There is really nothing like a best skin care product. There really can’t be anything like ‘The best skin care product’, because skin care products work differently for different people (based on the skin type to some extent). A product that is the ‘best skin care product’ for one person might end up being the worst for another person. So, a more logical question to ask would be ‘What is the best skin care product for my type of skin?’. However, this still is not completely logical. We tend to segregate people into 4 groups based on their skin types – i.e. dry skin, oily skin, normal skin and sensitive skin. However, this classification is just too broad to be used definitively in determining the best skin care product. We can say ‘best skin care product for a dry skin’ or ‘best skin care product for an oily skin’ are better statements than just ‘best skin care product’. But really, that is what it is – ‘better’; still not accurate.
So, it really comes to rephrasing the question to – ‘What is the best skin care product for me’. Yes, this is exactly the question that you should be asking, and unfortunately there is no easy answer for this. Arriving at the best skin care product for self will need some effort on your part.
First of all, you need to understand how the skin care products work. This is simple. You can consider all skin care products to be composed of 2 types of ingredients – Active and inactive. The active ingredients are the ones that actually work on your skin. The inactive ones just help in delivering these active ingredients to your skin. Both the ingredients need to work for your skin, in order for the product to be effective (and move on to become the best skin care product for you).
Besides the ingredients, the way you apply your skin care products is equally important. In fact, this is even more important. If you do not know how to apply skin care products, you might forever be hunting for the best skin care product for yourself, when that has already passed you. Moreover, it’s also important to decide on the frequency of application (of the skin care product). The environmental factors – temperature, humidity and pollution level, also affect the selection of best skin care product. Here are a few rules that you could use to ensure that your best skin care product is really the best for you:
* Cleanse your skin before applying that best skin care product.
* Use a makeup remover instead of plain water and remove your makeup before going to bed.
* The effectiveness of active ingredients is reduced when applied over another product e.g. over moisturiser. So apply that best skin care product first and then apply a bit of moisturizer if needed.
* Apply the products on moist and warm skin.
* You will have to experiment with a few products before you arrive at the one that is the best skin care product for you.
* Do not exfoliate too much or too hard.
* Vary your skin care routine as per the seasons (winter/summer etc), changes in environmental factors and changes in your skin type
Note that the best skin care product cannot be determined overnight. It’s only through experiment (and awareness) that you can find the ‘Best skin care product’ (for you).
What Is Natural Skin Care?
Put simply, ‘natural skin care’ is caring for your skin in a natural and chemical-free way. ‘Natural skin care’ advocates enabling the skin to take care of itself (without any assistance from synthetic materials/ chemicals). ‘Natural skin care’ is about inculcation of good habits in the way you lead your day to day life. A lot of natural skin care measures are actually the same as those for body care in general.
So let’s see what these natural skin care measures are.
Well the first and the foremost natural skin care measure is – ‘Drink a lot of water’. Around 8 glasses of water is a must everyday. Water helps in flushing out the toxins from the body, in a natural way. It helps in the overall upkeep of the body and promotes good health for all organs (not just skin).
General cleanliness is another inexpensive way of natural skin care. Daily shower, wearing clean clothes and sleeping on a clean mattress/pillow are all part of general cleanliness. After all, clean skin is the key to keeping the skin disorders at bay.
Regular exercise is the next thing on the cards. Exercise increases the flow of blood that helps in getting rid of body toxins and keeping you healthy. Exercise also helps in beating stress which is the worst enemy of good health.
Healthy food and eating habits are also recommended for natural skin care. Some type of food (e.g. oily food) is know to cause acne and should be avoided as much as possible. Your diet should be a healthy mix of various nutrient providing foods. Raw fruits and vegetables are known to provide freshness to your body and help in getting rid of body toxins.
A good sleep is also instrumental in maintaining good health and in beating stress. As a natural skin care measure, a good sleep delays slacking of skin.
