When do you need to start using skin care?
Pretty much as soon as puberty kicks in. This is the time when the body starts to experience the many changes that come with this cycle. On average, this can be any time from the age of 12.
As your body undergoes massive hormonal changes you’ll start to notice changes to your skin too. This is when most girls will start to use skin care products.
Use products with natural and botanical ingredients rather than chemical ones. Natural is far more gentle and less likely to aggravate your skin. Not only that, doesn’t it make sense to opt for things that come from nature to put on your face rather than ones cooked up in a lab!
Look for products that aim to balance skin to counteract all the imbalance that’s happening during this time. If you start to develop good skin care habits early it will help to avoid skin problems during the teen years and beyond.
What’s the real deal in terms of what I need to do to look after my skin?
1. Keep skin clean. Cleansing skin and using the right type of cleanser is the number one thing you can do for your skin. Alkaline cleansers or ones that contain (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) SLS strip surface oil from the skin, leaving it depleted. The oil glands respond by pumping out more oil to compensate, leading to skin that is out of balance and prone to problems.
Cleanse skin morning and night to remove dirt, grime and make-up, which, if left on skin, clogs pores and leads to skin congestion, often resulting in breakouts. Do not over-cleanse, which a lot of people with oily skin tend to do. Over-cleansing will again just act to dry out the skin surface and result in the skin trying to fix that problem by producing more oil.
2. Wash your face after exercising. This is very important. All that salty sweat is basically toxic waste (toxins) being released from your body. It is coming out of your body and you need to remove it by thoroughly rinsing your face with water until you can no longer taste the saltiness.
3. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Exfoliating skin is an essential part of a good skin care regimen. Exfoliating skin removes cells from the skin’s surface, not only immediately refreshing skin’s appearance but also stimulating cell renewal.
Everyone exfoliates naturally. About a million tiny skin cells fall off the body in a minute! By using an exfoliator, you are helping the body in this process. Exfoliating removes dull surface cells to reveal a healthier, more vibrant complexion.
Avoid abrasive scrubs on problem skin. If you have pimples, blemishes or acne, these can be easily opened up or irritated with the abrasive particles contained in some exfoliators. Like open wounds, harsh exfoliation can leave blemishes subject to even more infection, taking them longer to heal.
If you don’t have problem skin, a harsh exfoliator can create problems by over-stimulating the skin sebum, resulting in over-production of oil. Exfoliating is a vital step in a skin care regimen, but it should always be gentle exfoliation, which is why natural exfoliants are your best bet.
4. Moisturise your skin. Your skin is exposed to daily environmental stresses – sun, smoke, pollutants, highly processed foods. Moisturiser is your defence against these assaults. It works to protect the skin against attack, and to nourish, replenish and feed the skin with essential nutrients.
What’s the deal with pimple creams – do they work?
Yes, they work but you need to find the one that works for you.
As a general rule, those products designed to dry out pimples are very harsh and using them on skin that is infected only aggravates it. This tissue needs soothing, calming, antibacterial products, not harsh, caustic creams.
Many a teen girl has experienced using one of these products to find that they only make your skin red and aggravated and sometimes make the problem worse. Anything that is too harsh can aggravate your problem or lead to irritation.
Nature has an abundance of natural pimple-fighting ingredients – things like sea buckthorn berry oil, tea tree oil and neem oil, to name a few. All have proven benefits on pimples and oily skin. Stick to products that source pimple-fighting ingredients from plants and flowers and not chemicals.
Is it good to put essential oils on your skin?
Essential oils are the concentrated parts of plants produced for their own survival and protection from disease. These precious oils influence the plant’s growth and reproduction, ensuring a long and healthy life.
The structure of essential oils is close to that of the fluids and oils on our skin. They are readily absorbed and able to penetrate to the deepest layers. They are also proven to help correct problems such as wrinkles, excessive oiliness or dryness, blemishes and uneven skin tone.
Essential oils can promote the elimination of dead cells, regenerate new ones and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. So, are they good for your skin – you bet!
Now, you might think oil on oily skin – no way, but seriously, they are skin saviours. Different oils have different benefits – some designed to control oil production, balance skin and others to promote healing.
Do you need a toner as part of your skin care regimen?
Toners are also called astringents or clarifying lotions. These are claimed to tighten skin pores, reduce the size of enlarged pores, and ‘balance’ the production of oil in the skin.
Most of these products contain alcohol or natural ‘astringents’ that can actually be quite harsh on the skin. The alcohol can make the skin feel ‘refreshed’ or tight and clean (just like men’s aftershave lotions, which are also alcohol-based), but they do this by removing the oils from the skin, not by changing the size of the skin’s pores.
People with dry skin actually need the skin’s natural oils and can damage their skin by using toners or astringents. People with oily skin simply make their problem worse with these types of products by signalling the body to over-compensate and produce more oil.
Do natural ingredients contain preservatives?
There is no such thing as a preservative-free skin care product. Products claiming to be all-natural or organic do need to use preservatives to protect against bacterial contamination.
Without preservatives, your skin care products would get mouldy. As yet, there is not a highly effective all natural preservative so most skin products, even the natural ones, do use synthetic preservatives. But there are some preservatives that are milder and less irritating than others. As a general rule of thumb steer clear of products that use paraben preservatives
Does what you eat affect your skin?
For years experts have told us that there is no link between diet and pimples and then surprise, surprise just recently a major research report showed that teens that changed from a high fat, greasy diet to one high in fruit and vegetables experienced an incredible change in their skin.
In most cases, the pimples were significantly reduced. It kinda figures that you put bad stuff into your body then it will come out in the form of bad stuff – zits!
Does smoking and alcohol affect your skin?
Absolutely! Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes can dull the complexion and damage the quality of the skin.
This is because the nicotine in the tobacco smoke narrows the blood vessels taking oxygen to the skin via the bloodstream. The skin with less oxygen takes on a greyish tinge. Fine lines and wrinkles appear because the skin is dry and less elastic.
If you want gorgeous, glowing skin, dump the cigarettes.
Heavy binge drinking just totally dehydrates you and dehydrated skin will work overtime to pump up the volume on the oil factor and the result – really crappy skin.
So, there you have it – a little knowledge about your skin and the products out there and you are on your way to better skin!
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