Does your skin tend to get dry, flaky and rough, especially during the colder months of the year? Babies naturally have skin that's silky soft, but the years tend to take a toll on our skin as we age. Learn techniques, products and treatments you can try to get your skin back into smooth, silky shape.
Great Skin:If any make-up artist tells you that your skin looks great, you are at least halfway there to looking perfect. An innately healthy skin is a boon but most skin problems can be tackled by three easy-to-follow steps that take little time.
Cleanse:The first step towards acquiring a luminous complexion is a careful cleansing routine. It is always advisable to opt for gentle, non-dehydrating cleansers. Even if you have an oily skin which is prone to acne, always use a gentle face wash with salicyclic acid - like Neutrogena skin Clearing Foaming Wash and Clearasil 3 - in - 1 Deep Cleansing Wash. Harsh, drying soaps will only increase oil production in the skin as a counter-reaction to sudden dryness.
Exfoliate:Once your skin is thoroughly cleansed, it's time to work on shedding dead cells through exfoliants such as exfoliating face washes or scrubs. Take care not to rub too hard, as this can tear skin and cause irritations. Don't exfoliate more than twice a week, and never on consecutive days. A little sugar goes a long way an an exfoliating home remedy as does roughly ground lentils with a little chickpea flour mixed in - guaranteed soft, supple skin.
Moisturise:It's essential to moisturise after exfoliation - but choose a product keeping in mind your skin's individual needs. For skin that tends to get red, botchy or inflamed, an anti-oxidant-spiked moisturiser is the best. If your skin is extremely dry, look for moisturisers that contain emollients and water-binding agents. If skin is oily and breaking out in spots, look out for the term 'non-comodegenic', Which means that it won't block pores that may cause acne.
Something More:Extend your beauty ritual beyond your face to your neck - one of the first places to show signs of aging. Since the skin on your neck is very thin with fewer fat cells and a meagre supply of sebum, it is prone to sagging and fine lines. To prevent this, supplement with firming creams and face lifts. Follow these routines religiously, alongside protecting your skin with sunscreen when you step out, and you will see the difference within two-three weeks. Applying sunscreen is even more important in winters as the winter sun tans fiercely. Once the skin has relaxed, you can even-out the texture further with a lightweight foundation following with just a touch of loose powder and blusher. Leave eyes bare except for a coat of mascara, swipe on some lipgloss and face the world looking yourself, only better.
Breathe Free:In winters, our bundling up often asphyxiates the skin. Because the body is hidden under layers of clothing, it is often neglected. Since hardly any skin shows in winter, we tend to forget even basic moisturisation resulting in unhealthy, dull skin.
Fresh Skin:Skin cannot breathe under clothes, so dead, dry skin cells build up. This can lead to keratosis pilaris - which shows up as tiny bumps where small hair follicles are clogged by dead skin cells. The solution is to exfoliate regularly - or simply squirt some bath gel on your loofah and work it in long circular strokes all over. Try body washes followed by an oil-based moisturiser after every shower or bath, when skin is slightly damp. Pay special attention to elbows, knees and legs, as these are particularly prone to dryness.
Good Food For Good Skin:Eating certain foods aids healthy skin, slowing down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, banishing dullness, preventing blemishes and fighting excessive oiliness or dryness. Foods packed with iron, zinc, protein and B-group vitamins build healthy skin cells and help skin repair faster. So opt for poultry, oily fish like salmon and tuna, and plenty of whole grains such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Vitamin E is a good tonic for the skin - but in limited quantity since the vitamin is not water soluble and you may end up putting on weight.
Pick-Me-Up:Festive season and all of us women are extra busy. Running countless errands, visiting friends and family, and generally bustling around, leaves most with a tired countenance. At such times, instant rejuvenation is needed... There's no faster pick-me-up than an intensive face pack that gets the skin glowing.
Face Packs:If you are running short of time, mash up a cold banana and apply over your entire face and neck for 10 minutes - it's great for restoring radiance and banishing puffiness, especially around the eyes. If you have a little more time on hand, finely grind 10 almonds and make a smooth paste with half a cup of yoghurt. Leave it on your face for 15 minutes and wash off - it will do wonders for dry skin. Those with oily skin or open pores will benefit from a combination of fuller's earth (2 tbsp), Honey (1 tbsp), and enough rose water to form a thicj paste. Leave the paste on your face for 15 minutes and rinse off with cold water for a supple feel.
Gentle Care:The skin on the eyes is 10 times thinner than the rest of the face. During winter, circulation becomes sluggish, and blood pools in thye vesseld under the eye area, creating dark circles and swelling. Use an eye gel every night. For quick results, gently pat the gel around the eyes, working outwards from the inner corner - this will speed up lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness. Or try this instant rejuvenator - apply chilled cucumber slices over your eyes and leave on for 15 minutes. Then rub the slices lightly all over the eye area, before rinsing off with cold water. Rinsing out eyes with distilled cold water every morning will also make them look dewy-fresh.
Lip Balms:Since lips contain no sebaceous glands or skin-protecting melanin, they have little natural defence against the elements. Cold weather causes them to dry out, crack and break out in cold sores. Beat the chill by applying a barrier lip balm with some SPF factor. If your lips are excessively dry and chapped, a tried and tested alternative is to liberally douse your lips with a good moisturising lip cream and leave it on overnight, your lips will be as pink and soft as a baby's.
All in all, a daily routine of skin care should be followed as an anthem. Whether you are a staunch buyer of high-end products or a follower of home remedies - treat your skin as a valuable asset. Regular care an a sensible routine will soon give you skin you yearn for.
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