Once again I will reiterate the importance of a skin analysis. You cannot effectively take care of your skin if you do not know what type it is and its requirements. It is possible for you to get a free skin analysis that will at least set you in the right direction where your regimen is concerned.
For those who now know their skin type and want to go product shopping, here are few pointers for you:
READ THE LABEL
Since you need to know the ingredients that go into food production, the same applies with your facial products and these are the ingredients you are looking out for and should avoid:
Hydroquinone — this is a skin lightener and is considered contra band. It over-sensitises the skin and thins it out. I am sure we all have, at some point, seen women with really dark hands but with a face that is ridiculously light and sometimes looking pink, like it has been cooked. There is a reason it can be found on the black market and not in the stores or pharmacies.
Alcohol — it dries out the skin. Alcohol is highly flammable so you can imagine putting it on your skin then going out into the sun. Your skin can only burn.
Parabens — these are chemicals that preserve the products. These have been said to cause cancer. Look for houses that are going green and substituting chemical preservatives with natural less harmful ones.
If you are concerned about testing on animals you can also check the back of the bottle to see that it says “no animal testing”.
IF YOU CAN ONLY AFFORD ONE PRODUCT
The five products I suggested in the first article of this series may be a little costly and given that most of the instore brands contain one of the above ingredients (especially alcohol, if you are using products for oily skin), it would mean you would need to buy from one or the more expensive houses.
You can compromise on your face wash as that will go down the drain, you can even compromise on your toner, but not on your day cream. It stays on your skin all day so needs to be of the best quality. You will be able to use the same day cream for at least three months. If you can only afford one product, let it be your day cream.
Purchase a day cream that includes an SPF. It may not be very high but it is better than nothing. You can also buy a two-in-one cleanser. It will cleanse and tone. When applying day cream the correct quantity is pea-size.
Apply in an upward motion against gravity. Any excess day cream should be applied to the neck against gravity.
Quick tip — Alcohol
If your toner contains alcohol, do not apply it to your neck. Our necks have no oil glands so they are naturally dry hence you can tell someone’s age by looking at their neck. Alcohol will only exacerbate the dryness. Perfume also contains alcohol therefore do not apply it to exposed skin as it will burn in the sun and result in pigmentation on your décolletage and chest.
Quick tip — Transition phase
When you switch from one product to another you may develop a rash. If that is the case, discontinue use immediately as you are experiencing an adverse reaction to some of the ingredients. But when your skin breaks out, this is a normal reaction and will pass so continue using the product.
Do’s and don’ts as you care for your skin
DO. . .
lDrink plenty of water
ltake Zinc and Magnesium supplements for oily skin
ltake Zinc and Magnesium supplements for acne
ltake Vitamin E capsule an Flaxseed oil for dry skin
lEat vegetables and fruit of a variety of colours as they contain antioxidants that are good for your skin.
Dr Marilyn Glenville put this oxidation process simply, “imagine an apple cut in half and left to brown by the air — that’s what free radicals do to your body, they kind of make it rust”. Free radicals breakdown collagen and elastin resulting in premature ageing.
DO NOT . . .
lSmoke. This is terrible to your skin.
lWash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face or leaning on your hands
lGo to bed with your make- up on. Follow the night-time regimen.
All the best and age beautifully.