Choosing a facial skin care product
Talking about skin care, ‘facial skin care’ seems to top the chart. There are loads of facial skin care products available in the market. The most common facial skin care products are the ones that are used as part of daily routine. These include things like cleansers and moisturizers. Toners and exfoliation ones are well known too but not many people use them as such.
The general classification of facial skin care products is based on the following:
* Gender (so there are facial skin care products for men and there are facial skin care products for women)
* Skin type (facial skin products for oily skin, facial skin care products for dry skin, facial skin care products for normal skin and facial skin care products for sensitive skin)
* Age (facial skin care products for old and facial skin care products for young)
* Skin disorder (i.e. facial skin care products for treatment of various skin orders like eczema, acne etc)
So that is your starting point for choosing a facial skin care product that suits you. A good way to start is by determining your skin type first. Also note that the skin type changes with age, so the facial skin product that suits you today, might not suit you forever and hence you need to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of your facial skin care product.
The facial skin care products are available in various forms i.e. creams, lotions, gels, masks etc, and a lot of people try to pit one against the other in their discussion on which form is best. However, one can’t really rate one form as better than another form. What suits you (and whatever you are comfortable with) is the best form of facial skin care product for you, really.
However, it’s important to note that these products work differently for different people. So the best thing is to try the facial skin care product on a small patch of skin (e.g. ear lobes) before actually going ahead and using it.
Another important consideration is the state of your skin. If you are suffering from a skin disorder of any kind, it is best to seek the advice of a dermatologist before you actually make your selection and start using a facial skin care product.
Once you have selected the facial skin care product for yourself, you also need to ensure that you use the facial skin care product in the right way i.e. follow correct procedures for application, use the correct quantity and make the facial product a part of your skin care routine.
Are Natural skin care products the answer to all problems?
When it comes to skin care products, you will find that a lot of people are very particular about using only natural skin care products. They treat all the synthetic products as harmful to the skin.
So, are natural skin care products the answer to all of our problems? What if a natural skin care product is not available for the treatment of a particular skin disorder? Are the synthetic skin care products so harmful that they should be banned?
Different people have different answers to these questions. However, the reality is that due to presence of synthetic preservatives, it’s really tough to find a natural skin care product that is 100% natural. There are natural skin care products that have natural preservatives, but their cost might be detrimental. Moreover, such natural skin products have a shorter shelf life and hence are not preferred by the manufacturers of natural skin care products.
Some people carry a wrong notion that since natural skin care products are natural, they cannot cause any harm to the skin. The suitability of a skin care product is not based on whether it is synthetic or natural. An unsuitable natural skin care product can harm you in almost the same way as a synthetic one. So, use natural skin care products, but be open to synthetic ones too (you might need them when a natural solution is not available)
Your selection of a natural skin care product should be based on 3 factors:
* The skin type (dry, oily, normal, sensitive) of the person who will use that natural skin care product
* The climatic conditions in which it will be used e.g. hot and humid condition would warranty the use of oil-free natural skin care products.
* The process for application/use of the natural skin care product. A good natural skin care product (in fact any product) can seem useless if not used in the proper way.
You can also make natural skin care products by yourself, by using the recipes that are readily available on the internet and in the books at book stores.
Use of organic fruits and vegetables is also popular as a natural skin care procedure. Some essential oils, herbal oils, are useful too and are known for their moisturising and antiseptic properties
However, using a natural skin care product does not mean that you can exercise carelessness with other aspects of skin care. Natural skin care products should be used like supplements to the following ‘essential’ recommendations: healthy eating habits (avoiding oily food), regular exercise, drinking a lot of water (8 glasses everyday), and cleanliness. This will then form a perfect and completely natural skin care routine that will help maintain a healthy beautiful skin for longer time.
