May 21, 2023

Your Ultimate Guide to Skin Care Over 40 – All Skin Types

Once you hit 40, your skin starts to noticeably change. It gets drier, you begin to see fine lines and wrinkles, it loses that healthy plump look, and the list goes on. While we can’t change genetics or make time stand still, there are ways to prolong the inevitable, and stay looking younger for a while! And it all starts with good skin care.

Now more than ever, it’s time to commit to a good skincare routine. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but you have to learn your skin and use the right products.


Never underestimate the power of a good cleanser! And, did you know you should cleanse for a full minute? It allows the ingredients to stay on your skin long enough to actually reap the full benefits.

Starting with a good clean face will help your skincare products sink in and really do their jobs. A lot of people, myself included, swear by double cleansing. This ensures that your skin is super clean, and ready to fully absorb all the products that will follow. More on double cleansing later! Here are a few cleansers I’ve personally used and recommend:

For Dry to Normal Skin

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Contains hyaluronic acid for hydration, and doesn’t dry your skin out. It’s super gentle, yet effective and affordable!

For Normal to Oily Skin

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Removes oils without drying your skin out. It is actually formulated to continuously hydrate for 24 hours!

For All Skin Types

Tatcha – The Rice Wash

Pricey, but a great option for normal, dry, and combination skin. It contains amino acids, superfoods, and AHAs to restore radiance, and hyaluronic acid for hydration and plumpness.

Should I Double Cleanse?

Double cleansing is washing your face with an oil based cleanser, then immediately washing again with a water based cleanser. Oil based cleansers remove oil based dirt, sunscreen, pollution, makeup, and sebum (sebum buildup causes acne at any age). The water based cleanser will then clean deeper, removing impurities and any traces of oil left behind from the oil cleanser. Double cleansing allows skincare products to penetrate deeper and work even better.

If you wear sunscreen or makeup, you should definitely be double cleansing (even if you have dry skin). And since oil based cleansers are so efficient at removing oil based dirt, those will oily skin should double cleanse, too. So basically, everyone can double cleanse!

Oil Cleansing

You can oil cleanse with micellar water, regular oils like olive oil or coconut oil, or cosmetic oil based cleansers. No matter which you choose, you should massage it into the face for 60 seconds. My tried and true favorites are below:

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

This is probably the quickest way to oil cleanse if time is an issue. Just saturate a few cotton pads and gently smooth over face until you see no more dirt or makeup. No need to massage for a full minute!

Tatcha – The Camellia Oil

A 2-in-1 makeup remover and cleanser, and the one I personally recommend. It’s non-drying, and great for combatting fine lines and wrinkles.


After thoroughly cleansing, it’s time to tone! Toner balances the pH of your skin, hydrates, and enhances your skin’s ability to soak up all the products that are applied afterwards. There are tons of great toners out there, but here are the ones I recommend:

Etude House Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner

This toner is 97% made of natural ingredients, and extremely gentle. It calms irritated skin and hydrates. While it’s great for all skin types, if you have dry skin you may want to use 2-3 layers.

Kanebo FreePlus Moist Care Lotion 2

This is the toner that transformed my skin from dry and patchy to smooth and hydrated! Like Soon Jung, this toner is also great for layering on dry skin. All other skin types can use the recommended one layer.


If you’re 40 or older, you should DEFINITELY be using a retinol. It’s the holy grail of anti-aging skincare products! Retinol increases collagen production and promotes quicker cell renewal, resulting in smoother, firmer, more youthful skin. It also clears and prevents clogged pores, and evens skin tone. But what most people love about this product is its ability to smooth and prevent fine lines and wrinkles!

Retinol is available both over the counter and by prescription (the prescription form of retinol is called tretinoin). Here are 3 I’ve used and absolutely love.

La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum

I recommend this if you’re just starting retinol. It’s not as harsh as the creams but still yields beautiful results. It can be used daily from the start. No acclimation period!

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

This is as close to prescription retinol as you can get! I’ve used both this and prescription Tretinoin and I honestly saw no difference between the two. Since this is a true retinol, you have to start slow – once or twice a week. Otherwise you will have peeling, flaking, sore skin (fittingly dubbed “the retinol uglies”). I recommend this cream if you don’t want to bother with a prescription.

