Keeping your skin looking its best is not easy at all. There are so many things these days that can damage your skin and contribute to premature aging. Things like air pollution, smoking, lack of sleep, and UV rays from the sun can all damage your skin. A simple skin care regime can help to lessen or even temporarily prevent the impact of these damaging elements.
Aside from a basic skin care routine you may have one or more aspects of your lifestyle that could be changed to improve your skin. The most major is quitting smoking, as well as being bad for your health smoking is bad for your skin, particularly the skin of your face and hands. While extending your life dropping cigarettes will also keep you looking better. There are also some less difficult changes you may be able to make. Who doesn’t want to get more sleep right? Well getting a proper amount of sleep will make you feel better and help your skin look better. You may not be getting enough water daily, keep in mind eight glasses is the recommended intake. Eating an unhealthy unbalanced diet can contribute to bad skin. Try to eat better, cutting back on fast food, add more vegetables to your meals.

The first 3 basic secrets:

A) Cleansing is the key

You need to find a good cleanser that your skin responds well to, and stick with it. Avoid bar soaps as they tend to dry out the skin. Most cleansers contain oil, water and ‘surfactants’. The oil dissolves oil on your face, surfactants dissolve dirt and makeup and the water washes it.The secret is finding the right mix of oil.Too much on your skin will clog pores, while too little will dry it out. This is why you need to know your skin type.Be careful not to cleanse too often. Washing at night should do you. While some skincare experts swear you should cleanse skin with creamy cleansers that you wipe off with a tissue, never letting water touch your skin (some hard waters are especially hard on skin), we prefer the water method. In the morning, a splash of lukewarm water is all you need (we find it’s great for removing excess oils from your nightly moisturizing). Never wash your face with hot or cold water (both can cause broken capillaries
Here’s the best way to wash your face: Use warm water to loosen dirt and clogged pores. Use a dime-sized bit of cleanser, then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. You’ll also want to take off your makeup with a proper makeup remover.

B) Exfoliate thoroughly

Exfoliation is the step most people skip in their weekly skincare routine. But trust me, if you start properly exfoliating your skin, you will notice an almost immediate difference. One of the reasons men’s skin looks more youthful than women’s is because men tend to exfoliate daily when they shave. There are several ways to exfoliate skin: Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and retinoids. Scrubs work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that tend to dull your complexion. We find exfoliating skin once a week with a microdermabrasion kit keeps skin glowing year-round. Make sure you use a gentle scrub with tiny grains. Big grains in cheap scrubs can tear skin and cause more harm than good..

In the hour it takes to get a chemical peel, you can take off five years from your face. Can’t afford the pricetag for a monthly peel? Try some over-the-counter peels that work over the course of a month.
Should you use a toner? Some people swear by toners, but many beauty experts do not (I once read a skincare expert claim, ‘toners are only for copy machines’). Toners are meant to remove all remaining traces of oil, makeup and dirt, but a good cleanser should do this.

C) Moisturize

A basic law of beauty is that everyone, no matter her skin type, should moisturize. Even if your skin is oily, it will benefit from moisturizer. (The only exception is those with acne). Why? Moisturizers seal moisture into skin effect’). So how much should you moisturize? Your skin will tell you. When your skin is tight, it’s crying out for moisture. Be careful not to overmoisturize — this can cause clogged pores. For the skinny on great moisturizers for your skin type, check out this article.

How to choose the Best Skin Products?

