Posts Tagged ‘Fundamentals’
Face is undoubtedly the most prominent of all body parts. More than any body part face commands daily and effective skincare. Facial skincare is a three steps easy way. Deep facial cleansing, facial nourishing and facial moisturizing are three steps to a great facial skin.
Every one wants to have blemish-free skin that can catch any one’s eye. You will be overwhelmed to know that it is possible to own such skin type with natural skin care treatments. Yes, it is true that with these treatments anyone can look beautiful and blemished free. Generally, these problems arise due to lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the body. Vital body nutrients like biotin, pantothenic, niacin, riboflavin, etc, are required to have a healthy glowing skin.
One of the most important parts of our body is skin and each one dreams about having a glowing and beautiful skin. Your skin protects you from all the harmful toxins present in the air. It is also a good source for absorbing essential nutrients for the body. Your skin is a vital organ of the body and that is why it needs maintenance and regular natural skin care regime.
Today more than ever, men are concerned with skin care and taking care of their skin. Most skin care lines are geared toward women and concerns that women have with skin health, while few are geared towards men’s skin health. The following are easy and fast tips for men to follow to start taking care of their skin, without the confusion of too many products or steps. Men’s skin care should include a daily face wash, a mild facial scrub, proper shaving techniques, and a moisturizer containing sunscreen.
By Van Le | Beauty may only be skin deep, but having a great complexion makes life a lot more pleasant. The key to having great skin is finding a skin care regimen that tailors to your skin’s individual needs, and following this regimen daily. It does not have to be complex and complicated—in fact, simpler is better since you will need to follow the same steps twice a day .
The first step is to do your homework. Determine what your skin type is, and find a product line that works well for you. There are many resources you can use either online or through your local library to help you determine your skin type. Look for published works by dermatologists or skincare experts who have created their own skin typing quizzes or online calculators such as this one: http://www.biobalance4women.com/skin_type.html. There are even sunscreen and UV calculators to help you find the best sun protection for your skin type. A product that works perfectly for your friend or sister may not produce the same results for you. Luckily, most products now specify which skin type it works best for. Also, there are several herbal skin care lines on the market whose products contain all-natural ingredients that work well with most skin types. When experimenting with new products, keep track of those that are effective and more importantly, those that irritate your skin so you can stay away from other products that contain similar ingredients. Ultimately, creating and maintaining a great complexion comes down to three simple steps: cleanse, tone, moisturize.
Finding a cleanser that works well for your skin is the foundation of having great skin. Some prefer to use a heavier cream cleanser during the winter months and a lighter cleanser through the summer, while others use the same product year-round. Wash your face twice a day, massaging the cleanser in a circular motion to remove dirt and excess oil, which can clog your pores. Proper cleansing at night also removes all traces of makeup and allows your skin to breath freely. Remember to change your pillow cover regularly, since the dirt and pollutants can transfer to your face while you are sleeping.
Even after washing your face with a cleanser, some traces of dirt and stubborn makeup may remain on your skin. A toner will completely remove any leftover dirt or residue left by the cleanser, reducing the chances of infections. Some cleansers may change the skin’s pH, and a toner will help bring the skin back to the proper level. Toners are also excellent in prepping the skin for the next step, moisturizing. Dip a cotton ball into your favorite toner and apply across the surface of the face, being careful not to get too close to the eyes.
Moisturizing daily will help the skin stay hydrated and produce a healthy glow. Lack of moisture can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, and can produce premature signs of aging. A moisturizer will restore the skin of all the natural oil stripped throughout the day and during the cleansing and toning process. The right moisturizer depends on your individual skin type, and will help your skin produce a natural glow.
Weekly, bi-weekly and monthly skin care products and processes such as masks, peels and facials are great to help revamp and rejuvenate your skin; however, a great complexion starts and ends with a proper daily skincare regimen.
Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.
For the latest findings on natural skincare you can also link to http://herbalfacialskincare.com
With the chilly winds already bidding adieu it’s time to take out those sporty shorts and T-shirts for a stroll on the beach or a run in the park You’ve done the push-ups and the crunches in anticipation for the skin-revealing days ahead. You want to look your best, and taking good care of your skin is a part of that. So you spent most of the winter indoors, watching too much TV or gaming? Say goodbye to those baggy eye circles and dull skin by treating yourself to a detoxifying skin mask or a facial scrub and gear up for summer!
Men’s skin care products have always been available, but you may not know much about them yourself. Everyone from late night television hosts to media publications bring up skin care topics and recent dermatological advances have made the skincare market even larger and more complicated. Sorry guys, just when you were comfortable with cologne, now you have to exfoliate! With busy lives and building stress, it may be difficult for today’s modern men to retain the facial charm of their younger days.
