Skin Care Basics
If you are just starting out on the path to natural skin care, you might feel just a little overwhelmed. However, as you start using natural skin care products you will fall in love with them. The incredibly gentle action of our natural ingredients is noticeable immediately, leaving your skin nurtured and pampered.
Synthetic perfumes do not come close to the scent of essential oils and you’ll probably find yourself noticing the difference more and more as you get used to the beautiful scents that nature has to offer. Our safe and natural skin care products are based on plant extracts and other natural ingredients. With formulations aimed at all skin types and ages there are products in our skin care range to suit everyone.
Benefits of a good skin care routine
Our outer being, our appearance, is largely determined by our skin. A healthy skin will not only project an image that we care for ourselves but will assist with those all important first impressions. There are many benefits to having a healthy skin. It will boost the self esteem through a feeling of well being, support our ability and confidence to interact with others and generally improve our daily activities. By not taking care of our skin we might look more mature than our real age and our appearance may be dull and lifeless. To achieve the benefits of a healthy and good looking skin an easy yet effective skin care routine can be adopted.
Categories of skin care products
Skin care products can be divided into different categories based on their uses.
Category 1: Type of skin
The products can be divided based on the type of skin they treat, whether it is normal, dry, oily, combination or sensitive skin. To find the most suitable product for your skin, you first need to determine what your skin type is. The skin’s condition and skin type are effected by many aspects such as hormonal changes, the climate in which you live, medications, stress levels and the way that you care for (or neglect) your skin. Your skin care routine and products that you choose are strongly influenced by the type of skin you have.
Category 2: Product function
Skin care products are also categorized by their use or specific function. Generally these are cleansers, toners, moisturisers and sunscreens.
Category 3: Specific treatment
Products can also be categorised according to the skin disorders they treat. The most common skin disorder that needs immediate treatment is acne. If you suffer from any kind of medical condition or skin disorder you should consult an expert before purchasing a product.
Category 4: Ingredients
Another category for skin care products is based on their ingredients. Some products have herbal and/or natural ingredients while others have synthetic and/or cosmetic ingredients. Always take time to study the list of ingredients printed on the label to avoid harmful substances.
There is no single correct method to classify or categorise the different skin types and even practitioners differ in the way they describe the skin types. However, most practitioners agree that skin types can be divided into 4 or 5 categories.
Category 1: Normal
This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, good circulation and healthy color.
Category 2: Dry
Dry skin feels tight, especially after cleansing and is associated with small pores. It has a tendency towards fine wrinkles, flaking and red patches. In women with darker skin colour, the skin may appear ashy or dull from dead skin buildup.
Category 3: Oily
Oily skin tends to be shiny with enlarged pores, and is prone to blackheads and blemishes.
Category 4: Combination
Combination skin is most common with an estimated 70% of women in this category. It exhibits traits of all three of the above skin types. Usually, the skin is oily in the T-zone and normal to dry elsewhere (the T-zone refers to the area of the forehead, nose and chin, forming the shape of the letter T).
Category 5: Sensitive
Some practitioners do not consider sensitive skin as a separate category. Sensitive skin tends to be thin and delicate with fine pores. It flushes easily, is prone to broken capillaries, is frequently allergic and can be rashy.
Aging or sun-damaged
Not a category in its own right, but worth a separate mention. This skin feels tight with visible wrinkles and slack skin tone (especially around the cheeks and jaw line) with leathery texture and broken capillaries.
Determining your skin type
Before you can decide about the most suitable product or product range for your skin care routine, it is necessary to determine your skin type. It is an easy and quick method. All you need is a clean piece of tissue to wipe with. When you wake up in the morning it is suggested that you wipe your face with the clean tissue and observe it. For those having normal skin, the oil does not come on the paper and your face does not feel tight or flaky. If your skin is oily then there would be oil on the tissue which is seen as transparent spots. The oil originates mostly from the nose, forehead and cheek parts. On the other hand if there is oil only in the center part then it is a combination skin. In such cases the oil comes off from the forehead and nose which is considered to be the oiliest part of the skin, but does not come from the cheeks. For those who have dry skin, there will be no oil on the tissue and the skin is left tight or stretched with a feeling or dryness as well as parched. People having sensitive skin can identify it when the skin tends to be tight and blotchy and reacts negatively to new products by becoming red, inflamed or even itchy.
Easy but effective skin care - step by step
An effective skin care routine need not be time-consuming, arduous or expensive. By following a few basic steps and finding just a few suitable, value-for-money products, your routine can be pleasurable.
Step 1: Cleanse (Daily)
Bar soaps are suitable for the body from the neck down and not for the face. A good cleanser, either a lotion or wash, is the answer. In the mornings and evenings, use lukewarm water to loosen dirt (after makeup has been removed with a proper remover). Use a small amount of cleanser, then rinse with lukewarm water. Never use cold or hot water since both can cause damage to the capillaries.
Toners are meant to remove all remaining traces of dirt, shrink the pores and balance the PH of the skin. Apply a small amount of toner to a cotton ball or a cotton pad. Avoid soaking the cotton so it leaves wet streaks on your face, but don’t leave the cotton so dry you don’t feel the toner being applied. Gently stroke the cotton across your face, making sure to reach the corners of the nose and the hairline. Allow the toner to be absorbed for a minute before applying your moisturiser.
Step 2: Exfoliate (Once to twice a week)
Exfoliation involves the removal of the oldest dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface and has been used for many years to help maintain the skin. Exfoliation is achieved through either mechanical (physical scrubbing) or chemical means. The easiest way to make exfoliation part of your skin care routine is to find a good scrub, one with small grains or preferably, one with micro spherical polishing beads. A gentle scrub can be done once or twice a week. Follow the instructions for use on the container.
If you want to add a beneficial step in your skin care routine, a weekly facial mask is a great addition. A mask augments the cleansing and exfoliating steps by further deep cleansing and tightening of the pores as well as adding to the exfoliating process. Do however ensure to find a mask suitable to your skin type and follow the instructions for use on the container.
Step 3: Moisturise (Daily)
A basic requirement for a healthy and good looking skin is to moisturise. It can benefit any skin type because moisturisers seal moisture into the skin. Your skin will tell you how much moisturiser it needs – when the skin feels tight, it needs moisture.
The easiest way to make moisturiser part of your skin care routine, is to find a day and night cream. Purchase one for the night and one for the day that includes some form of sun protection. By using a day cream with sun protection the next and last step could potentially be passed over.
Step 4: Protect against the sun (Daily)
The last but very important step in an effective skin care routine is to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. If you use a day cream with good sun protection it might suffice. Otherwise it is recommended that a sunscreen be applied.