Skin Care

Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be an expensive or long-drawn-out process. Skin care products are readily available and don’t cost a fortune. And different products offer different formulas to accommodate oily, normal and dry skin types. A basic skin care regime involves four steps: cleanse, tone, moisturize and exfoliate. However, depending on your skin type, you may not need to follow all four steps.

Cleansing is at the center of a good skin care routine because it removes dirt and makeup from your pores. You should wash your face twice daily, in the morning and before bed. If you have dry skin, skip the morning wash and instead use a soft washcloth or moisturizing cleanser. Avoid products that use strong detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, soap and alcohol. They strip the moisture barrier from the skin’s surface, which can leave it vulnerable to irritation and damage.

Only use a toner, or an astringent, if your skin still feels oily after washing. Alcohol-based toners strip the skin of all oil on the surface, which will make your skin dry and irritated if there isn’t an excess of alcohol. This dryness can prompt your skin to make even more oil, which only perpetuates a negative cycle. If you choose to use a toner, choose one for sensitive skin and use it sparingly.

Moisturizing is an optional step. Those with oily skin do not need to add additional moisture. Normal skin can benefit from a moisturizer that is oil-free and won’t run the risk of clogging your pores. If you struggle with dry skin, you will need to moisturize frequently in order to minimize lines and smooth out tight skin. While moisturizers are not able to prevent lines and wrinkles, it can plump the skin up to make existing lines less noticeable.

Skin is constantly shedding off dead cells in order to renew itself. But as you age, the rate at which your skin renews itself slows down which can give you a dull, dreary skin tone. Exfoliating increases the speed of the process and produces a brighter complexion. There are two types of exfoliation. Physical exfoliation uses a grainy facial scrub or buffer pads. Be careful, however, that your exfoliating product is not too harsh on your skin or it may damage it. Use a product with exfoliating beads which are gentle enough for your skin. Exfoliating should not be done every day. This step only needs to be repeated once or twice a week.

Chemical exfoliation uses alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid to help loosen and remove dead skin cells. If you choose to use these products, use them sparingly as it can easily irritate the skin. Reduce the amount of product you’re using if your skin becomes red or flaky. Alpha hydroxy lotions are able to help with fine lines and age spots—they may also improve the appearance of poresby dissolving dirt and oil. If you choose to use a chemical exfoliator, beta hydroxy acid tends to be gentler on skin.

Use vitamin-enriched skin care products. Retinol is the most effective vitamin for skin care because it is able to reach the lower layers of the skin where collagen and elastin are produced. It will improve your skin tone, treat fine lines and wrinkles and improve your skin’s texture. Vitamin C is also able to minimize fine lines, scars and wrinkles. It can even reduce damage to your skin from the sun.

Properly caring for your skin doesn’t have to cost you much more than a few extra minutes each day. The your skin will look and feel younger and clearer. It is the best way to fight signs of aging!