Antiaging skin care
‘Antiaging skin care’ is a very poplar concept in today’s world. Today everyone wants to hide their age using antiaging skin care procedures (and a number of people are successful too). However antiaging skin care is not achieved by any magic potion. ‘Antiaging skin care’ is about discipline. It is about being proactive. Antiaging skin care is retarding the ageing process. Here are a few tips for proactive antiaging skin care:
1. Maintain healthy eating habits: A well balanced diet is the key to maintaining a proper body metabolism. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (raw), they are the best source of fibre and have a very refreshing effect on your body. Avoid oily and fatty food; not only do they lack in essential nutrients but also cause obesity and other diseases which aid the aging process
2. Beat stress: This is probably the most important antiaging skin care measure. Stress disturbs the body metabolism and accelerates the aging process. Sleep, exercise and a relaxing bath, are all good ways of beating stress. Aroma-therapy is also known to bust stress.
3. Drink a lot of water: Antiaging skin care can’t be any simpler than this. Water helps in flushing out the toxins from the body, hence keeping it clean and making it less prone to disease. Around 8 glasses of water (per day) is recommended by all doctors.
4. Regular exercise is a wonderful antiaging skin care procedure. Besides toning your muscles, it also helps in cleaning the skin by flushing out the toxins in the form of sweat. Exercise should be followed by a warm shower in order to completely remove the toxins.
5. Avoid the use of strong, chemical based products on your skin. Natural skin care products are a good option. Use of organic skin care products (home made or commercial) can be a very effective antiaging skin care measure.
6. Do not overuse skin care products. Excessive and harsh application, both are harmful.
7. Do not ignore skin disorders; it can lead to permanent skin damage. Try over the counter medication and if that doesn’t help, immediately visit your dermatologist and seek his/her advice.
8. Vitamin C based skin care products are very popular means of antiaging skin care. However, these seem to oxidise very quickly (which makes them harmful for the skin). So store them properly. If the product turns Yellowish brown, it means that vitamin c has oxidised and the prodct is no longer suitable for use.
9. Protect your skin against UV radiation ; UV rays are known to speed up the aging process. So, a good sunscreen lotion should be a part of your antiaging skin care routine.
Anti aging skin care
One of the most interesting topics on skin care is ‘anti aging skin care’. As one gets older, the natural defence of our skin (and in fact of the whole body) weakens. ‘Anti aging skin care’ is about protecting your skin from the negative effects of aging process. ‘Anti aging skin care’ helps in maintaining a young and fresh look for a longer period of time. However, ‘anti aging skin care’ doesn’t end just here. Besides maintaining your looks (good looks), ‘anti aging skin care’ is also about retaining the resistance to disease. Though the awareness about anti aging has increased over a period of time, still a lot of people are unable to recognize the aging symptoms (and hence are unable to determine if they are in need of additional anti aging skin care measures).
Here is a list of visible anti aging symptoms that will help you in the planning and execution of your strategy for anti aging skin care: baldness, forgetfulness, graying hair, wrinkle formation, loss of eyesight or hearing loss and menopause. The occurrence of one or more such symptoms is an indicator for upping the ante on anti aging skin care. Note that we are talking about introduction of additional measures for anti aging skin care, we are not talking about starting ‘anti aging skin care’ altogether. ‘Anti aging skin care’ actually starts much before the symptoms of anti aging appear. Serious anti aging skin care is building and following a proper skin care routine much earlier in life (say in your teens). Anti aging skin care doesn’t mean adoption of any special skin care procedure but just following a normal procedure in the right earnest. Eating a lot of fruits, avoiding stress, drinking a lot of water and using natural therapies can delay the aging process.
Once the signs of aging start showing up, you should start using some additional measures in the form of anti aging skin care products. The market is full of anti aging skin care products. In fact there are so many anti aging skin care products that they will probably find you even before you find them. Also, with age, the skin undergoes significant change. So you will need to analyse your current skin care procedure to check if it still holds good i.e. if it is still suitable for your skin.
You should remember that aging is a natural process and there is nothing that can stop it from happening. All these anti aging skin measures can just help in delaying the aging process.
All about sensitive skin care
‘Sensitive skin care’ is governed by a few basic rules. However, even before we delve into the rules for sensitive skin care, it’s important to understand what a sensitive skin is. Sensitive skin is one which is unable to tolerate any unfavourable conditions (environmental/other), and which easily gets irritated on contact with foreign materials (including skin care products). For this reason, some products are especially labelled as sensitive skin care products. The degree of sensitivity can however vary from person to person (and depending on that, the sensitive skin care procedures vary too).
