Facial Skin Care
Good facial skin care is a matter of creating a regimen to address your skin care needs and being consistent in using it. Once you get into a routine of facial skin care, you will notice an improvement of the texture and tone of your skin.
So what does and effective facial skin care program consist of?
An effective facial skin care routine consists of just four steps:
- Cleansing of the skin
- Applying a toner
- Exfoliation to clear dead skin cells
- Moisturization to keep skin healthy and avoid dryness
Using a cleanser is important because it removes environmental contaminants such as dust and pollutants as well as excess oil and sebum produced by the skin itself that can cause breakouts. A good cleansing lotion or cream avoids the dryness and tightness produced by soaps, and is applied by massaging gently into the skin with upward strokes.
After massaging well, remove the cleanser by using a soft tissue or cotton ball and splashing the face with warm water to remove all impurities.
For optimum results, the skin should be cleansed in this matter twice daily: once in the morning to keep skin feeling healthy and refreshed and again at night to remove make-up and dirt and oil that accumulates on the face over the course of the day. Cleansers that are water soluble are the best choice, as they rinse away easily.
The next step in a total facial skin care routine is toning. There is debate on whether or not this step is actually necessary. Good cleansing practices and rinsing well afterwards can accomplish much of the effects of a toner.
The idea behind using a toner is to remove all traces of dirt and oil left on the skin that was missed by the cleanser and to give the skin an invigorating feel. Many people choose to forgo daily toning, since toners may have drying ingredients, and instead choose to use it only when they have been exposed to especially dusty, or pollution-filled conditions.
Exfoliation is not usually necessary on a daily basis, as too frequently exfoliating the skin can lead to irritation. Exfoliation is recommended to be performed once or twice weekly. As the skin cells turn over, old dead skin cells are pushed to the surface of the skin which can lead to a drab and dull appearance, as well as can lead to blocked pores.
Exfoliation removes these dead skin cells, and reveals fresher skin cells, leading to a brighter, more even-looking complexion. Avoid exfoliating excessively or using very harsh exfoliants, as this can make the appearance of the skin look worse, as well as damage delicate facial skin.
The last, and perhaps most important step, in a facial skin care regimen is moisturizing. Moisturizers prevent the skin from feeling taut and prevent the flaking associated with dry skin.
The type of moisturizer that is best for your skin type must be considered. Those with acne-prone skin should use a water-based moisturizer to avoid further clogging pores, while more mature skin with a tendency towards dryness may wish to use a heavier cream that holds moisture in the skin better.
Some moisturizers contain acne-fighting ingredients, while others have ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids to fight the fine lines associated with aging. Particularly with dry skin, moisturizers with a heavier consistency applied at night can be very effective in keeping the skin in optimal condition.
The best way to apply a moisturizer is to apply it on freshly cleansed skin with light upward strokes and massaged in lightly until all traces of the moisturizer disappear.
Also remember that price is no indication of the effectiveness of a skin care product. Many drugstore lines have the exact same ingredients as their most costly department store rivals.
Particularly if you have very sensitive skin, it is advisable to test new skin care lines by performing a patch test to make sure that you have no adverse reaction to any of the ingredients in the product.
Apply a small amount of the product to the inside of the elbow, or behind the ear and leave it for 24 hours. It there is no reaction, it is safe to use the product.
Don’t forget, that for all skin types, that daily use of a sunscreen lotion prevents damage and aging caused by exposure to the sun.