Prescription Retinol (Tretinoin)

Comes in strengths from 0.025% to 0.1%. It’s recommended to start at the lowest concentration until your skin can tolerate it daily, then move up to the next strength if you’re not happy with the results. You can skip the dermatologist visit and get tretinoin online. The company I use is Nurx.


There are so many serums to choose from! We’re going to focus on the ones that are the most beneficial to aging skin. We need hydration, lifting, plumping, and firming!

Clarins Double Serum

This serum has a cult following and is a best seller because it works! It firms, smooths, hydrates, boosts radiance, minimizes pores, and visibly reduces wrinkles – all in 7 days! Works for all skin types. I try to never run out of this. When I do, my skin gets dry and textured again.

SK-II PITERA Facial Treatment Essence

Another best seller, and a cult favorite. This essence is more of a toner than a serum, and has a very watery consistency. It is to be used immediately after cleansing. It increases cell turnover rate, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves radiance, reduces dark spots, firms, and reduces redness. Great for all skin types.

Hyaluronic Acid

There it is again! Hyaluronic acid. Yes, most of the products on this page contain it, but there’s no substitute to using it by itself in your routine. Try these:

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

This is my favorite hyaluronic acid serum, hands down. It contains Vitamin B5 and CeraVe’s 3 essential ceramides. The consistency is that of a cream, but for some reason is called a serum.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum

This is the most popular choice, partly because of its low price (though it has increased from $7 to $11), and partly because of its effectiveness. The world has fallen in love with it!

TruSkin Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum with Vitamins C + E

This is another popular and well loved one. And their customer service is amazing!


As skin ages, it loses its ability to retain moisture. But, whether your skin is oily or dry, everyone should use a moisturizer. Thick and rich creams are better suited for dry skin, while light, water-based formulas are best for oily skin. Here are a few that are amazing!

For Dry Skin:

Tatcha – The Dewy Skin Cream

This is hydration on steroids! It’s a super rich, thick cream that moisturizes even the driest of skin. It plumps, hydrates, firms, and gives an unbelievably dewy glow you have to see to believe!

For Normal to Oily Skin:

Tatcha – The Water Cream

A pore minimizing water based, oil free moisturizer that treats signs of aging like dullness and uneven texture. This water cream looks like a cream, but as you apply it, you can feel the water burst through. It’s not heavy or thick at all, making it the perfect moisturizer for oily skin. I have dry skin and this works great for me!

For Oily Skin:

Neutrogena HydroBoost Water Gel

This oil-free, non-comedogenic lightweight moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid and is the holy grail for oily skin. I made my husband try it and he absolutely fell in love with it. He didn't even know he needed a moisturizer since his skin was oily, but now it's under control and his skin looks great!


Okay, so the name sounds gross. But it’s extremely beneficial for dry, aging skin. Despite what TikTok may tell you, slugging is a K-Beauty trend that originated in South Korea. Slugging is using an occlusive (like Vaseline) over your moisturizer and as the last step of your routine, to trap water into your skin for maximum hydration. This is best done at night, and you will wake up to baby soft, hydrated skin!

Vaseline Original Healing Jelly

Vaseline is the best and most widely used product for slugging. Fragrance free and dermatologist recommended. And no, Vaseline will not clog pores.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

This is the second best choice for slugging, as it contains 41% petrolatum.

CeraVe Healing Ointment

This is another popular choice. It contains 46.5% petrolatum with a non-greasy feel.

And there you have it – the basics of skincare over 40. It may seem like a lot, but your skin will thank you!

May 21, 2023

I Paid a Therapist So You Don’t Have To

Let’s face it – therapy is expensive and time consuming, and not everyone can fit it into their lives. But if you suffer from anxiety, it can be inexplicably beneficial (especially if you keep God the focus). I went to a few sessions and footed the bill for you! Keep reading for anxiety tips from a licensed professional, along with my personal tips on keeping God first and relying solely on Him.


From the therapist:

Three times a day, take a few minutes to really take in your environment. Pay attention to EVERYTHING around you – scents, sounds, textures, colors. You can focus on the sensation of the material of your clothes against your skin, the smell of a candle or the fresh air, the sound of birds chirping, and the color/hue of the sky. The objective is to become more mindful and aware of your pleasant surroundings rather than be distracted by negative thoughts and worries.