Your face is the first thing that people notice when they meet you. So, it is no wonder that skin care is big business! Millions are spent each year to treat acne, under eye circles, wrinkles, discolorations, and a variety of other ailments. If you are in the market for a skin care line, there are a few things that you should consider before settling on a product. First you need to look at the type of ingredients the product contains, and then find out what works best for your particular skin type. So, get ready to put your best face forward!
A good skin care product is only as good as its ingredients. Make sure to read the label before you buy. If you are unable to pronounce anything on the bottle, move on to something else. The best skin care products are made with natural ingredients. Look for a formula with Aloe Vera and vitamin E for a great complexion. You want a skin care line that keeps you looking your best, while feeling great on your skin. Cleansers and creams shouldn’t burn or sting. Depending on your skin type, you may find that formulas that contain alcohol can actually aggravate your problem. So do your homework beforehand. If you have a specific problem like acne or sun damage, you will want to find a skin care line that focuses on your problem areas. Benzyl peroxide has been known to work wonders on acne, while alpha-hydroxy helps improve the appearance of wrinkles or sun damage.
If you have dry skin, you will want to find a formula that helps replenish the moisture in your face. Products made with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E are particularly good at this. Look for skin care lines that come in a cream or a lotion form. A good humidifier used at night may also help improve your complexion. Always remember that excess washing can actually dry your face out further, so limit your washings to once or twice a day.
If you are plagued by oily skin, you may find that acne is a major problem for you. Here again excess washing can aggravate the problem, so limit washings to once or twice a day. Follow up your skin care routine with a quality astringent or toner. This will help control the amount of oil on your face, and reduce the number of breakouts.
Combination skin can be a tricky situation. You have patches of dry skin as well as oilier regions. Look for a formula that is specifically designed for your type of skin. Oil absorbing masks applied to the T-zone (your forehead, nose, and chin) once a week will help control oil and breakouts.

Are Natural Skin Products really the best choice?

Natural skin care products seem to be on the rise recently.
If you’re spending very little, odds are you are getting a watered down or poorly manufactured version of the primary natural ingredient you are looking to receive skin repair benefits from. Natural skin products must contain a high enough concentration and quality of the essential nutrients, vitamins or compounds they advertise in order to have any effect at all in most cases. Here is a summary of a few of the most potent natural skin care products.

1)Dimethylaminoethanol

This natural compound, found naturally in the skin of fish (especially wild salmon)is known for providing excellent collagen support to the outermost layers of skin (the most important since this is what shows on the surface!). The results are tighter, firmer skin and agreat reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. It also is known for helping to reduce age spots (liver spots), and is a well known memory and concentration enhancer.

2) Alpha Lipoic Acid

This natural acid is a very potent antioxidant that eliminates free radicals, one of the primary factors in the aging of skin and breakdown of skin elasticity. When applied externally and taken internally as a skin supplement, it can dramatically improve skin’s appearance within a matter of just a few weeks.

3) Vitamin C

Well, Vitamin C truly is the miracle cure vitamin! Topical Vitamin C protects the skin from sun damage, and even helps reverse the effects of photodamage (sun damage) on the skin. It protects from sun damage(in conjunction with a sunscreen of course), by neutralizing free radicals. Vitamin C is actually the only antioxidant that is proven to increase the production and synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C is an absolute must-have in your skin care regimen regardless of your skin type.

4) Retinol

Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A. It helps the skin regenerate and rejuvenate in a healthy manner and is especially effective on sensitive skin since it does not cause redness or peeling.

When to See a Dermatologist?

Some conditions are pretty exclusively treated by a dermatologist. These include severe forms of common diseases such as acne, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea. Also included are uncommon diseases such as pemphigus, porphyria, and cutaneous lupus. Finally, most skin cancers are treated by a dermatologist, sometimes in conjunction with a surgeon.

A few Skin problems and their solutions

Symptoms of Sensitive Skin

• Tingling, tightening, cutaneous discomfort without visible signs.
• Easily reacts to products
• Overreaction to external factors: shaving, stress, aesthetic procedures,…
• Diffuse redness, drying, recurrent irritation of the skin.
Sensitive skin is often a marker for other skin conditions. Here are 3 profiles of intolerant or sensitive skin:
1) Skin altered temporarily due to aesthetic or dermatological procedures

  • Mechanical procedures: shaving, waxing, medications (accutane, retin-a type creams)
  • Environment: heat, cold, wind, pollution,…
  • Aesthetic procedures: laser, chemical peels, dermabrasion
Dermatological solution:
  • Avoid irritants, occlusive ointments

2) Allergic skin

  • Contact dermatitis: Sudden appearance of erythema and edema (redness and swelling), accompanied by itchiness.
  • Atopic Ezema- a very common cause
Dermatological solution:
  • Prevent dryness/moisturize
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Topical immunomodulators
  • Antihistamines
  • Avoidance of the allergen

3) Rosacea skin

  • Diffuse redness, small visible blood vessels, skin dryness
Dermatological solution:
  • Medical therapy
  • Laser
  • Changes in the patient’s lifestyle

Sources: WebMd, Dermatology About, Iresourceshub

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