Beating stress is another natural skin care therapy. Stress causes overall damage to body and health. Drinking a lot of water, getting a sound sleep and exercise has already been mentioned as stress busters. Indulging in a warm bubble bath, listening to music and playing your favourite sport are also good ways of beating stress. Yoga is yet another way of beating stress; it is fast gaining popularity amongst the masses.
Avoiding excessive exposure to sun (by wearing long sleeved clothes, hat and umbrella etc), is another natural skin care strategy. Sunscreen lotions are also recommended as necessary.
A lot of traditional and home made natural skin care products/ measures are also known to be very effective. Such measures are not only natural and easy-to-follow, but also relatively inexpensive.
Besides that, a lot of natural skin care products are available in the commercial market. These include things like lavender oil, aloe vera etc., which don’t have any side effects.
Vitamin C Skin Care – The Challenge
Vitamin C is often regarded as a wrinkle fighter or an anti-aging agent. The main objective of ‘Vitamin C skin care’, in scientific terms, is to increase the synthesis of collagen (a structural protein that is found in skin). The additional benefit of ‘Vitamin C skin care’ is related to its capability of countering free radicals which cause damage to the skin.
Vitamin C skin care, however, faces a major challenge today. This is related to the oxidation tendency of Vitamin C skin care products. On coming in contact with any oxidising agent (e.g. air), the Vitamin C in the Vitamin C skin care products, gets oxidised; thus making the Vitamin C skin care product useless (in fact counter-effective). The oxidised Vitamin C imparts a yellowish-brown colour to the Vitamin C skin care product. This is something that you need to check before buying a Vitamin C skin care product. Even after you buy a Vitamin C skin care product, you need to store it properly and keep checking that it’s still good to use (i.e. it hasn’t attained a yellowish-brown texture).
The manufacturers of Vitamin C skin care products have tried to deal with this (oxidation) problem in multiple ways (and research on Vitamin C skin care products is on the top of their list). One such method of retaining effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products for a long term is to keep a high concentration (say 10%) of Vitamin C. However, this makes the Vitamin C skin care products even more expensive. The Vitamin C skin care products are already pretty inexpensive and making them even more expensive will throw the product manufacturers out of business. The other way is to use Vitamin C derivatives (like ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate). These are not only more stable but also inexpensive. Even though the derivatives based products are not as effective as the Vitamin C skin care products, their stability against oxidation is a very desirable feature that makes them very attractive. Moreover, these are known to be less irritating too.
Talking of effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products, it’s important to mention that not everyone responds to Vitamin C treatments. So it’s not a magic potion in any way. If you don’t see a noticeable difference in your skin, it might be because of your skin not responding to Vitamin C treatment (and the Vitamin C skin care products might not be at fault, at all).
As more research goes on, one can only keep our fingers crossed and wait for a complete solution to the challenges faced by ‘Vitamin C skin care’ today.
Tips For Makeup And Skin Care
‘Make up and skin care’ is generally regarded as women’s forte. Men seldom indulge in ‘Make up and skin care’. Many men do care for their skin but make up is really alien to most men. Treating make up and skin care as different topics wouldn’t make sense; after all, make up will work only if the skin is healthy. So how do you exercise make up and skin care, together? Here are some tips for make up and skin care:
* Always have skin care on mind, whether you are buying products for make up or actually applying them onto your skin after you have bought them. So what you are buying is a ‘make up and skin care’ product, not just a make up product. Check the ingredients to see if it contains things that you might be allergic to. Also check if it contains high concentration chemicals that can harm your skin.
* ‘Make up and skin care’ is also about testing the products before using them. So, apply the make up on a small patch of skin e.g. earlobes and check how your skin reacts to it.
* Keep track of expiry date on your make up products and never use them beyond the expiry date. In fact some products (e.g. vitamin C based products), if not stored properly, get spoilt much earlier than the expiry date.
* Cleanliness is an important part of make up and skin care procedure. Sharpen your eye-liners regularly and keep all your makeup equipment clean at all times. You might fix a date, each month, for overhauling of your equipment. As part of cleanliness, your make up and skin care procedure should also include keeping your hair clean at all times.
