You may think that caring for the skin is a cumbersome process. After all, there are thousands of skin care products on the market today that all promise to do different things. Fortunately, caring for your skin is actually quite simple. You just have to remember four simple steps: cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and protect.
Cleansing is the first step of any skin care regimen. In order to keep a clear and healthy complexion, it is necessary to eliminate oil, make-up, and other pollutants that cover the surface of the after a day’s exposure to the environment. Cleansing can be accomplished with any mild soap or cleanser. Enough product should be used to remove any buildup on the skin which can cause bacterial growth and the decay of skin cells. This does not need to be a complex ritual. There are a lot of companies wanting to sell many different cleansing products for each individual. This is not usually necessary. Depending on the quality and the skin type, a single formulation of cleansing agent is usually enough for each person.
Exfoliation is the 2nd step in proper skin care. This process removes the superficial layers of dead skin cells and skin debris, also known as keratin. Exfoliation prevents the buildup of keratin which can clog pores and prevent the skin from growing in a healthy fashion. To be effective, exfoliation must be done by a chemical reaction or by vigorous mechanical dermabrasion. A popular myth in skin care is that exfoliation can occur with products that contain “gentle exfoliants,” such as micro beads or micro spheres. There is no gentle way of removing the thickened layers of keratin. For effective exfoliation, skin stimulation, and rejuvenation to occur, chemical and/or mechanical techniques need to be applied. Daily exfoliation through chemical means with products containing Retin-A and/or alpha hydroxy acids, such as Lexli’s AloeGlyC, should be part of every skin care regimen.
Moisturizing is the 3rd step required for good skin care. Every cell in the body depends upon water to maintain a healthy state. Our skin loses water by evaporation and dehydration. It is important to drink plenty of water to prevent internal dehydration and to use a moisturizer to reduce evaporation from the surface of the skin. One of the myths in the beauty industry is that when water is applied to the skin via a particular product, the water will be absorbed, thus increasing moisture. Many products on the market adhere to this myth and use water as their main ingredient. Consequently, applying water to the surface of the skin will not make a difference in the skin’s moisture because water is not absorbed externally. The only way the skin’s moisture content can be kept optimal is to prevent evaporation and maintain internal hydration. Moisturizers that contain humectants help prevent surface evaporation. Humectants are molecules that hold more than their weight in water. Modern moisturizers such as Lexli’s Aloe Based moisturizers contain humectants, along with AloeVera, masking agents and sunscreens. The combination of these ingredients will moisturize the skin and also condition, repair and protect it.
Protection is the final skin care step. Environmental factors such as ultraviolet light are major contributors to skin damage. When exposed to the elements, protective clothing and the application of a sunscreen with an SPF of least 15 should be routine. Numerous studies have shown that sunscreens with an SPF greater than 15 do not provide much additional protection.
The most important thing to remember about developing a good skin care regimen is to keep it simple. Don’t be fooled by all the commercialism in the market. Many products advertised are very expensive and produce little or no results. Read labels carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You only have one skin covering, be informed and make educated choices in order to keep your skin healthy.
| posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:00 AM