Keeping that youthful appearance
Our skin is the largest organ of the body and requires special care. As the saying goes, “A healthy mind in a healthy body’” which means paying attention to your skin is essential to overall health. While it’s expected for women to buy skin care products, men are more laid back and seldom pay attention to facial skincare beyond daily shaving or grooming. Factors like pollution, stress, UV- rays and sun burns can cause severe damage to the inner pores which in the long term results in wrinkling, clogging and drying of the skin. As men reach their 30s and 40s, the skin gets dulled due to the daily process of shaving, excessive time outdoors and exposing the skin to different elements that can lead to blotching, which ultimately takes its toll on overall appearance of the face.
If you desire to protect your skin from further damage, right use of skin care products is essential to retain youthfulness. Once you become familiar with the basics; cleansing, toning, moisturizing – it’s not difficult at all, it’s all about setting up a routine.
Facial skin care
Proper skin care depends on the type of skin you have. Our skin can be categorized into many segments such as oily, dry, sun damaged, and sensitive. With the markets offering an ample pool of products to choose from, it’s always a struggle for men to see what suits them best. It’s always good to go organic. Try natural products when possible as the chances of side effects are less and the natural balance of the skin is retained. Before we plunge on to using these products here’s some basic things we can do to keep the aging process delayed.
Regular light exercising, thirty-minute cardio, brisk walks, yoga and other meditation techniques will calm down the adrenaline levels, keeping your skin blemish-free. Eight to ten glasses of water a day aids metabolism and helps your body flush toxins. In a nutshell, an exercise routine is the first step to fight off the signs of aging.
How to Cleanse your Face
I’ve got one thing to say – stop using soap on your face. Many advanced cleansers out there improve your complexion and don’t strip the natural moisture away. Begin with warm water; wash the face with pore refining cleansers that break down the accumulated grits and dirt without drying the skin. Morning is the best time for cleansing, to remove the dead skin and uneven patches that accumulated overnight. Shaving after you shower will reduce rashes, and makes the outer skin layer soft and gives you a smooth finish.
Using Facial Masks
If you have oily or acne prone skin, mud or clay-based masks are great for balancing out your skin. Dry skin will benefit from hydrating masks made from glycerin, honey and oils. Green tea masks are great for soothing skin.
Hydrating and moisturizing
The next most common facial masks are those that either hydrate or moisturize the skin, leaving it feeling silky, smooth and nourished. They will restore the suppleness of your skin by replenishing the water content. Hydrating and moisturizing masks can be used two or three times a week, depending on the dryness of your skin. For those will oilier skin, try a gel based, non-oil mask.
There are no miracle quick-fix homemade solutions. It’s all patience, gracefulness and the right attitude that gets you the results! Reminds me of that comedy ‘The Wedding Crasher’…It all starts with a shave! So, if you want to turn heads with your spiffy new looks this summer – treat your face to the right products.
Ravi Thiagarajan is a freelance writer and intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. He has published numerous articles for the leading newspaper The Times of India, local affiliate Anand Plus.
For more information and latest findings on natural skincare link to http://organicskincareinfo.net or
Your Skin – is a flexible membranous tissue that forms the external covering of the body, it operates as a complex organ of numerous structures (sometimes called the integumentary system) performing vital protective and metabolic functions. The average skin makes up about 18% of an adult’s weight and approximately a total area of 1,5 – 2 m2
1 – melanocyte
2 – sebaceous gland
3 – muscle
4 – hair shaft
5 – fat
6 – Pacinian corpuscle
7 – artery
8 – hair follicle
9 – sweat gland
10 – epidermis
11 – dermis
12 – subcutaneous tissue
The skin contains two main layers of cells: a thin outer layer, the epidermis, and a thicker inner layer immediately below, called the dermis. Along the internal surface of the epidermis, young cells continuously multiply, pushing the older cells outward. At the outer surface the older cells flatten and overlap to form a tough membrane and gradually shed as calluses or collections of dead skin. Hair and nails are evolutionary adaptations of the epidermis.
Although the epidermis has no blood vessels, its deeper strata contain melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin. The underlying dermis consists of connective tissue with embedded blood vessels, lymph channels, nerve endings, sweat glands, fat cells, hair follicles, muscles and oil glands that lubricate the skin and hair (glands located in the skin that secrete an oily substance, sebum – called sebaceous glands). The nerve endings, called receptors, perform an important sensory function – responding to various stimuli, including touch, pressure, heat, and cold.
A skin rash shows up as an area of inflammation or change in the texture, and/ or color of your skin. It can be caused by a number of different things including irritation, disease, or allergic/ non-allergic reactions to foods, chemicals, plants, animals, insects or other environmental factors.
