Before you head out to shop for your daily skin care necessities read over these helpful hints to make smart choices:
What they do: A cleanser is a necessary step that should be done 1 to 2 times per day. Cleansing helps to remove surface level impurities, dirt, and makeup build up on the skin. The right cleanser can also help address skin concerns such as dry areas, oil levels and acne.
Common myth: in order to work cleansers don’t have to have be big lathering factor, and to work for controlling acne they do not need to be drying to the skin. This is false. A quality cleanser should actually leave the skin feeling moisturized, not dry.
What to avoid in your cleanser: when shopping for a daily cleanser avoid those that contain any synthetic detergents as these can be very drying and can be the cause of skin irritations. The most commonly used detergents found in cleansers, shampoos, body wash and conditioners are Sodium Laurel Suflate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate and Ammonium Laurel Sulfate.
Natural alternatives: look for a cleanser that has been made with natural alternatives to synthetics. These can include Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Polyglucose and Almond Glycerides. Natural carrier oils such as jojoba, vitamins and pure essentail oils can also make up a good quality more natural based cleanser.
What they do: A quality Toner/Skin Balancer should help to control oily areas of the skin, hydrate the skin and promote pH balance. It should be used up to twice per day.
Common myth: only people with oily skin need to use it. This is false. If a toner is made correctly it will be benefical for all skin types by helping the skin stay balanced and hydrated.
What to avoid in your toners: toners that are made up a high percentage of alcohol and alchol based ingredients which can be drying and irritating to the skin.
Natural Alternatives: a quality toner should contain a more gentle alternative to synthetic based alcohols, such as a small percentage of Witch Hazel or floral waters such as rosewater or orange blossom water. Other active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and extracts such as green tea, grapeseed and seaweed can all act as a humectant which helps to draw moisture into the skin. In addition, other ingredients such as essential oils and vitamin c can help to promote healthy balanced skin.
What they do: An exfoliant can help to lift surface level impurities, bacteria and dry/dead skin cells that have accumulted on the surface. They can also help to stimualte circulation and re-balance the skin. A facial exfoliant can be used up to 3 times per week depending on your skin type and are most beneficial for dry skin.
Common myth: in order to provide benefits an exfoliant has to contain rough grains. This is false. Avoid exfoliants that have been made with ground shells such as walnut or apricot as these can be too harsh for the skin and can cause microscopic leasions.
Natural Alternatives: Mineral Clays, ground nut and seed powders and jojoba beads are great alternatives to harsh grains that are very effective while still being gentle on the skin.
What they do: Facial masks can offer a range of benefits including removing impurities, corrective care, targeting signs of age, hydrating dry/dehydrated skin and infusing vital minerals and nutrients. A facial mask can be used up to 3 times per week depending on skin type and skin concerns.
Common myth: they can provide an instant result for aging skin. This is false. Companies use marketing gimmicks such as “lifting”,” firming”, “restoring collagen” and others to imply that a facial mask will automatically provide these results. While masks can be very beneficial they work through long term use, not instantly, so avoid buying a facial mask where the claims seem too good to be true. Another common myth, especially in facial masks created for oily/acne prone skin, is that they have to be drying to the skin in order to work. Drying out acne is not the correct way of healing this condition. A mask needs to effectively and gently draw out impurites while reducing redness & inflammation. Remember, on order for a facial mask to make claims such as “hydrating” or “detoxifying” the formula should contain specific ingredietns that have been proven to penetrate to the inner layers of the skin through the skin barrier to effectively correct these conditions.
Natural alternatives: ingredients such as clays with a high mineral content, seaweed, pure sources of cosmetic vitamins such as C and E, powerful anti-oxidants such as green tea and acai berry, natural plant and nut based carrier oils, fruit enzymes, pure essentail oils and active ingredients that can promote hydration such as hyaluronic acid are all very beneficial when used in a facial mask.
Common myth: the best moisturizers have ingredients such as mineral oil, lanolin, beeswax, propylene glycol, and peterolum based ingredients. This is false. These ingredients can actually cause the skin to become drier.
Natural alternatives: ingredients such as pure sources of vitamins, fresh seaweed, specialized omega fatty acid based oils such as olive oil, pure essential oils, anti-oxidants such as green tea, acai and grapeseed can all be beneficial in a daily moisturizer. Other active ingredients can be added to address signs of age, but be aware of marketing gimmicks and make sure that any claims about the results can be substantiated by the supplier.
Still have questions about your skin? Contact me and I’ll respond to you directly to address and try to correct your skin care concern. Check our archives as well for articles that may pertain to your particular skin care needs.