Let me ask you this, “What’s the body’s largest organ?”
Are you surprised if I tell you that it’s your skin?
Your skin has many important roles and thus should be treated with care so do not abuse it. Common skin issues include dryness, itchiness, sensitivity, oiliness, sun damage, and signs of aging …wrinkles. These are all normal occurrences but we can do something about them before they become problematic or undesirable.
What is the first step to proper skincare?
The first step to proper skincare is to protect yourself from exposure to UV rays and extreme weather conditions, irritating chemicals, harsh drying soaps, and spending too much time in hot baths. Mind you smoking cigarettes, poor diet, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and not consuming enough water, chronic stress, lack of sleep, hormones, and medications can also damage the skin.
There are several lifestyle choices you can make that will help your skin stay healthy and with the correct usage of proper skincare products for your particular needs. No, you just don’t slather on the moisturizer. As per my previous blog, “Cold Weather Skincare Tips” you first need to remove existing dead skin cells so that the moisturizer can actually penetrate your skin. Second, put your body moisturizer on damp skin to trap in the existing moisture. So, before you exit the bathtub or shower pat yourself dry with a towel and apply moisturizer formulated just for your body. For easy access keep your body moisturizer in your bathtub and shower.
TIP: For those hard-to-reach body areas try the “Roll a Lotion Applicator” with its extra-long handle. Fill it with your favorite body moisturizer and simply roll it on, great for suntan lotions and massage oils too.
Choosing the right body moisturizer
Choosing the right type of moisturizer for YOU is the key to a daily regime to protect your skin. A moisturizer should hydrate not dehydrate, in other words, stay away from drying scents/perfumes. Look for formulas that contain ingredients like honey and vanilla, natural antibacterial properties, antioxidants, and bean-based butters like cocoa butter, high in fatty acids and shea butter, vitamins A, E, and F. These substances may improve blood flow to the skin and slow the skin’s aging process by protecting it against damage from chemicals, pollutants in the air and the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The importance of knowing your facial skin type
Your face is constantly exposed to harsh elements and the key to great facial skincare is to know YOUR skin type whether it be “oily”, “dry” or “normal/combination”. Each skin type has a special need which is why it is important to know your skin type and use skincare products formulated just for YOU.
Each type of skin can be a blessing and a curse. If you have oily skin, you are blessed with your own natural moisturizer and have fewer wrinkles, so be grateful. Mind you the curse leaves you with larger pores and more chances of acne. Oily skin calls for a water-based moisturizer and to prevent your pores from clogging it should also be non-comedogenic. Water-based moisturizers will absorb faster due to their light texture.
Now that is the opposite for those of you who have dry skin. You are cursed with more wrinkles but you are blessed with smaller pores and fewer chances of acne, another reason to be grateful. Dry skin calls for a heavier oil-based moisturizer to restore moisture. Heavier oils do take longer to be absorbed by the skin.
If your skin type is normal/combination (T-Zone has excess oil), then you have the best of both worlds. Normal/combination skin calls for a water-based moisturizer, but with some oils. Again, some oils do take longer to be absorbed by the skin.
Products are formulated according to sensitivity and age
Age does play a huge role in how your skin looks. As we age our cell turnover decreases and collagen and elastin break down. Wrinkles are formed one fine line at a time, and we can’t stop the process, but we can slow it down. I love this saying by an unknown author “Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up”.
Sensitive, youthful skin needs a lightweight moisturizer with medicinal or soothing properties derived from plants and fruit (Botanicals). A very popular botanical ingredient is Aloe Vera because of its natural antioxidants, vitamins E and C plus, and beta-carotene (fights against free radicals, soothes sunburned skin, heals acne, and protects the skin from premature aging). Another popular ingredient is the tropical Dragon fruit which has a high content of vitamin C (which helps overall skin and health). Did you know that eating fresh Dragon fruit can help minimize acne by regulating your hormone levels? Do stay from moisturizers with heavy fragrances, dyes, or acids.
Mature or maturing skin needs a day-time age-fighting moisturizer with peptides (amino acids that may stimulate collagen production), hyaluronic acid (pulls additional water into your skin), plant stem cells (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help protect against UVA/UVB), and other antioxidants including vitamin B3 (brighten and even out skin tone).
It’s during our sleep process that we naturally lose moisture, so it’s very important to maintain healthy levels of hydration. Before bed use night-time moisture replenishing cream with powerful antioxidants with or without retinol…vitamin A (encourages healthy skin cell production and boosts collagen). Want to really transform your skin, then add one more step to your regime, a vitamin-rich nutrient serum (delivers antioxidants essential for your skin’s renewal process) then finish your regime with your night-time cream.
Eys show-all and lips tell-all
The skin where help is needed the most is beneath your eyes. That thin delicate area produces very little natural oil so it needs a little extra TLC. Eye creams, just like facial creams, are formulated to help hydrate your skin to keep it healthy, but there is a very important difference…eye creams are specially formulated to be extra mild, and ophthalmologist tested to use safely around the eyes. Eye creams are also formulated to help improve the appearance of dark circles due to fatigue, and undereye puffiness usually due to too much salt intake.
Believe it or not, lips can age, burn and dry out just like the rest of your skin. Have you ever applied lip colour on dry chapped lips, not a pretty sight indeed! Use lip balm as part of your daily moisturizing routine, but don’t forget to exfoliate first. Throughout the day you may need to use a lip balm more often especially if you have a habit of licking or rubbing your lips. To moisturize and protect your lips look for a lip balm that is formulated with shea butter, glycerin, or natural oils, and of course SPF (sun protective ingredients).
Take care of your skin and your skin will take care of you
You will have your skin for the rest of your life so it is imperative to take good care of it to keep it looking healthy and youthful. There are no miracle cures. Common sense prevails…use a good skincare regime including sun care, eat a rich diet in vitamins A, C, and E, eat less salt, drink less alcohol, get a good night’s sleep, and never go to bed without removing your makeup. Why, stay tuned for my next blog, “Risks of Sleeping in Makeup – The Importance of Makeup Removal“.
Please leave a comment to share with us your favorite skincare products and tips too?
Thank you for being part of my life!
Diane aka Lady Dee