After a lengthy holiday season break, it’s time to wrap up the ‘what is skin care & how to care for your skin’ series with the skin care routine. If routine isn’t your ‘thing’ and you have problem skin, then you might have to sacrifice a little leisure time to get the skin you want. I am a stay-at-home mom of 3 young children (5 years old, 3, and 1). I usually forget to make time for my skin care routine and my skin suffers because of it. When I do finally get back into my routine, my products are pulling all sorts of stuff from deep within my pores! My skin is so much healthier, blemish free, and even-toned when I do stick to my skin care routine. Routine is very important.
What does a basic skin care routine look like? The most basic we can get is cleansing, moisturizing, and occasionally exfoliating. There are many other methods (which will be explored in later posts) that you can add to this routine to further improve your skin, but cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating are the basics.
Depending on our sense of adventure, there are various methods of cleansing. Products for the face can range from bar soap to oil concoctions to wipes and everything in between. Some of these methods take patience and time to see positive results, whereas others are either too harsh or just plain gimmicks that die just as quick as they came into being. The basic attributes of a good cleanser are: ability to breakdown surface impurities (sweat, dirt, and other surface settlers), dissolve pore clogging substances such as sebum, maintain a pH near the skin’s normal range (4.5 to 5.5), and aid in the repair of surface damage caused by internal and external conditions. Proper cleansing is the most important part of the routine and first step to promoting skin health. Keep in mind that just because someone else’s skin looks clear, doesn’t mean that health is being cultivated. Accutane can get skin clear, but it comes with a huge list of potential health issues – clear skin without medication is absolutely possible!
Exfoliation is a huge must that most people aren’t bothering with. I had no clue, as a teenager, that I should exfoliate. Using a gentle exfoliating scrub helps remove dead skin cells, clear blockages, and help prevent new blockages. Some gentle exfoliating ingredients to look for are clays, sugar, oats, finely ground fruit seeds or pits, finely ground coffee and so on. Chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid, benzoin peroxide, and yogurt, dissolve blockages and remove dead skin cells also. There are dermatologists and estheticians who say that baking soda is great to use because of its small granule size, but baking soda has a pH of 9, which is at the opposite end of the pH scale from what our skin is. Such a vast difference in pH can wreak great-dryness-havoc on your face and other sensitive areas. This pH difference is a reason so many people have issues with natural deodorants that have a baking soda base. Frequency of exfoliation varies from person to person, because of activity and sebum production. Some people need to exfoliate every other day when clearing acne; others only need to exfoliate once or twice a week.
Moisturizing is the last basic skin care routine step. Everyone must moisturize! Even oily skin should moisturize. A good moisturizer helps replenish moisture to your skin, but also helps maintain your skin’s balanced pH, nourish your skin with nutrients, and fight or prevent troublesome skin conditions. Oily skin is oily because our bodies are over-compensating for a dry skin condition. There are moisturizers that can help oily skin to calm down in the production department – creams and lotions for the face and body, but a well balanced plant derived oil mixture really is the best moisturizer for most people (especially acne sufferers)!
The skin care routine should happen once or twice daily. With that much attention, we want to make sure we’re not missing out on something that could be truly good for us. The best ingredients in skin care are from plants. Plants have so many nutrients in them that we need. With technology, we are able to use plant ingredients in different ways. Just because we can’t pronounce it, doesn’t mean it’s not good for us. We could be missing out on something great. Until next time …