Basic Skin Care

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Many women are so concerned about how they look that they spend fortunes on moisturizers, exfoliators, and just about everything for the skin that comes up in the latest advertisements. But there are actually tested and proven ways to care for one’s skin that does not necessarily depend on the latest fads. Knowing how to cleanse your face properly is just as crucial as what you use to cleanse it, and knowing how to choose the right sunscreen and moisturizer is time-proven wisdom when it comes to skin care.

First of all, before you start with any of the skincare routines, you will need to know what your skin type is. The way you care for your skin is critically related to what type your skin is. A “skin test” will tell you what your skin type is. You can do this by washing your face; after that, pat it dry. Take some rice paper or tissue paper intended for lens cleaning. Press pieces of this paper onto different areas of your face. If the paper winds up sticking and picking up oily spots, and even becoming translucent, your skin is oily. If it does not stick or pick up any oily spots, you have dry skin. If it sticks only on the T-zone, or the area from your forehead, down your nose, to y our chin, then your skin is normal, or combination. Combination skin occurs in about 70% of women.

Now that you know your skin type, you can proceed with the basic 4-step regimen for taking care of your skin. The first step is cleansing. For cleansing, simplicity is the key. Find a good cleanser to which your skin responds well. Once you find that brand, stick with it. Typically, bar soaps should not even be in your list of choices, as they cause skin to dry out. For dry skin, a creamy cleanser is preferred, while oily skin works best with a clear cleanser. When you cleanse, be sure not to do it too often. A night ritual should be enough. For dry skin, a cold cream is a good choice, and you simply apply it and then wipe it off without using water. The water method may also be helpful: warm water helps loosen dirt as well as clogging in the pores. Then, use a bit of cleanser, a dollop the size of a dime, and then rinse it off with lukewarm or cool water. When you wake up in the morning, splashing lukewarm water may be all that is necessary to remove the extra oil coming from your night time moisturizing. Avoid washing your face using cold or hot water, as these can damage your capillaries.

The next step is to exfoliate. This is the step that most people forget over the week. But properly exfoliating one’s skin actually gives an almost instantaneous difference. In fact, experts believe that this is one reason why the skin on men’s faces tend to look more youthful compared to women’s: men unconsciously exfoliate whenever they shave. Good tools to use for exfoliating include a basic washcloth, exfoliating gloves, and a dry brush. A loofah tends to collect bacteria and is better off tossed in the trash. For the face, the suggested frequency for exfoliating is once to twice a week, using a scrub.

The third step is to moisturize. The purpose of moisturizers is to seal the moisture into the skin. This means that even oily skin can benefit from moisturizing. However, the amount of moisturizer you put on will depend on your skin. Just be sure not to overdo it, as moisturizing too much can cause clogged pores. In line with moisturizing, many experts recommend eye creams, because the area around the skin is apparently very thin and contains no fatty tissue. Eye creams are designed to help thicken this area. Then again, other beauty experts also believe that a regular lotion is just as effective on this area.

Lastly, do not forget to apply sunscreen. Sun damage has been found to be the leading cause of wrinkles, so even younger people can benefit from using sunscreen even on cloudy days. A great tip is to use two moisturizers: one for the day which contains sunscreen, and the other, with no sunscreen, for night time application, as sunscreen ingredients tend to aggravate skin when used 24/7.

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