So many rashes appear because the skin is an active player in the immune system. Antigens are things like viruses or proteins that we react to. These antigens need to be presented to our immune system in a very controlled way; otherwise we would react to too many things. The skin is the site at which antigen presenting cells introduce the antigens to lymphocytes. These lymphocytes are in a sense the paratroopers of our body. A complicated process of making sure that we are not overreacting takes place. All of this occurs in the skin once these lymphocytes have been activated they produce many chemicals that cause inflammation. When we become allergic to an antibiotic or other drug, the action takes place mainly in the skin as well as in the lymph glands. Viral infections also frequently produce rashes as viral particles are presented to our immune system in the epidermis. In a sense the skin is like the schoolyard which is where many of the fights occur.
Rashes can appear on your entire body or be limited to a specific area, and what it looks like and how it feels can vary depending on the cause and type of rash. Some common types of rashes include:
- eczema (also called atopic dermatitis), which is commonly seen in children. It can cause dry, chapped, bumpy areas around your elbows and knees, and can be very itchy. It can sometimes become very serious causing red, scaly and swollen skin all over your body. (Visit Eczema Guide.ca for more information)
- irritant contact dermatitis, which is caused by your skin coming into contact with something that irritates it, such as a chemical, soap or detergent. This type of rash can be red, swollen and itchy.
- allergic contact dermatitis is caused by your skin coming into contact with something you’re allergic to, such as rubber, hair dye or nickel (which is a metal that is found in some jewelry). A nickel allergy can show up as a red, scaly, crusty rash wherever the jewelry touched your skin. Urushiol, which is an oil or resin that’s found in poison ivy, oak and sumac, can also cause this kind of rash.
If you develop a rash, don’t scratch it! If you do, the rash can take longer to heal and you might develop an infection or scar. There are a wide range of over-the-counter products available to treat rashes, but it’s important to see your doctor first and determine what’s causing the rash and the most effective treatment.
- If the rash is caused by an allergy, then treatment will focus on identifying and avoiding the allergen.
- It it’s caused by eczema, your doctor may suggest special moisturizers (emollients) to help retain the water in your skin; not only will this help to keep your skin soft and smooth, it will help reduce the itching. Short, cool showers are also a good idea because hot showers and baths can dry out your skin more. Also use a mild soap and be sure to apply more emollients after you’ve showered.
- For poison ivy, cool showers and calamine lotion often help and if the rash is severe, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine to reduce the itching and redness.
It’s important to try to find out what’s causing the rash because the best way to prevent it is to avoid the problem food, substance, medicine or insect. If a poison plant is your problem, learn what it looks like and avoid it. It may also help to wear long sleeves and pants when you go camping or hiking. If insect bites are causing your rash, then consider applying insect repellant before going outside. For eczema, stay away from harsh soaps that may dry out your skin, and make an effort to moisturize with creams or lotions.
- Is your skin easily damaged or irritated?
- Is your skin dry, delicate and prone to irritant or allergic reactions?
- Does your skin have a reduced tolerance to cold, heat, wind, temperature changes, or pollution?
If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, consider yourself a member of the “sensitive skin” club to which 56 per cent of Canadian women claim to belong. Of this group, more than 46 per cent also have dry skin.
What is sensitive skin?
Generally if you have easily irritated or reactive skin, then you have ‘sensitive skin’. Most of the time sensitive skin relates to the face. Sensitive skin can be caused by a genetic predisposition or environmental factors. It appears as a redness, a swelling, itchy and dry irritation to the face. One of the major jobs of the skin is to waterproof. This is done to the epidermis or surface layer of the skin, producing a fat-protein sandwich that is always being replaced and is vital to prevent too much water loss from the skin.
Symptoms of sensitive skin include:
- A tingling or tightening of the skin without visible signs
- “Overreaction” to skin care or cosmetic products
- Reactions to shaving, or other physical stress to the skin
Sensitive skin can also be a heads-up for other conditions, such as:
- Altered skin — due to shaving, waxing, medications or heat, cold, wind, and pollution. Also, laser or chemical peels or scar removal
- Allergic skin – the sudden appearance of redness or swelling and itchiness
- Atopic skin – dry skin that is itchy and produces eczema. Eczema is related to hayfever and asthma. (see Eczema Guide for more information)
- Rosacea skin – blood vessels of the face enlarge resulting in a flushed sensation or a redness of the skin
What to do about your skin?
- Perfume or scented creams can be irritating.
