#1 Getting the basics right. Everyday!
Like almost everything in life worth having, beautiful skin is going to take some commitment on your part, even if you already have skin that you’re happy with, committing to beautiful skin is like going to the gym or commencing on a healthy, life-changing diet, but in some cases, it’s harder to commit, a strange concept I know, but if you’ve got good skin to start with, why bother?
After all, you’ve inherited your mother’s gorgeous skin, right? Well, if your mother is anything like mine, she never let a day go by without cleansing, moisturising and wearing makeup. They were just good habits, they were the things that made her feel confident, they were just the norm. She had good skin and kept it. Even at 78, she had beautiful, lovely skin.
Good habits now, today, right this minute, in fact, will give you a beautiful skin for a lifetime regardless of your genetics.
So, cleanse every day, never leave pollutants, dirt or makeup on your precious skin and always moisturise with the best you can afford, morning and night (more on this in a moment).
Now, before you go saying, “Hey Julie, I know this, everyone knows this”. Sure, you know it, but I’m going to hazard a guess you skip the cleansing part from time to time because you’re too tired, too busy, you got home too late. Or, you skimped on the moisturiser, opting for something not worthy of your skin.
Don’t do this, don’t skip these all-important steps. So step #1 is all about committing to a habit-forming routine, even if it’s as simple as cleansing properly and moisturising all over, morning and night. Make it a habit to ALWAYS cleanse and moisturise and here’s why…
Why is it so important? You’re probably thinking you need to do this to remove makeup. But, it’s okay to skip it when you’re tired or can’t be bothered. Sure, but you’re here now, reading this and I know you’re wondering about getting and keeping good skin, so, you may as well just commit and I’m going to go on about it like a broken record anyway, so go ahead, commit.
Cleansing correctly is the missing piece of the ‘beautiful skin’ puzzle and the more you learn about your skin the more you’ll understand, consistently good habits are often the missing piece. Let cleansing become part of your beautiful skin mantra or manifesto, whatever you want to call it. Your whole body needs to be cleansed, (of course) but for now, let’s just discuss the skin of your face and neck as it is the most exposed part of your body, it is where you will see most of the premature signs of ageing, so it needs your attention and all the help you can give it.
How you cleanse your skin everyday, is just as important as why.
Firstly to remove makeup, pollutants and dirt. But secondly and equally important is what you DO NOT remove. Yep, that’s right, what you don’t remove.
Let me explain. Your skin’s surface consists of Intercellular lipids (fats), think of these lipids not so much as the oil in your skin, but the glue that holds your skin together ensuring a viable, healthy epidermis. Likewise, excessive removal of your intercellular lipids will result in the fat between your skin cells from diminishing and you’ll be left with a skin that just doesn’t function as it should. You’ll know this is happening when you suffer from excessive dryness, dehydration, redness, itchiness and irritation.
You may think all this is a result of sensitive skin and you’d be right, it is but in many cases it’s a sensitivity caused by improper cleansing, not necessarily something you’re born with.
Your skin is telling you, all is not well, and your lipid barrier, that which protects you every day from the external trespassers of the environment is dysfunctional, and like an unstoppable Storm Trooper, the outside world is breaking through and causing that dryness, dehydration, irritation, redness and sensitivity.
Around about now, you may start to think if this happens when I cleanse then I best not cleanse at all? Well, that would be fine if you never wore makeup and your skin was never exposed to pollution or you lived in a bubble. I’m guessing you don’t so, cleansing is a good idea, you just need to choose one that works well for you.
Don’t skin your cleansing, it’s the foundation upon which we build a beautiful skin.
So, step #2 on your path to beautiful skin is, cleansing with a mild cleanser and preferably where it has the dual action of cleansing and leaving moisturising properties on the skin. So, (and I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’ll say it anyway) avoid soapy, lathery, high foaming cleansers, if you have a history of oiliness then stick with lightweight water-soluble cleansers with a low detergent factor or if you have very little or seemingly no oil flow, then you can choose something slightly heavier but all cases go for cleansers with added moisturisers like Glycerin or Propanediol.
Most of us, even if we skip proper cleansing will at least moisturise. It gives the skin a feeling of comfort; this is true. But, what you’re actually doing is maintaining the all-important lipid barrier of the skin and the delicate pH and acid mantle, by adding a layer of moisture as a protective layer.
This protective layer, prevents moisture loss, protects your lipid barrier and reduces symptoms such as itching, stinging, burning and tightness, not only that, if your acid mantle is disrupted for long enough it loses the ability to fight bacterial infection, which is kind of important if you’re battling with acne. All these symptoms and signs are a warning that your skin is functioning below par.
The type of moisturiser you choose is important, too much water and it will evaporate on the surface and draw moisture from within, leaving your skin dehydrated or, if it’s too rich, then your moisturiser will potentially leave you with enlarged pores and a skin that looks spongy and dull.
The goal of your moisturiser is to reduce Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), create an environment for barrier repair, leave the skin soft, smooth and comfortable, decrease sensitivity and keep bacteria in check.
Your moisturiser should contain a balance of both occlusive ingredients and humectants. Ingredients that are skin-identical. Ingredients that mimic the skins own ability to protect itself from moisture loss. Skin identical ingredients such as Ceramides, Glycerin, Hyaluronic acid, Sodium PCA, Cholesterol, and Glycerol to name a few.
Look out for these or just ask your skincare professional if your moisturiser of choice contains meaningful quantities of these ingredients and enough to make a difference. No doubt the moisturiser you’ve chosen may have lots of other ingredients like antioxidants or peptides, that’s all very wonderful, but the basic moisturising properties must be right or it’s not really going to do the job it was meant for.
And now you?
Commitment, a good balancing cleanser and a well-formulated moisturiser, are the basics for beautiful skin. If you want to know more about your skin you may like to subscribe below for my weekly updates or if you liked this article why not share it with your pals.
See you next time,