Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to Pamper Your Skin

Charlotte Dorsey

"I want my skin to look like yours" and "I want the glow that you have." I hear this all the time so I thought it important to share tips on How to Pamper Your Skin and this is really key if you are experiencing any dryness. At one point in my seasoned adult life, I was looking for these very sound tips that can help to bring my skin back to normal.

We've had many changes in the weather lately which certainly affect your skin. The commandments of skincare below are educational and informative and serve as a guide to youthful looking skin and retaining moisture which lessens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

As you read the commandments, take a look at my image above and make a plan for yourself to incorporate these steps in your skincare routine.

Always Wash Your Face Before Bed

No matter how dry your skin, gentle cleansing at night is essential. Makeup, sunscreen, bacteria, dead skin cells, dirt, and oil build up on your face during the day. They can work their way into your pores, causing inflammation. Wash gently without scrubbing to avoid irritating your skin.
Cleanser: Soap or Non-Soap?
Harsh detergents in soap can strip away the natural moisturizing oils in your skin. This can cause dryness, irritation, and inflammation. Soap-free cleansers work on your skin the same way as soap, but they're made of milder ingredients that don't deplete skin's oils.

What to Look for in a Face Cleanser

When you have dry skin, consider a gentle cleanser with added moisturizers (normally milky cleansers are better for dry skin than gel cleansers). Your skin should feel soft and smooth after cleansing. If the cleanser makes your skin feel too dry, tight, or irritated, try a different one. Check with your licensed skin therapist for recommendations on the appropriate cleansers based on the needs of your skin.

What to Avoid in a Face Cleanser

In addition to steering clear of harsh soaps, look for a cleanser that is free of fragrance, chemicals, or alcohol. Avoid antibacterial soaps, which are drying. Ask your doctor/skin therapist whether you should use or avoid cleansers with exfoliants such as glycolic acid. Some exfoliating cleansers may irritate dry skin.

Water and Dry Skin

Showers and baths add moisture to your skin, but they can also dry it out by removing the skin's natural oils. Hot water washes away oil faster than warm water. So use warm water when you cleanse your face and limit yourself to one short (under 10 minutes) warm shower or bath a day. Close the bathroom door while you bathe to keep the room humid. Now this one was a little hard for me initially to change because we are all used to taking a really hot shower.

Dampen Your Hands and Face

As simple as this sounds, most people do not even think about this. Because you're cleansing with your hands, wash them first. Then dampen your face and hands with tepid (warm) water. Don't concern yourself with using enough water to work up a good lather. Mild cleansers may not lather much. Remember, your goal is to have skin that's smooth and supple, not "squeaky clean."

Use a Light Touch for Cleansing

More is not better when it comes to washing dry skin. Squeeze from a dime size to a quarter-size dollop of cleanser (depending on the concentration) into your palm and apply it evenly to your face. Then gently massage it into your skin with your fingertips, using circular motions and moving upward. Be especially gentle around your eyes. Remember not to scrub -- even with your fingers.

Pat, Don’t Rub, Your Face Dry

Don't ruin the perfect face cleansing by rubbing your skin dry. Rubbing can cause abrasion to your skin, which can lead to irritation and inflammation. Instead, rinse your face with tepid water, then pat it with a clean, dry cotton towel or washcloth. Don't dry it all the way -- the idea is to leave some moisture for your moisturizer to lock in and hold onto.

Go Easy on Exfoliation

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, allowing moisturizers to better penetrate your skin. But abrasive scrubs can damage dry skin, so exfoliate no more than once a week. Skip fruit scrubs, which can be harsh. Instead, try a scrub with synthetic beads. These particles are more uniform in shape and can be less damaging to skin. Exfoliating should never hurt. If it does, stop or try a gentler product.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Moisturizers don't actually add moisture to the skin. They seal in existing water so it doesn't evaporate. Use the 3-minute rule: Apply moisturizer within 3 minutes of your cleansing. If you feel the need to apply moisturizer again during the day, it's not necessary to rinse or cleanse first. However, finding the right moisturizer for you skin will eliminate the need to re-apply multiple times.

What to Avoid in a Moisturizer

You may want to avoid moisturizers that contain fragrances. And some ingredients, such as retinols, may be irritating to sensitive, dry skin. Test a facial moisturizer by first rubbing a tiny amount on your forearm for a few days. If it stings, burns, itches, or feels dry, don't use it.

References from WebMD, Jan. 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Year's Recovery For Healthy Skin

Here are some basic tips for skin recovery for the New Year. 

1.  Since alcohol is so dehydrating to the body and makes the skin more sensitized, you should make sure you carry a calming mist ( i.e. Rosewater is great) in your bag. This will not only add much needed hydration to the skin’s surface but it will also calm and reduce the redness. It can be easily spritzed over make-up.

2.  When nights out become mornings after and your skin looks dry and dull, treat it to an overnight, oil-based serum ( you know how I always preach to choir about the need to use a good serum which contains anti-oxidants to fight free radicals) to replenish lost lipids and moisture and rebuild collagen. Apply in the evening and let the essential oils work with the body’s own circadian rhythms to leave your skin silky soft and luminous.     

3.  How to handle the tell-tale dark circles around the eyes? In Chinese medicine, shadows under your eyes are indicative of stress on the kidneys and liver (which makes sense after lots of parties and late nights). You can’t instantly get rid of dark circles, but helping the body detox, rest and revitalize through good nutrition and exercise will all help greatly. For a temporary quick fix, use products that contain anti-inflammatories and optical light diffusers, which are often combined in a light concealer make-up base and act as a multitude of ‘microscopic mirrors’ that deflect the light and decrease shadow lines.

References:  International Dermal Institute.