Generally, all skin types respond negatively to detergents and other chemical based products. However, the damage starts generally beyond a defined threshold (or tolerance level). This tolerance level is very low for sensitive skin types, leading to skin getting damaged very easily and quickly. Sensitive skin care products either avoid the potential irritants or keep them at very low concentrations.
Here are a few tips for sensitive skin care:
* Use sensitive skin care products only (i.e. the products that are marked for sensitive skin care only). Also, check the instructions/ notes on the product to see if there are specific restrictions/warnings associated with the product).
* Even within the range of sensitive skin care products, choose the one that has minimum preservatives, colourings and other additives
* Do not use toners. Most of them are alcohol based and are not recommended for sensitive skin.
* Wear protective gloves when doing laundry or other chemical based cleaning. If you are allergic to rubber, you can wear cotton gloves below the rubber ones.
* Another important tip for ‘sensitive skin care’ is to avoid excessive exposure to sun. Apply sunscreen lotion before getting out in the sun.
* Avoiding exposure to dust and other pollutants is also important for sensitive skin care. So, cover yourself adequately before going out.
* Use hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic moisturizer as a sensitive skin care product (if there is none specifically labelled as a sensitive skin care product)
* Use soap-free and alcohol free cleansers. Cleanse your face whenever you return from spending time out doors.
* Do not scrub or exfoliate too hard. It can cause reddishness and even inflammation.
* Do not leave the makeup on for too long. Use hypoallergenic makeup- removers.
So, sensitive skin care is very different from the normal skin care. Sensitive skin care is more about being careful with your skin (both in terms of sensitive skin care products and protection against environments atrocities on skin).
All about Facial skin care
‘Facial skin care’ is more a matter of discipline than anything else. A facial skin care routine is what you need (and you need to follow the facial skin care routine with complete seriousness). So let’s check what comprises an effective facial skin care routine. Well, very simply, a facial skin care routine can follow the following 4 steps:
Cleansing is the first thing in facial skin care routine. Cleansing helps in removing dust, pollutants, grease and extra oil from your skin, thereby preventing damage to your skin. Just spot your face and neck with a good cleansing lotion or cream and gently massage it into your skin using upward strokes. Use a soft face tissue or cotton wool to wipe your face in a gentle patting fashion (do not rub). Cleansing should be done at least twice a day i.e. morning (as part of complete facial skin care routine) and evening (on a standalone basis). Water soluble cleansers are the best for inclusion in your facial skin care routine.
Toning is the next in a facial skin care routine. However, this is the optional part of the facial skin care routine. Mostly, proper cleansing can compensate for toning. Toning helps remove all traces of dirt, grease and excess cleanser. Instead of making it part of your daily facial skin care routine, you can using toning occasionally i.e. when you have been exposed to particularly harsh environment/pollution.
Exfoliation is again, kind of, optional step in everyday routine for facial skin care. However, exfoliation is necessary at least once a week (or twice, depending on the skin type and the environmental conditions). Exfoliation finds its place in facial skin care routine because of the natural tendency of skin to replenish the skin cells every 3 or 4 weeks. As a facial skin care technique, exfoliation helps in removing the dead skin cells that block the pores, thus assisting the skin in the natural process. However, excessive or harsh exfoliation can cause damage to your skin; so you need to balance it out.
The next thing in facial skin care is moisturising. In fact, moisturising is the most important part of facial skin care routine. Moisturisers prevent your skin from getting dry. Dry skin is really undesirable since it cause the upper layer skin to break, leading to dead skin cells. Again, use light upward strokes to make the moisturiser more effective. Moisturisers work the best when applied on warm and damp skin. So do not try to remove all the moisture in the previous steps of facial skin care routine.
Besides the normal facial skin care routine, you should also exercise the following for facial skin care:
* Use proper make-up remover instead of just washing it away
* Pay heed to your skin type and the environment, when choosing facial skin care products.
* Before you start using a new facial skin care product, test it by applying it on a short patch of skin e.g. ear lobes.
* Never rub your skin too hard.
* Use sunscreen lotions for protection against sun.
