Using the wrong skincare product is not only a waste of money, it can also lead to irreversible skin conditions. But in order to choose the most appropriate products for your skin, you must first determine whether you have oily, dry, a combination of the two or normal skin.
Remember that every regimen has to be tailored to your skin and as the condition of your skin varies from time to time, so does you skin care regimen. There are basically four main steps in skincare—cleansing, toning, moisturizing and protecting.
When cleansing, avoid rinsing with hot or cold water as extreme temperatures encourage the development of broken capillaries and dry skin. Use tepid water and rinse off cleansers thoroughly. Cleansing scrubs may be used if you have oily skin but don’t overdo it; that only stimulates the oil glands to produce more oil.
After cleansing the face and neck areas with a mild product, you may apply toners to close pores that the cleansing process may have opened. Toners remove traces of cleanser and produce a tight, refreshed feeling when they evaporate. Remember that toners may not adequately remove all traces of a make-up cleanser so you should use a cleanser first, especially if your skin is oily.
Now for moisturizers. When we speak of moisturizing the skin, we are really talking about moisturizing the dead layer of the skin (stratum corneum) that is visible. When you get out of the bath, the stratum corneum is moisturized but it doesn’t stay this way for long. In order to moisturize the skin, one has to put water into the stratum corneum and keep it there. This is exactly what moisturizers do.
Oily skin may not need moisturizers in the first place. If you need moisturizing, choose those that are oil-free. If you have normal or dry skin, use water-based moisturizers. If the skin gets too dry, switch to one that contains more oil than water. If you have skin types, you can treat the oily and dry areas with the respective formulae or leave the oily untreated and treat only the dry areas with the appropriate formula.
After cleansing and moisturizing, use a product that will protect the skin against sun-damage to delay the tell tale signs of ageing. Use a sunscreen for oily skin during the day. It also helps to moisturize the skin and serves as a base for make-up. If the skin is very oily, a gel formulation may be more appropriate. For normal, dry and combination skin types, protective sunscreens may be applied during the day.
Skincare need not be complicated so clear the confusion and debunk the myths. Know and stick to basic skincare and achieve the healthy, beautiful skin that you’ve always dreamed of.