- Rinse well after using cleansing products, which should be mild and soap-free as they do not remove so much oil from the skin (www.MildCleanser.ca gives you more information about this kind of cleansers)
- Use a moisturizer and sunscreen that is formulated for sensitive skin
- Don’t over wash your face. Temperature of the water should be tepid; neither hot or cold
- Don’t use exfoliants
- Be aware of seasonal temperatures. The sudden dryness of winter can mean itchy, dry skin until the skin responds by increasing oil production to reduce the water loss
- For breakouts use a cleanser with salicylic acid to help exfoliate pores. There are also moisturizers that contain salicylic acid
Be sensitive to stress
The causes and effects of stress on the body are not fully known, but for some people stress interferes with the body’s systems that repair and regulate the skin. Stress kills your natural antioxidant defenses, which help to prevent accelerated aging of the skin. Hormones can also trigger a histamine release within the skin causing it to erupt in bumpy redness, or breakout in hives.
When choosing makeup, especially foundation and blush, buy oil-free products. Makeup that is water-based won’t clog pores. Look for oil-absorbing foundations that help keep oil off the face.
As for the rest of your body, check ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals in soaps, shampoos, body cleansers and creams, bath oils, bubble baths, etc.
Put your best face forward
- Watch your alcohol intake, spicy foods and caffeine
- Try to avoid excessive temperature changes
- Use the right cleansers, moisturizers and cosmetics
- Manage stress as best you can
By Richard Thomas, MD, FRCPC
Treatment Options for Dry, Sensitive Skin
If you suffer from dry, cracked or sensitive skin – skin that easily reacts to chemicals and temperature fluctuations – then keeping your skin hydrated is essential. If you live in a humid climate where natural moisture is more prevalent, then you are halfway there to better skin. On the flip side, if you live in a high-altitude or desert climate, artificially creating humidity in your home may be the second best option. Since many of us can’t just pick up and move to a new seaside location, using a humidifier in your home or bedroom while you sleep can do wonders for your dry, cracked skin.
While drinking more water will help hydrate your skin to a degree, it isn’t the cure-all for sensitive skin issues. However, the water you use to bathe is very important. Bathing with hard water (which contains increased amounts of calcium) can contribute to dryness and redness. Reverse osmosis water filters will help convert hard water to soft water, if it fits in your budget, it could be a consideration. Water temperature also matters. Dermatologists warm that very hot water temperatures, such as 104 degrees F, can dry out your skin and lead to redness. Gentle hydrotherapy, meaning moderate temperatures with little fluctuations are best for your skin type.
When choosing a special spa treatment, do so with care. Be wise in selecting spa and beauty treatments like exfoliating massages, loofahs, acid-peel facials, and hot steam rooms, which can all strip oils from sensitive, dry skin. Scalding temperatures, intense treatments, running from hot saunas into wintry snow is good for those with resilient skin – not for you. For those with especially sensitive skin, even perfumed bath oils and massage products can be irritating. Aromatherapy massages may be counterproductive if the oils used cause any form of burning or redness. Even getting a manicure or pedicure can cause hyper-reactions when the acetones in nail polishes and removers are irritating.
If you have had serious reactions to spa treatments in the past and need a gentler alternative, consider thalassotherapy. Thalassotherapy was developed in seaside towns in Brittany, France during the 19th century. Based on the belief that the properties of seawater have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin, trace elements of magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and iodide found in seawater are believed to be absorbed through the skin. The therapy is applied in various forms, as either showers of warmed seawater, application of marine mud or of algae paste or the inhalation of sea fog. Spas make hot seawater and provide mud and seaweed wrapping services.
Very popular throughout Europe, thalassotherapy treatments are used for relaxation, stress management, muscle and skin restoration, and to fight cellulite. If you cannot afford the actual spa treatments, home products containing seaweed or algae can also be effective in hydrating dry, sensitive skin.
Another great option to provide more oil distribution to dry skin is massage. Massage is also great for eczema. A recent dermatological study at the University of Miami showed that children with severe dry skin were treated with moisturizer and massage therapy improved more compared to those who were not massaged and were treated with moisturizer alone.
So these are simply guidelines to use when choosing products and treatments to help alleviate your dry skin conditions. As with all hydrotherapy treatments, it is important to limit your immersion in the water to less than one hour so as not to impair the skin barrier. And when purchasing products, always be sure to read the ingredient list for potential irritants.
Skin is the armor of the body. It is the outside waterproofing, element-fighting surface that protects our internal organs and skeletal structure from the harsh outside elements. Yet skin, overall is ignored most of the time. Healthy skin is important for a glowing completion of course, but if your body is unhealthy – your skin will be also.
The toxic world of industrialization has finally caught up with us. Producing toxic waste disasters, disease and tons of garbage buried so deep it can never breakdown. All these “modern advancements” have left our food supply as little more than a chemical compound in itself. If you can do ONE thing to give your skin and your body a fighting chance, you would be wise to choose as organic a diet as possible. To maintain a healthy skin, organically grown food is must.
