Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Behind the Regime...

Most of us do at least something with our skin, cleanse, tone moisturise and maybe the occasional facial but it makes such a difference if you understand why we have to do all of this. Through my work in cosmetics and beauty therapy I've had lots of people ask things about skincare, including why they should exfoliate as well as cleanse, so I thought I'd explain the method behind the madness!

A common misconception is that only oily skin needs exfoliation but this is not true! If you're suffering from dry skin, it can be from the change in temperatures or conditions, travelling long distances or even if your skin is consistently dry it is so important to exfoliate as well! By exfoliating we are removing the dead skin cells that lie flat on the surface, if we don't remove them then it creates a buildup of rough, flakey skin. These flat cells don't reflect light so it can make the skin look dull and lifeless and it is also a barrier so that your moisturiser can't get deep enough to actually hydrate or repair your moisture barrier. So by adding moisturisers before cleansing the skin properly we are actually making dry skin worse; even though the cream has camouflaged the dryness it's not actually healing it! On a skin that is oily this buildup leads to congestion and breakouts because the bacteria is trying to get out of the skin and becomes trapped under the dead skin cells. After exfoliation the new, young cells can then make it to the surface, making your skin seem more youthful and refreshing it. 

Usually it is best to exfoliate about twice a week after cleansing the skin but each product is different so it's important to read the directions first to gain the best result.
There are several different types of products you can use to exfoliate the skin, the most common is a granulated scrub which will 'polish' the surface of your skin to soften and remove any excess oils and dirt. Usually these can be used once or twice a week depending on the strength of the products.

Using a lotion to exfoliate will give your skin a chemical exfoliation and remove any excess oil in your pores as well as the flat cells without irritating or scratching the skin so is usually gentle enough to use daily before your moisturiser. 
A treatment mask can offer a deep exfoliation and use certain ingredients to draw out any deep impurities but it depends on the skin type as to what type of mask you will need. It's normal to see some breakouts after this kind of treatment, it's bringing everything to the surface and the skin usually looks worse before it gets better. 
Ideally you would be using a liquid exfoliant daily, a scrub once or twice a week and then using a treatment mask when your skin needs a boost, often if you have been stressed or unwell you can see it in your skin.

It's important to use good products to take care of our skin, it's such a big part of how we look and feel about ourselves so it's an investment that's worth it! 
It doesn't take much to get into these little habits and to research and find out our skin types but it really pays off in the long run. 
We all want to be the person who gets mistaken for being 10 years younger one day and it all comes down to having good skin!
Instead of going out and spending a fortune in one hit on expensive products you can add one at a time to your regime, building up your collection slowly. Its a good idea to talk to professionals in the industry so that you know HOW the products actually work and WHY you need to use them. So then you will understand the benefit and be excited to see the results! Its easy to forget to put a cream on or not be bothered to take your makeup off after a night out but if you know the long term consequences of neglecting your skin then it will inspire you not to let the regime slip! 

Some of my favourite exfoliants/ lotions are- 
Clinique- clarifying lotion
Payot- gommage douceur
Kosmea- exfoliating scrub
Dermalogica- gentle cream exfoliant