Have your skin work for you by knowing your skin!
Skin care is a necessity. Black or white, aged or fresh, perfect or flawed; one thing is certain – this is one of the many things we’ve been blessed with from the day we’re born until the day we take our last breath – our skin.
So those of Y’all thinking why bother… well, it’s your skin. I don’t want to seem like a biology genius and all, but it’s practically holding all your insides together. And since we can’t replace the one we were born with don’t fret because there’s always room for improvement, even if you’re a little late to join the bandwagon of healthy skin care. We might as well try and maintain it, right?
For those who’ve already been on board, hello there!
Before we jump into the adornments, the extravagant body treatments, the soaring through and experimentations of every skin care remedy discoverable… yes, they help us attain everything we’ve ever wanted from our skin, but you know what, let’s start with the basics.
What do we need to know about our skins’ needs in order to get it looking fabulous and flawless?
Here’s our list of 10 must dos:
- Love the skin you’re in, flaws and all – aim for self-improvement, not an obsession.
Trust me; it isn’t stress and a bad aura that will give you the skin you’re dreaming of. Enjoy your journey; this is an everyday process which will, in turn, have us reach our goals. Whilst doing so, never forget that we are all imperfectly perfect, regardless of our skin type, shade, condition or its level of stubbornness. So while we’re on a path of self-improvement, always remember to love yourself for simply being you.
- The 3 layers.
Okay, so here’s a quick biology lesson so you know why we do the things we do.
The skin has many components, including water, lipids, proteins, minerals, and chemicals. Your skin has basically three layers:
The epidermis, which is the outer layer which protects, controls the appearance of your skin and helps to you to retain water.
The dermis is the middle layer of skin, which contains two important proteins that contribute to the skin’s strength and texture: elastin and collagen, (basically, wrinkling and sagging). The dermis also contains nerves, blood vessels, hair follicles and sweat glands.
Finally, there’s the subcutaneous layer, the hypodermis, made up of fat and collagen cells. This layer helps you retain heat, and it also absorbs shock and protects your internal organs from injury.
When you apply a serum, lotion, or cream, it encounters the uppermost layer of skin, which is called the stratum corneum.Skin Penetration represents the amount of a topically chemical that exists between the top layer (stratum corneum) and the bottom layer (stratum basale.) During penetration, the body does not yet absorb the chemical, and it cannot affect the body systems.
Skin Absorption occurs when the topically applied chemical breaks the skin barrier to reach the bloodstream. Whether this chemical becomes a risk is determined by what occurs after absorption. Your body can filter (The bouncers!) out the chemical via bodily fluids, or bioaccumulation (build up) occurs.
Many variables affect the speed (or probability) of penetration and absorption. First, the composition of the chemical to which skin is exposed. The area of skin that is exposed (thinner-skinned areas are more susceptible to penetration and thicker skin is less) and the condition of the skin are all significant factors.
- Skin types.
By knowing your skin type, you’ll have further insight in terms of seeking out the correct skin regimen.
There are five common skin types: normal, oily, dry, combination and sensitive.
Here’s a quick and easy method to determine your skin type:
Blotting a clean tissue on your face in the morning is an easy way to find out your skin type so you may determine which of the following categories you fall under:
- A normal skin type has good circulation and there will not be any trace of sebum (or oil) on the tissue. Normal skin is soft, with a smooth, even skin tone.
- An oily skin type will leave lots of facial oil on the tissue, particularly from the cheeks, nose, and forehead. This type of skin has overactive sebaceous glands, producing more oil than necessary.
- A dry skin type has a low level of sebum and does not maintain oil easily. Dry skin is often flaky and feels tight after being wiped.
- With a combination skin type oil is produced around the ‘T-zone’ of the nose and forehead but not on the cheeks, mouth and eye areas.
- Having a sensitive skin type can mean different things to different people. It can be caused by skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema or allergies. Sensitive skin can become inflamed and irritated easily.
- I.S.S (keep it simple, stupid), AKA dealing with a specific problem.
Don’t overwhelm your skin – there truly is such a thing as too much.
