How should I look after my skin?
A good face care regime will reap benefits all through life, but there is no reason to over-complicate it. A simple cleanser and moisturiser can work wonders at all ages. Here we identify some skin types that will benefit the most from each step of a morning and night time routine.
A good cleansing routine is essential for healthy glowing skin. Take a little time to consider what products and methods will suit your skin type, as how you cleanse your skin will effect how responsive it is to your other face care products.
Your cleanser does two jobs, it will remove the ‘grub’ such as make-up, dead skin cells, oil, dirt, and other types of pollutants. It also prepares the skin for your next products such as moisturiser, serum or oil. If you only use a cleanser, you want your cleanser to offer hydrating or nourishing properties too.
Let’s take a look at the different types of cleansers available.
A cream cleanser is applied to your face when dry, gently massaged in circular motions around the face. You can then remove it with a cotton pad or rinse off with splashes of water. Cream cleansers are one of the least drying to the skin, and particularly suit dry skin however there are many offerings from across our natural brands that suit different skin types. A’Kin offer a combined Cleanser & Toner which is very nourishing and gentle on the skin. Dr Hauschka’s Cleansing Milk is non-drying and suits all skin types, it works particularly well in combination with their cosmetic sponge and organic muslin cloth. Sukin’s original Cream Cleanser is good for all skin types and contains hydrating rosehip oil for some extra care.
An oil cleanser suits dry skin too, but combination and normal skin can also benefit from the extra radiance you get from homemade or branded cleansing oils. Coconut oil has been used for many years as a nourishing skin cleanser and works very well when applied as a liquid at body temperature and massaged around your dry face then removed with a muslin cloth. Sukin have created a beautiful cleansing oil combining chia and jojoba oils for ultra hydration to particularly dry skin.
Gel cleansers offer a squeaky clean feel after you wash, and are applied to damp skin. There are may types all geared to suit different skin types, and are a popular choice for both men and women of all ages. Generally a gel cleanser will need to be used with a moisturiser, simply because they can leave the skin feeling quite tight after use.
Micellar water is a liquid cleanser applied with a cotton pad. It is a water solution which holds tiny bobbles of oil which feels silky soft to the touch. You wipe the micellar water soaked cotton pad gently over the skin and it removes the grub on the skin. Some people like to use micellar water as part of a two step cleansing regime, following either their gel or cream cleanser with a second cleanse using the micellar water but it can be used alone too. A’Kin’s Micellar Water is made using organic coconut water, green tea and cucumber making it very refreshing on the skin, and does not need rinsing off. Suitable for all skin types.
Toners are designed to be used after a cleanser and before you apply a moisturiser. The toner can help to remove any excess oil and any leftover grub that your cleanser has not removed.
Whilst toners can be an effective way of removing excess dirt, this can be also be achieved through using a good cleanser, such as Green People Gentle Cleanse & Make-Up Remover, which is moisture-binding and made with anti-inflammatory actives.
On occasions when you need to remove stubborn make-up, double cleansing can help to remove all traces of make-up without exposing your skin to an astringent toner.
Toners are still popular, but there has been a shift in consumer buying to serums have entered the skincare market. Serums are kinder to skin and do not contain alcohol and are being recommended by beauty experts as a good way to rebalance the skin’s pH balance.
Although a toner or serum is not essential, it may be beneficial for blemish-prone skin and also skin that needs a little extra attention.
Regularly using a moisturiser should be a part of any good skin care routine, and all skin types can benefit from a little extra hydration.
The most important times to use moisturise are after a bath or a hot shower as the warmth can dry the skin, also when you have shaved or removed hair, and when you have used an exfoliator. Twice a day works for most skin types, but everyone is different and some may find it suits their skin to just apply once a day, or more frequently.
