When the seasons change minor tweaks to your skin care regimen will help keep your skin looking its best. Here are a few things to consider when maintaining healthy skin.
The first step is cleansing your complexion. Look for a gentle, mild-foaming cleanser to thoroughly cleanse the skin without stripping it. Avoid harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate. The best time to cleanse the face is at night prior to applying any treatment serums or moisturizers. Splash the face with lukewarm water, foam up a dime-size amount of cleanser in the hands, apply to skin and massage for about 30-45 seconds, remove all traces of residue by rinsing with water. Avoid using hot water as this will dry your skin, damage fragile capillaries, and accelerate aging.
In the morning all you need to do is rinse the skin with lukewarm water before applying other products, sunscreen, or cosmetics. Simply rinsing the skin removes excess surface product and oil but prevents over-stripping the complexion by leaving the skin’s protective acid mantle in place.
Exfoliating the skin regularly, (2-4 times a week will suffice), helps to encourage a healthy cell turnover rate. It also removes the dead skin barrier that dulls the complexion and prevents your treatment product from effectively penetrating the epidermis. Seek out exfoliating scrubs that contain jojoba or polyethylene beads to gently polish the skin. Avoid crushed walnut shell or apricot pits as this creates micro-tears in the complexion, leaving the skin vulnerable to harmful bacteria. Another gentle option is an exfoliating mask containing papaya or pineapple enzymes that digest dead skin cells.
Before incorporating an exfoliating product into your regimen you should seek the advice of a professional for possible contraindications such as a prescribed medication or inflammatory skin condition.
The second step is to apply treatment products. Prescription topicals are usually applied first when applicable, followed by therapeutic products; liquid, lotions, creams respectively. Oilier skin types will favor water-based formulas. Combination skin types like a light lotion consistency. Dry skin types find comfort in emollient creams and balms. Adjust your product’s texture according to your skin’s needs.
For dry, mature skin look for items that contain anti-aging ingredients such as peptides, stem cells, ceramides, and/ or retinol in a lotion-to-cream base that includes nutritive, oils that won’t clog your pores. A few skin healthy oils worth mentioning are jojoba, hemp, avocado, safflower, or evening primrose.
Combination skin types seeking to balance and maintain healthy skin only need to apply light, hydrating lotions on areas prone to dryness. For those concerned with “sun spots” seek out ingredients such as kojic acid, vitamin c, licorice, bearberry, or hydroquinone, (the last ingredient listed should only be used under the care of a skin care professional).
Oily, blemished-prone skin should seek out oil-free, hydrating serums that include a low percentage of salicylic acid to help keep pores clear. Aloe vera gel is a great hydrating agent that is anti-inflammatory and supports skin healing.
Supplemental skin care items such as eye or lip treatments should be used regularly when the need arises; fine lines appearing or chapping of these delicate areas.
Lastly, and most importantly, is the application of a sunscreen. A broad-spectrum, non-chemical sunblock is best and should be used daily, rain or shine.