Photography by Dan Austin
Hair and makeup: Naime De La Cruz & Patricia Uiterwyk of Venue Salon
Models: Liam Fitzgerald – BMG, Laesha Brewer – BMG, Reilly Zumwalt – BMG, Summer Gattuso

From trying endless over-the-counter products to deciding on a skincare routine, taking care of our skin can be one of the most challenging ventures. However, with the right local resources, it is totally possible to reach your skincare goals and discover what effectively works for you with a few important steps. The skin is usually the first visual impression people have of us, and when we place value in nourishing what we have, we’re able to place our best foot forward.

Nothing makes us feel more vulnerable than to be seen. In a society where it’s easy to mask our imperfections, we’re challenged every day to nurture our authentic self. Over the years, one of the biggest lessons for me has been to truly care for my skin –– flaws and all –– with ingredients that nourish its cells. You see, our skin is so much more than the epidermis (the surface that we see every day). It’s a proven defense mechanism, intricately crafted, that lets us know how we’re really doing.

While we may walk through life overusing the two words “I’m fine” on a regular basis, our skin takes the bold initiative to let us know how our insides are actually feeling. Something I realized early on is that when we create a consistent routine to care for our skin, we will reap the benefit of a healthy, vibrant face that makes people want to ask, “What’s the secret?” But first, we must accurately identify what skin type we are. The common faux-pas when it comes to skincare is people often misidentify their own skin.

Throughout my middle school years and on to my later college years, breakouts were completely inevitable for me. Because I had such acne-prone skin, I began to think I had oily skin and spent hundreds of dollars treating my skin with products (filled with harsh chemicals, by the way) that would strip my skin of its nourishment, leading to usual itchiness, lack of moisture, and premature wrinkling. My hopeful spirit led me to try popular name brands, such as Proactiv and Neutrogena, but my skin still wasn’t receiving the rejuvenation it needed.

Not sure of your skin type? Schedule a consultation with a certified aesthetician, and trust me when I say you’ll never be the same. If you’re anything like me, then you’re a normal skin type.

The tricky part about us normal ones is finding the right products that simply work best for us individually –– because your skin wasn’t meant to be cookie cutter. It’s absolutely one of a kind and deserves to be treated as such.

While the following tips are highly recommended, remember it’s essential you discover what’s healthy for your skin through your personal journey, too.

1. Cleanse

Find a cleanser that gently extracts impurities while reviving your pores with wholesome ingredients. Rafa Natural offers a great selection of cleansers within their shop, but one of my all-time favorites is the Clarifying Cleanser. Its active, organic ingredients, such as charcoal, chamomile, and tea tree oil assist in removing all facial dirt while helping to soothe acne-prone areas of the skin. Lather it up in your hands, and within a few seconds the mixture becomes a soft foam that purifies the skin cells from all of the oils it has built up throughout the day. While we tend to touch our face a lot, using this powerful product twice a day can help to reduce bacteria and enhance cleanliness.

2. Exfoliate

Schedule a stimulating facial every once in a while! Lakeland is filled with incredibly helpful places that offer all-natural facials for both face and back. Make it a point to go to Viva Vitality MedSpa or Bella Viságe Medical & Aesthetic Rejuvenation once a month to visit a medical aesthetician. Setting up a consultation with a specialist can help develop a plan to keep skin radiant and clear of breakouts. It’s also important to exfoliate to brush away dead skin cells. Our local Rafa Natural also carries AHA Facial Scrub that is perfect for that exfoliation step, and it is infused with jojoba beads to provoke more collagen production.


3. Tone

One of my favorite steps in the skincare routine process is toning because it helps to ensure all bacteria and dirt have been removed from our face – even the bacteria that is derived from our Florida tap water. Our local ULTA stores carry the perfect toner by Mario Badescu called Glycolic Acid Toner. Whether you have scarring from old breakouts or facial sun spots, this toner restores the skin by using grapefruit extract to heal skin damage. Toners also help to tighten the skin, thereby firming and holding your skin’s natural essence. This crucial step brings your skin’s pH back into balance, too. Investing in the right one can truly make a difference in your skincare routine.

4. Moisturize 

Pick a moisturizer that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to conquer your day. DayDreams Spa at Lakeside Village carries the Pevonia skincare line that replenishes and rebuilds the skin with invigorating ingredients such as safflower seed oil and iris florentina root extract which contains anti-aging properties. Their Preserve Body Moisturizer exists to nurture all skin types and soak up quickly, leaving a light-airy feeling after use. After stripping your face of impurities, moisturizing helps to bring hydration back into your pores so your skin can heal with the right nutrients in place.