and Aveda brands because I like them and because I get them at a discount. I don't use Retin A or any glycolic products because I'm just too sensitive. I don't like being red and flaky all the time. I love the way my skin feels after a gentle cleansing and a nice moisturizer.

Step 3 ~ A monthly facial. Because of my sensitive skin, once a month I let a professional carefully exfoliate, extract and slather me in goodness. I could do this myself but it is not as relaxing as having someone else do it.

Step 4 ~Make-up. I wear a non-petroleum based mascara and lipstick from Aveda. Ironically, as my skin ages it looks worse with more make-up on, so I keep it light. I suggest that you wear the least amount that you can get away with.

1. Acceptance.

2. A clean diet.

3. Fresh air & exercise.

4. Daily gentle cleansing & protection/moisture.

5. A monthly facial.

6. Light make-up application

So this is what works for me and many of my clients. I'm sure your beauty routine is wonderful but for those of you who asked, this is what I live by.


  1. WOW. I loved this, thanks so much ! Less is more , acceptance of your own beauty, great post ! thanks so much, Gina

  2. I am one who has emailed you with this request and I can say unconditionally I am grateful!
    Thank you, thank you.. Janet!

    I have been considering giving up my Dr. Hauschka make up for awhile since the rep who sold me the products was radiant and "bare faced"

    I have never indulged in a monthly facial...and know that many women do...I suppose I could save in another area to facilitate this...I know I'd love it!

    I already do the Yoga...need to walk more...
    I do eat some meat and seafood...small amounts....I am absorbing your words...

    Acceptance...I can do that...I'd NEVER do botox or Restylane...did I mention that I detest needles?

    I am booked infor a pedicure this week..I'll have to arrange for a facial when I am there!

  3. I have left you a present at my blog! Please come take a look!

  4. Janet you are so disciplined with the walking everyday!

    I agree that acceptance is the key. Your treatment rooms look very soothing and relaxing.

    Meanwhile I have had a facial since 2000. You've probably collapsed in shock.xxxxxxxxx

  5. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it. Lots of inspiration. I love the tip about not having animal products in your diet - that's something I have to work on. I totally agree that what you put within your body is so important. I also believe there is too much exfoliating going on with the skin for a lot of people. One supplement I have used which has vastly improved my skin over the years is Imadeen tablets They're not cheap but I love them. I also like to use Rosehip oil and some aromatherapy oils as well for facial blends. xx

  6. thanks for the great tips! i will be checking out the cottages...have a fabulous week! verbena cottage

  7. re. redlands-those are just lovely cottages, i would love to live in one of those. you are so fortunate to live around the neighborhood...don't forget to bring your camera the next time you take your leisure walk.

  8. Janet your treatment room looks just so relaxing and inviting.... and what a great post. Thank you...I too try to walk at least 40 mins a day too maybe I should try some yoga... and I am religious about cleansing and moisturising my face.. However don't think I could go without my tinted moisturiser during the day or my concealer, but as for botox, restylane - no - am too scared and too poor to consider these as an option!! x

  9. This is a relaxing post...............wowwwwwwwww..............and you have so right beauty is in yourself........happy sunny beauty day !!!.hugs from me.........

  10. I love this post. I would be happy if my neck was a bit firmer...I walk every day, am a vegetarian, and like you, find I look better with less makeup at my age.

    I don't have a monthly facial...hmmm.


  11. Thank you janet. I wish you were near me. I'd get a facial with you once a month so happily.

  12. wow!!! I think it`s too late for me to start taking care of my face skin... I have never tried a good cream or lotion and just wash it with common soap... too, too late!!! Can I do something about it????
    maria cecilia

  13. maria cecilia ~ i have seen your picture and you are so beautiful, keep doing whatever it is that you are doing!

    lpc ~ i wish i could give you and ff a facial!

    claudia ~ i wish everything was a bit firmer!!!

    semi expat ~ don't give up anything you love & i hate needles too just like the hostess.

    josephine ~ i have never heard of imadeen tablets. will look them up.

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  15. Hi Janet,
    You've totally inspired me to 1. to walk EVERYDAY and 2. to get a routine facial.
    You live such a beautiful life and it shows...you're beautiful in every way.


  16. ooh, this is a helpful post! Today is my 49th birthday and I have a feeling my luck in the area of good skin genes may be about to run out! I definitely need to get more regular exercise (I have some free time coming up!) and should probably look into the idea of a monthly facial. I have noticed that less makeup looks better and more sleep (while wearing a hydrating moisturizer) makes a huge difference for me. Thanks Janet!

  17. Here I thought you were just an oracle of wisdom for vegan food ideas, and now you're telling me you can offer Pilbara Face Prevention guidelines as well? Tell me please, (please!!!), what can I do to prevent damage from this harsh climate I live in? I'm already doing the obvious things - sunscreen, water, exercise, vegan diet - but what else? Perhaps I have not been doing enough of the 'feeling like I look good' thing? Must buy flattering mirror ASAP.

  18. Janet, can you explain what what is the 2nd step after exfoliating means: extract?

    I enjoy your today's posting. :-)

  19. pilbara ~ if you already use sunscreen then i would add a hat to protect your skin from the sun. and maybe avoid the sun altogether during it's peak hours. yes, embrace yourself!

    paula ~ extractions are done with a little tool to unclog congested pores and get rid of blackheads. it pinches a little but it's not too bad.

  20. Janet,
    You seem like such a centered person. You are so sweet and genuine. I love your advice/way of life, and I'm glad that I found you.


