We all know the importance of ‘personal skin care’. The opinion on how-to (for personal skin care) differs from person to person. Some people believe that going to beauty parlors every other day is personal skin care. Others believe that personal skin care is just a matter of applying some cream or lotion on your skin, every now and then. Then there are people who think that personal skin care is an event that happens once a month or once a year.
Still others busy themselves with ‘personal skin care’ all the time. However, personal skin care is not that complicated and neither is it that expensive (considering how beneficial it is). Personal skin care is following a routine or a procedure for attending to the needs of your skin. Even before you start with a routine, you need to determine your skin-type (oily, dry, sensitive, normal etc) and select the personal skin care products suitable for it (you might have to experiment with a few personal skin care products).
Here is a routine that should work for most people with normal skin. The first thing on personal skin care routine is ‘Cleansing’. The three main ingredients of a cleanser are oil, water and surfactants (wetting agents). Oil and surfactants extract dirt and oil from your skin and water then flushes it out, thus making your skin clean. You might have to try a couple of cleansers before you find the one that suits you the best.
However, you should always use soap-free cleansers. Also, you should use Luke warm water for cleansing (hot and cold water, both, cause damage to your skin). Take care that you don’t over-cleanse your skin and end up damaging your skin in the process. The second thing on the personal skin care routine is exfoliation. Skin follows a natural maintenance process wherein it removes the dead cells and replaces them with new skin cells.
Exfoliation is just a way to facilitate the skin in this process. Dead skin cells are not capable of responding to personal skin care products but still consume these products, hence preventing them from reaching the new skin cells. Thus removing dead skin cells is important in order to increase the effectiveness of all personal skin care products. Generally, exfoliation takes it place just after cleansing.
As with any personal skin care procedure, it’s important that you understand how much exfoliation you need. Exfoliate 4-5 times per week for oily/normal skin and 1-2 times per week for dry/sensitive skin. Exfoliate a couple of times more in hot and humid weather. Next thing on personal skin care routine is moisturizers. This is one of the most important things in personal skin care.
Even people with oily skin need moisturizers. Moisturizers not only seal the moisture in your skin cells, but also attract moisture (from air) whenever needed. Use of too much moisturizer can however clog skin pores and end up harming your skin. The amount of moisturizer needed by your skin will become apparent to you within one week of you using the moisturizer. Also, applying the moisturizer is best when your skin is still damp.
The last thing on personal skin care routine is sunscreen. A lot of moisturizers (day-time creams/moisturizers) come with UV protection – so you can get double benefits from them. Such moisturizers are recommended for all days (irrespective of whether it is sunny or cloudy).
Again, experiment with various personal skin care products and also with the amount you need to apply. What gives you best results is the best personal skin care recipe for you. However, if you have some kind of skin dilemma, it is best to consult your dermatologist before you actually start using any personal skin care products.
Serious skin care
‘Serious skin care’ is about maintaining a healthy and glowing skin all through your life. As you grow older, your body’s natural skin care mechanisms become weaker. So, ‘serious skin care’ is about responding to the changing needs of your skin. Thus, ‘serious skin care’ is about constantly evaluating, analyzing and changing your skin care routines. Your skin care routine should change based on the environmental conditions, your age and changes in your skin type.
‘Serious skin care’ is also about awareness. With the technological advancements and research, more and more facts are being brought to light every day. Also, the composition and nature of skin care products seems to be changing with time. So trying out the new products is also a part of serious skin care. However, ‘serious skin care’ advises using a new product over a small patch of skin (not facial skin) first, just to see how your skin reacts to it.
‘Serious skin care’ also means knowing how to use your skin care products. Good practices include things like applying the moisturizers while the skin is damp, using upward strokes for better penetration of skin care products, removing the make up before going to bed, cleansing before moisturizing or applying make-up, using the correct amount of skin care products, etc.
Thus, increasing the effectiveness of your skin care products is another focus area of serious skin care. Some precautions, like avoiding contact with detergents, are also part of serious skin care. ‘Serious skin care’ means being gentle with your skin. Things like over-exfoliation, use of low quality products, and application of strong-chemical based products, are all harmful to your skin.
Some people have a wrong notion about serious skin care. For them serious skin care is - using large quantities of products as often as possible. However, this really isn’t serious skin care (and that’s why awareness is so important). ‘Serious skin care’ is also about visiting your dermatologist for treatment of skin disorders.
Ignoring the skin disorders can be fatal for your skin and might lead to permanent damage. So, if the things don’t improve with over the counter medication, you should immediately visit a dermatologist. Self-surgery e.g. squeezing of acne/pimples is a big no (it can lead to permanent damage of your skin).
So, seriously serious skin care is more about precautions and preventive measures (than treatment). Serious skin care is about being proactive as well as reactive. In fact, we can say that ‘serious skin care’ is about being proactive about the needs of your skin so that the need for being reactive is reduced to a minimum.
Excerpted from the book Anti–Ageing And Skincare Made Easy by Wings Of Success.
This excerpt has been edited and condensed for clarity.