Have you ever wondered how you could make your skin glow? Ever meet someone and just couldn’t help admire their beautiful skin? Here are a few suggestions on how you can get that kind of skin. Most are easy, simple and cost very little. So treat your skin with care and watch your skin glow.
To properly care for your skin, you have to first identify your skin type. Skin is usually categorised into either dry, sensitive, oily or both i.e. combination skin. A high percentage of African/Caribbean skins will tend to be combination/oily skin types but skin dosen’t depend on your race, genetics, lifestyle & age all contribute to determine your type. If you fall into this category, the bad news is that while you are more likely to suffer from outbreaks and the dreaded shine (usually when you’re at an event or party praying that you don’t look like someone’s just fried an egg on your face because all your make-up seems to have literally melted off your face) the good news is that you are less likely to develop wrinkles at a young age.
Combination & Oily Skin Types
For those with combination skin, excess oils are generally located in what is known as the T-Zone (the skin that stretches across the forehead and then downward through the nose and chin). Oily skin, however, is not limited only to the T-zone.
Before you start, determine first which areas you really need to tackle. To find out, wash your face with gentle soap and warm water. Then wait for about an hour. Try not to touch your face during this time, as the oils from your fingers could rub off onto your skin. When the hour is up, take a facial tissue and unfold it. Tilt your head back and place the tissue over your face. Press lightly against the tissue with the palms of your hands. Remove the tissue and observe your “map.” The oily areas of your skin should have left an obvious mark.
Cleanse, tone and moisturise every day. Your face is the most constantly exposed part of the body and has to deal with all the general environmental pollution around us. It is the main organ that protects everything within your body. If you start to look after your skin from an early age it can prevent and deter problems such as; acne, wrinkles and other annoying issues.
A good base routine only takes five minutes in the morning and before you to go bed at night. It keeps the top layer of skin supple and healthy, but also helps to keep the deeper (dermis) tissue and muscles toned and healthy.
Right, so here we go it’s really very simple and all you need to do is…..
Moisten a wash cloth with warm water and with both hands start at the base of the neck and moisten the neck and face with upward and outward circular motions. This is essential, because it helps to remove the dead epithelial tissue beforehand.
Moisten fingers with warm water and with your finger tips work in small circular motions upward and outward starting on the neck.
When the movements along the face and neck are complete moisten the wash cloth again with warm water and rinse off the cleanser thoroughly.
Be careful not to use soap based products on your skin as these will strip the skin of natural oils. Many companies offer the option of cleansing bars or cleansing foams/gels instead.
Recommended Products: Germain de Cappuccini Pure T Foaming Cleanser or Cleansing Bar (approx £29 / N8,100) or Christina Commodex Cleansing Gel (N6,000)
We’re not talking about colour here, we’re talking about closing pores. Use a toner and cleansing pads to go over the cleansed area. Toning is important as it helps to remove the excess oil, makeup and dirt from your skin, it also helps to close the pores. Many cheap toners contain very high levels of alcohol so be careful about which ones you use. Witch hazel is also a very good natural alternative or you can use very cold water splashed on the face after cleansing to help the pores.
Recommended Products: Christina Commodex Purifying Toner (N5,500)
Dab small drops of moisturizer around your neck and face. Smooth the lotion all over the neck and face in circular motions upward and outward as before
Use an oil free moisturizer with sunscreen to hydrate and protect face without making it looking oily. Look for ingredients such as jojoba leaf, aloe vera, algae and other marine ingredients in the moisturizer. These moisturizers create a radiant matte finish without clogging pores. It is important not to confuse moisture with oil. You should never avoid using a moisturiser as this will only make the situation worse as the skin will produce excess Sebum to compensate and lubricate the skin, however your skin will become dehydrated. This is the worst kind of combination known to man. Be warned!
Recommended Products: Germaine de Cappuccini Pure T – Hydra Matt Facial Emulsion (approx £30/N8,100) or Christina Commdex Day Treatment (N7,200)
To maintain that perfect glow you should exfoliate oily skin at least twice a week.
