Steps to Flawless-Looking Skin
Out with the old, in with the new! It's a new year, a new decade! Time to put our best foot or face forward to welcome the beauty and challenges our future has to bring!
Mankind has long used makeup to enhance one's beauty. But the real secret isn't in the makeup but in our skincare routine. Makeup can only enhance beauty when the canvas (our skin), is soft, smooth and hydrated. No amount of makeup could cover up bumps or texture on the skin. So, let's dive right into it!
Cleansing is the first step to clean skin. It is great to remove any dirt, dust, sebum and environmental pollutants we have accumulated on our skin throughout the day. If you wear sunscreen (Which you should! More on that later) or makeup, the double-cleansing technique will be most helpful at removing makeup or sunscreen from the face at the end of the day. The first step of the double-cleanse is to use a makeup remover to melt and dissolve makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and grime then rinse off with water. After that, as the name suggests, you will cleanse your face again with either a foaming or non-foaming cleanser. This ensures that any impurity is removed that was left behind by the makeup remover. We know that double-cleansing is a pain especially when you’re back home and tired from work. But we must never neglect the double-cleanse or it will lead to skin problems down the road. Also, avoid makeup wipes as they are too harsh on the skin because the material is rough and the constant tugging and pulling of the skin will lead to loss of collagen and elasticity. To determine which type of cleanser to use will depend on your skin type. Generally speaking, light foam cleansers are better for combination, oily and acne-prone skin as it is slightly more heavy duty at cleaning. Normal to dry skin will benefit from non-foaming cleansers as they are formulated with more hydrating ingredients. You never want to achieve a squeaky clean face as that means the cleanser is much too harsh for you. A good cleanser not only cleans your face, but it should also feel comfortable and hydrated. If it’s too greasy, switch to a lighter cleanser. If your face feels tight or has that squeaky clean feeling, that cleanser is too stripping for you and you may wish to consider a more hydrating one.
After cleansing, on damp skin, apply an occlusive moisturizer. Yes, you’ve read that right. Apply on damp skin. The reason behind this is to prevent transepidermal water loss. This occurs when hydration is lost by water content evaporating through the skin. So to prevent that from happening, it is best to apply an occlusive moisturizer while your skin is still damp. There are a few types of moisturizers in the market but we will only be touching on 2 main ones – cream and lotion. Those who have dry skin will benefit from a thicker moisturizer so a cream-type would better suit them as it is formulated with hydration in mind. For normal to oily or acne-prone skin, the lotion type would be best as lotion-type moisturizers are formulated to give just enough hydration without clogging up the pores. Many of you may have heard that those with oily skin need not bother with moisturizing their face. This is a myth. Sebum, on its own, is not harmful to the skin. In fact, it protects and moisturizes the skin. However, too much sebum isn’t good. This means the skin’s barrier is compromised. When that happens, and you deprive the skin of moisture, the skin will go into overdrive to produce more sebum as it tries to overcompensate in an attempt to achieve equilibrium. Ultimately, you will end up with an extremely greasy face that may become prone to acne.
Getting rid of dead skin can be very satisfying especially with a physical scrub. You can feel it balling up on the surface of the skin and it makes you feel as if you’re getting all that dead skin off. But did you know that physical exfoliants cause micro-tears in the skin and can cause irritation? But how are we going to achieve smooth and supple skin without scrubs? The answer is chemical exfoliants. They are cheap and readily available in the market and you have probably seen or have heard of them before. Chemical exfoliants are AHAs and BHAs. AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) “unglues” the bond holding dead skin onto our skin and sheds them away gently. AHA loves water and is great for dry skin as it improves water content and is also good for aging skin concerns like fine lines and wrinkles. BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) penetrates deeper into the skin and is better for normal to oily and acne-prone skin as it has antibacterial and calming properties. As much as we’d love to get rid of dead skin, it’s unwise to exfoliate every day as it is over stripping the skin. Best is to exfoliate once or twice a week, depending on what works best for you.
There are many DIY masks out there but the most convenient one has to be sheet masks. Masks are tremendous for giving the skin that extra boost in hydration. Especially after an exfoliation. As exfoliating the skin can lead to dryness, topping up with a hydrating sheet mask is great for replenishing that moisture. If you would like to pamper your skin even more and get that luxurious experience especially after a long, taxing day, keep your sheet masks in the fridge and take it out whenever you need to. The cold mask will instantly calm the skin and deliver the baby smooth and supple skin that you are looking for.
Sunscreen is the most important step in the skincare routine. Even if you have done all 4 steps, they will undoubtedly go to waste. This is all caused due to the harshness of Ultra Violet (UV) rays. 90% of skin damage is caused by photoaging accumulated on our skin in our lifetime. UV light consists of UVA and UVB. UVB is a shorter ray that mainly causes sunburn. UVA, on the other hand, is longer and penetrates deeper into the skin, causing issues like premature aging, loss of collagen, wrinkles, leathery skin, etc. Just like skincare, it is important to find the right sunscreen for you and your skin concerns. There are 3 kinds of sunscreen in the market – mineral sunscreen, chemical sunscreen, and combination sunscreen. Click here to know more about the differences and find one that suits your needs. Never go out in the sun without sunscreen again!