Thursday, April 16, 2009

Building a Skin Care Regimen

Bombarded with hundreds of skin product commercials. Overwhelmed with packed shelves in skin care aisles. Product labels screaming "fights acne", "anti-aging", and "even complexion". How is one to know where to begin? This post will be one in a series exploring skin care.

WHERE TO BEGIN - BASIC SKIN CARE REGIMEN -

DAILY and NIGHTLY:
- Wash face with a cleanser
- Apply moisturizer

2-3x a WEEK:
- Wash face with a cleanser
- Exfoliate with a scrub (if cleanser does not already contain exfoliants)
- Apply moisturizer

INNER HEALTH:
- Drink sufficient water daily - water cleanses the body inside out
- Don't eat too much sugar - studies suggest that sugars induce acne

Why wash daily?
Need I elaborate on this?

Why wash nightly?
As the day progresses, the face may accumulate dirt, oil, sweat, and bacteria. This buildup on the skin may clog the pores if not washed away. Additionally, beauty products (e.g., makeup) applied to the face may break down into chemicals and attract bacteria that can be damaging to the skin. They too should be washed away at night.

Why exfoliate?
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells -- which contribute to clogged pores and acne -- that regular cleansers cannot. There is the option of following up a cleanser with an exfoliating scrub OR using an exfoliating cleanser.

What cleanser to use?
This depends on whether your skin is prone to dryness, oiliness, neither, a combination of the two, or acne. Learn your skin first. Then find a product that caters to it. There is no one answer to this question that will work for every skin.

What moisturizer to use?
Again, this depends on whether your skin is prone to dryness, oiliness, neither, a combination of the two, or acne. Learn your skin type.
It also depends on the weather and your age. For example, during sunny months, target moisturizers that contain an appropriate level of sunscreen. In your 20s and 30s, target moisturizers containing retinoids to delay the onset of wrinkles and repair collagen. For those experiencing hyperpigmentation, target moisturizers containing soy, vitamin C, or other ingredients (stay away from hydroquinone) for even complexion. If you have vitiligo, you may want to stay away from even complexion products.

Are toners necessary?
Short answer: No, but debatable. Many dermatologists say that toners are unnecessary. (See article link below.) However, I have found toners to be especially beneficial on days that I've worn heavy makeup. See what works for you.

UPCOMING SKIN-RELATED POSTS: Natural Skin Care; Sunscreen and Black Skin; and more

MORE READS:
ADULT ACNE
TONER
RETINOID
Natural Health Magazine, May 2008
SKIN CARE FOR ALL AGES
Essence Magazine, May 2008
and more

2 comments:

  1. I love this!! Skin care is important, especially for natural women who use products containing lots of oils and heavy moisturizers. The hair touching the face or pillow can often lead to breakouts on people with otherwise clear skin. I definitely agree about the toner, for me it is beneficial. I have also heard that it balances the ph of the skin like an ACV rinse would for freshly washed hair. Can't wait for more skincare articles!

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  2. Whoa! This is really good stuff. I have normal skin and I've never had a problem with acne or anything...just a few breakouts here and there, but now they have became more frequent. I didn't realize how important daily cleansing and weekly exfoliating was. Thanks! I will definitely stay tuned to this blog.

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