I could guess that most women would love to know the secret to perfect skin.Firstly, do no harm. This means if you're not sure, don't touch it, just go directly to your pharmacist or beauty therapist and ask for advice.
Unfortunately I can't give you this magic answer, and I can only assume there is no specific one. Sorry to disappoint you ladies! BUT, there are ways to persevere with the skin you do have. We are all born with a certain skin type; some are lucky than others, so it's up to you to work with what you were given. Potentially, we all can have healthy skin, you just need to follow some simple rules and try various products (that part is merely a matter of trial and error).
What I can tell you is that there are some things you should avoid. These things can, and will only make the health of your skin worse. You may in fact be doing something damaging to your skin right now, although you may actually think it is helping.
First few rules & things to avoid
Don't ever pick or squeeze. You will either make it worse by causing an infection, or you will scar yourself.
Always use sunscreen if you are going out during the day, no matter what the weather looks like. The sun is much stronger these days, and it is the sun that does the most damage to your skin.
Not all creams and lotions are good for you. For example an anti-wrinkle cream on young skin (say under the age of 30 years) can actually be damaging to the skin. Skin regeneration is at its peak in your teens and twenties. You shouldn't need to remove the top layer off with creams containing substances such as glycolic acid until you are older. And if you are older and using these creams, you can actually damage your skin more by using them and going out in to the sun. Many of these creams remove the top layer of the skin, which can cause the newer skin to be more sensitive to burning. This also applies to creams containing vitamin E. So if you are using these creams, use them at night, and wear sunscreen during the day.
Tips for cleaning & cleansing
Frequent washing and scrubbing can actually irritate the skin, and remove important oils that are necessary for supple and soft skin. It can also cause your skin to become overactive in its natural oils. So if you have oily skin, washing it more frequently will only cause more oil production.
Very few people realise that water alone, can remove most dirt from the skin. If you choose to use a soap or lotion, try and use ones containing oatmeal, or that are lipid-free (fat-free). Avoid standard soaps, and strong cleansers, as often they will cause the skin to dry out too much, and result in either very dry skin, or an over production of oil.
Many astringents, which are intended to close the pores in the skin, are actually causing irritation to the skin, which causes the pores to swell slightly. This gives the appearance that the pores have decreased in size, as the swelling closes the pores, and visually they look smaller.
Some overnight moisturising creams give the appearance that the skin is smoother, this is because the cream has given the skin a smoother layer by filling in the irregular surface of the skin.
Immediately after bathing, it is best to use a neutral pH moisturiser (the pH level of the skin is around 5.5). Do this immediately after bathing, as if you wait, your skin will begin to dry. Applying moisturiser quickly will help to prevent water loss, and therefore keep your skin more hydrated throughout the day.
Good skin care should be a basic procedure for most of us. If you are suffering from skin problems such as acne or eczema, you may need to see your doctor for further advice. Keeping things simple with your skin is the best way to maintain healthy skin.
- Louise Ganey