It’s indeed true when they say:
You Are What You Eat
But, you know what else is true? Your skin is an external organ so what you will physically put on it will contribute to the way your skin looks and feels. That’s exactly what I’m going to tell you today, the ideal way to care for your skin so that you effectively clean, maintain and protect it.
what is a skin care routine?
So what really is a skin care routine? It’s a habit that you’re going to get your self into. So that no matter the skin type you have you ALWAYS have a glowing skin.
Don’t worry, you needn’t necessarily have a lot of time on your hands to be able to have a skin care routine in place. All you need is twenty minutes a day. Ten in the morning and ten before going to bed at night.
what are the components of an ideal skin care routine?
An ideal skin care routine, consists of the following:
cleansing, that is when we remove impurities and dirt from our skin. Cleansing is necessary for every skin type. The only thing that differs from people to people is the kind of cleanser you use. But as a general rule, soaps should be avoided, going for a soap-free facial cleanser is ideal for every skin type.
method for cleaning your face
- Place a small quantity in the center of your palm.
- Starting from the throat, slowly work your way up towards your forehead in circular motions. leave your T-zone as it is.
- Now take additional facial cleanser and apply it to your T-zone.
- Wash off the facial cleanser till water runs down your face smoothly.
The above steps remain same for people with any kind of skin type, however, the facial cleanser that you use should always be different and well suited to your skin, and should be changed when season changes.
It’s best if you use cleansers like Cetaphil and Neutrogena. For deeply cleaning your pores. as people with oily skin generally have I have also seen Clean and Clear’s Deep Clean face wash to give good results. As a person with oily skin, you should always prefer face-washes with Salicylic Acid.
How ever, if you want to go for a homemade facial cleanser, you should make it in this way:
Using just about any gentle cleanser will be enough for you. Cetaphil cleansers are gentle and give the best results.
If you have combination skin, it’s best if you use two different cleansers on different areas on your face. This is the ideal solution for you to effectively clean all areas of your face without stripping your skin too much from where you don’t want. However, if this seems like too much work for you, then using one mild and gentle cleanser should be enough as well.
If you do decide to use two different cleansers, this is how you’ll use them:
- Use a stronger formula like Clean and Clear or Neutrogena Deep clean for your T-Zone
- And a gentler formula like Cetaphil for the rest of your face
As a general rule, people with sensitive skin should avoid skin irritants. Cetyl Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol Cleansing Lotion for sensitive skin will work best. But if you can’t find that, then get any unscented mild face cleanser.
Natural Face cleansers you should consider buying:
The word toning is actually misleading since you’re not really toning anything. This is a sub-part of cleansing. All you’re actually doing is cleaning your skin more thoroughly, removing all and any impurities on your skin. This then makes your skin feels toned.
Toning is only recommended for those with oily skin. But people with other skin types, like combination or sensitive, may also exercise this step. Only on their T-zone area, though. As a general rule, an oily T-zone necessitates the use of a toner.
A toner can be used by people with dry skin if they tend to use heavy make-up.
What toners are generally recommended? Any alcohol-free toner will do the job. Here are the recommendations, based on skin types:
how should you use a toner?
- After you are done with cleansing, take your toner on a cotton pad or ball and run it all over your face, in gentle and upwards direction. Or only on your T-Zone if need be.
- Wash your face with tap water and gently pat your face dry.
Toners that you can buy:
Protecting your skin is a very important step in any ideal skin-care routine, and this is done by the application of sunscreen.
And by sunscreen I mean sunscreen and not sun block. You see, there’s a difference between the two. Let me simplify this difference for you. A commercial sunscreen is just a chemical agent that has the ability to screen out ultraviolet rays. They’re not physical barriers on your skin.
There are substances however, that have this ability and they are usually known as sun blocks.
Sun blocks are not usually preferred as they are not “cosmetically elegant“ as said by Dr. Aparna Santhanam who is a well known dermatologist and cosmetologist and author of the book, “Skin Deep”. However, in case of long hours outside in the sun they should be used, like in case of a sportsman whose been out in the field exposed to long hours in the sun. Most people, however, don’t need sunblocks, and sunscreens do the job.
what kind of sunscreen is apt and should be used?
While choosing a sunscreen, it is important that you go for the one that protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays.
How to know if your sunscreen truly protects against UV-B rays? Very easy, just look at the SPF factor. If your sunscreen has a SPF factor then it protects against UV-B rays.
How much SPF factor do you need on your sunscreen?
SPF 15 provides 92% protection from sunburn for three and a half hours of exposure, so as a general practice you need to look for a sunscreen that has SPF 15 or above. After the number 15 the protection given by your sunscreen just increases on an incremental basis.
