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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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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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The recipe for dry skin care

June 12, 2011 5 comments

Dry skin cannot be ignored. Dry skin leads to cracking of the upper layer of skin and gives it a real bad appearance. The main causes of dry skin include: dry climate, hormonal changes, too much exfoliation and treatment of other skin disorders. Moreover, dryness could be the inherent nature of one’s skin. Whatever be the cause, ‘dry skin care’ is very important (but not very difficult).

‘Dry skin care’ starts with moisturisers, the most effective remedy for dry skin. Generally moisturisers are classified under 2 categories based on the way they provide ‘dry skin care’.

The first category includes moisturisers that provide ‘dry skin care’ just by preserving the moisture within the skin e.g. Vaseline. These moisturisers are relatively inexpensive and are readily available (even at grocery shops).

The second category includes moisturisers that work by drawing moisture from the environment and supplying it to the skin. This is a very effective way of ‘dry skin care’ in humid conditions. The moisturisers that provide ‘dry skin care’ in this way are also called humectants. For proper dry skin care, you must use a non-greasy type of moisturiser, as far as possible. Humectants fall in this category. The ingredients of humectants include propylene glycol, urea, glycerine, hyaluronic acid etc

‘Dry skin care’ is not about just using moisturisers but also using them properly. The best ‘dry skin care procedure’ is to cleanse the skin before the application of moisturiser. You can make your ‘dry skin care’ even more effective by applying the moisturiser while the skin is still damp (after cleansing). Also, make sure that you use soap-free products (especially on your face, neck and arms). Exfoliation does help in dry skin care, by removing the dead skin cells. However, don’t exfoliate too hard. Your dry skin care procedures/products should also take care of sun protection. Avoid too much and too direct exposure to sun (simply by using an umbrella/hat etc). Use a good sunscreen lotion before going out. A lot of moisturisers provide sun protection too, along with dry skin care.

You also have natural products for ‘dry skin care’ i.e. products that provide ‘dry skin care’ in a natural way (without the use of synthetic chemicals). These dry skin care products supply lipid enhancements to the skin, hence enabling moisture retention within the skin. Another, important thing for ‘dry skin care’ is the temperature of water you use for shower or for washing your face – Use warm water; too hot or too cold water can cause dryness too.

‘Dry skin care’ is also about being gentle with your skin. You should avoid harsh detergents and alcohol based cleansers. Also, after a face wash, do not rub your towel on your face, just pat gently to soak the water off.

On the whole, dry skin care is really simple for anyone who takes that seriously.

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The facts about Oily skin care

June 12, 2011 Leave a comment

To start the discussion on oily skin care, it’s imperative to first understand the cause behind oily skin. Put simply, oily skin is a result of excessive production of sebum (an oily substance that is naturally produced by skin). As is known to everyone, excess of everything is bad; so excessive sebum is bad too. It leads to clogging of skin pores, resulting in accumulation of dead cells and hence formation of pimples/acne. Moreover, oily skin spoils your looks too. So, ‘oily skin care’ is as important as the ‘skin care’ for other types of skin.

The basic aim of ‘oily skin care’ is the removal of excessive sebum or oil from the skin. However, oily skin care procedures should not lead to complete removal of oil. ‘Oily skin care’ starts with the use of a cleanser.  However, not all cleansers will work. You need a cleanser which contains salicylic acid i.e. a beta-hydroxy acid that retards the rate of sebum production. Cleansing should be done twice a day (and even more in hot and humid conditions).

Most of the oily skin care products are oil-free; however, it is always good to check the ingredients of the product, before you actually buy it. This is especially important if a product is marked as ‘suitable for all skin types’, instead of ‘oily skin care product’. ‘Oily skin care’ is also dependent on the degree of oiliness, if you aren’t too oily, so some of these ‘suitable for all’- type of products might be work for you too. For extremely oily skin, only oily skin care products are suitable. Your oily skin care routine can include an alcohol based toner (for an extremely oily skin). This can be the second step in your oily skin care routine i.e. just after cleansing. However, excessive toning can harm your skin.

The next step in your oily skin care routine can be a mild moisturiser. Again, the degree of oiliness of your skin will determine whether you need to include this in your oily skin care routine. If you do decide to include a moisturiser, be sure to use one that is oil-free, wax-free and lipid-free.
You could also use a clay mask (say once a week) as an oily skin care measure.

As far as the oily skin care products go, you might need to try out a few before you arrive at the one that is really suitable for your skin.

In case these measures don’t give you the desired result, consult a good dermatologist for advice. He could prescribe stronger oily skin care products like vitamin A creams, retinoids, sulphur creams etc , which can help counter the problems of oily skin.

