Would you like to have healthy, glowing skin? If you answered yes, then you are at the right place! We believe that knowledge is your best friend when it comes to getting the beautiful skin that you deserve. Please continue reading to learn more. But first a few of our favorite quotes about the skin:
“The skin reflects and reacts to your entire being – physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. If you eat well, exercise regularly, sleep adequately and find ways to alleviate the stress in your life, your skin will reflect this healthy lifestyle.”
“Good skin is an asset for the future and can affect not only how people see us, but how we see the world. In our current environment it is so important to protect and care for our skin.”
All about the skin
A dynamic, complex system of interweaving processes, the skin reflects the body’s internal health and, as the largest organ of perception, it responds to external influences such as hot or cold temperatures. A large percentage of a person’s T-cells, the cells of immunity, are found within its layers. The skin helps us to eliminate toxins and defend our body from bacteria.
The skin provides an honest mirror of our inner health and well being. Consider that when we eat a great deal of fatty foods or foods to which we are allergic, our skin is often the first indicator that we have mistreated ourselves. On the other hand, when we have been eating healthy, drinking pure water, getting necessary vitamins and minerals, and exercising, our skin exhibits a healthy glow.
The process of growing up and becoming an adult is an emotional process we all know. But there are also very complex processes happening inside of the body. The largest reflection of this is seen in the skin. It is also a time when our skin deals with a change in structure, pH and function.
Our body is surrounded by its first defense called the acid mantle. There is a slightly acidic layer on our skin which protects us from infection and absorbs poisons. This protective acid mantle is formed by the combination of oil from our oil glands and sweat from our sweat glands (actually called sebaceous glands and sudiferous glands). The acidity of an adult skin is around 5pH to 6pH.
When we are children we have an acidity (pH) of 7, the same as water. This is why children are more prone to fungus infections like ringworm — funguses do not like acid conditions— Therefore do not grow as easily on adults.
As you become a teenager, you start growing a lot more hair — with each hair follicle comes an oil gland. Suddenly we have a lot more oil, added to the mixture — this in turn makes our skins pH change.
This is also when the problems start.
Our skin feels greasy so we wash it with soap (well lots of people do) our skin is then stripped of its oil. Because our skins pH is affected (suddenly having gone up to pH 8, very alkaline) it means our bodies first defense mechanism is down. Help! Signals are sent to our brain then to the pituatary gland to produce more oil, to fix up the skins acid balance.
Then your skin feels greasy so we wash it again and the cycle continues…
What finally happens is that we get up and down signals to our hormone system, which sets up a pattern that continues for life.
Okay, so maybe you don’t use soap — great — but also remember not to over stimulate oil skin by washing it with hot water only tepid please. The heat also stimulates oil production.
Never worry about a bit of oil on the skin — with a proper cleansing regime — oil protects the skin and prevents wrinkling.
So what’s first?
Great looking skin begins with cleansing and toning. The right routine can make a real difference in the way your skin looks and behaves.
Cleansing is perhaps the most important step in your skin care routine.
Cleansers are designed to remove all traces of makeup, excess oil, dead skin cells, and dirt. Find a “pH balanced” i.e. around pH 5.5 cleanser . A cleanser should be strong enough to get your face clean, but gentle enough so that it won’t strip away your skin’s natural protective oils. The right cleansing routine can make a real difference in the way your skin looks and behaves. Very important don’t over cleanse. You don’t need to pull on your skin or rub too hard. Twice a day is fine.
How to Wash Your Face
- Use a mild soap (one with low alkalinity) or appropriate cleanser for your skin type.
- First, remove all makeup (tip: if a cleanser doesn’t say that it removes eye makeup, don’t use it for that purpose).
- Wash your face gently. Don’t scrub! Scrubbing can irritate your skin.
- Rinse your face well with lukewarm water (do not use hot water).
- Pat dry– do not rub — with soft washcloth or towel.