  21. I love this post- hearing this advice from a professional is so refreshing... And what you said about diet is so true. Now that I'm pregnant I'm eating so many more fruits and vegetables... I thought that because I am no longer allowed to use my anti-blemish products that my skin would freak out but my skin has never looked better! And I believe it has a lot to do with my clean diet and only drinking (lots of) water. Great list. I also love Dermalogica products and have them in my rotation. xo

  22. Beautiful post, it's SO important to take care of yourself (and your skin.) You only get one set (although, yes, cells do turn over...) My mom always said your face is your first impression, good skin, good teeth, good impression. Thank you for the reminder! *Amy

  23. Thank you!!!! I agree with all that you wrote. I am currently on a yeast free sugar free diet and my skin is breaking out SO SO SO badly. I KNOW it is purging toxins as I ma trying to rid myself of a candida overgrowth but it is killing me. IN general what do you think of Retin A (if one does not have sensitive skin?) and what do you think of coconut oil for the skin? Just curious:)

  24. 3 peanutes ~ in general i'm iffy about retin A. retin A causes inflammation in order to stimulate cell turnover thus revealing younger skin but there is a ton of evidence that suggests inflammation is what leads to pre-mature aging. through aveda i have learned that reducing inflammation is important to reduce the signs of aging. so it really is a personal choice. if you are going to use retin A, i suggest you use no more than a pea sized portion for your entire face and avoid the nose and mouth area where irritation can be the worst. i hope this is helpful to you.

  25. Janet,
    I'm happy to know about this website Skin Deep. It's taken me a long time to come up with a combination of products that don't irritate my sensitive skin and I'm happy to see that everything I trust from cleanser to moisturizer to deodorant is in the 2-3 range. The one thing I haven't been able to find is a sunscreen. Everything I've tried gives me a rash all over my face. The higher the number, the worse it is.

    I don't know if not eating meat has helped my skin but I have to say that I feel great and have lost about 10 pounds in three months. I don't feel like I've given anything up. Except for milk, I'm pretty much dairy free too. Virtually Vegan, I call it. Thank you for all of your encouragement! steve

  26. Words of wisdom, Janet! Thanks for sharing your tips. It's easy to get caught up in all the product hype, as you mentioned.

  27. Thanks for the great advice. Can you give me any suggestions on how to lose a few pounds? I'm trying to eat healthier but some tips from a pro like you would be wonderful!

  28. Janet,

    Trying to eat healthier but having a hard time. Any advice?

  29. sue ~ as you know,i am not a doctor but my biggest recommendation for losing weight and general good health is to adopt a vegan diet. it's the way are bodies were designed to eat. i would pick up the book skinny bitch. don't be put off by the title, it's full of well researched information and it's a funny, no-holds barred approach to a healthy lifestyle. i highly recommend it. try it, it could change you life.

  30. I'll give it a try, Janet. Thank you!

  31. Ok, I'm a follower. So glad I found you. We have a lot in common, and I love your advice! I will be back...Marcia

  32. PS Skinny Bitch literally changed my life 2 years ago. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in giving up meat and processed foods. Marcia

  33. hi marcia,

    thanks for the comments. you are so right, that book is a fantastic gateway for anyone interested in improving their health and the environment not to mention saving animals. my sis has been on the diet for 26 days and has lost 20 lbs. she has serious heart problems and i'm overjoyed at her progress. her doc is amazed too.

  34. Janet, you are so right about diet and the effect it has on your skin. I've been experimenting for the past month or so with a diet I call "mostly vegan" - recognizing that the three other eaters in my household have no interest in making this choice. Conveniently, this change coincided with our CSA delivery starting up for the year. I knew eating more fresh, plant-based foods would be good for my health, for the animals, and for the environment, but I had not anticipated the way my skin would clear up! It has never been terrible, but right now my skin is just flawless. In contrast, a year or so ago I tried a low-ish carb diet (more South Beach than Atkins) and was surprised to find how greasy my skin was.

    Love your blog - thanks for sharing!

  35. hi erin,

    i'm so happy that you have the same results as i do and most of my clients that follow the same diet. it's amazing really. flawless is a comment i get a lot. i don't say that lightly or arrogantly. it's what i see in others on the same diet too. congrats.


  36. update for anyone reading comments.

    i mentioned above that my sis has lost 20lbs in 30 days on a vegan diet. she just went for her check-up and her cholesterol went from 210 to 122! in one month's time. doc took her off lipitor. amazing.

  37. Thank you for linking to this post in today's post! I have found what you said about what you put in your body being vitally important to the condition of your skin to be so true! And I love that you get outside every day. I am able to walk to work and love it. When my son is a bit older, I will be walking for more time each day. I think that being outside does wonders for your body and soul. I found your blog through project 333 and have been following ever since. Thanks so much! Oh, and I love your sense of fashion. :)

  38. I'm a new reader and would love to know where you practice. I live in Southern California.

    I was just speaking with a friend who just became a vegan. I'll check out the Skinng Bitch book.

    I have very sensitive aging skin. I've had many basel cell skin cancers removed on my face due to xray treatments for acne as a teenager.
    I've been afraid to use the clarisonic for fear of irritating my skin. I love the idea but just worried about the results.

    Love finding your blog. Just subscribed.

    1. i would ask your dermatologist if you could use the clairsonic with the sensitive brush. i am in redlands, but i'm no longer working at that spa.

  39. Janet - about walking rain or shine. Do you wear any rain gear or use an umbrella? Curious!! I adore your blog. :)


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