My tips on incorporating God:

God created such beauty for us to behold - the sky, ocean, trees, flowers - the list is endless. When you're taking in your surroundings, remind yourself that GOD created it. All of it. Meditate on the wondrous work of His hands; His creativity and perfection. Take time to thank Him, and remind yourself to not take things for granted. Your 5 senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell - are all blessings that are far too easy to take for granted.

Be Body Aware

From the therapist:

Take a few moments to focus strictly on physical sensations. Some examples are your pet’s fur, feeling cold water make its way down as you drink it, gently dusting a soft makeup brush against your skin, and feeling the cool breeze of a fan on your face. This should be a pleasant experience, so don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do too many. Choose 1 or 2 and really focus on them.

My tips on incorporating God:

When we truly give our lives to God, the Holy Spirit comes to reside inside us. Yes, the POWERFUL presence of the Holy Spirit is ALWAYS with us. And IN us. When we focus on Him, we can FEEL Him! And it is the most peaceful feeling you can feel. I like to close my eyes, breathe in focusing on the Holy Spirit, and breathe out anxiety. I keep my mind clear, focusing only on the presence of God. No, it's not a physical sensation in the sense that you can touch it, but it IS a sensation you can definitely feel.

Butterfly Tapping

From the therapist:

Cross your arms over your chest, and rhythmically tap your shoulders in a left/right pattern. Butterfly tapping uses both sides of your brain and is a calming technique. As you’re tapping, notice what is going through your mind. If unwanted or stressful thoughts arise, picture them floating by like passing clouds, or a butterfly flitting past. Only focus on pleasant thoughts.

My tips on incorporating God:

Picture Jesus on the cross. When unwanted or stressful thoughts arise, picture them being washed away by the blood of Jesus. Remind yourself of everything He accomplished on that cross... We are healed by His stripes, and our sins were washed completely away. Let Jesus wash away all your anxious thoughts.

Knee Tapping

From the therapist:

Start by tapping your knee according to the level of your anxiety, and gradually slowing down. It helps to have your eyes closed for this one, although it’s not necessary. Breathe deeply and let your mind slow down with the cadence of each tap.

My tips on incorporating God:

As you tap, speak Jesus! Speak Jesus over your anxiety, worry, and fears. You might want to try thinking of 2 Timothy 1:7 and repeating "God has not given me a spirit of fear". You can also say, "God is with me. Nothing can harm me."

Conveyor Belt Technique

From the therapist:

Close your eyes and picture a conveyor belt in your mind. Whenever an unpleasant or unwanted thought occurs, picture it rolling past and falling off the conveyor belt. Only allow positive thoughts.

My tips on incorporating God:

As believers, we know that God doesn't want us to be anxious (1 Peter 5:7). Picture Jesus. When anxious thoughts arise, imagine Him casting it away, because He cares for you! HE LOVES YOU!

Deep Breathing

From the therapist:

Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7, exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds.

My tips on incorporating God:

It's God's breath that is in our lungs. As you inhale, focus on that fact. As you exhale, focus on God's power and His ability (and desire) to heal you from anxiety.

Schedule Outdoor Activity

From the therapist:

It’s important to get a minimum of 1 hour outdoor activity each day. Exercise and sunlight increase endorphins and serotonin, while decreasing cortisol. You don’t have to do it all at once. You can take 6 ten minute walks a day, 2 thirty minute walks, or whatever combination fits your lifestyle best. If you have an outdoor patio or balcony, you can exercise there for an hour a day. Just make sure you’re getting a full hour of sunlight and light to moderate physical activity every day.

My tips on incorporating God:

Getting outside and enjoying God's creation does wonders for the soul, and for your overall mental health. As you walk (or whatever outdoor activity you choose), marvel at the beauty of nature, and realize who made it! None of it was created by accident; God purposely formed this beautiful earth exactly the way He wanted. And saw that it was good! Haha! Amen!


From the therapist:

If anxiety causes your heart rate to soar, close your eyes and picture it slowing down. You can picture your heart rate slowly decreasing on a pulse oximeter, watch, or anything that measures your pulse. The mind is very powerful and imagery works wonders for a LOT of people.

