Love the skin you are in?
Pamper it with the right essentials, and put together a skincare routine to keep it healthy and glowing forever. While there’ll be plenty of advice on all kinds of products, here is what you must know to make an informed decision on what to include in your skincare survival toolkit.
This is beauty wisdom you’ll thank us for!
The first (and foremost) step is keeping the pores clear. From cleansing milks to face washes, the options are plenty. If they confuse you, remember the rule of thumb - gel cleansers are for combination/ oily skin as they break down oils and impurities, and cream cleansers are geared for dry skin as they break down impurities without stripping oil and drying skin further.
If you are opting for a face wash, clean your hands first, wet your face with tepid water and apply the cleanser in circular motion for about 20 seconds, covering all areas evenly. Wash off and pat dry.
For cleansing milk, follow the same process, just use damp cotton to wipe off the cleanser before you splash your face with cool water.
You may not even realize it, but the dead skin on your face itself may be clogging your pores, causing further skin problems - so exfoliation is a must. Even if your favourite brand says daily scrub, you must use it just once (or twice) a week. And don’t use a body scrub (different from facial scrubs) on your face - the coarse particles in them can damage your facial skin.
Best done after a warm shower or after placing a wet hot towel for a minute to open up your pores. Gently rub the scrub in circular motions to get rid of all dead skin and rinse off, first with lukewarm and next with cold water to shut pores. Pat dry.
Use a toner based on your skin type for balancing the skin’s pH, hydrating it, closing pores after the cleansing routine and keeping the skin looking younger.
Post cleansing, wet a cotton ball with the toner and carefully apply across your face and neck.
Their job, of course, is to moisturize, but it’s imperative to use one meant for your skin type, else it will cause irritation or breakouts. Light moisturizers or serums are recommended for oily skin, whereas heavier, creamy ones are effective for dry skin.
Dispense a small amount of moisturizer on your hands and rub gently on your skin.
5. Body Lotion
Indulge your skin with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that have good penetration and rejuvenation properties. Again, choose one that suits your skin type. Look for ingredients like honey, aloe vera, shea butter, olive and soy. Less common ingredients like argan oil and sea buckthorn are effective as well. They make you smell (and feel) good too!
Pour small amounts at a time into your palm and apply liberally to each section of your body at a time, especially hands, legs, elbows and knees.
While a stellar sunscreen is a universal necessity, it is absolutely crucial for a tropical climate like ours. They help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from damaging the skin. The SPF 15 filters cut out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays; SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent. But no sunscreen, regardless of strength, should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours - reapplication is a must.
Apply generously 15 minutes before going outdoors. It’ll take that much time for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you.
7. Day Creams
These are different from your regular moisturizers. Day creams are focused on protection against UV rays, pollution, and environmental stresses. They contain SPF to prevent sunburn and antioxidants to fight free radicals. Light-non-greasy day creams provide a smooth canvas for makeup.
Apply in dots and rub gently onto your face and neck.
The skin repairs and regenerates itself at night-time so night creams are focused on moisture and recovery. They also contain the highest concentrations of anti-ageing compounds ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid, which are able to do their work without interference from sunscreens.
Thirty minutes before you go to bed, cleanse and pat dry your face and neck then apply night cream in gentle upward strokes and circular motions. Avoid the area around your eyes.
8. Eye Creams
The skin under the eye is a different structure from the rest of the face; it's more delicate. That’s why eye creams are thicker, contain more oil than face moisturizers and have a lot of active ingredients aimed at the problems we see around the eye.
Put a pea-sized dab on your ring finger, then dot it on your brow bone and about a half-inch underneath your eye. Massage very gently.
9. BB Creams
A blemish balm or beauty balm is a tinted moisturizer with extra benefits and has taken the beauty world by storm. It contains SPF, it can disguise blemishes, it soothes and moisturizes skin, and some claim to have anti-ageing properties too.
Apply dots of BB cream to the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Blend into the skin starting from the forehead and moving down to the chin and neck. You could use a sponge too.
* In association with Fair and Lovely for the #ToGetHerOnline initiative by Google India