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Serious skin care

June 11, 2011 6 comments

‘Serious skin care’ is about maintaining a healthy and glowing skin all through your life. As you grow older, your body’s natural skin care mechanisms become weaker. So, ‘serious skin care’ is about responding to the changing needs of your skin. Thus, ‘serious skin care’ is about constantly evaluating, analysing and changing your skin care routines. Your skin care routine should change based on the environmental conditions, your age and changes in your skin type.

‘Serious skin care’ is also about awareness. With the technological advancements and research, more and more facts are being brought to light everyday. Also, the composition and nature of skin care products seems to be changing with time. So trying out the new products is also a part of serious skin care.  However, ‘serious skin care’ advises using a new product over a small patch of skin (not facial skin) first, just to see how your skin reacts to it.

‘Serious skin care’ also means knowing how to use your skin care products. Good practices include things like applying the moisturizers while the skin is damp, using upward strokes for better penetration of skin care products, removing the make up before going to bed, cleansing before moisturising or applying make up, using the correct amount of skin care products, etc. Thus, increasing the effectiveness of your skin care products is another focus area of serious skin care.

Some precautions, like avoiding contact with detergents, are also part of serious skin care. ‘Serious skin care’ means being gentle with your skin. Things like over-exfoliation, use of low quality products, and application of strong-chemical based products, are all harmful to your skin. Some people have a wrong notion about serious skin care. For them serious skin care is – using large quantities of products as often as possible. However, this really isn’t serious skin care (and that’s why awareness is so important).

‘Serious skin care’ is also about visiting your dermatologist for treatment of skin disorders. Ignoring the skin disorders can be fatal for your skin and might lead to permanent damage. So, if the things don’t improve with over the counter medication, you should immediately visit a dermatologist. Self-surgery e.g. squeezing of acne/pimples is a big no (it can lead to permanent damage of your skin).

So, seriously serious skin care is more about precautions and preventive measures (than treatment). Serious skin care is about being proactive as well as reactive. In fact, we can say that ‘serious skin care’ is about being proactive about the needs of your skin so that the need for being reactive is reduced to a minimum.

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‘Personal skin care’ is a routine

June 11, 2011 Leave a comment

We all know the importance of ‘personal skin care’.  The opinion on how-to (for personal skin care) differs from person to person. Some people believe that going to beauty parlours every other day is personal skin care. Others believe that personal skin care is just a matter of applying some cream or lotion on your skin, every now and then. Then there are people who think that personal skin care is an event that happens once a month or once a year. Still others busy themselves with ‘personal skin care’ all the time. However, personal skin care is not that complicated and neither is it that expensive (considering how beneficial it is). Personal skin care is following a routine or a procedure for attending to the needs of your skin.

Even before you start with a routine, you need to determine your skin-type (oily, dry, sensitive, normal etc) and select the personal skin care products suitable for it (you might have to experiment with a few personal skin care products). Here is a routine that should work for most people with normal skin.

The first thing on personal skin care routine is ‘Cleansing’. The three main ingredients of a cleanser are oil, water and surfactants (wetting agents).  Oil and surfactants extract dirt and oil from your skin and water then flushes it out, thus making your skin clean. You might have to try a couple of cleansers before you find the one that suits you the best. However, you should always use soap-free cleansers. Also, you should use Luke warm water for cleansing (hot and cold water, both, cause damage to your skin).  Take care that you don’t over-cleanse your skin and end up damaging your skin in the process.

The second thing on the personal skin care routine is exfoliation. Skin follows a natural maintenance process wherein it removes the dead cells and replaces them with new skin cells. Exfoliation is just a way to facilitate the skin in this process. Dead skin cells are not capable of responding to personal skin care products but still consume these products, hence preventing them from reaching the new skin cells. Thus removing dead skin cells is important in order to increase the effectiveness of all personal skin care products. Generally, exfoliation takes it place just after cleansing. As with any personal skin care procedure, it’s important that you understand how much exfoliation you need. Exfoliate 4-5 times per week for oily/normal skin and 1-2 times per week for dry/sensitive skin. Exfoliate a couple of times more in hot and humid weather.

Next thing on personal skin care routine is moisturizers.  This is one of the most important things in personal skin care. Even people with oily skin need moisturisers. Moisturisers not only seal the moisture in your skin cells, but also attract moisture (from air) whenever needed.  Use of too much moisturiser can however clog skin pores and end up harming your skin. The amount of moisturiser needed by your skin will become apparent to you within one week of you using the moisturiser.  Also, applying the moisturiser is best when your skin is still damp.

The last thing on personal skin care routine is sunscreen. A lot of moisturizers (day-time creams/moisturisers) come with UV protection – so you can get double benefits from them. Such moisturisers are recommended for all days (irrespective of whether it is sunny or cloudy).

Again, experiment with various personal skin care products and also with the amount you need to apply. What gives you best results is the best personal skin care recipe for you. However, if you have some kind of skin dilemma, it is best to consult your dermatologist before you actually start using any personal skin care products.

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