In light of recent organic trends in our food, organic skin care products are also gaining popularity. For healthy lifestyle and healthy skin, limiting the amount of toxins and chemicals you put in your body is a must. If the environment or living “green” is important to you, you should also be aware of companies that produce the products you buy and their manufacturing practices.
Organic Skin Care is the most rapidly developing field in the beauty industry. Now what does Organic mean? Organic refers to anything grown or raised naturally. But more specifically, it means plants are grown on certified natural land without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetic modification or irradiation. In many cases, these organic farms are highly regulated by the Federal Food Safety Commission. Organic skin care means protecting your skin from harmful chemicals and using organic products whenever possible.
There are many organic products available on the market today. Most can be found at a local organic specialty stores, food suppliers or a national health food chain like Whole Foods. As organic products become more and more popular, many standard food stores, Like Safeway or Albertsons’ are also providing these products on their shelves. There are also plenty of websites offering organic skin or beauty care products online.
An organic product is preferable for natural skin care balance as it will generally contain far fewer chemical properties then it’s drugstore counterparts and thus have less possibility to cause inflammation or irritation. Of course, even an herbal product can have side effects as they are “chemicals” in their own right, so always be aware of the list if ingredients in the products you buy and the reactions your skin personally has to allergens.
Non-comedogenic cosmetics are products which have been tested on the oily skins of human volunteers or inside
rabbit ears. These products are less likely to cause blackheads (open comedones) or whiteheads (closed comedones) in patients. However, no single product is non-comedogenic for everyone.
For example, a person with very oily skin may still get skin breakouts from products that another person with mildly oily skin may find non-comedogenic. A better term may be non-acnegenic rather than non-comedogenic, but this is not so widely used. It is important to test a new product on your own skin rather than rely on the label, before using it freely.
There are moisturizers labeled oil-free which have a very thin consistency. These have been tested in old animal models and have been proven to be oil-free. Most people who are acne-prone or who have oily skin do not even need these products. There are moisturizers labeled non-comedogenic which are usually thicker than the oil-free products, these may
be suitable when the ambient humidity is dry. When the patient is exercising or if the air is hot and humid, these moisturizers may be comedogenic.
There are some products, which are suitable for oily skin, most liquid cleansers are not as helpful for oily skin as bar soaps or synthetic detergents. Some deodorant soaps or cleansers may be helpful for oily skin. Care must be taken not to over dry the skin with a strong cleanser for fear that the skin will re-bound with extra oil. Often a good gentle face bar soap, or gentle cleansers such as will be more likely to allow for patient satisfaction.
When the patient actually has acne and not just oily skin, many acne cleansers are available and many companies have cleansers made specifically for acne. There are benzoyl peroxide cleansers in the form of 5 and 10 % bar soaps and liquid cleansers, which are very effective in controlling acne breakouts.
Foundations for acne prone skin are often formulated to be like a shake lotion the color contents settle on the bottom while the opaque or clear solution is on the top. The bottle is shaken before the foundation is applied, these are the least elegant oil free cosmetics. Most foundations remain mixed together but are not heavy or thick. It is not necessary to have poor coverage in foundations for oily or acne prone skin. Titanium dioxide is the ingredient which allows for better coverage, and that ingredient is not oily, varying amounts of starch and kaolin will thicken up the products without causing acne.
For those who actually have acne prone skin, the addition of 1-2% salicylic acid may be partially therapeutic. For patients who need a blotter for the excess oil in their skin, extra amounts of starch, kaolin, and polymers which absorb sebum may be added.
The active ingredients of sunscreens UVB blockers such as Cinnamates, Octocrylene, Salicylates, and UVA blockers such as Benzophenones, Parsol 1789 (avobenzone), micronized zinc or titanium dioxide, are not themselves comedogenic. These ingredients can be incorporated into foundations, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and oil-free bases. The least comedogenic sunscreens are usually formulated into gel formulations.
Combination skin is characterized by a mixture of oiliness and dryness. Typically, the oily areas tend to be the T-zone, consisting of the forehead, nose and chin. The cheeks are normal to dry. The degrees of oiliness and dryness can vary. Pores may be larger in the oily areas – with pimples, blackheads and breakouts sometimes occurring – and dry areas may feel rough and irritated.
The “tissue test” can help you determine if you have combination skin. Take a tissue and hold/press it against your face. If there’s oil on the tissue where it touched your T-zone, but no oil where the tissue touched your cheeks, you most likely have combination skin.