Some people never feel that their skin is quite clean enough without the use of a toner after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Toners help remove surface skin cells, soap residue, and excess oil from your skin. They also remove dirt and perspiration from oilier skin types, and can tighten the skin and close pores.
Skin care products are specifically formulated for certain skin types. Using the wrong products on your skin may disguise your skin’s true tendencies. For example, harsh treatment of normal skin may make it seem dry, while poor cleansing of combination skin may make it seem oilier than it really is. Hormones, weather, diet, and other factors can also affect changes on your skin.
Wash your face and do not apply any skin care product to it for the following hour. Then press a tissue to your forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose:
- If there’s no oily residue on the tissue, you have normal skin.
- If skin particles appear on the tissue or are evident on your skin, you have dry skin. (If dry skin does not improve after moisturizing, you may have dermatitis and should see your dermatologist).
- If all areas reveal oily residue, you have oily skin.
If some areas of your skin leave an oily residue (i.e., your T-Zone – forehead, nose, chin) while others do not, you have combination skin. Combination skin is very common.
- Wash your face every day, twice a day with a gentle cleanser or a low-alkaline soap (Note: the high alkaline or pH level of most covaleriiaercial soaps may be irritating to women with dry skin).
- Use a light moisturizer.
- Protect your skin with sunscreen (minimum SPF 15).
- Avoid products that are very oily or drying.
- Wash your face once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser.
- Use a light moisturizer on the dry parts of your face (those not in the more oily T-zone area, which includes your chin, nose and forehead).
- Use a gentle alcohol-free toner at least once or twice a week to remove excess oil.
- Use only non-comedogenic, oil-free cosmetics.
- Apply a non-comedogenic, oil-free sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) when you are exposed to the sun.
- Clean your skin with “superfatted” soaps (contain fatty ingredients such as cocoa butter, lanolin) or creamy cleansers no more than one or two times a day. Avoid highly alkaline products as they may irritate your skin.
- Moisturize your skin every day. If your skin is extremely dry, you may want to apply a heavy cream at bedtime in addition to your daily moisturizer.
- Protect your skin from further dryness by using a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15).
- If your skin is also sensitive, avoid products with fragrances or dyes.
- Wash your face gently with a mild, non-irritating cleanser, no more than once or twice a day. Don’t over scrub. Too much scrubbing can irritate your skin.
- Avoid using creamy moisturizers and sunscreens and use “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic” products instead. Non-comedogenic products will not clog your pores.
- Use a gentle alcohol-free toner at least once or twice a week to remove excess oil.
- If you think your acne is beyond self-treatment, see a Dermatologist. A Dermatologist can help you diagnose your type of acne and provide you with a personalized treatment regimen that works for you.
- Sun-tanning may temporarily dry out oily skin and camouflage pimples, but acne usually flares up again as the skin begins to shed dry and dead cells caused by sun exposure. Apply a non-comedogenic, oil-free sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) when exposed to the sun.
As you age, your skin becomes drier and craves moisture. Using a moisturizer can help keep skin looking young and feeling soft and supple.
Most moisturizers don’t actually replace lost moisture. Rather, they work by keeping your skin’s natural moisture from evaporating by forming a barrier between the skin and the air. Moisturizers temporarily trap water in the skin, plumping the skin and giving it a smoother appearance.
A small amount of moisturizer goes a long way on damp skin. For best results, moisturizers should be applied when the skin is wet after bathing to trap the water in the skin. For dry skin, a humidifier in the bedroom will also help. Tip: Showering is far less drying and irritating to the skin than taking a bath. If you must soak in the tub, do so in lukewarm water. Hot, steamy water can dissolve the body’s natural oils.
Selecting the right moisturizer depends on your skin type. Using the wrong moisturizer can have an undesired effect on your skin. For example, using too much of a moisturizer that contains oils on oily skin may cause pores to clog and lead to unwanted acne breakouts.
Beautiful skin is not just for the young; it can be yours at any age. Of course, as you get older you’ll need to adapt your skin care regimen.
Continue on to Healthy Skin for Life: A Timeline of How Your Skin Ages.