Too much moisturizer results in clogged pores, using too many different products at once could lead to a skin reaction, over washing your face may lead to skin irritation and dryness; and over touching your face exposes your skin to nasty bacteria resulting in problem skin such as breakouts. The list is endless really, and it all goes down to doing everything in moderation. Keep it simple.
- Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
There’s no progress being made by starting off with the canvas, itself, being dirty. So let’s bath! Remove your make-up before sleeping, be hygienic and use a clean face cloth. Keeping your hands clean is especially important because your hands can spread germs to the skin on other parts of your body. When washing your hands, use water that’s comfortably warm. It’s a good idea to wash once or twice daily with warm water and a mild cleanser.
Learning when it would be in your best interest to have them big, small, tight etc.; to get the most out of your skin care regimen.
Pores are flexible and vital. They are on the other hand, dangerous when clogged. Pores have the ability to expand and shrink, loosen up and tighten, absorb and close up. Pores, when used to your advantage, have a method to their madness.
How? you may ask.
Methods such as exercising and steaming, for example, open up your pores. This, therefore, gives your skin ability to soften the surface layer of dead cells and helps your skin products penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin, to get the most out of your products.
Methods such as rinsing your skin with cold water, on the other hand, close up your pores. This would not be good if your goal absorption, but if your goal is to secure the effectiveness of your skin products by locking it in your skin while it works, or tightening up sagging skin, then it’s quite perfect, isn’t it?
- Beauty starts within.
Skin care is not just an exterior process, there are many ways to skin a cat. In this case, 5 vitamins a day keeps the doctor away!
What you choose to put into your body will reflect itself on your skin.
Aside from making sure of attending to norms such as moisturizing your body, applying sunscreen while out etc.; other tactics such as getting enough rest, staying hydrated, eating healthy as well as vitamins can do the trick.Here are our 5 vitamins of the day:
- Vitamin A
Necessary for the maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue, Vitamin A is the key to healthy skin. If you’re deficient in vitamin A, your skin may take on a dry, flaky complexion. Vitamin A can help control acne, as well as reduce lines and wrinkles.
- Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex contains the nutrient, biotin, which forms the basis of nails, skin, and hair cells. Too little vitamin B complex in your diet can cause dermatitis or hair loss. Vitamins B can instantly hydrate cells, even out your skin tone and give a healthy glow to the skin.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C can also help reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and reduce photodamage.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E on your skin helps reduce the appearance of scars and rough, dry skin.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K can be best used on the skin to help with dark circles and bruises. Vitamin K helps fade discolorations on the skin, and helps with wrinkle reduction.
60% of your body is made up of water, so…
Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery by 31%.
I repeat, the skin is made up of 64% of water!
It is certainly no argument that staying hydrated by drinking water is one of the best things you could do for yourself. Staying hydrated promotes skin circulation at its base so that skin repair doesn’t decrease. This will keep your skin looking young, rejuvenated and glowing all year!
- Before you go completely bare – body hair and its purpose.
Body hair actually can be beneficial. Body hair can help protect against the elements. Wind, rain, and sun can be deflected by a thin covering of body hair, helping a person to maintain comfort. Body hair acts as an insulator, holding in scents. Scents are a vital part of human interaction and holding those smells close to the body is important. So before thinking of getting rid of all of your body hair, also keep in mind that’s it was created for a purpose.
10. Wear and tear – general maintenance (dead skin and exfoliating etc.)
Exfoliation is the removal of dry/dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and is one of the most important aspects of your home skincare routine for your face and body. Exfoliation not only helps many skin problems, it also increases blood circulation, which in turn helps you to achieve healthy and glowing skin.
- Exfoliating keeps the skin soft and glowing.
- Buffing the dead skin away will keep your pores from clogging which keeps acne under control.
- Exfoliating speeds up your skin’s natural renewal process and helps your moisturizer penetrate into the skin deeper (ALLOWS IT TO WORK BETTER).
- Removal of dead skin cells helps with skin discoloration (uneven tone).
- It minimizes the appearance of large pores.
- Gets you smoother elbows and knees.
- Reduces stress
And there you have it. No matter where you take your journey from here in your quest for flawless skin, you just can’t go wrong when you have these 10, simple and healthy skin care commandments under your belt!
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