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What is Natural skin care?

June 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Put simply, ‘natural skin care’ is caring for your skin in a natural and chemical-free way. ‘Natural skin care’ advocates enabling the skin to take care of itself (without any assistance from synthetic materials/ chemicals). ‘Natural skin care’ is about inculcation of good habits in the way you lead your day to day life. A lot of natural skin care measures are actually the same as those for body care in general.

So let’s see what these natural skin care measures are.

Well the first and the foremost natural skin care measure is – ‘Drink a lot of water’.  Around 8 glasses of water is a must everyday. Water helps in flushing out the toxins from the body, in a natural way. It helps in the overall upkeep of the body and promotes good health for all organs (not just skin).

General cleanliness is another inexpensive way of natural skin care.  Daily shower, wearing clean clothes and sleeping on a clean mattress/pillow are all part of general cleanliness. After all, clean skin is the key to keeping the skin disorders at bay.

Regular exercise is the next thing on the cards. Exercise increases the flow of blood that helps in getting rid of body toxins and keeping you healthy.  Exercise also helps in beating stress which is the worst enemy of good health.

Healthy food and eating habits are also recommended for natural skin care.  Some type of food (e.g. oily food) is know to cause acne and should be avoided as much as possible. Your diet should be a healthy mix of various nutrient providing foods. Raw fruits and vegetables are known to provide freshness to your body and help in getting rid of body toxins.

A good sleep is also instrumental in maintaining good health and in beating stress. As a natural skin care measure, a good sleep delays slacking of skin.

Beating stress is another natural skin care therapy. Stress causes overall damage to body and health. Drinking a lot of water, getting a sound sleep and exercise has already been mentioned as stress busters. Indulging in a warm bubble bath, listening to music and playing your favourite sport are also good ways of beating stress. Yoga is yet another way of beating stress; it is fast gaining popularity amongst the masses.

Avoiding excessive exposure to sun (by wearing long sleeved clothes, hat and umbrella etc), is another natural skin care strategy. Sunscreen lotions are also recommended as necessary.

A lot of traditional and home made natural skin care products/ measures are also known to be very effective. Such measures are not only natural and easy-to-follow, but also relatively inexpensive.

Besides that, a lot of natural skin care products are available in the commercial market. These include things like lavender oil, aloe vera etc., which don’t have any side effects.

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Vitamin C skin care – The challenge

June 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Vitamin C is often regarded as a wrinkle fighter or an anti-aging agent. The main objective of ‘Vitamin C skin care’, in scientific terms, is to increase the synthesis of collagen (a structural protein that is found in skin).  The additional benefit of ‘Vitamin C skin care’ is related to its capability of countering free radicals which cause damage to the skin.

Vitamin C skin care, however, faces a major challenge today. This is related to the oxidation tendency of Vitamin C skin care products. On coming in contact with any oxidising agent (e.g. air), the Vitamin C in the Vitamin C skin care products,  gets oxidised; thus making the Vitamin C skin care product useless (in fact counter-effective). The oxidised Vitamin C imparts a yellowish-brown colour to the Vitamin C skin care product. This is something that you need to check before buying a Vitamin C skin care product. Even after you buy a Vitamin C skin care product, you need to store it properly and keep checking that it’s still good to use (i.e. it hasn’t attained a yellowish-brown texture).

The manufacturers of Vitamin C skin care products have tried to deal with this (oxidation) problem in multiple ways (and research on Vitamin C skin care products is on the top of their list). One such method of retaining effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products for a long term is to keep a high concentration (say 10%) of Vitamin C. However, this makes the Vitamin C skin care products even more expensive. The Vitamin C skin care products are already pretty inexpensive and making them even more expensive will throw the product manufacturers out of business. The other way is to use Vitamin C derivatives (like ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate). These are not only more stable but also inexpensive.  Even though the derivatives based products are not as effective as the Vitamin C skin care products, their stability against oxidation is a very desirable feature that makes them very attractive.  Moreover, these are known to be less irritating too.

