Let's get the facts straight on anti-aging SKINCARE. So many anti-aging websites, books and articles often have conflicting information. What to believe...really? Everyone has a different opinion on skincare routines and in all honesty, some steps and skincare ingredients used in skincare will differ. In general however, the same common principles should apply.
The following anti-aging information I am giving you comes from credible sources such as medical aestheticians, dermatologists, cosmetologists and professional makeup artists. They all consistently recommend specific, proper skincare routines which comprise of highly effective anti-aging techniques. Using common anti-aging skincare principle, you CAN reduce dark under eye circles, treat and diminish wrinkles, fade aging spots, reduce acne breakouts and scars, rejuvenate your skin's elasticity, revive your depleting collagen and achieve a healthy looking glow. These are the wonderful skin care benefits that are available for you and your aging skin.
Before diving into this anti-aging topic, it is important to understand your skin type. Why? Knowing your skin type and conditions will help you choose the the most effective facial treatments and avoid wasting time and money.
There are four basic skin types, each with its own typical characteristics:
Combination skin is most common, and exhibits traits of the other 3. Usually, skin in the t-zone is oily and shiny, while the rest of the face is normal or dry.
Normal skin is well-balanced and shows neither oil nor flaking. It is soft, smooth, and resilient, and rarely gets blemishes.
Oily skin has a greasy, shiny appearance. It is prone to recurring pimple breakouts and blemishes.
Dry skin feels rough and is often flaky or red. It is often extra sensitive to new products and cracks easily, making it more susceptible to aging.
Other conditions such as acne, redness, discoloration, enlarged pores, lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity may also be present.
The facts on cleansing. To fully understand what I am going to explain and recommend, click here for the detailed overview on the different layers of your skin, their importance and their function - find out where your collagen hides!!
Once you have informed yourself on your skin's structure and layers, know that this step is the foundation to achieving proper anti-aging skincare. Without proper cleansing of your skin, without consistent exfoliation of your dead skin cells, you are not getting anywhere.
Proper cleansing removes dirt and impurities to help improve tone, clarity, and texture. Perfectly clean skin also allows other treatments to penetrate better. So, having said this, you want to ensure that your cleansing product is doing its job. How do you know? Well, reaching for that body soap may not be the most swell idea. It will strip your skin of the natural oils and will greatly affect the skin's pH, making it a perfect medium for growth of bacteria - meaning zits and pimples!! Also, chronically dry skin will surely prematurely age. Not good. For more info on how to choose a cleanser for your unique needs and skin type, click here.
Once you have chosen your perfect cleanser, cleanse your skin 2 times a day. This is an important, necessary step in the anti-aging skin care process. It removes makeup, other impurities and oils that build up throughout the day and night (I won't tell you about the microscopic substances that linger on your pillow...eewww), and prepare your skin for toners and moisturizers. Just be sure to use only lukewarm water, as hot water can dry skin and cause aging.
While the skin has a pH between 4 and 6.5, many big brand name soaps contain ingredients that are very alkaline, with pHs that between 9 and 10. These soaps dissolve grease and dirt, but unfortunately, removes more than just that. These highly alkaline cleansers (or bar of soap) end up stripping your skin of its natural acid covering. This can easily result in breakouts and is perfect for harboring pretty little wrinkles before their time.
If you are currently using one of these cleansers/ bar and want to finish it up, or are unsure as to whether your cleanser fits this highly alkaline description, use a toner. This will always help restore your skin’s natural pH balance. I always use a toner after cleansing, even with a good cleanser. The wonderful, smooth, clean feeling it leaves your skin with is second to none.
Everyone, regardless of age or skin type, needs a moisturizer to keep their skin hydrated and balanced. It’s even more important for acne-prone skin, especially in conjunction with acne products that are very likely over-drying your skin. In addition to their primary purpose, moisturizers often serve as the vehicle for antioxidants and nutrients to penetrate and protect your skin, for acne treatments, enlarged pores, and minimizing and slowing the signs of aging. Into this category, you can also find products that serve as a treatment cremes and/or serums. These treatment cremes and/or serums are always applied FIRST. Then you follow with a good moisturizer once the other products are absorbed into the skin.
Different skin types need different product ingredients:
-Dry skin benefits from creamy moisturizers with richer emollients and oils.
-Combination skin benefits from a non-comedogenic moisturizer that hydrates and mattifies
-Oily skin should be treated with the gentlest oil-free moisturizers
-Sensitive skin benefits from fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizers
-Mature skin should be treated with specialty ingredients that help regenerate and "re-activate" your skin's collagen production to minimize wrinkles and increase youthfulness (there are such products, believe me!)