There is no dearth of skin care creams and lotions in the market. Name an ailment, and you will find hundreds of skin care creams, lotions and other products for it. As a result of ongoing research and due to ever increasing demand, the number of skin care products seems to be on the increase. Skin care lotions and skin care creams are the most popular forms in which these products are available, and there always seems to be a debate on which form is better?
Well, there is no definitive answer to this. It seems more like a matter of personal choice. However, greasy creams are surely less popular as compared to the non-greasy (or less greasy) ones. Since the application of skin care creams is easier, they seem to be preferred (over lotions) in cases where the skin care product is not to be removed immediately after application. So, skin care creams seem more popular as moisturisers than as cleansers or toners. For toners, lotions seem to be preferred over skin care creams. There are some skin care creams that acts as toners too, but generally the toners are available in liquid form only. For cleansing, lotions and skin care creams are equally popular; however, the tilt seems more towards lotions.
Creams are known to be most effective in keeping skin moist; hence, the most popular form of skin care creams is moisturisers. Due to the same reason, a lot of people tend to associate skin care creams with dry and sensitive skin. Though it is true to a certain extent, skin care creams are not used only for dry skin, they are also used for making products for oily skin e.g. vitamin A creams and sulphur creams that help reduce the rate of sebum production.
Skin care creams are also used for products that cater to skin disorders especially for disorders that require the application of product over a small localised area. This is again due to the fact that skin care creams are easier to apply (without wastage) on the affected area. However, in cases where skin needs to be washed using a medicine/product, lotion is a better choice. Mostly, the manufacturers too realize this fact, making it easier for you to choose between a lotion and a skin care cream
Eye-creams and anti-ageing creams are other examples where skin care cream is preferred over its lotion counterpart.
Whatever your choice be (cream or lotion), knowing how to use it effectively, is more important than anything else.
Mens Skin Care
‘Man skin care’ would seem like an alien topic to some men. It would have been even more alien a few years back. However, more and more men are now realising the importance of man skin care (and hence you see markets flush with man skin care products too). Even though the male skin is very different from that of a female, ‘man skin care’ is very similar to the skin care for women.
‘Man skin care’ too starts with cleansing. Water soluble cleansers are preferred. Cleansing helps remove the dirt, grease and pollutants from the skin and helps in preventing pore clogging. The inherent oily nature of male skin makes cleansing an important part of man skin care procedure. Cleansing should be done at least once every day, even better if it is done twice a day. Using soap on the face is discouraged.
‘Man skin care’ revolves a lot around shaving. Shaving foam/gel/cream and after shave lotion are one of the most important man skin care products. Serious ‘man skin care’ requires a proper selection of shaving related equipment and products. One of the main considerations in choosing shaving products should be the skin type (since the degree of oiliness differs from person to person). Alcohol-based aftershaves should be avoided. Proper ‘man skin care’ also mandates the use of good quality razors. Here, swivel-head razors are preferred since they are known to reduce cuts. Besides these products and equipment, it is also necessary that you use them properly. Be gentle when using your razor. Do not scratch it against your skin; use a soft and smooth action (after all it’s a matter of removing hair, not the skin itself).
Male skin is generally thicker and oilier, owing to larger pores and more active sebaceous glands. However, due to regular shaving, the skin can get dehydrated quite easily. Hence moisturisers too form an integral part of man skin care. Moisturising gel or cream should be applied after shaving. In fact, some shaving foams/ gel have an in-built moisturising effect too. Moisturisers should be patted gently over the face and massaged gently using upward strokes.
Though a man’s skin is less susceptible to skin cancer caused by UV radiation, using a sunscreen is also an important man skin care measure. You can use a moisturiser that combines sunscreen with the moisturising effect.
Another good option for ‘man skin care’ is to use man skin care products which have natural ingredients like aloe vera, sea salt and coconut etc. Naturally antiseptic oils e.g. lavender, tea tree etc also provide good means for man skin care.
Man skin care is not as difficult as a lot of men think. It just asks for a few minutes every day, in order to give you a healthy skin for present and for future.
Organic Skin Care
“If it can be done naturally, why go for artificial means” – this is the basic premise on which ‘organic skin care’ works. Organic skin care is the most natural way of ‘skin care’. In fact, ‘organic skin care’ was probably the first one to be used by man when it first woke-up to the needs of his skin. ‘Organic skin care’ is not only friendlier to skin, but also inexpensive. If exercised in the right way, organic skin care can prevent the occurrence of a lot of skin disorders and can help keep your skin healthy and young-looking for a much longer time.