* Nail care is another important aspect of make up and skin care. Use a good quality nail polish and always keep your nails clean. Once you are done with cleaning and polishing your nails, you should rub in cuticle oil at the edges of the nail.
* If you have deep-set eyes, you should use a liquid eye liner instead of a pencil one. This will prevent smudging at the deep edges of your eye-lid.
* If you have a skin disorder e.g. acne, you should not apply heavy or chemical based make up. Consult your dermatologist if you are not sure about the make up products that you can use while you have acne or other skin disorder. Never try to squeeze pimples/ acne. Remember that make up and skin care should not conflict each other.
* Use a mild make up remover (instead of just washing it away).
* Another important ‘make up and skin care’ procedure is the following golden rule: “Never sleep with your make up on”
* While applying a deodorant, make sure that you maintain the recommended distance between the nozzle and your skin (as mentioned on the deodorant pack).
So, make up and skin care should always go hand in hand. Do not try to treat make up and skin care differently.
Skin Care Treatment For The Most Common Skin Conditions
A glowing and healthy skin is an asset. Skin is not all about beauty but also health. So, skin care treatment should be treated with all seriousness. If you develop a skin related dilemma, you need an appropriate skin care treatment. Skin care treatment, for any skin disorder, starts with actions that are aimed at prevention of the disorder (what we can also call as proactive or preventive skin care treatment). Building and following basic skin care procedures is what one could classify as preventive/proactive skin care treatment. Skin disorders can occur even if you have followed this preventive skin care treatment. Preventive skin care treatment just reduces the probability of occurrence. Let’s check the skin care treatment for some of the common skin conditions.
Acne is one of the most common problems. Again, the first type of skin care treatment is to control acne and prevent it from getting worse. So avoid tight clothes; they are known to cause body acne by trapping sweat. Do not touch the blemishes over and over again (rather don’t touch them at all), you might end up aggravating the condition. Also, do not try to scrub too hard or squeeze them. Use of mild cleansers is a recommended skin care treatment for acne. Obtain an over-the-counter skin care treatment for faster treatment of acne.
Skin care treatment of dry skin is generally easy. Moisturisers, applied in the right way and in the right quantity, are the best form of skin care treatment for dry skin. For best results, apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp. Also, do not apply too much or too little moisturiser. In exceptional cases, where you don’t notice any improvements in 3-4 weeks, you might have to visit your dermatologist for skin care treatment of your dry skin.
Brown spots, which appear on sun-exposed areas of skin i.e. face and hands, are caused by over-exposure to UV radiations. As a skin care treatment for brown spots, use a sunscreen lotion which has a high SPF (sun protection factor), say 15. This should be used irrespective of weather – sunny/cloudy. Another form of skin care treatment is covering up the exposed areas with clothing (caps, full sleeved shirts/t-shirts, and umbrella).
Also, if the general skin care treatment or the over-the-counter medication is not working for you, you should immediately consult your dermatologist for professional skin care treatment. You should also inform the doctor about the skin care treatment that you have undertaken till that time. So take the details of the till-date skin care treatment (and products) along with you. Based on the skin condition and the details of your till-date skin care treatment, the dermatologist will prescribe a skin care treatment e.g. oral antibiotics, chemical peels, retinoid etc and you will be on your way to recovery.
Herbal Skin Care
Skin care is not a topic of recent times; it has been in practice since ancient times, when herbal skin care was probably the only way to take care of skin. However, skin care has transformed in a big way. Herbal skin care routines have been replaced by synthetic/chemical-based skin care routines. The herbal skin care recipes which once used to be common place are not so popular today (and even unknown to a large population). This transformation from herbal skin care to synthetic, can probably be attributed to two things – our laziness (or just the fast pace of lives) and the commercialisation of skin care. Even herbal skin care products have been commercialised. These commercial herbal skin care products have to be mixed with preservatives in order to increase their shelf-life, hence making them less effective than the fresh ones made at home. However, it seems that things are changing fast and more people are now opting for natural and herbal skin care routines. But still, none want to make them at home and hence the commercial market of herbal skin care products is on the rise.