Talking of effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products, it’s important to mention that not everyone responds to Vitamin C treatments. So it’s not a magic potion in any way.  If you don’t see a noticeable difference in your skin, it might be because of your skin not responding to Vitamin C treatment (and the Vitamin C skin care products might not be at fault, at all).

As more research goes on, one can only keep our fingers crossed and wait for a complete solution to the challenges faced by ‘Vitamin C skin care’ today.

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Top 10 skin care tips

June 12, 2011 1 comment

Healthy skin is really one of the most important ingredients for beauty-enhancement. This article on skin care tips is an effort to bring the 10 best skin care tips to you.  The list of skin care tips has been restricted to 10 because anything more that that would not only be difficult to remember, but also shadow the more important skin care tips. So let’s see what these top ten skin care tips are:
* Knowing your skin type is one of the most important skin care tip. This is important because not every skin care product suits everyone. In fact, all the skin care products specify the type of skin they cater too.
* ‘Drink a lot of water’. This will not keep your skin moist but will help in overall upkeep of your health (and in turn your skin). It might seem a bit awkward to some, however, this is an important skin care tip.
* Cleanse your skin regularly (1-2 times everyday).  A very effective skin care tip that helps in getting rid of the dirt and other harsh elements from your skin. Cleansing is especially important when you have been out of your house (and hence exposed to pollutants, dust etc). This skin care tip also advocates the use of Luke warm water for cleansing (hot and cold water, both, cause damage to your skin)
* Be gentle, after all it’s your skin. Don’t scrub/exfoliate too hard or too often. Similarly, don’t apply too much or too many skin care products. A must-to-follow skin care tip.
* Keep your skin moist at all times. This is one of the most important skin care tip.  Don’t let your skin get dry. Dryness causes the outer layer of your skin to break, leading to a rough and unattractive appearance. Use moisturisers/ emollients. Moisturisers work best when applied while the skin is still damp.
* Avoid the use of soap on your face. Soap should only be used from below the neck. A small but important skin care tip.
* Use sunscreen to protect yourself from sun’s harmful UV radiations. You can use day-time moisturisers that have sunscreen built into them. Use them even when it’s cloudy. UV radiations are known to cause skin cancer, so follow this skin care tip without fail.
* A bit of exercise and good sleep are essential too, not just for skin care but for your health as a whole. Lack of sleep can lead to formation of wrinkles below your eyes and lack of exercise can cause your skin to slack. Moreover, exercise and sleep also help in beating stress.  So besides being a skin care tip, this is also a health care tip.
* Treat skin dilemmas with care.  This skin care tip is about not ignoring any skin dilemmas. Consult your dermatologist before you go on to use a skin care product (lest you do end up harming your skin even more).
* Beat the stress. The harmful effects of stress are known to everyone, however, sometimes stating the obvious is essential too (and hence this skin care tip found its place here). Yes, stress harms skin too. So, take a break or indulge in a warm bubble bath or just get good sleep.

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Tips for make up and skin care

June 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Make up and skin care’ is generally regarded as women’s forte. Men seldom indulge in ‘Make up and skin care’. Many men do care for their skin but make up is really alien to most men. Treating make up and skin care as different topics wouldn’t make sense; after all, make up will work only if the skin is healthy. So how do you exercise make up and skin care, together? Here are some tips for make up and skin care:

* Always have skin care on mind, whether you are buying products for make up or actually applying them onto your skin after you have bought them. So what you are buying is a ‘make up and skin care’ product, not just a make up product. Check the ingredients to see if it contains things that you might be allergic to. Also check if it contains high concentration chemicals that can harm your skin.

* ‘Make up and skin care’ is also about testing the products before using them. So, apply the make up on a small patch of skin e.g. earlobes and check how your skin reacts to it.

* Keep track of expiry date on your make up products and never use them beyond the expiry date. In fact some products (e.g. vitamin C based products), if not stored properly, get spoilt much earlier than the expiry date.

* Cleanliness is an important part of make up and skin care procedure. Sharpen your eye-liners regularly and keep all your makeup equipment clean at all times. You might fix a date, each month, for overhauling of your equipment. As part of cleanliness, your make up and skin care procedure should also include keeping your hair clean at all times.