What is Exfoliation?
To exfoliate literally means “to strip of leaves” in Latin. Exfoliation removes dull surface layers and reveals new, healthy layers. In cosmetology, exfoliation refers to the removal of dead surface skin cells to reveal smoother and softer skin.
Though usually done by a professional at a salon or spa, exfoliation can also be done at home on your face and body using scrubs specifically designed to aid in the removal of dead skin cells.
There are at least two different methods of exfoliation. One of the most common methods involves a mechnical process in which the skin is scrubbed manually to remove dull surface layers. The scrubbing process usually involves either a facial scrub, microfiber cloths or sheets,sponges or brushes. These objects and substances are usually rubbed gently onto the skin in a circular motion, effectively removing the oldest layer of skin on the face and body. Another method of exfoliation is called chemical exfoliation because it involves the use of facial scrubs that contain either beta or alpha hydroxy acids including salicylic acid, citric acid and glycolic acid. These acids break down the dead surface skin cells making it easier for them to peel or slough off, and thereby revealing smoother, more refined skin.
Proper skin exfoliation is the most important step in skin care. By contributing to the removal of dull surface layers of skin, exfoliation allows the youthful and vibrant skin below to break through. As a result, skin looks and feels healthier, smoother and softer. The dullness and unsightly blemishes such as blackheads are sloughed off, pores are unclogged and minimized and skin is refined. Thus, exfoliation is touted as the best process to promote healthy skin followed by cleansing and moisturizing. Regular exfoliation keeps skin healthy by encouraging skin regeneration and the growth of new skin cells, which results in skin that is acne-free and beautiful. Exfoliating too often or using products that are too harsh can result in skin that is overly dry by stripping away the body’s essential oils.
Tips on how to take care of oily facial skin:
Very oily skin can be the bane of your life and it can seem like there’ll never be a cure or solution for most people. Sebum, the very substance that is responsible for adding glow to facial skin and protecting it from the elements, can make it look shiny and greasy when it is produced on an overdrive. Several products are available in cosmetics counters that promise to mattify oily skin. However, many of them contain ingredients that can clog pores and increase acne. Naturally mattified skin is a result of a reduction of surface sebum on facial skin. It is better to work at creating skin that looks naturally matt rather than artificially creating it by using a temporary fix. Here is how to mattify oily skin the right way
Start off by using a clay based mask to mattify oily skin. Apply a thin layer of the mask and wait for it to dry. Wash it off with warm water, using a face cloth if necessary. Natural clays such as kaolin have superior oil absorbing capacities. Additional herbal extracts added to these masks like algae, tea tree, witchazel and aloe vera extracts help in calming facial skin to acheive a fresh and radiant surface
Recommended Products: Christina Commodex Double Action Mask (N6,500) or Eve Taylor Henna & Honey Purifying Mask (£11).
Mattifying & Spot Diminishing Products
Avoid mattifying products that are solely based on silicones, commonly used in mattifying products and makeup primers that promise to make pores look smaller. While these products create a smooth surface temporarily, they can clog pores and cause blackheads and acne in the long run.
Another must have product are “on the spot” drying products. These gels literally zap the bacteria growing and dry out the spot so that they clear up quicker and you can avoid the volcanic ripe juicy problem that makes break outs so unbearable in the first place.
Suggested Products: MAC Blot Sheets ($13/£12.50) & Germaine de Cappucini Pure T Balancing Gel (approx £30 /N8,100) Iman Undercover Agent Oil Control Primer (approx £21 / N6,500) and Christina Commodex Drying Gel (N6,200)
Don’t worry at the thought of buying a whole new range of products and the cost on your pocket, alot of brands offer starter kits with smaller sizes of the items so that you can try them out and invest in the individual ones over time.
For more info on all the products recommended please feel free to visit the following sites:
Next Week: Dry Skin – Causes, Solutions & Skincare Tips