Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Skin Care 101

My skincare regimen has always been pretty consistent since I started getting acne around the age of 12 years old. I religiously cleanse and moisturize my face twice a day: in the morning when I wake up, and right before I go to sleep. In summer, I use a lighter, non-greasy moisturizer with an SPF of at least 10, and in winter, I use a heavier moisturizer that helps with dry skin. I generally switch up my cleanser every 3 months or so. It's weird, but if I stick to one product for too long, my skin becomes immune to it and starts breaking out. I use lukewarm water when cleansing. I gently pat my face dry witha  towel, because rubbing it with a towel strips it of moisture. I also drink a lot of water throughout the day. These are simple tips you can follow to better skin care.

I do a facial mask or scrub about once a week (you don't want to do scrubs more than that because you will end up damaging your skin or severly drying it out). I also use toner (usually with witch hazel) after rinsing off the mask, to calm and soothe my skin, before applying moisturizer. Remember, cleanse, tone, moisturize, and let it be your mantra.

I met this lady over the weekend who was an esthetician. I have to say that I really was impressed by what she had to say, and she knew really her stuff. She also surprised me with some of the things she knew. The biggest piece of advice she gave me was for my age group (mid to late 20s), the best things for your skin are to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. I was relieved, because that is already my motto.

There were some new things that I learned and wanted to share. She also told me apricot scrubs are really bad for your skin long term. I was horrified, thinking of the one sitting in my shower at this very moment. She explained that if you look at an apricot scrub under a microscope, it has little hooks on it, and these hooks tear away the barrier of your skin over time and can cause permanent damage, like those brown spots old people get. YIKES! I will never use this again!
She also told me that a lot of chemical peels that people get done at spas are so bad for your skin, and sometimes can put people in the hospital due to burns. Also, there are only 2 legitimate esthetician schools in Wisconsin, and all the others teach that this information about burns and side effects from chemical peels is often times left out to clients at spas. Scary! I have never had one of those done, but it definitely freaked me out. It also got me thinking, what other products am I using currently that could be potentially harming my body? Taking care of your body and skin is so vital because sometimes the damage that can occur from things like the weather, sun, smoking, etc. is irreversible and irreparable. Also, just because something claims to be all-natural does not mean it is the best or healthiest choice for you. She told us that as Wisconsinites, we are extra sensitized due to the harsh cold and winters we experience.

Also, most facial cleansers you find on store shelves are loaded with colors and fragrances, which can be irritating to skin. Along those same lines, using soap is not a good option as a facial cleanser because it is very drying. I am going to go back and get a skin assessment to identify the major problems I have. Mine are for the most part blackheads in my T-zone and a bit of rosacea (pinkish pigment). She does free consultations, and she also does problem area sessions for only $35, which is not bad at all.

Finally, she told me that women begin to use 1% of their collagen every year after 30, and 2% every year after menopause. That only gives me a solid 3 more years before my collagen starts to really deplete. Nooooo!

The lady left me with some great samples to try by a skincare line she swears by, Dermalogica. No artificial fragrances or color is used in these products. I only used these products a few times so far, but I love them already and probably will end up buying them (or asking for the for Christmas!) Here are the ones she gave me to try and a little bit about each one:

Ultracalming cleanser, great for calming sensitive skin (and rosacea)

Daily microfoliant, which is a formula that smooths and makes your skin look like porcelain. It is a powder that you mix with water and apply to your skin, continuously moving it around until it soaks in.

And finally, barrier repair, which is a great moisturizer that feels super light and doesn't make your skin greasy. It melts into your skin on contact.

I am going to do some research on more skincare treatments at spas and such and will do future posts on this topic also.

Remember, it's never too early to start taking care of your skin.

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