Acne skin care
Acne is defined as a diseased condition of the skin that involves the hair and oil glands. It is characterised by pimples, black/white heads, reddishness and cysts. Face acne can spoil your appearance to a great extent and body acne can really ruin your day by making you very uncomfortable. Considering acne as a minor problem, some people tend to totally discard the topic of ‘Acne skin care’. However, the importance of ‘Acne skin care’ cannot be undermined in any way.
Acne skin care should really start much before the acne actually appears. ‘Acne skin care’ is more about being proactive than reactive. Acne skin care is about being aware of preventive measures. Acne skin care is - following daily skin care routines with complete discipline. So let’s have a look at how ‘acne skin care’ can be applied to our daily routine.
‘Acne skin care’ starts with the most basic thing - cleanliness. So morning showers are the most basic way of keeping the skin clean. In fact, a lot of people take night showers too (that not only helps in keeping your skin clean but also provides relaxation to your body and enables a good sleep). If you are living in a hot and/or humid place, a night shower becomes a must. In fact, a shower is recommended after any activity that causes high levels of sweat to develop. It’s a very effective ‘acne skin care’ technique.
However, acne skin care is not about just showers. Acne skin care is also about wearing clean clothes and sleeping on clean pillows. Moreover, too tight clothes can cause sweat to accumulate quickly; so soft and comfortable cotton clothes are recommended, especially if you already have acne. In the same sense, ‘acne skin care’ also advocates regular cleaning of your make-up brush and any equipment that you use on your body.
Besides that, you should also use a mild, water-soluble, oil-free and soap-free cleanser for keeping your face, neck and arms clean. Cleansing is the most important part of any acne skin care routine. Cleaners are the easiest and the most effective way of removing dirt, grease, pollutants and excess oil from your skin; thus reducing the probability of acne occurrence. Acne skin care also recommends removing your make up using a make up remover, and this should happen before you go to bed (not in the morning).
If you already have acne, do not try to touch them or squeeze them; it can lead to permanent scars. ‘Acne skin care’ advocates gentle cleansing and cleaning of the affected area using an over-the-counter medication and a clean/soft cotton pad. There are various acne skin care creams and lotions available over-the-counter (a lot of these acne skin care products are actually cleansers). However, if these ‘acne skin care’ measures don’t give you the desired results, contact a dermatologist for ‘acne skin care’ advice and treatment.
Acne and its treatment
Acne is a menace. However, it’s not something that cannot be tackled. There are loads of acne skin care products around. We can classify acne skin care products into 3 broad categories –
* Preventive or general acne skin care products
* Over-the-counter, specialised acne skin care products
* On-prescription acne skin care products.
The general acne skin care products are the ones that are used as acne-prevention measure. These include cleansers, make-up removers and similar products that help prevent acne. In the real sense, these acne skin care products are just those that should anyway be part of your daily routine. However, some of these are more oriented to act like an acne skin care product. These acne skin care products act against the causes of acne e.g. limiting the production of sebum/oil and preventing clogging of skin pores. Basically, these acne skin care products prevent the oil from getting trapped in pores and hence hamper the growth of bacteria that lead to acne. The general acne skin care products also include exfoliation products like skin peels. These work towards removing dead skin cells, hence reducing the possibility of pore-clogging and bacteria development.
Then there are specialised acne skin care products that are available over-the-counter i.e. without the need of a prescription. These include products like vanishing creams which extract the extra oil from the skin. Most of these acne skin care products are based on benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, both of which are the enemies of bacteria (and hence acne). You should start with a product that has lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide (e.g. 5%) and see how your skin responds to it. Alpha-hydroxy-acid based moisturizers are also popular as acne skin care products. You might have to try a few, before you zero-in on the acne skin care product that is effective for you. If nothing seems to work, you should contact a dermatologist.
On-prescription acne skin care products are the ones that are prescribed by a dermatologist. This can include ointments that can be applied on the affected area or oral antibiotics or just any topical treatment. Dermatologist could also suggest a minor surgical procedure to remove the contents of pustules. However, never try to squeeze or do this by yourself, it can lead to permanent damage of your skin. Your doctor could also prescribe a hormone-based treatment (since hormonal changes are also known to cause acne). Such acne skin care products are known to be very effective in some cases.
So, with all those acne skin care products, tackling acne is not that difficult.
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