Anna De La Cruz, licensed Skin Therapist, Massage Practitioner, and Director of Brand Development for Glo Skin Beauty brings a rounded industry portfolio that includes treatment room experience, marketing, education, and product development. She loves sharing her passion and knowledge and strives to find ways to make technical information more relatable and practical for all audiences.
We recently caught up with this skincare guru to find out all about proper care for women of all ages. Here is some of the best skin care advice around:
What are some of the common misconceptions about proper skin care?
Anna: It can be easy to assume it costs a lot, requires a ton of products, and takes a significant time commitment every day, which absolutely does not have to be the case. Seek out a product line that is designed to be personalized and speak to a skincare expert that can help you choose the right products that: cater to your skin type, budget, lifestyle and, most importantly, your skincare goals.
To a younger woman in her 20s, what’s your best general skin care advice?
Anna: Wear sunscreen daily; you will thank yourself down the road. Also, don't stop skincare product application (especially moisturizer and sunscreen) at the jawline. Get in the habit of bringing products down your neck and onto your décolletage, think of these two areas as an extension of your face, and it's another you-will-thank-yourself-later type of thing. Last, just because your (insert: best friend or sister or coworker, etc.) loves a product, it does not automatically mean it is right for you - skin types vary, and considerations like sensitivity level and oil production will play a huge role in what works for each individual.
How would that advice change for a woman as she approaches 40? 60?
Anna: Keep wearing sunscreen daily! But also, make sure to include products that will target and treat signs of aging- in my book Retinol is a must for smoothing as well as firming and reparative actives, there is so much available in the ranges of plant stem cells, growth factors, and peptides you should have no problem finding options in product lines you love.
How often should a person exfoliate?
Anna: The goal is to avoid over-exfoliating, over time, this will lead to sensitized, reactive skin, and potentially even skin aging. There are numerous types of exfoliants on the market. You can still find traditional "scrubs" that focus on mechanical or physical exfoliation by buffing the surface of the skin, combination exfoliants that include mechanical and chemical smoothing action all in one and liquid or gel exfoliators that can be kept on the skin or rinsed off like a mask. Check with the product itself, some modern-day exfoliants are gentle enough and designed to be used up to five times per week. A general usage recommendation is one to three times per week. Make sure that you check with the product and then gauge your skin's sensitivity level; it's not a bad thing to err on the side of caution.
What are some of the new developments in skin care that women should know about?
Anna: This industry is all about technology and ingredient innovation; we see new ingredients so frequently, it's almost too hard to keep up. Firming, smoothing, and brightening ingredient categories always seem to reign supreme, but as far as new ingredients, we have seen a big focus on repair and prevention. Repair focus includes strengthening and soothing aspects (as over time, even low levels of frequent inflammation can lead to prematurely aging skin) and prevention includes protectants like antioxidants and anti-pollutants, many derived from plant actives.
How does stress play on one’s skin?
Anna: Stress is the worst. It can lead to inflammation, increased oil production, and, you probably guessed it, breakouts. In fact, stress and hormones are thought to be the major players in adult acne. Those pesky inflamed breakouts that tend to be deep and show up in the lower portion of the face and neck are usually indicative of stress. So, stress causes breakouts, which makes you stress out more, which can cause more breakouts. Talk about a brutal cycle. Top recommendations: find a good spot treatment, skin therapist, and resist the urge to pick.
How is skin care different around the eyes?
Anna: Think about what makes the skin around the eyes different from the rest of your face: it's thinner, more delicate, lacks oil production and can be prone to discoloration and fluid buildup that leads to puffiness. Be mindful not only of the specialized products you are using, making sure they are designed for use in the eye area, but also the pressure of your fingers in regard to product application and removal for both skincare and makeup - we can do a lot of rubbing, tugging, stretching and pulling at this delicate skin. Try to be kind and lighten up (literally).
What about for lips? The décolletage?
Anna: Ah, how much time do I have?! Please note, lips do not just dry out in the winter months! There are two main reasons why we can experience dry lips all year long; for starters, they do not have the natural protection like other areas of our skin because they lack sebaceous (oil) glands. Sebum is a natural conditioner and protectant; without it on our lips, they are more prone to drying out. And second, we are probably guilty of contributing to dryness by licking our lips. Saliva contains natural enzymes and salts that help in the digestive process by breaking down the foods we eat. When it comes into contact with our lips, it evaporates moisture and leads to dryness. Try not to lick your lips and find a great conditioning balm to provide additional moisture and protection. For the décolletage, this is an often overlooked area. Bring your skincare products down and treat this area like an extension of your face. If years of exposure and lack of product application have resulted in visible hyperpigmentation or a rough, uneven texture, you may want to find a stronger product to treat this area that what you are using on your face.
What should a woman know or alter with their skin care regimen just before waxing facial hair?
Anna: Make sure that you shelf your Retinols prior to waxing. We may know the benefits we love from Retinol-derived ingredients, including smoothing the skin and reducing fine lines. But we may not be aware that this comes at the cost of thinning the skin. Using Retinol products consistently right before a waxing appoint may result in additional dryness, irritation and lifting or tearing the skin. As a general rule, you should discontinue the use of a Retinol product for seven days prior to your waxing appointment.
What’s the best way to ensure that makeup goes on skin smoothly?
Anna: Your makeup will look best when you prep with skincare. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
What are some of your favorite go-to products for your own skin, and why are they perfect for you?
Anna: I am obsessed with Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid. Because of that, I adore our Daily Power C+ and Daily Hydration+ products because they instantly absorb into my skin, which I love since I am oily, while making me feel refreshed and looking radiant. Daily Power C+ contains a Vitamin C trio for powerful antioxidant protection and Daily Hydration+ contains not only traditional Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which is a surface hydrator, but also a new small molecule size HA, called Dermatein HyaMini. It feels like water, and its results are visible. It is magic. I also usually have a Retinol product in my nighttime rotation mix, either Renew Serum or Retinol Smoothing Serum. And a tinted moisturizer with SPF is the ultimate multi-tasker for me and a total must. My go-to is Moisturizing Tint SPF 30+.