So what are these herbs or herbal skin care mechanisms?
Aloe vera, which is an extract from Aloe plant, is one of the best examples of herbal skin care product. Freshly extracted aloe vera is a natural hydrant that helps in soothing skin. It also helps in healing cuts and treating sun burns.
A number of herbs are known to possess cleansing properties. Dandelion, chamomile, lime flowers and rosemary herbs, are a few examples of such cleansers. Their herbal skin care properties get invoked when they are combined with other herbs like tea.
Antiseptics are another important part of Herbal skin care. Lavender, marigold, thyme and fennel are good examples of herbs that are known to possess antiseptic properties. Lavender water and rose water also form good toners.
Tea plays an important part in herbal skin care. Tea extracts are used for treatment of skin that has been damaged by UV radiation.
Oils prepared from herbal extracts present another means of herbal skin care. Tea tree oil, Lavender oil, borage oil and primrose oil are some popular oils used in herbal skin care. Some fruit oils (e.g. extracts from fruits like banana, apple and melon) find use in shower gels (as a hydrating mix)
Homeopathic treatments and aromatherapies also come under the umbrella of herbal skin care remedies.
Herbal skin care is good not only for the routine nourishing of skin but also for treatment of skin disorders like eczema and psorasis. Most herbal skin care products don’t have any side effects (the most important reason for preferring them over synthetic products) Moreover, herbal skin care products can be easily made at home, hence making them even more attractive. So, herbal skin care is the way to go. However, this does not mean that you totally discard the synthetic products. Some people go to the extent of debating with their dermatologist, if he/she suggests a synthetic product. You should accept the fact that some skin orders might need usage of clinically proven non-herbal skin care products.
Are Natural Skin Care Products The Answer To All Problems?
When it comes to skin care products, you will find that a lot of people are very particular about using only natural skin care products. They treat all the synthetic products as harmful to the skin.
So, are natural skin care products the answer to all of our problems? What if a natural skin care product is not available for the treatment of a particular skin disorder? Are the synthetic skin care products so harmful that they should be banned?
Different people have different answers to these questions. However, the reality is that due to presence of synthetic preservatives, it’s really tough to find a natural skin care product that is 100% natural. There are natural skin care products that have natural preservatives, but their cost might be detrimental. Moreover, such natural skin products have a shorter shelf life and hence are not preferred by the manufacturers of natural skin care products.
Some people carry a wrong notion that since natural skin care products are natural, they cannot cause any harm to the skin. The suitability of a skin care product is not based on whether it is synthetic or natural. An unsuitable natural skin care product can harm you in almost the same way as a synthetic one. So, use natural skin care products, but be open to synthetic ones too (you might need them when a natural solution is not available)
Your selection of a natural skin care product should be based on 3 factors:
* The skin type (dry, oily, normal, sensitive) of the person who will use that natural skin care product
* The climatic conditions in which it will be used e.g. hot and humid condition would warranty the use of oil-free natural skin care products.
* The process for application/use of the natural skin care product. A good natural skin care product (in fact any product) can seem useless if not used in the proper way.
You can also make natural skin care products by yourself, by using the recipes that are readily available on the internet and in the books at book stores.
Use of organic fruits and vegetables is also popular as a natural skin care procedure. Some essential oils, herbal oils, are useful too and are known for their moisturising and antiseptic properties
However, using a natural skin care product does not mean that you can exercise carelessness with other aspects of skin care. Natural skin care products should be used like supplements to the following ‘essential’ recommendations: healthy eating habits (avoiding oily food), regular exercise, drinking a lot of water (8 glasses everyday), and cleanliness. This will then form a perfect and completely natural skin care routine that will help maintain a healthy beautiful skin for longer time.
To Your Success,