Many factors can cause combination skin, including hormones, age, genetics, the way in which lipids are organized in our skin and even the weather. Hormonal changes can lead to changes in skin’s oiliness or dryness. Teens and young adults tend to have oilier skin, especially in the T-zone, but with age, hormones change and the oil production may decrease (but unfortunately, acne is still an issue for many adults). Also, hormones change due to menstruation and the birth control pill, which can make skin oilier in certain areas. Lipids also play a role in combination skin: These proteins affect skin’s softness and feel. When lipids aren’t evenly spread throughout the skin, certain areas will feel drier and rougher, while other areas may feel soft but oily or greasy. The organization of lipids in skin is due to genetics and hormones. Finally, weather can exacerbate combination skin. Dry cold weather can cause skin to dry out and become irritated. Conversely, hot humid weather can increase oil production. This can affect your T-zone as well as your cheeks.
Combination skin requires special care to balance the oily and dry areas of the face. Proper cleansing, treatment, moisturizing and sun protection are all necessary.
• Cleansing: People with combination skin often have difficulty finding a cleanser that works for their unique skin needs. Formulas designed for oily skin may leave combination skin too dry, especially in the cheeks, while formulas designed for dry skin may leave combination skin greasy, especially in the T-zone. It’s best to avoid products that are either too drying or too rich. Instead, use a foaming or gel cleanser to get rid of dirt and oil without causing irritation or dryness. A cleanser to try is one that removes excess oil and impurities while still being gentle and not drying out skin.
You should also exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dry, dead, rough skin cells. These cells may be particularly prominent on your cheeks. They can flake off and block pores, causing blemishes and blackheads. Try a product that might include papaya and pineapple juice, olive derivatives and Ginkgo Biloba
Treatments: Treatment products are another important skincare component, helping to balance your skin. One treatment to try is one which moisturizes dry areas but prevents excess oil, especially in the T-zone. This product also contains antioxidants to prevent aging. Another type of treatment is a mask, and you’ll find an array of products for every skin type. Some experts advise using a hydrating/moisturizing mask on dry areas (cheeks) and a deep-cleaning clay mask on oily areas (T-zone). While using two different masks is certainly an option, you can also use a mask specifically designed for combination skin. If you suffer from breakouts, which may occur around the T-zone, use acne treatment products with salicylic acid. For problem skin, try a blemish serum or a spot treatment.
Moisturize: Combination skin needs balance, and part of that balance means moisturizing your skin. Moisturizing is especially important for drier areas of the face, but your entire face needs moisture. Some experts suggest using separate moisturizers – a lightweight one for the T-zone and a deeper one for cheeks. You may choose to use separate moisturizers, but you can also use a single moisturizer designed for combination skin. Try a lotion which balances skin with witch hazel and aloe extract to help skin stay soft. Pay careful attention to dry areas, as they may require more frequent moisturizing than oily areas. Generally, experts recommend moisturizing dry areas twice a day and moisturizing oily areas once a day. Keep in mind that your individual skin has unique needs, so you might want to adjust your moisturizer – how often you use it, where you need it and how much you need.
Sun Protection: Like all other skin types, combination skin needs protection from the sun. UVA and UVB rays can damage skin, so use oil-free sunblock all over your face daily (and on any other exposed areas). Try an oil-free sunlotion or sunblock because it protects your skin from UV rays and won’t make skin greasy.
Natural treatments such as aromatherapy oils, home-made exfoliants and masks may help treat your combination skin. For example, try mixing essential oils like chamomile, lavender and ylang ylang (just a few drops) together with your oil-free moisturizer. These ingredients have antibacterial properties and may help to rid skin of dirt or bacteria. However, if your skin is sensitive or easily irritated, or if you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t use these essential oils.
Exfoliating treatments can be made at home by mixing and grinding nuts, seeds or oatmeal along with water. These will slough off dead, dry skin cells – especially common around the cheeks. You can add citrus peels from fruit – like orange or grapefruit – to the mix and apply it to the oily T-zone.
To make a mask for dry areas, use ingredients like yogurt, mashed bananas or avocados to moisturize. On oilier areas, try pureed strawberries and apples.
According to leading dermatologists, most of the cosmetic and skin care information out there is misleading. For example, do you buy into any of these common beauty myths?
Pure soap is good for sensitive skin. Any product that vigorously suds and foams contain detergents, a strict no-no for dry skin. The best-known example is a certain soap, marketed with the buzz phrase “so pure it floats.” Advertising featured pictures of delicate babies and fair-skinned blonde-haired people, along with the recommendation that since it was “pure, and fragrance free,” it was designed “for sensitive skin.”
According to leading dermatologists, most of the cosmetic and skin care information out there is misleading. For example, do you buy into any of these common beauty myths?
