As I mentioned in yesterday’s update post, I’m starting a new section on skin care wherein I’ll be posting skin care tips/product reviews every Wednesday. Here is the first post of this series!
Today I’ll be talking about basic skin care. This is especially for those who are not so familiar with the subject and find themselves lost while choosing products for themselves or when asked the question ‘what is your skin type?’.
Note: All of it is written in my own words for simplicity and better understanding and better technical definitions are available on the web for those who are interested.
Skin is the largest organ of our body. In the present day world, our skin bears the brunt of sun exposure, pollution, unhealthy lifestyles and stress everyday. All these factors simply translate to the fact that our skin NEEDS CARE. We might have beautiful eyes or a lovely pout but if the skin is dull ,lifeless and uncared for, neither of these can make up for it. Cutting a long story, our skin needs some basic care, not just external but internal too i.e not just in terms of what we apply on our skin but also the food we eat, the lifestyle we lead and the mental state we stay in.
A basic skincare routine should be inculcated in everyone’s daily schedule and it should consist of the following steps(depending on your skin type) –
Cleansing : As the name suggests, this step involves removing all the dirt, grime, oil and traces of pollution that can form a layer over our face, clogging pores and giving the skin a ‘dull’ appearance. Cleansing removes all dirt from the face, cleansing and opening the pores. There are different types of products available in the market suited for different skin types. It is important to use the cleanser meant for your skin type to maintain the natural water and oil balance of the skin.
Our skin naturally produces oil because of the presence of sebaceous glands present on the sub surface. The cleanser should not strip the skin of its natural oils because these are the ones responsible for maintaining the ‘healthy, glowing’ look of the skin. Cleansers come in various forms- lotions, foaming washes, gel based washes ,oils etc.
Toning: This is one step of skincare that beginners are generally unaware of. Toning helps in further cleansing, tightening of the pores and restoring the pH balance of the skin. Toned skin absorbs moisturization better hence it is a very important step before moisturizing.
Moisturizing : This step involves application of gel/lotion/cream that restores moisture to the skin giving it a smooth, healthy look.
Moisturizing is important even for oily skinned people and it should be used according to skin type. Dry skinned people need more moisture in their skin and hence they need heavier creams while oily skinned people require lighter formulations like oil-free moisturizers.
The above three steps form the basic CTM or Cleansing, Toning ,Moisturizing routine.
Sunscreen : Most of the damage done to our skin in today’s age in because of pollution and sun exposure. The skin needs protection from the sun’s rays even indoors! Sun exposure causes tanning, premature ageing of the skin and is also responsible for skin cancers. Depending on your skin type and time of exposure, appropriate sunscreen should be used. When exposed for longer times, higher SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreen should be used. Ideally sunscreen should be applied after toning, before moisturizing to help the skin absorb it better and at least 10-15 minutes before stepping out in the sun.
Exfoliation: Build up of dead cells and oil on the face causes the surface of the skin to look dull and leads to clogging of pores, blackheads and pimples. This step involves removal of the dead cells by mechanical means (scrubs /skin polishers) or chemical means (exfoliating creams). Depending on your skin type and type of exfoliation method you’re using, the frequency at which you need to exfoliate your skin may vary from once a week to everyday.
A skin care routine should typically involve the above 5 steps. Some additional steps are listed as follows-
Night cream : These are formulations meant to be used on the skin over night which help in repairing the skin, restoring elasticity and replenishing moisture to the skin. Most suitable for ageing skin and/or dry skin. Sometimes used for acne/pimples also. Generally, night creams are high on moisture content making them greasier and thus unsuitable for use in the daytime.
Serum : A serum is a concentrated formulation that is made of smaller molecules than the moisturizer and thus penetrates to deeper layers of the skin to restore moisture, brightening, fight ageing and sometimes to prevent breakouts. Also most suited for ageing mature skin.
Order of application : Cleansing -> Toning -> Serum -> Sunscreen -> Moisturizer
Some general tips –
1. Never sleep with makeup on. Always always ALWAYS remove all makeup before going to sleep.
2. Drink at least 3 litres of water everyday. It the simplest way to achieve glowing skin.
3. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits- at least 2 servings everyday to cleanse your body of toxins and for essential nutrients.
4. Exercise regularly- even light exercise for a few minutes daily will increase your blood circulation and add a glow to your skin.
5. Pamper your skin with facials and home made face packs on a regular basis.
6. A healthy mind reflects in a healthy body. Stress and negative thoughts over time will start taking tolling a toll on health and appearance. Keep away from negativity, engage yourself in activities you like and take time out to relax.
More on CTM, Sunscreens, Exfoliation and How to identify your skin type and choose the right product in upcoming posts!
I do not own any of the images used above. All images have been taken from google. Image sources 1 , 2 ,3 ,4 , 5 ,6. For any copyright issues, kindly contact me and I shall remove the image from this post.