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 moisturizing 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.
‘Sensitive skin care’ is governed by a few basic rules. However, even before we delve into the rules for sensitive skin care, it’s important to understand what a sensitive skin is. Sensitive skin is one which is unable to tolerate any unfavorable conditions (environmental/other), and which easily gets irritated on contact with foreign materials (including skin care products). For this reason, some products are especially labelled as sensitive skin care products. The degree of sensitivity can however vary from person to person (and depending on that, the sensitive skin care procedures vary too).
Generally, all skin types respond negatively to detergents and other chemical based products. However, the damage starts generally beyond a defined threshold (or tolerance level). This tolerance level is very low for sensitive skin types, leading to skin getting damaged very easily and quickly. Sensitive skin care products either avoid the potential irritants or keep them at very low concentrations.
Here are a few tips for sensitive skin care:
* Use sensitive skin care products only (i.e. the products that are marked for sensitive skin care only). Also, check the instructions/ notes on the product to see if there are specific restrictions/warnings associated with the product).
* Even within the range of sensitive skin care products, choose the one that has minimum preservatives, colorings and other additives
* Do not use toners. Most of them are alcohol based and are not recommended for sensitive skin.
* Wear protective gloves when doing laundry or other chemical based cleaning. If you are allergic to rubber, you can wear cotton gloves below the rubber ones.
* Another important tip for ‘sensitive skin care’ is to avoid excessive exposure to sun. Apply sunscreen lotion before getting out in the sun.
* Avoiding exposure to dust and other pollutants is also important for sensitive skin care. So, cover yourself adequately before going out.
* Use hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic moisturizer as a sensitive skin care product (if there is none specifically labelled as a sensitive skin care product)
* Use soap-free and alcohol free cleansers. Cleanse your face whenever you return from spending time out doors.
* Do not scrub or exfoliate too hard. It can cause reddishness and even inflammation.
* Do not leave the makeup on for too long. Use hypoallergenic makeup- removers.
So, sensitive skin care is very different from the normal skin care. Sensitive skin care is more about being careful with your skin (both in terms of sensitive skin care products and protection against environments atrocities on skin).
‘Facial skin care’ is more a matter of discipline than anything else. A facial skin care routine is what you need (and you need to follow the facial skin care routine with complete seriousness). So let’s check what comprises an effective facial skin care routine. Well, very simply, a facial skin care routine can follow the following 4 steps:
Cleansing is the first thing in facial skin care routine. Cleansing helps in removing dust, pollutants, grease and extra oil from your skin, thereby preventing damage to your skin. Just spot your face and neck with a good cleansing lotion or cream and gently massage it into your skin using upward strokes. Use a soft face tissue or cotton wool to wipe your face in a gentle patting fashion (do not rub). Cleansing should be done at least twice a day i.e. morning (as part of complete facial skin care routine) and evening (on a standalone basis). Water soluble cleansers are the best for inclusion in your facial skin care routine.
Toning is the next in a facial skin care routine. However, this is the optional part of the facial skin care routine. Mostly, proper cleansing can compensate for toning. Toning helps remove all traces of dirt, grease and excess cleanser. Instead of making it part of your daily facial skin care routine, you can using toning occasionally i.e. when you have been exposed to particularly harsh environment/pollution.
Exfoliation is again, kind of, optional step in everyday routine for facial skin care. However, exfoliation is necessary at least once a week (or twice, depending on the skin type and the environmental conditions). Exfoliation finds its place in facial skin care routine because of the natural tendency of skin to replenish the skin cells every 3 or 4 weeks. As a facial skin care technique, exfoliation helps in removing the dead skin cells that block the pores, thus assisting the skin in the natural process. However, excessive or harsh exfoliation can cause damage to your skin; so you need to balance it out.
The next thing in facial skin care is moisturizing. In fact, moisturizing is the most important part of facial skin care routine. Moisturizers prevent your skin from getting dry. Dry skin is really undesirable since it cause the upper layer skin to break, leading to dead skin cells. Again, use light upward strokes to make the moisturizer more effective. Moisturizers work the best when applied on warm and damp skin. So do not try to remove all the moisture in the previous steps of facial skin care routine.
Besides the normal facial skin care routine, you should also exercise the following for facial skin care:
* Use proper make-up remover instead of just washing it away
* Pay heed to your skin type and the environment, when choosing facial skin care products.
* Before you start using a new facial skin care product, test it by applying it on a short patch of skin e.g. ear lobes.
* Never rub your skin too hard.
* Use sunscreen lotions for protection against sun.