Organic fruits and vegetables are the most popular things on organic skin care routines e.g. cucumber is very common in organic skin care routines. Turmeric, apple, papaya, ginger are others that find a wide use in organic skin care routines. These organic materials have a very refreshing and vitalizing effect on your skin. Almost every skin care book/guide has section on organic skin care (including the actions of various fruits and vegetables on skin). So choose the ones that are more suitable for your skin type and start experimenting with them until you finally select the ones that are most suitable for inclusion in your organic skin care routine. It’s important that you use fresh organic fruits/vegetables. Don’t try to utilise the rotten ones for your skin, their only place is the garbage bin.
Milk is known to posses good cleansing properties; in fact, the name of some skin care products contains the word ‘milk’ in them. A combination of milk with ground oatmeal acts as wonderful cleanser.
Ground oatmeal is especially good for oily skins and is a popular ingredient in organic skin care regimen. It is used in various combinations e.g. with egg, honey, milk and fruits, for preparation of organic facial packs.
Wheat germ is another ingredient in organic skin care procedures. It is rich in vitamin E and is known for its exfoliation as well as moisturising properties. Wheat germ, in various combinations with other organic materials, is used to prepare facial masks for normal and dry skin types. Wheat germ oil is another way in which wheat germ is used for organic skin care.
Yogurt and sour cream are other organic materials that are popular for their exfoliation and moisturising properties.
Use of organic honey is also popular in organic skin care procedures. It helps in retention of moisture and helps impart a glowing look to skin.
Rose water takes its place as a toner in organic skin care routines. Lavender water is popular too.
‘Organic skin care’ uses combinations of various organic materials that complement each other and enhance each other’s effectiveness. Moreover, these combinations are also helpful in over-riding the harmful effects (if any) of various organic materials that form them.
Organic skin care is really an art that, once perfected, can give wonderful results in a very cost effective manner.
‘Personal Skin Care’ Is a Routine
We all know the importance of ‘personal skin care’. The opinion on how-to (for personal skin care) differs from person to person. Some people believe that going to beauty parlours every other day is personal skin care. Others believe that personal skin care is just a matter of applying some cream or lotion on your skin, every now and then. Then there are people who think that personal skin care is an event that happens once a month or once a year. Still others busy themselves with ‘personal skin care’ all the time. However, personal skin care is not that complicated and neither is it that expensive (considering how beneficial it is). Personal skin care is following a routine or a procedure for attending to the needs of your skin.
Even before you start with a routine, you need to determine your skin-type (oily, dry, sensitive, normal etc) and select the personal skin care products suitable for it (you might have to experiment with a few personal skin care products). Here is a routine that should work for most people with normal skin.
The first thing on personal skin care routine is ‘Cleansing’. The three main ingredients of a cleanser are oil, water and surfactants (wetting agents). Oil and surfactants extract dirt and oil from your skin and water then flushes it out, thus making your skin clean. You might have to try a couple of cleansers before you find the one that suits you the best. However, you should always use soap-free cleansers. Also, you should use Luke warm water for cleansing (hot and cold water, both, cause damage to your skin). Take care that you don’t over-cleanse your skin and end up damaging your skin in the process.
The second thing on the personal skin care routine is exfoliation. Skin follows a natural maintenance process wherein it removes the dead cells and replaces them with new skin cells. Exfoliation is just a way to facilitate the skin in this process. Dead skin cells are not capable of responding to personal skin care products but still consume these products, hence preventing them from reaching the new skin cells. Thus removing dead skin cells is important in order to increase the effectiveness of all personal skin care products. Generally, exfoliation takes it place just after cleansing. As with any personal skin care procedure, it’s important that you understand how much exfoliation you need. Exfoliate 4-5 times per week for oily/normal skin and 1-2 times per week for dry/sensitive skin. Exfoliate a couple of times more in hot and humid weather.
Next thing on personal skin care routine is moisturizers. This is one of the most important things in personal skin care. Even people with oily skin need moisturisers. Moisturisers not only seal the moisture in your skin cells, but also attract moisture (from air) whenever needed. Use of too much moisturiser can however clog skin pores and end up harming your skin. The amount of moisturiser needed by your skin will become apparent to you within one week of you using the moisturiser. Also, applying the moisturiser is best when your skin is still damp.
The last thing on personal skin care routine is sunscreen. A lot of moisturizers (day-time creams/moisturisers) come with UV protection – so you can get double benefits from them. Such moisturisers are recommended for all days (irrespective of whether it is sunny or cloudy).
