The Benefits of Skin Care

You may not be thinking too much about your skin care routine or the skin care products that you use, but the truth is that you should be. Our skin is the largest organ in the body, and it works hard to protect our bodies from many different harmful elements. Developing a routine to care for your skin will help this organ to do its job better and for longer.

As we age it is important to consider changing your routine to focus on different things to prevent the signs of aging or other skin issues that can arise over time. There are many different products that can be incorporated into your routine based on your age, skin type and issues you want to address such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness and acne.

Why it is Important to Have a Skin Care Routine

Here are just a few basic reasons it is important to establish a skin care routine:

Skin sheds itself constantly – Our skin cells shed pretty much every minute of every day, which means the healthy skin you might see today will be shedding off tomorrow. If you don’t care for your skin, you could end up revealing dull, less than perfect skin once it sheds.

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Everyone’s skin type is different – What works well for one person may not work the same for another. Because of this, your skin may require more care than someone else’s. This is why it is important to establish a routine specifically for your skin to keep it as healthy as possible.

Healthy, beautiful skin is a lifelong process – Ensuring that you still have gorgeous skin 30 years from now means making choices today that will help that happen. Maintaining your skin is a lifelong process, and developing a daily skin care routine with high-quality skin care products will help you keep your skin beautiful for the future. Just the same, negative habits and skin care routines that you have now can lead to less healthy skin in the future.

It is easier to prevent – It is much easier to take steps to prevent potential skin problems now than trying to fix skin issues in the future. If you take the time to establish yourself a skin care routine daily now, you will save time spent seeing dermatologists or addressing skin issues as a result of neglect down the road.

Skin care routines save money – It seems like this would be the opposite since many skin care products can be somewhat costly, but when you properly take care of your skin, you can avoid issues down the line that can be even more expensive to treat. Things like acne scars, deep wrinkles, skin discoloration, or other skin issues, can be prevented and improved without trips to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Looking good helps you feel good – Having healthy, clear skin helps boost your confidence and since your face is the first part of you that others see, you want to be sure you put your best face forward.

Most skin care routines involve similar steps, but you can interchange the skin care products that you use to customize your regimen specifically for your skin. Learn more about the different parts of a healthy skin care routine below.


 Cleanse

It may seem like common sense, but cleansing your skin twice a day is critical to keeping it looking and feeling healthy. There are several reasons that this is an essential part of any good skin care regimen:

Remove Build Up

Facial cleansing removes dirt, oil, and other unwanted debris. All day long the skin on our faces is continually covered with pollutants, bacteria, dirt, viruses and old (dead) skin cells. Washing your face daily removes these impurities and gives your skin a fresh look. If you did not wash your face regularly, your skin would be covered with a thick layer of dirt and grime which would clog your pores and make it difficult for skincare products to properly penetrate the skin.

Increase Hydration

When you cleanse your skin, it helps manage its PH levels, enabling sufficient water and product retention. Cleansing your skin regularly, along with using a good moisturizer, is also an important factor for helping the skin maintain a proper level of hydration. When your skin is dehydrated it looks and feels rough, aged and wrinkled.

Keep Skin Clear

There are small glands under our skin that produce an oil called sebum, which protects the skin from the dangers of our outside environment. Hair follicles within the skin are used as a pathway by these glands, and the oil is able to reach the skin’s surface where it forms a barrier that prevents the penetration of bacteria or other harmful elements.

When excessive amounts of dirt build up on the surface of the skin, it can cause blockages of the hair follicle, which traps sweat, sebum and dead skin cells. The resulting lack of sebum on the surface of the skin allows bacteria to then penetrate the follicle, causing inflammation and leading to acne.

Cleansing your skin properly clears pores of debris and prevents dirt buildup. This allows the sebum oil to reach the skin surface without anything blocking it, decreasing the chances of having a breakout.

What If You Stopped Washing?

If you completely stopped washing your face your pores would become clogged resulting in the development of serious acne. The skin could also experience a combination of severe redness, dryness and irritation from insufficient hydration. Finally, your skin would generally appear dirty, oily, greasy and significantly aged.

Most likely you would develop an incredible itchiness; to the point where you would be forced to constantly scratch your face. This could lead to breaks of the skin which serve as entry points for infection. Moral of the story: practice proper skin cleansing!

Some Other Benefits of Cleansing

  • Regular cleansing is essential to keeping your skin looking radiant and healthy.
  • Allows anti-aging products and treatments to penetrate the skin and work properly.
  • Helps maintain proper pore size.
  • Encourages proper skin hydration and prevents the production of excess oils.

How to Choose the Right Facial Cleansers

We know that there are so many different skin care products choose from that it can be overwhelming. Here are some simple tips to help you select a great skin cleanser:

  • First, you need to be sure that you choose a cleanser that’s a good match for your skin type. People with dry skin should avoid cleansers that have a high alcohol content. If you have oily skin you will need a cleanser with a lower PH level. Sensitive skin needs a basic cleanser without any heavy fragrances and/or additives.
  • The delivery of the cleanser matters when it comes to different skin types as well. Gel or foamy cleansers are better for oily skin types, while cream cleansers are great for dry skin.
  • If you tend to wear a lot of makeup, you should look for a cleanser that is targeted toward makeup removal.
  • People who sweat a lot from exercise, being outside etc on a regular basis should look for a product that focuses on clogged pores.
  • “Natural” cleansers that are free of synthetic ingredients are good options for those with allergies. The majority of cleansers that are labeled “gentle” are great at removing dirt from the skin without over drying and irritating it.
  • You can help to maintain your skins natural balance by selecting a cleanser with a balanced PH.
  • Take your time comparing skin care products, as well as looking at reviews. Here are some of our favorite cleansers:

Treat

After you cleanse your face, this is the time you want to use targeted skin care products to treat different skin issues you want to focus on improving. Many of these products are lighter creams or serums, which should be applied before your moisturizer or sun care products in order to get the optimal absorption and penetration of the product for the best results.