The skin on your face, ears, neck and chest are very sensitive to environmental changes and these areas of skin shed cells more rapidly than other parts of the body. A good moisturiser helps the skin to repair itself and allows for younger cells to rise to the surface. Using a gentle massaging motion to apply your moisturiser also helps stimulate blood circulation and new cell generation.
Very dry skin types, or those with eczema or dermatitis can benefit from a rich cream, maybe slightly thicker or even a salve. Balmonds, Hope’s Relief and Salcura are three brands we love who have ranges specifically targeted at relieving dry skin problems offering face and body products.
Dry and mature skin can benefit from very hydrating oils such as jojoba, vitamin E, argan, prickly pear and rose amongst many others. Shea butter, avocado and coconut are also used just remember to keep your products as natural as possible.
The ‘anti-aging’ skincare market is worth billions so don’t be fooled by clever marketing, you want to choose products as close to their natural form as possible, avoiding alcohol and synthetic ingredients, and look instead for organic ingredients, ethical brands and stick with the mantra ‘if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!’
We really love the Dr Hauschka Regeneration range, along with their Rose Day Cream. Green People offer a certified organic range and is especially good for sensitive skin. Sukin’s Purely Ageless range is our most popular for mature skin types and offers a rich day cream and luxurious night cream. A’kin’s hydrating rosehip oil and creams are especially popular with all ages, men and women alike.
Those with oily skin may be reluctant to use a moisturiser, but I always recommend a little hydration in the form of the Facial Serum by Sukin, or the Rose Day Cream Light from Dr Hauschka. When you strip the oils from the skin, it will encourage the production of more oil, you can cleanse gently without stripping all the lovely natural oils and add a little hydration to keep your face feeling soft and supple. It is worth noting too that dry skin can also present as oily. I treated my blemish prone skin with products for oily skin for many years, but as soon as I had expert advice and moved over to using products for dryness my skin improved hugely.
If your complexion is clear and your skin tone even, a simple moisturiser will keep it well hydrated and clear. If your skin is generally OK, but you have the occasional blemish or hormonal changes you may benefit from the beautiful sensitive range by Sukin which is light and gentle, but still offers great hydration for when needed.
Combination skin, which can have both dry and oily patches, and may change day by day may need a combination of products to help keep it fresh and radiant. Try a light moisturiser and keep a serum to hand for times when skin needs a little more attention.
Your skin really benefits from the occasional treat to keep it feeling radiant and supple. There are many products designed for use every so often and here are some of our favourite ones to ensure your skin feels at its very best.
A facial is a multi-step treatment which incorporates a deep cleanse, exfoliation and massage to hydrate and reinvigorate the skin. Whether your facial is carried out by a professional beauty therapist or if you create your own treatment at home, it can be a lovely pampering experience to enjoy and promote healthy skin.
Steaming the face can help soften the skin, opening the pores and making it easier to loosen debris held within, this allows for a deeper cleanse. It is a good way to promote circulation too and the combination of steam and perspiration helps increase blood circulation. Once you have steamed the face, ensure that you apply a light moisturiser to ensure the skin is nourished and doesn’t dry in the heat.
Exfoliation can come in handy to keep the complexion bright. The use of a facial scrub or an exfoliating tool (such as a Konjac sponge) removes the build-up of dead skin cells and leaves your complexion looking feeling smoother. There is no need to exfoliate the skin more than two-three times each week and a gentle exfoliation is kinder to the skin, so don’t scrub too hard.
Face masks are a lovely treat for when you want to relax and have time to switch off. Masks are a wonderful way to increase hydration and refine the top layer of skin, which in turn may improve the appearance of pores and fine lines. Masks benefit different skin types; whether you want to reduce wrinkles and even plump out the skin, improve blemishes or make the skin feel more radiant but nearly all of them will leave the skin feeling tighter and more supple.
Got a beauty question?
Do you want to move over to natural skincare? Perhaps you are considering a change of hair colour? Lucia loves to talk all things beauty, so send your questions over to firstname.lastname@example.org