What is Skin Care?
Skincare is the steps you take to look after your skin. The products you choose to use on your skin, including the choice of skin protection from too much sun, and environmental damage; Your intake of food and nutrition, and water can all support and enhance the skin and its appearance, or can weaken it and cause damage. As the largest organ of your body, if you look after your skin, it will look after you. It is your skin that protects you from outside pathogens. And, in the same way that you take care of the other parts of yourself, your skin requires some attention to keep it functioning properly.
These steps are for anyone who is curious about what it means or what it takes to have an effective routine when it comes to taking care of your skin!
The three basic skin-care steps when using products are:
- Applying sunscreen
Your morning routine should include basics steps: washing or spritzing your face with a cleanser, putting on a moisturiser, then wearing a sunscreen.
TIP: Use a moisturiser and/or sunscreen that has a minimum 30 SPF and broad-spectrum protection.
When choosing a sunscreen, you have the options of a chemical sunscreen or a physical/mineral/natural (all means the same thing).
- Chemical Sunscreen: has a synthetic chemical ingredient called avobenzone, that absorbs the sun’s UV rays, converts them to an energy, then it releases them in the form of heat. The problem with this, is that its protection only lasts 30 minutes. This means other chemical ingredients must be used in the sunscreen. One of these ingredients is Octocrylene, which is a known endocrine/hormonal disruptor…not good for those who suffer with acne. This can cause skin cell damage and increase the risk of cancer. Studies show that using octocrylene in sunscreen creates more of those pesky free radicals that cause us to age prematurely, than if you used nothing at all and were exposed to the sun.
- Physical Sunscreen: has natural mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide which forms a barrier that blocks the sun’s rays. For those who are label savvy, you will know that as well as being natural and better received by the skin, despite the sometimes white/grey hue that takes a while to rub in, zinc oxide doesn’t breakdown in the sun, doesn’t release free radicals, doesn’t cause premature skin ageing, doesn’t cause skin cancer and as an added bonus, it is also coral friendly if you want to go for a swim in the sea.
Your bedtime routine might include additional steps if you wear makeup or a sunscreen that needs reapplying during the day. You may find that your usual cleanser doesn’t get all your makeup off or still leaves you feeling kind of greasy. In that case, you may benefit from double cleansing without over cleaning or causing the face to feel and look overly dry.
- Double Cleansing is a process in which you first apply an oil-based cleanser directly to the skin (and possibly wipe clean with a warm wet flannel). You follow this by wetting the skin on the face and then applying a water-based cleanser or micellar water to remove anything that was left behind.
After cleansing, it’s time to apply any toners or serums, before ending your routine with a good moisturiser.
Just as using a sunscreen is important to protect your skin from the sun, you should use a moisturiser to help protect your skin from environmental damage whilst at the same time it will help prevent the skin becoming too dry, or too oily. Both these extremes can cause eczema, acne or premature ageing with fine lines and wrinkles.
Keeping your skincare routine simple is best. When introducing any new skincare, it is safer to only make one change at a time in case your skin has a bad reaction. This way, you know exactly what product your skin was sensitive to. Personally, I don’t use anything on my face that has any added fragrance, whether it is synthetic or natural, as i end up with eczema, or a rash of some sort.
If you are looking at ways to look after the skin that don’t include the skincare products in your routine, then the amount of water you drink to keep your body and skin hydrated and the food choices we make are of the utmost importance.
As an adult, aim for no less than one and a half litres of water a day, and depending on your body size or even what activities you are taking part in that day i.e., exercise or any activity that makes you sweat you could even push it to over three litres.
When it comes to your food and if you are taking your skin health seriously, then keeping away from ultra-processed and processed junk foods are a necessity. The more natural the food and the more anti-inflammatory the food, the more your skin will thank you for it.
I often notice that people who eat a mainly plant based, and natural wholefood diet have the best skin. My skin is far from perfect as I cheat, but when I do eat meat, I try to limit my pasture raised or organic meat and line caught fish eating to two days a week. I keep away from gluten and animal milk, and I aim to have at least organic or locally produced vegetables covering half my plate. As I have a sweet tooth, I use dates or locally produced honey as a sweetener and my guilty pleasure is salted plain crisps, roasted nuts, or chips, which I try and save for the weekend.
See…no one said you have to be perfect…you just need to try your best for your skin, so give it a go.
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