Myth # 1: The way find the right skin care product is by buying many different products until you find one that works for you (if you are lucky). Actually, this approach works well for the cosmetics industry, but it’s not so good for you, unless you happen to have loads of money, tons of free time, and a desire to experiment on your skin. Yet, that’s the way most people purchase skin care products and services. Without knowing your skin type and being directed to the range of products that work well for it, you are at the mercy of marketers and advertisers.
Because of the way that they are regulated by the FDA, cosmetic companies cannot lay claim to any biological activity – meaning they can’t say a cream will repair your wrinkles. If they did, their products would be regulated as drugs, with costly clinical trials needed to validate their claims. Instead, they make vague marketing statements. No wonder people are confused. However, a dermatologist can reveal the biological effects of different products to cut through the hype.
Myth #2: The more expensive a product, the better it will work.
What does the high price tag on that designer skin cream buy you? Not the ingredients in the bottle. Instead, most often you are footing the bill for the marketing and bottling of that product. In fact, if tomorrow someone invented the world’s best skin cream, they could sell the rights to market it to different segments of the skin care marketplace, and very likely the only difference between the drugstore item, the department store brandname version, and the special edition sold by dermatologists would be – you guessed it – the packaging and price. However, the creams contained therein could well be absolutely identical. Maybe some day, the high-end lines will really be worth the extra expense because they are packed with ingredients that can deliver real results.
Myth #3: Fragrance-free products contain no perfume or fragrance.
People with sensitive skin often buy products with this misleading labeling, hoping to avoid ingredients they react to. “Fragrance-free” is no guarantee that the product does not contain perfumes or fragrances. It means that no fragrance is detectable by the average person’s sense of smell. In fact, fragrances are added to most face creams to neutralize their bad odor. Have you ever noticed that your old makeup foundation smells funny? That’s because over time the fragrances evaporate, leaving the unpleasant smell unmasked. For most people, this doesn’t matter so much, but if you have sensitive skin, you may need to find roducts completely free of these sensitizing ingredients.
Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid
Many consumers are frustrated by skin care products that don’t do what they claim to. Worse still is investing in an expensive yet ineffective cream or treatment only to discover the cheapest drug-store brand would work just as well. In a world of hyper-consumerism, false advertising and a plethora of products from which to choose, how do you choose the good from the bad?
There are some great products on the market that can genuinely improve your skin’s appearance and help your skin look smoother, more radiant, and youthful. But, there are literally thousands of products to choose from and unless you spend hours a day researching beauty products, it’s difficult to find the one of the few that actually produces real results and eliminates years of aging from your face and body.
As the law of supply and demand proves, the higher the demand for youth and beauty, the more manufacturers will rush to provide the solution. Many times this rush results in the creation of an inferior product with little to no research and development to back it.
Caveat Emptor – or “let the buyer beware” – is the rule to live by. Do your homework. Know where you are “voting” your hard-earned money. If it is important to you, make sure you are investing in a quality, skincare ingredient backed by proven results. If the environment and being ‘green’ is important to you, then be aware of the manufacturing practices of the company and product you support with your purchase.
Ingredients to Avoid
Due to certain preservative requirements, many skin care products are unfortunately loaded with ingredients that actually harm your skin over time. Following are a few prominent ingredients widely used in skincare products to day and are to be avoided if you prefer you skincare to be more natural or organic.
• Mineral Oil. This oil has been used in literally hundreds of products. Mineral oil may also go by the alternative names liquid paraffin, paraffin wax and petrolatum on the product label. Mineral oil is used pervasively in skin care products as a moisturizing agent due to its low cost.
Mineral oil, once applied, is meant to ‘trap’ moisture in the skin, but once applied, actually prevents the skin from “breathing.” As such, it clogs pores, interferes with your skin’s natural ability to eliminate toxins, and can lead to acne flare ups. Also, it is irritating to the skin and if used for any length of time, your skin can become dependent on it, causing chapping and dryness. Lastly, it can lead to premature aging of the skin.
• Dioxane: (a synthetic derivative of coconut). This substance is widely used in skincare products. It often contains high concentrations of 1,4-dioxane, which is readily absorbed through the skin. In the State of California, 1,4-dioxane has been reported as “known to cause cancer.”
• Fragrances: No one wants to smell bad, but if you want to be on the safe side, you are better off choosing an organic essential oil or diluted cologne, hydrosol or even a bodyspray. Your skin care products typically contain chemically engineered fragrances to mask the unpleasant “chemical odor” of the foundational product itself. Many of these masking fragrances are produced from ingredients that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body. Anything you put on it can be easily absorbed through the pores. When you use skin care products, they are typically applied all over the face, neck, and body. This covers a lot of surface area and, therefore, a great deal of chemical absorption occurs. However, with perfumes and colognes, you can achieve what you want by a small dab here and there, which will result in less chemical absorption overall. If you really want a beauty product to smell great without the harsh side effects, try buying a fragrance-free product and add your own essential oil blend. You can customize a whole line of products with you won signature scent!
