Take Five Years off Your Life
With Proper Skincare
Proper skincare in respect to cleansing, exfoliation, and the moisturizing process can take years off of your face and help you avoid the dry itchy patches of skin and premature wrinkles.
Daily use of most soaps and cleansers can greatly reduce your skin's natural ability to repel the thousands of irritants and toxins that are commonly found in the home and work place.
Once these irritants penetrate the outer layer of your skin they can cause the dry and itchy conditions on your face, hands, arms, back, etc when not properly rehydrated or moisturized.
Of course there are other external factors which can have detrimental consequences to your complexion including, poor nutrition, the environment you live in, and cigarette smoke.
Here is a basic four step skincare regimen:
- Cleansing: Find a good cleanser that your skin responds well to, and stick with it. Avoid soap, especially soaps with fragrances, colorants, and antibacterial agents. Use a cleanser containing oil, water and 'surfactants'. The oil dissolves oil on your face, surfactants dissolve dirt and makeup and the water washes it away. The secret is in finding the right mix of oil for your skin, too much and it will clog your pores, while too little will dry it out. Also be careful on how often you cleanse - washing at night should do with just a splash of water in the morning.
Use warm water to loosen dirt and clogged pores. Use a dime-sized bit of cleanser, and then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. You'll also want to take off makeup with a proper makeup remover.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliation is an important step in skincare which most people skip. There are several ways to exfoliate skin; microdermabrasion, chemical peels and retinoids.
Scrubs (micrdermabrasion) work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that tend to dull your complexion.
Use a gentle scrub with tiny grains once per week for good results. Chemical peels can take 5 years off your face but can be expensive. There are some over-the-counter peels that work over the course of a month.
Retinoids also work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells while also generating collagen in the skin. Retinoids seems to be popular with most experts.
- Moisturize: even if your skin is oily, it will benefit from moisturizers (with the exception of those with acne). Moisturizers seal moisture into the skin but be careful not to over moisturize. Pay attention to your skin. When your skin is tight, it's crying out for moisture. Too much moisture and you risk clogged pores.
Many beauty experts strongly recommend eye creams for skincare around the eyes because this skin contains no fatty tissue and therefore very thin and susceptible to wrinkles. Special eye creams are formulated to 'thicken' this area and keep it sturdy. Yet other experts claim your daily lotion works around the eyes just as well.
- Apply sunscreen: The number one cause of wrinkles is sun damage, so it's important to use sunscreen from your early years on even in winter and on cloudy days. A good idea is to purchase two moisturizers: one for night and one for day that includes UV protection. Don't use moisturizers with sunscreen at night, the ingredients are not meant to be used 24/7 and can aggravate the skin.
Some other specific skincare problems include:
- Acne: Starts when the pores in the skin become clogged with a type of oil called sebum, usually overproduced during the puberty years. Wash your face twice a day with a mild soap made for acne by gently massaging your face, don't rub or pop the pimples. Avoid getting more oil on your face as the day goes on from your fingers or under your glass nose piece. Remove makeup before going to bed and keep your hair free from oil and out of your face.
- Cold sores: They are caused by a type of herpes virus (HSV-1, which most often is not sexually transmitted) but contagious from person to person. Once you contract this virus it stays in your body, meaning you will probably get cold sores every now and then. Avoid getting cold sore by not sharing stuff like lip balm, toothbrushes, or drinks. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen if the sores are painful or try sucking on popsicles or ice cubes.
- Eczema: It's a condition that causes skin to become red, itchy, and dry - especially in places like where your elbows and knees bend or your neck and face. Stay away from harsh detergents, perfumed soaps, and heavily fragranced lotions. Take short warm baths and showers and use rubber gloves when your hands are in water as water tends to dry out the skin. Use moisturizers and be careful which clothing fabrics you wear. Cotton is good because it's breathable. Only wear makeup free of dyes and fragrances that can aggravate eczema.
- Warts: Tiny skin infections caused by viruses of the human papilloma virus (HPV) family. Avoiding contact with people who have warts is the only prevention. Do not rub, pick, or scratch warts as that can spread the virus. There are some over-the-counter medications and it's always a good idea to visit your health care provider.
It is never too soon or too late in life to start good skincare habits. Take care of your skin - you only look as young as your skin.
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