* Nail care is another important aspect of make up and skin care. Use a good quality nail polish and always keep your nails clean. Once you are done with cleaning and polishing your nails, you should rub in cuticle oil at the edges of the nail.

* If you have deep-set eyes, you should use a liquid eye liner instead of a pencil one. This will prevent smudging at the deep edges of your eye-lid.

* If you have a skin disorder e.g. acne, you should not apply heavy or chemical based make up. Consult your dermatologist if you are not sure about the make up products that you can use while you have acne or other skin disorder. Never try to squeeze pimples/ acne. Remember that make up and skin care should not conflict each other.

* Use a mild make up remover (instead of just washing it away).

* Another important ‘make up and skin care’ procedure is the following golden rule: “Never sleep with your make up on”

* While applying a deodorant, make sure that you maintain the recommended distance between the nozzle and your skin (as mentioned on the deodorant pack).

So, make up and skin care should always go hand in hand. Do not try to treat make up and skin care differently.

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Which is the best skin care product?

June 12, 2011 1 comment

There is really nothing like a best skin care product. There really can’t be anything like ‘The best skin care product’, because skin care products work differently for different people (based on the skin type to some extent). A product that is the ‘best skin care product’ for one person might end up being the worst for another person. So, a more logical question to ask would be ‘What is the best skin care product for my type of skin?’. However, this still is not completely logical. We tend to segregate people into 4 groups based on their skin types – i.e. dry skin, oily skin, normal skin and sensitive skin. However, this classification is just too broad to be used definitively in determining the best skin care product. We can say ‘best skin care product for a dry skin’ or ‘best skin care product for an oily skin’ are better statements than just ‘best skin care product’. But really, that is what it is – ‘better’; still not accurate.

So, it really comes to rephrasing the question to – ‘What is the best skin care product for me’. Yes, this is exactly the question that you should be asking, and unfortunately there is no easy answer for this. Arriving at the best skin care product for self will need some effort on your part.

First of all, you need to understand how the skin care products work. This is simple. You can consider all skin care products to be composed of 2 types of ingredients – Active and inactive. The active ingredients are the ones that actually work on your skin. The inactive ones just help in delivering these active ingredients to your skin. Both the ingredients need to work for your skin, in order for the product to be effective (and move on to become the best skin care product for you).

Besides the ingredients, the way you apply your skin care products is equally important. In fact, this is even more important. If you do not know how to apply skin care products, you might forever be hunting for the best skin care product for yourself, when that has already passed you. Moreover, it’s also important to decide on the frequency of application (of the skin care product). The environmental factors – temperature, humidity and pollution level, also affect the selection of best skin care product. Here are a few rules that you could use to ensure that your best skin care product is really the best for you:
* Cleanse your skin before applying that best skin care product.
* Use a makeup remover instead of plain water and remove your makeup before going to bed.
* The effectiveness of active ingredients is reduced when applied over another product e.g. over moisturiser. So apply that best skin care product first and then apply a bit of moisturizer if needed.
* Apply the products on moist and warm skin.
* You will have to experiment with a few products before you arrive at the one that is the best skin care product for you.
* Do not exfoliate too much or too hard.
* Vary your skin care routine as per the seasons (winter/summer etc), changes in environmental factors and changes in your skin type

Note that the best skin care product cannot be determined overnight. It’s only through experiment (and awareness) that you can find the ‘Best skin care product’ (for you).

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The importance of caring for your skin

June 11, 2011 Leave a comment

“Packaging is as important as the gift itself” – it’s something that most of the gift manufacturing companies follow very closely.  The same holds good for you too. Your outer-self i.e. your skin is as important as your inner-self. A lot of people do realise the importance of skin care. Well, this is one reason why there are so many skin care products in the market and most of the skin care products seem to do pretty well. We generally tend to associate skin care to just good looks. However, there is more to it than just that. There are multiple benefits associated with a healthy and glowing skin.