Again, experiment with various personal skin care products and also with the amount you need to apply. What gives you best results is the best personal skin care recipe for you. However, if you have some kind of skin dilemma, it is best to consult your dermatologist before you actually start using any personal skin care products.
Serious Skin Care
‘Serious skin care’ is about maintaining a healthy and glowing skin all through your life. As you grow older, your body’s natural skin care mechanisms become weaker. So, ‘serious skin care’ is about responding to the changing needs of your skin. Thus, ‘serious skin care’ is about constantly evaluating, analysing and changing your skin care routines. Your skin care routine should change based on the environmental conditions, your age and changes in your skin type.
‘Serious skin care’ is also about awareness. With the technological advancements and research, more and more facts are being brought to light everyday. Also, the composition and nature of skin care products seems to be changing with time. So trying out the new products is also a part of serious skin care. However, ‘serious skin care’ advises using a new product over a small patch of skin (not facial skin) first, just to see how your skin reacts to it.
‘Serious skin care’ also means knowing how to use your skin care products. Good practices include things like applying the moisturizers while the skin is damp, using upward strokes for better penetration of skin care products, removing the make up before going to bed, cleansing before moisturising or applying make up, using the correct amount of skin care products, etc. Thus, increasing the effectiveness of your skin care products is another focus area of serious skin care.
Some precautions, like avoiding contact with detergents, are also part of serious skin care. ‘Serious skin care’ means being gentle with your skin. Things like over-exfoliation, use of low quality products, and application of strong-chemical based products, are all harmful to your skin. Some people have a wrong notion about serious skin care. For them serious skin care is – using large quantities of products as often as possible. However, this really isn’t serious skin care (and that’s why awareness is so important).
‘Serious skin care’ is also about visiting your dermatologist for treatment of skin disorders. Ignoring the skin disorders can be fatal for your skin and might lead to permanent damage. So, if the things don’t improve with over the counter medication, you should immediately visit a dermatologist. Self-surgery e.g. squeezing of acne/pimples is a big no (it can lead to permanent damage of your skin).
So, seriously serious skin care is more about precautions and preventive measures (than treatment). Serious skin care is about being proactive as well as reactive. In fact, we can say that ‘serious skin care’ is about being proactive about the needs of your skin so that the need for being reactive is reduced to a minimum.
The Importance of Caring For Your Skin
“Packaging is as important as the gift itself” – it’s something that most of the gift manufacturing companies follow very closely. The same holds good for you too. Your outer-self i.e. your skin is as important as your inner-self. A lot of people do realise the importance of skin care. Well, this is one reason why there are so many skin care products in the market and most of the skin care products seem to do pretty well. We generally tend to associate skin care to just good looks. However, there is more to it than just that. There are multiple benefits associated with a healthy and glowing skin.
Firstly, it has a good effect on you yourself. It makes you feel fresh and energetic. You are able to do more work and are quicker with everything you do. More importantly, the freshness adds to your enjoyment and makes your day. So a healthy skin too plays its part in building confidence. Yes, you can take most of the credit for having achieved that (however, do leave a little for the skin care products too).
Moreover, this flow of positive energy is experience by people around you too and you observe that even they are friendlier with you. You get more respect from others. They are more responsive to your queries. They themselves experience the freshness that you are exuding. They love working with you and for you. Yes, that’s how it works. Some people might even go ahead and ask you about the skin care products you use (you might or might not reveal those secret skin care products to them). Thus, a healthy skin can be instrumental in creating a pleasant and friendly environment around you. On the other hand, carelessness or negligence on this front can make you look unattractive and dull. You will not only look dull but also feel dull. Your work efficiency is reduced. Even the people you meet might not be as friendly. In fact, it might lead to the aging process getting started much earlier.
Thus the importance of skin care cannot be ignored. However, skin care is not that difficult at all. There are a lot of skin care products available and you can choose the ones that suit you the best. There are various ways in which skin care products are classified and the knowledge about these classifications will help you understand them better and make a selection.
* The first categorisation is based on the skin type – so you have skin care products for oily skin, skin care product for dry skin, skin care products for sensitive skin etc.
* Another way is to categorise skin care products based on their use e.g. you have moisturisers, cleansers, skin care products for exfoliation, toners etc.
* Then you have skin care products for treatment of various skin dilemmas i.e. skin care products for acne, skin care products for stretch marks, skin care products for anti-ageing etc.
* Another classification is based on the ingredients e.g. herbal skin care products, synthetic skin care products, cosmetic skin care products etc.
However, skin care products are not the only way of skin care. You also need to build some basic skin care procedures in your day to day life (as we discuss in the other article on personal skin care).
To Your Success,