What is skincare? Does it just involve cleansing the face and dabbing it dry? Well, for some minority out there, they are naturally blessed with such good complexion that all they need is mere cleansing. But for most of us, we need to make extra efforts to take good care of our skin to put it in tip-top condition.
Taking good care of your skin can help you look your best and prevent future skin problems that set in as we age. A good basic skincare routine only requires a few minutes of your time each day along with a few inexpensive products.
Simple is key here. Skin can be generally categorized into 5 types: dry, oily, combination, sensitive and blemished. You need to find a good cleanser that is suitable for your skin type and which your skin responds well to.
Important points to note:
- Avoid bar soaps as they tend to dry out the skin.
- Choose a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin or a clear cleanser if you have oily skin.
- Cleanse your face before you retire to bed. This can help to remove impurities that have accumulated throughout the day and allow the skin to "breathe" properly.
- Makeup should be removed with a proper makeup remover.
- In the morning, a splash of lukewarm water is all you need.
(Note: We find that a splash of water is great for removing excess oils from your nightly moisturizing)
- Never wash your face with hot or cold water (both can cause broken capillaries).
- Be careful about over-cleansing the skin.
- If a cleanser proves to be suitable for you, do stick with it. Frequent changing of cleanser might reverse the positive results that you have been achieving.
Exfoliation is the step most people skip in their weekly skincare routine. But if you want a clear complexion, exfoliation is a must. According to many beauty specialists, one of the reasons men's skin looks more youthful than women's is because men tend to exfoliate daily when they shave.
There are several ways to exfoliate skin: Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and retinoids.
We find exfoliating skin once a week with a microdermabrasion kit keeps skin glowing year-round. Make sure you use a gentle scrub with tiny grains. Big grains in cheap scrubs can tear skin and cause more harm than good.
In the hour it takes to get a chemical peel, you can take off five years from your face. But a monthly peel often comes along with a hefty price tag. A more economical method will be to use some over-the-counter peels which work over the course of a month. This is effective and doesn't burn a hole in your pocket.
Retinoids work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells while also generating collagen in the skin. Collagen is the skin's structural fiber. As we get older, it breaks down, creating lines and large pores. Most skincare experts consider retinoids to be a miracle skin saver.
Some people swear by toners, but many beauty experts do not. A renowned skincare expert once claimed "toners are only for copy machines". Toners are basically meant to remove all remaining traces of oil, makeup and dirt, but a good cleanser can do this just as well. It is really up to an individual to decide whether a toner should be included in the daily regime. If you like the way your skin feels with a toner, buy it, use it and enjoy it.
A basic law of beauty is that everyone, regardless of skin type, should moisturize. Even if your skin is oily, it can benefit from a good moisturizer. So how much should you moisturize? Well, listen to your skin. When your skin is tight, it is crying out for moisture. But do be careful not to over-moisturize as this can clog pores.
The benefits and necessity of eye creams have been debated for a long time. On one hand, some beauty experts strongly recommend eye creams, claiming that the skin around the eye contains no fatty tissue and is therefore very thin and susceptible to wrinkles. They believe that a good eye cream can "thicken" this area and "pump up" the skin. Yet on the other end, other experts (including the beauty editors of leading magazines) claim that your daily lotion works around the eyes just as well. Again, it is up to the individual to decide whether to include an eye cream into the regime.
The No.1 cause of wrinkles is sun damage, so it's important to use sunscreen from your early years on, even during winters. A great trick is to purchase two moisturizers: One for night use, and one that includes UV protection to be used during the day. Do not use moisturizers with sunscreen at night, the ingredients are not meant to be applied on the skin overnight and can cause skin problems in the long run.