Most women don’t bother looking after their skin until it is too late. By the time you notice the wrinkles, you will have little chance of slowing the aging process. You should start looking after your skin from your late teens, early twenties right up until your hands are too shaky to pick anything up.
Start now with a daily regime of cleansing, toning, exfoliation and using moisturizer. Once you get use to doing it daily you will feel and look a lot healthier and good about yourself.
Step one: Cleanse.
Cleansing you skin and removing dirt, makeup and other impurities that clog your skin is essential. You should cleanse your skin at least twice a day with a mild, non-irritating cleanser. Your cleanser should not strip your skin of its natural oils and it should easily rinse away.
Always consider your skin type first when choosing a cleanser. A good cleanser will remove impurities without leaving residue. You should avoid cleansing with soap. This is because skin is slightly acidic and soap is alkaline. This disrupts the skins naturally acidic protective film. Oil based cleansers are suitable for all skin types.
Cream cleansers will suit a dry skin. Smooth on the cleanser and leave it for a few seconds to dissolve impurities. Then very gently wipe it off with cotton wool or damp tissue. When using a wash off cleanser you should apply it to damp skin and then remove with warm water.
Step two: Tone.
Using a toner rehydrates, cools, nourishes and refreshes your skin. Toners remove any remaining traces of dirt, makeup or oil your cleanser may have not removed. It’s good to use a toner that is alcohol-free, as alcohol may dry your skin.
Step three: Exfoliate.
Exfoliation gives the skin a healthy glow and gets rid of the spots that tend to make you look sallow and your skin blotchy.
Exfoliants help remove dead cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin. Make sure the exfoliant is not granular so you do not damage new skin. An exfoliant can be as simple as a face cloth or as high-tech as the latest serum containing AHAs.
Step four: Use Moisturizer.
Just as the rest of you body requires hydration and nutrients, so does your skin. Your skin should be treated with a daytime moisturizer that provides a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. At night, using a more intense moisturizer helps to rebalance and normalize your skin as you sleep.
There’s no rule that says you have to use moisturizer all over your face; you may just need a light eye cream and a bit of moisturizer on your drier cheek area.
All skin has its own natural moisturizing factor that regulates water flow from the dermis to the surface. Sebum also helps by forming a barrier on the skin that prevents moisture loss. As we grow older both of these however decrease in activity and therefore we need a water regulating moisturizer. All skin types really need moisturizing twice a day.
You should be careful to choose a moisturizer to suit your skin type. For oily skin you should use oil free formulas and oil in emulsions. Water in oil formulations suit dry normal skin. You should always splash your skin with a little water before applying moisturizer. Water plumps up the skin cells creating an even surface making lines less apparent.You should always splash your skin with a little water before applying moisturizer. Click To Tweet
Other important factors in maintaining healthy skin include:
> Drink lots of water daily.
> Avoid smoking.
> When in the sun, use sunscreen.
Remember, the more pride you take in how you look, the better you will feel about yourself.
(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2004 and updated in 2015)