Your skin changes from day to day, depending on the season, weather, indoor climate, health and your physical and emotional wellbeing. It even alters between day and night. To cater for these changes, you may need to use different products for the different ‘moods’ of your skin. To get the best possible complexion, never stint on your skin routine.
Cleansing your face thoroughly – especially before bedtime – is essential to remove daily dirt, oil, grease and airborne pollution. Even foundation lotions and colour cosmetics are skin pollutants that can have a harmful effect if not removed regularly. Thorough cleansing stimulates the blood circulation to replenish the nutrients the skin needs and helps your skin absorb facial moisturizers better.
Cleansing must be deep enough to be effective, but very gentle to avoid damaging or drying your skin. Your skin acts as a barrier; over-cleansing not only strips off the dirt, grime and dead cells but also removes the oils that keep it healthy and balanced.
- Cleanse for at least a minute or two, twice a day
- Choose the correct cleanser for your skin depending on skin type
- Don’t wash your face with very hot or ice cold water – both damage tiny blood vessels, or capillaries, in the skin
Many people skip this step in their skin care routine yet it brings an almost instant difference. By exfoliating your skin regularly you remove excess dead skin cells and this immediately improves your skin’s texture and appearance as it allows younger cells to come to the surface. Like cleansing, exfoliating improves circulation, helps skin absorb moisturizers and gives your complexion a healthy glow.
Exfoliate at least once or twice a week
Choose a mineral based facial mask or a very gentle exfoliator to help remove the top layer of dead skin cells
Use a gentle scrub with tiny & smooth grains
Avoid cheap scrubs with large grains that will tear the skin
Toners remove the remaining traces of oil, makeup, dirt and cleanser, and hydrate the skin prior to applying moisturizers, creams and lotions.
For many skin types, using a good cleanser followed by splashing cold water can do this just as well. However, using a natural, plant-based toner strengthens your skin to give a better, smoother appearance, reduce visible fine wrinkles and restore its pH balance.
Floral water-based toners are great to counteract the drying effect of central heating/cooling.
Some toners actually work better when it's patted onto skin, as opposed to wiping with a moistened cotton pad so don't be afraid to experiment.
With the possible exception of acne sufferers, everyone should moisturize – no matter what their skin type. Moisturizing seals moisture into the skin and supports normal skin function. (Note: acne sufferers can opt for a gel-based moisturiser to provide required hydration)
Your skin will tell you how much you should use. When your skin is tight, it’s crying out for moisture. The perfect moisturizer will not feel greasy and should never irritate or burn.
Natural oil production also varies with your menstrual cycle, more oil being produced in the days before your period. Getting the balance right is important. Dry skin becomes thinner, loses elasticity, has poorer blood-circulation, less resistances to microorganisms and inflammatory substances, and I more prone to eczema, psoriasis, allergies and the damaging effects of UV rays.
Always apply your moisturizer immediately after cleansing and toning, when the skin is still moist. The plant oils in the moisturizer can then trap the moisture in the skin. This is especially important for the older skin as collagen and elastin fibres are less efficient at retaining moisture as we age.
Don’t over moisturize, as this may cause clogged pores. A little usually goes a long way especially with natural moisturisers and don't be tempted to apply more just because they've completely absorbed (they are supposed to do just that!)
If your skin feels tight or dry at the end of the day, consider adding on a facial oil or serum, or try a moisturiser designed for night use.
Choose treatment products according to skincare concerns. In a tropical country such as Malaysia, some of the common skin concerns are to do with dehydration, acne and of course, age prevention.
How are treatment products different from the basic skincare? Treatment products usually contains higher and more concentrated amounts of active ingredients (depending on what it targets) to provide much better efficacy at treating the intended concerns. Some treatment products are multi-functional but are usually designed to target a specific concern.
Be practical and realistic when it comes to treatment products. REAL RESULTS takes time. This is especially true with natural skin care where the changes are taking place from inside out, as opposed to chemical-based skin care which may give you just a superficial "feeling" of improvement without actually treating it from within. So be patient, choose & use the right treatment products, and you can look forward to beautiful, healthy & balanced skin.