• Parabens: methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl paraben. Many skin care products (and moisturizing products) will use parabens as a preservative so their products have a long shelf life. The reason is purely economical. However, studies suggest that they may cause cancer and interfere with the body’s endocrine system, as well as causing allergic reactions and skin rashes.
• Alcohols: ethanol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and SD alcohol. Not all alcohols have the same properties, but these, which are commonly found in skin care products, are very drying and irritating for the skin. Alcohols such as these strip away the skin’s natural acid mantle, making you more vulnerable to bacteria, moulds and viruses.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the bad, let’s examine some of the good ingredients and some ingredients that sound good but in fact aren’t.
With oily skin, your face may often look shiny, and you naturally avoid products that feel oily. You’ll be more vulnerable to acne and breakouts than dry skin types. People with dry skin will notice that their skin feels dry and has a dull color and/or rough texture.
The skin has many oil (sebaceous) glands, which secrete oil that contains wax esters, triglycerides, and squalene. These fats (or lipids) form a film that helps keep moisture in the skin. While increased sebum production results in oily skin, the opposite is not always the case, as dry skin can also arise from an impaired skin barrier. Oil production can be affected by diet, stress, and hormones-as well as genetics. In a study of twenty pairs each of identical and nonidentical same-sex twins, identical twins had virtually identical amounts of oil production, while the nonidentical twins had significantly different amounts.
Dryness and oiliness depend primarily on the condition of the skin barrier, the outer layer of skin which helps the skin retain moisture, and the oil (sebum) production itself. The barrier is like a brick wall, with each brick (or cell) held in place by mortar (fats called lipids). Harmful ingredients, cold, and dry weather can wear down these fats, eroding the mortar so that the “bricks” are not secured in their proper place. A variety of outside agents, including detergents, acetone, chlorine and other chemicals, and even prolonged water immersion can harm the barrier, or the barrier may be deficient for genetic reasons.
The barrier’s main components are ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol, all different kinds of lipids. These must be present in the right proportion to keep the skin watertight. An impaired barrier will tend toward both dryness and sensitivity. Dryness results when skin moisture evaporates. Sensitivity results when a deficient barrier permits the entry of outside irritants.
Repairing the skin barrier with the right skin care products will help treat a variety of skin conditions. Incorporating key dietary nutrients, such as essential fatty acids and cholesterol, provides the necessary building blocks. Nutrient deficiencies can weaken your skin’s ability to repair and rebuild, which is why people who take cholesterol-lowering drugs often have dry skin.
There are four dominant factors that determine your Skin Type. These factors are: oily vs. dry, sensitive vs. resistant, pigmented vs. non-pigmented, and wrinkled vs. tight. The key factors interact to determine the skin’s appearance, problems, needs, and vulnerabilities, and therefore dictate the kinds of products, ingredients, and treatments useful to address them. To get started, let me introduce you to some basics about the skin.
What you must know first about skincare…skin care is the first step towards achieving a healthy body. Skin care is an essential part of most people’s daily routine. Skin care specialists say any imbalance in the protective barrier that envelops the human body provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in many types of skin irritations and accelerating the aging process.
Gather the following ingredients:Juniper berries (Juniperus communus)
Used for: Detoxifying.
Chamomile Flowers (Matricaria recutita)
Used for: Soothing and calming.
Calendula Flowers (Calendula officinalis)
Used for: Softening the skin.
Dry skin recommendations and supplements that can help your skin
Dry skin responds best to climates with high humidity and hates cold, dry and windy climates. Indoor heating and air-conditioning can also be drying to skin. If you live in a dry climate, try to use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. There are many affordable varieties available on the market or for re-sale today.
Don’t steam facials because steaming is actually more drying than hydrating. Likewise, avoid steam rooms, swimming pools, chlorinated hot tubs and overly hot baths. Avoid those old-fashioned recommendations to put your face under a towel over a pot of boiling water. Not only will this lead to excessive drying, it can also cause broken capillaries or blood veins along the fragile skin of the cheeks and nose.
If your skin tends to be dry, and tight or wrinkled and sun spotted, avoid excessive sun, exposure or hot wax facial treatments, hair sprays and hair dyes that can dry your skin and provoke inflammation leading to dark spots.
Hormone replacement therapy can help to lessen skin dryness after Menopause though it will increase age spots due to new hormones stimulating pigment production. It may help prevent the wrinkles that quickly occur after menopause Consult with your doctor with your family health history to make an informed decision on HRT.