Archive | Skin Care Advice

Are Natural skin care products the answer to all problems?

When it comes to skin care products, you will find that a lot of people are very particular about using only natural skin care products. They treat all the synthetic products as harmful to the skin.

So, are natural skin care products the answer to all of our problems? What if a natural skin care product is not available for the treatment of a particular skin disorder? Are the synthetic skin care products so harmful that they should be banned?

Different people have different answers to these questions. However, the reality is that due to presence of synthetic preservatives, it’s really tough to find a natural skin care product that is 100% natural. There are natural skin care products that have natural preservatives, but their cost might be detrimental. Moreover, such natural skin products have a shorter shelf life and hence are not preferred by the manufacturers of natural skin care products.

Some people carry a wrong notion that since natural skin care products are natural, they cannot cause any harm to the skin. The suitability of a skin care product is not based on whether it is synthetic or natural. An unsuitable natural skin care product can harm you in almost the same way as a synthetic one. So, use natural skin care products, but be open to synthetic ones too (you might need them when a natural solution is not available)

Your selection of a natural skin care product should be based on 3 factors:

* The skin type (dry, oily, normal, sensitive) of the person who will use that natural skin care product
* The climatic conditions in which it will be used e.g. hot and humid condition would warranty the use of oil-free natural skin care products.
* The process for application/use of the natural skin care product. A good natural skin care product (in fact any product) can seem useless if not used in the proper way.

You can also make natural skin care products by yourself, by using the recipes that are readily available on the internet and in the books at book stores.

Use of organic fruits and vegetables is also popular as a natural skin care procedure. Some essential oils, herbal oils, are useful too and are known for their moisturising and antiseptic properties

However, using a natural skin care product does not mean that you can exercise carelessness with other aspects of skin care. Natural skin care products should be used like supplements to the following ‘essential’ recommendations: healthy eating habits (avoiding oily food), regular exercise, drinking a lot of water (8 glasses everyday), and cleanliness. This will then form a perfect and completely natural skin care routine that will help maintain a healthy beautiful skin for longer time.

 

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Which is the best skin care product?

There is really nothing like a best skin care product. There really can’t be anything like ‘The best skin care product’, because skin care products work differently for different people (based on the skin type to some extent). A product that is the ‘best skin care product’ for one person might end up being the worst for another person. So, a more logical question to ask would be ‘What is the best skin care product for my type of skin?’. However, this still is not completely logical. We tend to segregate people into 4 groups based on their skin types – i.e. dry skin, oily skin, normal skin and sensitive skin. However, this classification is just too broad to be used definitively in determining the best skin care product. We can say ‘best skin care product for a dry skin’ or ‘best skin care product for an oily skin’ are better statements than just ‘best skin care product’. But really, that is what it is – ‘better’; still not accurate.

So, it really comes to rephrasing the question to – ‘What is the best skin care product for me’. Yes, this is exactly the question that you should be asking, and unfortunately there is no easy answer for this. Arriving at the best skin care product for self will need some effort on your part.

First of all, you need to understand how the skin care products work. This is simple. You can consider all skin care products to be composed of 2 types of ingredients – Active and inactive. The active ingredients are the ones that actually work on your skin. The inactive ones just help in delivering these active ingredients to your skin. Both the ingredients need to work for your skin, in order for the product to be effective (and move on to become the best skin care product for you).

Besides the ingredients, the way you apply your skin care products is equally important. In fact, this is even more important. If you do not know how to apply skin care products, you might forever be hunting for the best skin care product for yourself, when that has already passed you. Moreover, it’s also important to decide on the frequency of application (of the skin care product). The environmental factors – temperature, humidity and pollution level, also affect the selection of best skin care product. Here are a few rules that you could use to ensure that your best skin care product is really the best for you:

* Cleanse your skin before applying that best skin care product.

* Use a makeup remover instead of plain water and remove your makeup before going to bed.

* The effectiveness of active ingredients is reduced when applied over another product e.g. over moisturiser. So apply that best skin care product first and then apply a bit of moisturizer if needed.

* Apply the products on moist and warm skin.

* You will have to experiment with a few products before you arrive at the one that is the best skin care product for you.

* Do not exfoliate too much or too hard.

* Vary your skin care routine as per the seasons (winter/summer etc), changes in environmental factors and changes in your skin type

Note that the best skin care product cannot be determined overnight. It’s only through experiment (and awareness) that you can find the ‘Best skin care product’ (for you).

 

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The facts about Oily skin care

To start the discussion on oily skin care, it’s imperative to first understand the cause behind oily skin. Put simply, oily skin is a result of excessive production of sebum (an oily substance that is naturally produced by skin). As is known to everyone, excess of everything is bad; so excessive sebum is bad too. It leads to clogging of skin pores, resulting in accumulation of dead cells and hence formation of pimples/acne. Moreover, oily skin spoils your looks too. So, ‘oily skin care’ is as important as the ‘skin care’ for other types of skin.

The basic aim of ‘oily skin care’ is the removal of excessive sebum or oil from the skin. However, oily skin care procedures should not lead to complete removal of oil. ‘Oily skin care’ starts with the use of a cleanser. However, not all cleansers will work. You need a cleanser which contains salicylic acid i.e. a beta-hydroxy acid that retards the rate of sebum production. Cleansing should be done twice a day (and even more in hot and humid conditions).

Most of the oily skin care products are oil-free; however, it is always good to check the ingredients of the product, before you actually buy it. This is especially important if a product is marked as ‘suitable for all skin types’, instead of ‘oily skin care product’. ‘Oily skin care’ is also dependent on the degree of oiliness, if you aren’t too oily, so some of these ‘suitable for all’- type of products might be work for you too. For extremely oily skin, only oily skin care products are suitable. Your oily skin care routine can include an alcohol based toner (for an extremely oily skin). This can be the second step in your oily skin care routine i.e. just after cleansing. However, excessive toning can harm your skin.

The next step in your oily skin care routine can be a mild moisturiser. Again, the degree of oiliness of your skin will determine whether you need to include this in your oily skin care routine. If you do decide to include a moisturiser, be sure to use one that is oil-free, wax-free and lipid-free.
You could also use a clay mask (say once a week) as an oily skin care measure.

As far as the oily skin care products go, you might need to try out a few before you arrive at the one that is really suitable for your skin.

In case these measures don’t give you the desired result, consult a good dermatologist for advice. He could prescribe stronger oily skin care products like vitamin A creams, retinoids, sulphur creams etc , which can help counter the problems of oily skin.

 

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Personal skin care is a routine

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 parlours 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 moisturisers. Moisturisers not only seal the moisture in your skin cells, but also attract moisture (from air) whenever needed. Use of too much moisturiser can however clog skin pores and end up harming your skin. The amount of moisturiser needed by your skin will become apparent to you within one week of you using the moisturiser. Also, applying the moisturiser 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/moisturisers) come with UV protection – so you can get double benefits from them. Such moisturisers 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.

 

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