Skin Care 101 - Important tips for your skin care regimen

I am sick and tired of going on the Internet and seeing people post dangerous skin care hacks. I think most of us have been there, trying out things from the interweb. Only to find out that it’s detrimental to your skin. To be honest, this is what sparked my learning curve. And I am grateful that, for 3 years, I have learned so much and I still continue to do so.

In this post, I’m going to relay as all that I have learned thus far, as accurately as possible. I will be going through the steps of a basic skin care regimen and tips on how to improve your skin. Oftentimes, I see people who think that topical treatment is the only answer to skin care, which is not the case. Many things influence your skin, and to improve your skin, you have to make sure that you’re living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Some of us are lucky and born with naturally good skin. Others have to work hard to maintain good skin. At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you want to improve your skin or not. It’s like trying to lose weight, going to the gym is not gonna cut it if you’re going to be eating 5000cals every day. Slapping on coconut oil is not going to solve your problems if you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle.

So, here’s my advice to you and I hope that you take it. If you do, I promise you, your skin and health will improve.

Before we begin, I just want to mention the most important thing: CONSISTENCY. You will not get anywhere with anything without consistency. People use products for 2 weeks and already decide that this doesn’t work for them. You’ve had scars on your leg for 10 years, what makes you think they will go away in 2 months? Develop a suitable regimen and use the regimen consistently, you will get the results.

SKIN CARE 101 – CLEANSERS

I did a whole post pertaining to cleansers and how different skin types need different cleansers. But since this is a very important step here is a summary:

– Dry skin: you need a creamy cleanser. Do not buy foaming or gel cleansers because those will dry out your skin and compromise your skin’s acid mantle. Get cleansers of a creamy consistency, if you can, get one that has been enhanced with carrier oils. These will clean your skin without causing dryness and offer you with some sort of moisture.
– Sensitive Skin: The same applies for sensitive skin as it does for dry skin. Sensitive skin should especially stay away from cleansers with additives. These include fragrance, sulphates, menthol and parabens. To be honest, everybody should stay away from these. They are highly irritating and serve no healing or positive purpose.
– Oily Skin: Oily skin individuals need cleansers that will deeply clean the skin. These cleansers will be the foaming type and the gel types. Also, make sure that they don’t have the aforementioned irritating ingredients.
– Acne skin: Acne skin needs Deep pore cleanser, as listed for oily skin. In some cases, they may also need something a little extra; medicated cleansers. Specifically, salicylic acid or otherwise known as BHA – Beta Hydroxy Acid. This chemical allows for deep pore cleansing as well as for chemical exfoliation. It’s imperative to acquire this from your dermatologist as it does have some side effects that you should know about. These include photo-sensitivity which is sensitivity to the sun. But as I said, you should talk to your derma about that.
I personally, still don’t enjoy these types of cleansers. I just find them too drying and that can really compromise your skin over time. To find out more about cleansers and natural cleansers click here.

SKIN CARE 101 – EXFOLIANTS

Exfoliating is very important. This step allows you to get rid of surface cell build-up, revealing a fresh and radiant glow. Exfoliating regularly also helps with the appearance of scarring.

– Dry, flaky and sun-damaged skin: If this is you, chemical exfoliating is what you may need. Consult with your doctor about a chemical exfoliant called AHA – Alpha Hydroxy Acid. It’s said to be formulated for this type of skin but can also be used by normal skin. Ask your doctor because it, too, can make you photosensitive.
– Acneic Skin: You may also need to look into BHA. As mentioned above, it’s a chemical exfoliant. Exfoliating with scrubs; beads, sugars etc. when you’re breaking out is very dangerous because it can open up wounds. This will only make your break out worse. Just consult your doctor.
– ‘Manual’ Scrubbing: for us people who use scrubs, make sure that you are not using microbeads. They are dangerous and not environmentally friendly at all. I know people use sugar, I used to as well. But I found that sugar had too many sharp edges and it could cause lacerations. Remember, the skin on our face is very sensitive so the tiniest cuts and so a lot of damage. I have since switched to salts; Fine Himalayan and Epsom and I love it. They are soft and gentle on my face yet very effective. The added bonus is that these salts detox the body whilst depositing minerals into the skin.