Firstly, it has a good effect on you yourself. It makes you feel fresh and energetic. You are able to do more work and are quicker with everything you do. More importantly, the freshness adds to your enjoyment and makes your day. So a healthy skin too plays its part in building confidence. Yes, you can take most of the credit for having achieved that (however, do leave a little for the skin care products too).

Moreover, this flow of positive energy is experience by people around you too and you observe that even they are friendlier with you. You get more respect from others. They are more responsive to your queries. They themselves experience the freshness that you are exuding. They love working with you and for you. Yes, that’s how it works. Some people might even go ahead and ask you about the skin care products you use (you might or might not reveal those secret skin care products to them). Thus, a healthy skin can be instrumental in creating a pleasant and friendly environment around you. On the other hand, carelessness or negligence on this front can make you look unattractive and dull. You will not only look dull but also feel dull. Your work efficiency is reduced. Even the people you meet might not be as friendly. In fact, it might lead to the aging process getting started much earlier.

Thus the importance of skin care cannot be ignored. However, skin care is not that difficult at all.  There are a lot of skin care products available and you can choose the ones that suit you the best. There are various ways in which skin care products are classified and the knowledge about these classifications will help you understand them better and make a selection.

* The first categorisation is based on the skin type – so you have skin care products for oily skin, skin care product for dry skin, skin care products for sensitive skin etc.

* Another way is to categorise skin care products based on their use e.g. you have moisturisers, cleansers, skin care products for exfoliation, toners etc.

* Then you have skin care products for treatment of various skin dilemmas i.e. skin care products for acne, skin care products for stretch marks, skin care products for anti-ageing  etc.

* Another classification is based on the ingredients e.g. herbal skin care products, synthetic skin care products, cosmetic skin care products etc.

However, skin care products are not the only way of skin care. You also need to build some basic skin care procedures in your day to day life (as we discuss in the other article on personal skin care).

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Skin care cosmetic – Useful or harmful?

June 11, 2011 Leave a comment

A beautiful and healthy skin is a big confidence booster. Some people are naturally beautiful and hence don’t use any ‘skin care cosmetic’. Then there are others, who don’t use skin care cosmetic due to their laziness. Still some feel that skin care cosmetic can harm their skin, and hence abandon the use of any kind of skin care cosmetic. However, there are a large number of people who do use skin care cosmetic (that’s why the business of skin care cosmetic is prospering).

So, is skin care cosmetic useful, or is it harmful? Well, the opinions seem divided. However, one thing is for sure – Looking beautiful is surely nice and very desirable. Also, too much skin care cosmetic can surely be harmful (as such, excess of anything is harmful). So, what does one do?

The first thing is to formulate (and follow) a skin care routine that will help keep your skin healthy and disease-free. The general recommendation is to cleanse and moisturise everyday, and tone and exfoliate occasionally (as and when needed).

Next thing is the skin care cosmetics that you would be using additionally (as beauty enhancers). These skin care cosmetics could either be part of your skin care routine or be applied only on special occasions (e.g. when attending a party etc).

The most important thing with skin care cosmetic is its selection. Here is a set of rules that you should use when selecting any skin care cosmetic:

* The general rule is to use products that suit your skin type. This is true both for the routine products and for the skin care cosmetic. So check the label to see what it says e.g. ‘for dry skin only’ or ‘for all skin types’ etc.
* Test the skin care cosmetic before using it. This can be done by applying the skin care cosmetic on a small patch of skin e.g. ear lobes and checking the reaction of your skin to the product
* Check the ingredients of the skin care cosmetic for chemicals that you are allergic to. Do not use products that are very harsh on skin e.g. products with high alcohol concentrations; such cosmetics might work for once but cause a long-lasting damage to your skin.
* ‘More isn’t better’. Ensure that you apply the products in right quantity (neither less not more). Also, be gentle with your skin and follow the right procedures for application of skin care products. Rubbing too hard or trying to squeeze a pimple can lead to permanent damage to your skin.
* Finally, if you have a skin disorder e.g. acne etc, you should consult your dermatologist before using any skin care cosmetic.

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