Most people only need an SPF 15 as suggested by galtime.com while the statement is true for countries with colder climates, people living in the tropical climates should go for SPF’s between 20-30.
How do I know whether my sunscreen has UV-A protection?
Sadly, there’s no indicator for knowing whether your sunscreen has, or has not any UV-A protection. And by that I mean, it’s not measured the way it can be for UV-B rays. You should look for sunscreens that label themselves as Broad Spectrum, Dual Protection and Double Protection.
But you can however check these ingredients in your sunscreen and check for yourself as these ingredients offer protection from UV-A rays:
- mexoryl SX
It’s always better to apply a pure sunscreen and not just rely on “sunscreen” that your make-up or your all-in-one-foundation or bb-cream has. Sunscreen, should be used as a base under your foundation. Depending on your skin type, use a gel, lotion, cream or spray based sunscreen.
- Oily skin: Gel, or Spray based sunscreen
- Dry Skin: Lotion based sunscreen
- Normal Skin: Lotion based sunscreen
- Sensitive Skin: Unscented gel, or spray-based sunscreen
how should sunscreen be applied in an ideal skin care routine?
After cleaning and toning the face, you should apply sunscreen liberally all over your face, neck, arms and ears wherever skin is exposed. Since the sun rays are strongest between 11a.m.-5p.m. it is a good idea to keep a travel sized sunscreen with you for re-application every 3 hours.
Sunscreen should be applied at least twenty minutes before exposure to sun. If your skin feels oily, after applying sunscreen then use a compact powder to set it. Usually, though, within twenty minutes, the greasy feeling should disappear.
Swimmers should go for water resistant sunscreens, and still re-apply every 3 hours.
Sunscreens to consider buying:
I don’t know if you know this or not, but exfoliating is what I believe can be called ‘skin stripping’. It an important step as there are two ways to exfoliate your skin:
- Chemical Exfoliants
- Physical Exfoliants
what are chemical exfoliants and how are they different from physical exfoliants?
Chemical exfoliants are different from physical exfoliants like walnut or apricot scrubs. Or any other kind of scrub for that matter. Chemical exfoliants work at a micro level and are not washed off after application, as they take more time to be effective.
Chemical exfoliating agents help exfoliating dead cells, regularize skin growth cycles and help your skin glow. Usually “glowing” effect can be seen on your face in about one month of usage. AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are recommended for chemical exfoliating, the most popular AHA’s are:
- Glycolic Acid
- Lactic Acid
They’re easily available in lotion formats. You can even use a cream that contains retinol or retinoid acid, as it is one of the best compounds (that have been extensively researched upon) that have anti-aging properties. Chemical exfoliants though, are not recommended for those with sensitive skin because they can be quite the skin irritants in some cases. You don’t need to wash a chemical exfoliant off of your face, but, if it irritates your skin then wash it off. And simply think that chemical exfoliating is just not for you.
Chemical exfoliating should be done five times a week.
Some great chemical exfoliants:
Most face scrubs available in the market, like walnut, apricot, cucumber, strawberry etc. are known as physical exfoliants.
These are effective only on the surface of the skin and do not work at a micro level like chemical exfoliants do. However, they’re good at removing blackheads, whiteheads, and other stubborn impurities.
Generally one should use physical exfoliants every alternate day if the have oily skin or combination, once a week if your skin is dry, once a week if you have normal skin and once every 10 days if your skin is sensitive.
Some great physical exfoliants are:
Youngsters that don’t have normal or dry skin don’t need moisturizers. If you are below 35, actually and don’t have dry or normal skin then, you don’t need a moisturizer, says Dr. Aparana Santhanam a famous dermatologist and cosmetologist.
If you’re above 35 of age, you need a moisturizer no matter your skin type. As a general rule though, use:
- A cream based moisturizer for dry skin
- A gel based moisturizer for oily and combination skin
- And lotion based moisturizer for normal skin
It’s best if your moisturizer has one or more of these ingredients:
- Vitamin E
- Aloe Vera
how to apply moisturizer on your skin?
The art of applying moisturizer on your skin is very important. You should never pull your skin towards the ground and your hand motions should be upwards, as if you are uplifting your skin.
You should take the desired amount on your hand and spread it evenly on your face. Use fingertips to massage your face in circular motions near the cheek area.
Some moisturizers you should consider buying:
Ideal Skin Care Routine
Now that you know the ideal skin care routine for most skin types, what is your ideal skin care routine going to be? Or what are the steps you have or have not been following in these routines? Let us know!