SKIN CARE 101 – MASKS

The purpose of a mask to deep clean and remove impurities your skin. There are many masks out there that people use which aren’t suitable to be applied on skin. Great masks to buy are as follows
– Bentonite Clay: This mask is very popular especially with people with acne. I have never had acne, so I cannot give FIRST hand experience, unfortunately. What I do know, is this this mask is very super absorbent and this is when I have used it with distilled water only. There’s a chemical reaction that happens when it’s mixed with water, which allows it to absorb impurities in the skin and provide you with minerals.
– Kaolin Clay: This one comes in various different colours; white, yellow, pink and red. All these different coloured clays vary in how they benefit the skin. The white clay is gentle so it is generally suitable for those with skin that is sensitive and dry. Yellow clay is similar, but has more absorbent qualities. The red clay is super absorbent and probably suitable for those with oily and/or acne prone skin. The pink clay is the mixture of red and white and offers some sort of “happy medium” for those with sensitive yet oily skin.
– French Green Clay: Sometimes referred to Illite Clay, this one exfoliates the skin, temporarily tightens pores and absorbs oil. It comes in a green colour (duh) and this is because of the decomposed plant matter as well as the iron oxide. Remember, if it says “Green Clay” it needs to be green. The colour determines the quality of the clay. If it is whitish or grey, then it is not of good quality.
– Rhassoul Clay: This is a beautiful clay which originates from Morocco. This clay is used for both skin and hair and is jam packed with minerals. This Clay is great for pulling out toxins, and removal of blackheads. It improves skin’s elasticity so it’s not as drying as all the other clay masks. Adding crushed oats or Himalayan salts helps make it a great exfoliator.
– For Great masks to make at home please click here for dry skin and here for oily skin

SKIN CARE 101 – TONER

I did post explaining the purpose of toner.
Purpose of a toner is to balance your skin’s pH. Skin’s pH should be between 4.4-5.5 this balance is vital. It helps to keep good things IN and bad things OUT. Compromising your skin’s pH means your skin suffers some damage. This is why we tone; To restore the balance after it has been thrown off by cleansers. I use rosewater – soothing, anti-inflammatory and very gentle on the skin. The general consensus is to stay away from toners that are alcohol based/have fragrance/menthol . They should be water based. All these other things will compromise your skin’s mantle! To find a recipe for my homemade toner, click here.

SKIN CARE 101 – MOISTURISER

I love using carrier oils to moisturise my skin. If I’m feeling lavish, I make a butter in the winter and creams in the summer. I know not everybody can do this. So, to Moisturise, you need to invest in a low/non-Comedogenic oil that is suitable for your skin. Comedogenic refers to the oil’s ability to clog one’s skin. Some people can use high Comedogenic oils (usually those with dry/normal skin). However, the general consensus is that most people will break out of They use a highly Comedogenic oil.

When investing in oils, make sure that ones you’re using are in its most purest form. This means, unrefined/virgin/cold-pressed. Otherwise, why bother?

SKIN CARE 101 – PROTECTION

This is very important. One word: SUNSCREEN. It’s warmer in the southern atmosphere, now, so this is a must. I know that people still don’t usually use sunscreen and I think people just don’t know the importance. Melanin or no melanin; sunscreen needs to be slathered. It protects us from free radicals/unstable cells caused by environmental damage by absorbing UVB + UVA. It’s important to make sure that you are using a full/broad spectrum sunscreen.

*Tip: buy SPF 30. This protects you from 97% of the sun’s rays. Anything higher than that offers only a fraction more but is that much more expensive. Keeping in mind that 100% protection is unachievable.

Take some multivitamin, wash your sheets frequently, wrap your hair in a silk scarf when you sleep. Wash your makeup brushes, invest in an antibacterial spray for your makeup brushes to use between washes. Exercise, mild exercises will suffice. Just a vigorous walk or a couple squats and lunges and sit ups. Drink water, it will help flush out toxins. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are acne prone, lay low on food with a high glycemic index. Don’t put funny things that don’t make sense on your face. Things like baking soda, toothpaste, citrus fruits (because of pH), glue (what are you even thinking), witch hazel, essential oil. Essential oil need to be studied, you cannot use them by just reading blogs on the Internet. Buy a book, maybe, which will show you how to use essential oils.

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ITS A LIFESTYLE. Remember, if you want it, you will achieve it and you will be consistent.

I hope this helps, all love 🙂

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