My tips on incorporating God:

The mind is powerful, but not as powerful as God! Remember Jesus on the boat (Mark 4:35-41)? Speak that same peace over yourself (in Jesus' Name) that He spoke over the storm and raging waters. Pray and ask God to calm you and return your heart rate to normal. Believe it is done. Because it is!


The main takeaways from these sessions are to be conscious of your thoughts, and train yourself to think positively and only allow pleasant feelings and emotions. From a Christian perspective, I choose to keep my focus on God. Recalling scriptures, praying, and relying on God is your best defense against anxiety (and everything else)!

If you have any additional tips you’d like to share, please comment them below so I and other readers can benefit from them too. Also, let me know if you found any of this helpful! Thanks for reading and God bless!

May 18, 2023

Bible Verses to Help You Through Your Darkest Times

If you’re battling depression, then you know the indescribable feeling of hopelessness, and the agonizing pain that every single second brings. Some days you can’t even get out of bed. You struggle to find the point of anything, even life itself. Perhaps you have suicidal ideations. I know this is the very last thing you want to hear, but I am completely honest when I say I CARE. If you need to vent and get things off your chest, I will listen without judging. If you just need someone to silently listen, I will do that, too. Whatever you need, please know that I am here and genuinely want to be there for you. Just send me an email and I’ll respond as soon as I read it.

God loves you. God knows your pain. No matter what you’re going through, you will find answers in God’s Word. I put together a list of verses to fall on when things are too much to bear. Bookmark this page or write them down so you’ll always have them near!

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength; they will soar high with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, neither anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.
Jeremiah 1:19

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

These are just a few of MANY encouraging verses for hard times. If you need more, let me know! I plan on posting a list of songs to help you worship your way through the valleys. Bookmark this site and check back soon!

May 18, 2023

5 Habits of People With Great Skin!

Have you ever wondered how some people have such beautiful, soft, and radiant skin? Well, they all have a few things in common. While genetics can play a role in your skin (making you acne prone, oily skin, etc.), your skincare regimen and overall lifestyle determines how your skin ultimately looks and feels. Keep reading to discover 5 habits of people with great skin

1. They Drink LOTS of Water (The 8×8 Rule)

This one may be obvious, but it is SO important! Drinking 8 eight ounce glasses of water each day helps skin maintain its elasticity, and show fewer fine lines and wrinkles. It also flushes toxins that clog small pores, preventing pimples and acne. The more hydrated your skin is, the less your pores will clog. Hydration is also one of the secrets to dewy, glowing skin.

2. They Don’t Over Exfoliate

You definitely should be exfoliating, but ONLY 1-3 times a week. This includes chemical exfoliation (AHAs, BHAs, salicylic acid) and manual exfoliation like face brushes and products with exfoliation beads. And you definitely don’t want to do both in one day! Signs of over exfoliation include redness, inflammation, uneven skin tone, dryness, and irritation.

3. They Moisturize

Some people with oily skin mistakenly think they don’t need to moisturize, but this simply isn’t true. There is a difference between oil and hydration. Oily skin is caused by excess sebum (an oily substance). Hydration comes from water. Therefore, you CAN have oily, dehydrated skin! And if you’re using acne products, you DEFINITELY need to be moisturizing. For oily skin, you should use an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer like Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel-cream or CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion. For dry skin, you’ll want a thicker, cream consistency like Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream or Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion.

4. They Dermaplane

Dermaplaning is an exfoliating treatment that uses a sharp, single blade to scrape away dead skin and fine hair you didn’t even know you had! The results are immediate and include smoother, brighter skin. Dermaplaning also allows for deeper product penetration, making your skin care routine more effective.

5. They Use Retinol

Retinol is known as the gold standard for beautiful skin, and dermatologists recommend you begin incorporating it into your skin care routine in your mid-20s. It’s an exfoliant that stimulates collagen and increases skin cell turnover rate. This increased turnover rate sloughs off dead skin cells sooner, revealing the healthy new skin underneath. Skin will be soft, smooth, bright, radiant and clear with continued use. Although Retinol is considered the holy grail of anti-aging skincare, you should start using it in your 20s for best results.

I didn’t include the obvious ones like gently washing your face everyday with a cleanser instead of soap, and getting enough sleep, but they are equally as important. So is using a CLEAN cloth to pat your face dry everyday instead of reusing one – bacteria builds up and can cause breakouts.