It is hard to imagine that something so simple as washing your face can go so wrong. Like most women I want my face to look great, so after talking to my Spa specialist I decided to do a little research on the easiest and best ways to take care of your face.
Over the last five years I have literally reversed the condition of the skin on my face, it is now younger looking, more supple, less wrinkles and much healthier and I couldn't be more happy. On my last visit to the Spa I asked, 'how old does the skin on face look', and she indicated 30 something. For someone in their 50's I was pretty pleased.
So how did it do it?
Proper care for your skin is all about your skin type, how you cleanse, the products you use and sunscreen. And for me going to the Spa for a regular facial. However a good home facial is inexpensive and equally rewarding to having a great looking face!
It is important to know what type of skin you have before putting your regime into place--then it is a simply process. Make sure to ask which skin type you are on your next Spa visit. There are five basic skin types: oily, combination, sensitive, dry and sun-damaged. Your skin type is determined by how much, or how little oil your skin produces. Genes, diet, stress, medication and your skincare regimen all determine how much oil your skin produces.
Rona Berg, former beauty editor of The New York Times Magazine, and editor-in-chief of a stylish new national magazine called Organic Beauty (http://www.greenmuze.com/green-your/body/733-organic-beauty-magazine-.html) details in her book, "Beauty the New Basics," the five different skin types. Here's how to tell what skin type you have.
Spa Girls simple steps to a great looking face...Type 1: Oily skin tends to shiny with enlarged pores, and is prone to blackheads and blemishes. You might experience some tightness.
Type 2: Combination/normal This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, good circulation, healthy color, may tend toward dryness on the cheeks while being oily in the t-zone.
Type 3: Sensitive skin tends to be thin, delicate with fine pores. It flushes easily, is prone to broken capillaries, is frequently allergic and can be rashy.
Type 4: Dry skin feels tight, especially after cleansing. You have a tendency towards fine wrinkles, flaking and red patches. In women of color, skin may appear ashy or dull from dead skin build-up.
Type 5: Aging or sun-damaged This skin also feels tight with visible wrinkles, slack skin tone -- especially around the cheeks and jaw line -- with leathery texture and broken capillaries.
Step One: Cleansing
You need to find a great cleanser that works well with your skin type and stick with it. I have been searching for years and there are so many choices available. Check out my earlier blogs on what's in your skin care products and make sure to select one that is organic or free from synthetic additives. Any product that is from natural ingredients will be the best. If you get stuck, ask the experts at your Spa. And remember, expensive does not necessarily mean it is the best!
While it is tempting, make sure to never use bar soaps on your face as they can be harsh and tend to dry out the skin. Soap is for the neck down, unless like me, you prefer Irish sea weed based products (check out my blog on Seavite). Spa Girl Tip: creamy, alcohol-free cleansers are generally better for dry, sensitive skin while clear cleansers are ideal for oily skin. Wash your face only at night, cleansing too often can dry out your skin, especially as you get older as there is less oil being produced. In the morning a simple splash with warm water and pat dry will work prior to applying your moisturizer and sunscreen. Never use hot or cold water as this can cause the capillaries to break.
I also exfoliate to remove dead skin cells from the epidermis once every week or two. This leaves my skin feeling smoother and looking brighter. If you have really dry or sensitive skin, you may want to avoid exfoliation at home altogether as it could do more harm than good. There are several ways to exfoliate skin: facial scrubs with tiny grains to avoid tearing the skin, Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and retinoids which also help generate collagen; again best to ask your Spa expert on the best way to consider exfoliation for your skin type.
Spa Girl Tip: Water helps to not only remove impurities from the skin, it hydrates to keep the skin looking plump and smooth. To keep the skin hydrated, you should drink plenty of water each day--check out my blog on the benefits of water and how much you should be consuming! Some interesting new studies indicate you should be eating your water! Lots of fruits and vegtables.
I am not a big fan of using a toner after I wash, if you are using a good cleanser and washing for at least 30 seconds in slow circular motions, this should be enough to remove all traces of oil, makeup and dirt from your face. Toners are really a matter of personal choice.
Step 2: Moisturize
Your skin requires essential fatty acids, an important component of a healthy diet as they help to build lipid-based cell membranes that retain water and nutrients and form an oil barrier that protects the skin from pollutants and UV. So make sure you are getting your Omega-3's and Omega-6's as they are the best way to improve your complexion from the inside out!
Moisturizers are more complex and some experts have suggested they should be avoided altogether. Having a tendency for dry, sensitive skin, I definitely like to use a moisturiser and I also use in addition to my moisturizer, Vitamin C oil, a great antioxidant which helps to build collagen. Same rules apply as cleaners, make sure whatever product you select works for your skin type and is preferably organic and free from synthetic additives. If you are using a great product, you most likely will not require additional eye creams.
Step 3: Sunscreen
Sunscreen is the most important part of your skincare regimen! The number-1 cause of wrinkles and skin that looks tired, dull and aged is sun damage. So use a good sunscreen (in the morning) all year round with at least a sun-protection factor of (SPF) 15. To keep your face happy, don't use sunscreen products at night, they are not meant to be used 24/7.
Once you know the basics, taking care of your face is simple and will make you feel and look great!