Skin Care 101
When you decide to get serious about caring for your skin, the abundance of cleansers, creams, serums and treatments available can be baffling; add in the well-intended advice of family, friends and experts, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Here are 6 simple, helpful tips that even skincare newbies can follow.
Step 1: Keep your skin hydrated
For your face, choose a moisturizer that matches your skin type. For instance, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer is best. If your skin is flaky or dry, you can get away with a richer, creamier formula. Moisturizing the skin on your body is important, too. Apply body lotion, body butter, creams or oils after a bath or shower to lock in moisture.
Step 2: Know when to see a dermatologist
Many skin issues can be treated at home with over-the-counter products, but others require assistance from a specialist. If you have a skin condition that is unresponsive to home treatment or one that causes significant discomfort, make an appointment with a dermatologist for more help. These professionals can prescribe creams, ointments, pills or other medications and can provide advice for your unique situation.
Step 3: Choose The Right Skincare Products
Get in the habit of checking ingredient lists. Some skincare products, especially inexpensive ones, contain pore-clogging oils like mineral oil or petrolatum. Others have high levels of alcohol in them, which can irritate dry or sensitive skin.
Step 4: Experiment with natural remedies
For instance, tea tree oil has antiseptic properties, making it an excellent treatment for acne blemishes. Natural oils like olive oil and coconut oil are used to cleanse and moisturize skin as well. If your skin is oily, a mask made out of natural clay can help to absorb excess sebum and tighten your skin. Just remember that natural does not always equal safe, and be on the lookout for reactions to any product — natural or otherwise — that you use.
Step 5: Break your bad habits
Smoking, for instance, is awful for your skin. Not only does it contribute to the formation of premature lines and wrinkles, but it can impede the healing process, meaning that blemishes stick around longer. Another habit is resting your chin or face on your hands or holding your cell phone against your skin. All of these actions can transfer bacteria from your skin or phone to your face, leading to breakouts. Finally, stay out of the sun and tanning bed. Excess exposure to UV rays causes skin to look leathery, and it can lead to deadly forms of skin cancer, such as melanoma.
Step 6: Watch your diet
While pizza, fries and chocolate do not lead to acne or other skin troubles in and of themselves, a diet that lacks the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for healthy skin will leave your complexion looking dull. Include a variety of wholesome foods in your diet, and drink plenty of water; staying well-hydrated plumps your skin cells, leaving your skin looking smoother and more radiant.
Caring for your skin needn’t be daunting. By eating well, choosing skincare products wisely, minding your bad habits and knowing when to seek professional help, you can keep your skin healthy, calm and radiant.