Our skin is the largest organ of the body, around fifteen square feet. Taking basic care of our skin can be one of the easiest ways to not only look good but feel good about ourselves. Of course a great way to start this process is to take a visit to a Salon or Day Spa. Having a skin care professional take a look at your skin is a great way to start a treatment protocol for your individual skin care needs. Not only is having a facial or other skin care treatments relaxing, having a professional Esthetician take a good look at your skin can really give you insight as to what your skin needs. Keep in mind that Estheticians has gone through a great deal of training and product classes so they can recommend some great treatments and suggest products for your skin. But if you are the kind that wants to do it on your own it can be daunting to walk into the skin care department of any health store, or up to the counter at a department store and try and figure out what you really need. And then of course if you happen to watch late night television you have more likely than not seen infomercials for who knows how many different lines of skin care products.
But it’s really not all that hard to figure out and break down the basics of good skin are. In a nut shell all you really need to be doing is a 3 step process. The fundamental process should be to cleanse, tone and protect your skin. Side note we are just talking about the facial skin here, for the rest of the body I’ll cover that in future posts.
-Step 1: Cleanse.
This is the base for any good skin care. It’s pointless to try and do anything else to the skin if you aren’t cleaning it first. And no, splashing water on our face isn’t cleaning it, that’s just splashing water. The first thing to keep in mind with a cleanser is that you shouldn’t even look at that bar soap sitting in the soap dish. Unless you’re using something that is specifically made for the face (There are a couple of facial bars that are alright to use, but not many.) don’t even put it on your face. Any good skin care line really starts with the cleanser. You can find a cleanser to match just about any skin condition, but when in doubt go with something for sensitive skin.
-Step 2: Tone.
You may ask why should you use a toner? Well, the first reason to consider using one is that any cleanser will lower your skins pH (potential of hydrogen). Normally the skin should be slightly on the acidic side. When we use a cleanser, it tends to change the skins pH slightly away from the 4.5 to 6.0 range that the skin is normally in. This is due to the basic chemistry of a cleanser. That’s how they do the job of getting the oils, dirt and impurities out of our skin. A cleanser with a pH of 7.0 does a much better job than something with a pH of 5.5. But we don’t want the skin to stay in that space. You can either splash on a toner, spray it on or use a cotton wipe to apply. You can use a toner made for the line your using or simply use plain witch hazel; depending on what your skin care goals are.
-Step 3: Protect.
After using a toner, you now want to finalize the process for your skin. With a skin specific moisturizer or other product. The key point here is going to be to use a product that not only causes your skin to feel good but actually look good. Two key points to keep in mind with a moisturizer. Even if you have oily skin you should be using something to moisturize your skin. The basic premise here is that the skin is more aware than we give it credit for. If your oil glands are over producing, by applying a product they “notice” that the skin is moisturized and calm down. If they are under producing in the sense of dry skin, you use a moisturizer to supplement the lack of natural oils.
And one last point I want to make in this post, even if you aren’t spending a great deal of time outside, wear a SPF. Even just the small amount of time you may get walking from your car into the office can affect your skin. UV radiation is one of the most detrimental agents that can cause the skin to age.
By following this simple “3 step process” (which should really only take moments to do), you can bring a glow to your skin.
Owen D. Edwards California Licensed Esthetician