Anti-Aging

  • Retinol is a vitamin-A derivative that is used to treat wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, crepiness, dullness, sagging skin – you name it. Retinol sweeps away the dead cells that cause dullness, speeds up cell turnover and boosts collagen and elastin by stimulating cellular repair. It also increases blood-vessel formation, which increases circulation and makes skin looks healthier. Retinols are powerful exfoliants that shed dead and problematic layers of skin and turn over younger, healthier cells. They also help increase the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen, which makes skin more smooth and supple. Retinol is often touted as a skin care miracle because of its ability to treat acne, improve the firmness of skin, reverse signs of sun and environmental damage and reduce hyperpigmentation, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids are derived from fruit and milk and include lactic acid (milk), glycolic acid (sugar cane) and malic acid (apples and pears), among others. AHAs work to exfoliate the skin and make it more radiant. They also smooth lines, help fade blotches and allow other anti-aging ingredients to penetrate faster and work more effectively.
  • Peptides are active proteins that communicate with and instruct cells to behave in particular ways. Peptides can signal elastin production in the skin, which helps it to “bounce back.” They can also prompt skin to heal itself after being wounded. Anti-aging products use peptides to enter skin cells and instruct them to do things like alleviate redness, produce collagen or signal muscles to relax, minimizing wrinkles. Other peptides in products don’t directly cause your skin to do anything, but because they are so small they can act as a delivery mechanism for other ingredients by penetrating deep into the layers.

Hyperpigmentation

  • Hydroquinone goes a long way to even out sun spots, blotches and mottled skin. It’s the most effective ingredient for bleaching skin and works to fade hyperpigmentation by blocking the enzyme that triggers melanin production in the skin.
  • Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that plays a role in combating dark spots. It helps to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase that is involved with melanin production. Vitamin C also promotes healthy, glowing skin and significantly lightens pigmentation, but does not lighten normal skin color.

Redness/Rosacea

Acne

Many over-the-counter and prescription skin care products that are used to treat acne contain salicylic acid. Salicylic is a beta-hydroxy acid that penetrates into pores to reduce blackheads and whitehead with less irritation than alpha-hydroxy acids. It accomplishes many of the same goals as alpha-hydroxy acids that are commonly used in skin care, such as lactic acid and glycolic acid, but it is used in a much weaker concentration. Acne products can contain as much as 30% alpha-hydroxy acids, but the results can be achieved with just 0.5% to 2% salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works by loosening and breaking apart attachments between cells in the outer layers of the skin called desmosomes. This encourages exfoliation of the skin and unclogging of pores. This gentle removal of dead skin does more than just open pores, salicylic acid also increases cell turnover, makes the skin grow faster, increases collagen production and helps to fill in indentations in the skin. Salicylic acid is also lipophilic, which means it can penetrate clogged pores and oily skin, providing deep cleaning. Another way salicylic acid can help reduce acne is by reducing sebum secretion. This makes it best for use on oily skin, as too much salicylic acid can dry out the skin. Lastly, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help calm inflamed acne.

Moisturize

Just like with cleansers, different skin types will have different needs for a moisturizer. It is also great when your moisturizer has ingredients that can help with other skin issues. Two ingredients we like to look for in moisturizers are:

  • Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body that maintains skin’s moisture and elasticity, lubricates connective tissue and regulates cell renewal. When used topically in skin care products, hyaluronic acid creates a barrier of moisture on the skin, making it smoother and softer. Hyaluronic acid is able to produce amazing benefits for dehydrated skin due to its ability to hold up to 1000x its own weight in water.
  • Moisturizers with Alpha Hydroxy Acids are great for oily/acne prone skin, and they also help with anti-aging. If you’re prone to acne, be sure to look for a non-comedogenic facial moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.

Protect

The best way to prevent the aging of your skin is with sunscreen. It keeps skin from prematurely wrinkling, sagging, and getting blotchy. Harmful UV rays destroy collagen and elastin fibers and damage your DNA, so you will want to choose a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin. Be sure to wear sunscreen daily, even if you are not going to the beach. We are in the sun several times throughout the day, sometimes even when we are inside if the windows are open.


Maintain

A lot of what is done with skin care products is a type of chemical exfoliation, which helps to rid your skin of dead skin cells and reveal new ones. Regular physical exfoliation at home with things like facial scrubs can help your facial products penetrate deeper and leave your skin smoother and fresher looking.

While an at-home skin care regimen can help to greatly improve the condition of your skin, sometimes you need to do more to get the results you are looking for. Visiting a professional for treatments such as chemical peels can help you more rapidly achieve greater results, which can then be maintained with your at home regimen and maintenance treatments.


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