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The holiday season is here, which means you are likely looking for simple, stress-free solutions for everything from shopping, to exercise, and skin care. To create a healthy glow, the basic steps are daily application of SPF, healthy eating habits, and drinking lots of water. What often trips people up are the steps beyond that.

In my two plus decades in skin care and beauty, I’ve coached thousands of people who didn’t know where to start with a skin care routine. I tell them, regardless of their age, lifestyle or skin type, there are basic steps to creating an effective, personalized routine that works.

To set you on the right path to beginning a skin care routine, or re-energizing one, here are my five stress-free tips to creating a healthy glow:

Be Consistent. Think of a skin care routine like you think about a fitness regimen. Lifting a weight once won’t create muscle definition; while wearing sunscreen only when on vacation is not the path to achieving a healthy complexion. You are unlikely to see any results by using products just once or twice. Also, if it takes six months to use a bottle that is intended to be used in two, you are not benefiting from the active ingredients. Find what works for you and stick with it.

Commit to a Bedtime Routine. With holiday events, there are likely to be nights where you’d much rather fall into bed than take a few minutes to cleanse your skin. An evening skin care routine is your time to address any concerns and/or maintain your current skin health. Before going to bed, I recommend just a few steps: cleanse, and use resurfacing ingredients such as AHAs, retinols and restorative peptides. Sweat, oil and dirt sit on your skin all day, so even if you don’t wear make-up, you still need to cleanse.

Watch Out for the Sugar Plum Fairy. There’s no shortage of sweets over the holidays, which can be enjoyed in moderation. It’s the “hidden” sugars that may catch you off guard. Much of the sugars consumed today are hidden in processed foods that you may not think of as sweets. For example, 1 tbsp. of ketchup contains around 1 tsp. of free sugars. Also, try to follow an anti-inflammatory diet with healthy fats, lean protein, fiber, and antioxidants. External signs of excess-sugar-induced aging typically start showing around ages 30-35.

Curb your Caffeine Habit. I’m not trying to be on your “naughty” list, but caffeine dehydrates skin, which you don’t want to enhance in the winter. Alternatives that can help you wake up and stay alert without caffeine include upping your intake of vitamins B and D, adding more protein to your diet, or simply drinking more water.

Less is More. As the saying goes, “Too much of a good thing is too much.” If you are repeating your routine more than twice daily, it is too much. By over-cleansing or over-toning, you are stripping your skin of healthy oils, which causes it to produce extra oil. Oil production can be balanced with a healthy and consistent skin care routine.

Celeste Hilling is a nationally-recognized expert on the science of skin care and consumer trends in technology. Based in Southern California, Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority, a healthy skin lifestyle company utilizing technology to develop pure, powerful products and engaging consumer experiences. Hilling is also the creator of the first interactive lifestyle app that connects people with a live esthetics expert for coaching and guidance.

As a bonus to us, Hilling is giving one lucky NoPo’er a chance to win a professional skin consultation and a “Youthful Skin” kit that comes complete with everything you need to diminish the visible signs of aging. Combined value > $400.  Interested? Register to win here: nonpoliticalnews.com/skincare/ … Winner will be announced Friday morning, 12/8, on our FB Home Page.

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