Skin is the largest organ of the human body. It is made up of three important layers, each with their own unique function. The innermost layer, the subcutaneous layer, contains fat cells that insulate our bodies. The middle layer, the dermis, contains our connective tissues, hair follicles and sweat glands. The outermost layer, the epidermis, acts as a physical, protective barrier against infection and harmful environmental elements. Proper skin care in a beauty regiment requires a commitment and daily routine to cleanse, tone, hydrate and protect.
The first step in any skin care routine is knowing your skin type. There are five skin types: Dry, Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive. If you don’t know your skin type seek the guidance of a professional esthetician or dermatologist. Knowing your skin type allows you to select products that target and treat your specific needs and keep your skin well balanced – which is the #1 goal.
Basic Steps to Healthier Skin
Once you have determined your skin type and selected the appropriate products follow these 4 basic steps to healthier skin.
If you wear makeup, start with a gentle yet effective makeup remover. Next work up a lather with a non-foaming cleanser (specific for your skin type) and lukewarm water to open pores, remove dirt, sebum (oil) and impurities. Apply the lather to your face in circular, upward motions. Pat dry.
Step 2 – Tone
Toning is an important step as it not only removes any remaining dirt, sebum, or impurities it restores the skin’s normal pH level – maintaining its natural balance. Toning also aids in preparing your skin to absorb all remaining products. Apply toner to a clean cotton round and apply to face and neck in upward and outward motions. Avoid alcohol based toners.
Step 3 – Hydrate (Moisturize)
Moisturizing creates a protective barrier and locks in moisture for hydration. So many of us may be under the misconception that if your face (skin) is oily then you don’t need to moisturize. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our skin craves moisture – in fact – a lack of moisture causes the skin to produce excess sebum (oil), a natural defense, to counteract the dryness. Select an oil-free moisturizer specific for your skin type. It can be in the form of oil (serum), gel, lotion, or cream. Apply on your face and neck in upward motions.
Step 4 – Protect
Why go through all these steps for healthier skin if you don’t protect it?! Our biggest enemy is the sun – which damages our skin and causes cancer. Protecting our skin from harmful environmental elements is very important. Choose a SPF with a minimum of 15 and apply to your face, neck and ears to protect against the sun’s damaging UV rays. If your activities keep you outdoors for extended periods use a SPF 35 or higher (repeat application every 2 hours).
Following these 4 basic steps will put you on the right path to healthier, glowing skin just in time for the new year.
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