The truth about skin care eludes millions of women due to misinformation, misleading advertisements, hyped up product claims and unrealistic expectations. This often leads to women who either don’t use skin care products at all or are using the wrong products all together. Good skin care products are out there; you just have to be a smart consumer and not fall for marketing gimmicks, flashy packaging, or slick commission sales people.
Learning to read between the lines and spot unrealistic claims is harder than one might think. Most of society believes that multi-million dollar cosmetic companies would not mislead the public. Therefore when products don’t live up to our expectations, we often blame ourselves thinking that we must have such terrible skin that it can’t be helped. When in fact the product may have been intentionally over-hyped or even mislabeled in order to compete with the competition or make someone’s sales quota.
The F.D.A. or Food and Drug Administration that oversees the cosmetic industry shows very little interest in policing what cosmetic company’s claim their products do. And from there it is simply a game of follow the leader or keeping up with the Jones’s. For example, in 1989 the F.D.A. banned the usage of the word “anti-aging” from the cosmetic industry. This was due to the fact that there has yet to be invented a cream that can either reverse or stop aging of the skin. However, as you know there are dozens of skin care products on the market that make this claim. How does this happen? Brand X claims that it has a face cream that is “anti-aging” and sells millions of dollars worth of this product without as much as a slap on the wrist from the F.D.A. Therefore, the other brands follow suit and take their piece of the anti-aging pie.
So what is the truth about skin care? Is it possible to improve your skin, soften signs of aging or even slow down the aging process? The answer is YES! First you have to understand the skin, what its needs are and how it ages. From there you can easily discover how to maintain healthy skin, to improve problem skin, and to prevent it from aging at the rate it normally would based on your genetics and lifestyle.
Sometimes the truth hurts, so be prepared for the following enlightening information. We are all born with beautiful, healthy skin and a normal skin type. Unknowingly, we create oily skin, big pores, acne, uneven complexions and a plethora of other things that we dislike about our faces. Often we create these skin problems by using the wrong type of skin care products! The following information will guide you though many do’s and don’ts with regards to skin. If you take the advice given, will see positive results in the improvement of your skin and more importantly; you will visibly age slower than you would have otherwise.
Regardless if you are having skin issues or your skin is great, you should be using what is considered basic maintenance skin care. Usage of these products will keep your skin clean and prevent it from getting overly dehydrated which, in turn will slow down the daily aging process. If you have skin issues such as acne, redness, flakiness or clogged pores, adding these products to your daily and nightly routine will typically give dramatic results within a few weeks.
Basic Skin care Maintenance
Cleanse: Cleansing the face properly includes using 3 products. An eye makeup remover, and a facial cleanser and toner. Although all facial cleansers and any bar of soap will remove eye makeup, a gentler product created specifically for the eye area is recommended. This is due to the skin in the eye area being much thinner than the skin on the face. Combine the thin delicate eye tissue with the abuse we give it from rubbing of the eyes and pulling on the eye area to apply and remove makeup and you quickly realize why the eye area is typically the first to show signs or age. A gentle eye makeup remover will remove all eye makeup quickly without adding to the self inflicted aging you may be causing with your current removal process.
A liquid, cream or even an oil facial cleanser without detergents is recommended for all skin types. The truth is that there are basically two things that remove makeup, dirt, and oil well. Oils or detergents, which are listed on ingredient label as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laurelth sulfate or sodium hydroxide among others. These ingredients each will clean the face however, use of products with these foaming detergents can slowly cause havoc on the skin. Along with removing dirt, oil and makeup they also remove water from the skin. Considering the fact that dehydration is one of the main culprits to aging of the skin, choosing the non-foaming cleanser in a no-brainer. When it comes to a toner, alcohol is another common ingredient that is dehydrating to the skin so select one that is alcohol free. The purpose for toner is to remove cleanser residue and get the skin back to a proper P.H. balance. In other words, it prepares the skin to better work with the moisturizer or night cream you are about to apply. Claims that toners can shrink or close your pores are more than misleading, they are absolutely false. If that was true, why would anyone have large pores?
Moisturize and Replenish: Holding in the skins natural moisture (water) is crucial if you are concerned with aging. If aging is not a big concern for you now because you are either still young or you genetically have great skin, consider this. It is a fact that we are aging at a much faster rate than our grandparents. This is due to many factors but most boil down to things that cause dehydration. For example, today with changes in the atmosphere, ozone layer and pollution, the sun is much more damaging than it was 25 years ago. Some claim, 10 minutes of direct sun today is equal to the sun damage 2 hours of sun created 2 decades ago! Scientist’s say that we ingest up to 8 pounds a year of chemicals and toxins from our daily intake of food, due to man made preservatives, pesticides and chemical substitutes. Most of which were invented in the last 30 years.
Many inventions that society considers wonderful and have become ‘normal’ to our generation are dehydrating us on a daily basis, which our grandparents were not exposed to for much of their lives. Such as air conditioning, central heating, fast food, tanning beds, caffeine, sugar substitutes, saunas, spa’s, harsh skin care products, and airplane travel of course existed but was not as common place as it is today. Many other things also cause our bodies to loose water such as swimming in the ocean or pools, smoking, drinking alcohol, stress, illness, body wraps, pregnancy, breast feeding, illegal, prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, change of climate and lack of sleep.
It is disturbing to realizing that all of these things add up and rob our skin of necessary water that keeps skin soft, youthful and moist. The good news is that moisturizer is meant to be applied during the day when the skin is most often exposed to these elements and hold in as much natural water as possible to prevent our water from evaporating. Of course a moisturizer cannot act like a zip-lock bag and keep all water from evaporating. Therefore use of a night cream or other treatment product is recommended to replace the water that was lost through evaporation from all of the above listed factors that cause dehydration. A night cream or treatment product is more refined and can penetrate the skin to replace water and often vitamins, minerals and other beneficial ingredients to the skin. Whereas the daytime moisturizer is meant to sit on the surface and protect the skin from the environment, hold in water and keep a barrier between skin and makeup which allows makeup to go on better, look fresher and stay on longer.
Remember that the skin around the eye area is much thinner and more delicate than the facial skin so it needs to be treated differently. If your night creams and treatments for the face are formulated to penetrate the thicker facial skin, imagine what would happen if you used them around the eyes. Many women have experienced their eyes becoming irritated, red, itchy, burning, or even have experienced blurred vision for several hours when using a face product on the eye area.
Therefore, investing in a daytime eye cream especially formulated for the thin, delicate eye tissue is recommended. There are many eye products on the market, but a basic maintenance eye cream acts as a preventative measure to keep the skin soft and firm to prevent it from aging as fast as it would otherwise. Unfortunately, most women do not purchase an eye cream until they experience lines and wrinkles around the eyes. The truth is the secret to aging slowly is to prevent the lines from happening as fast as they would with daily usage of a moisturizing or firming eye cream before you need it!
Products that prevent lines from forming and ones that correct lines that already exist are completely different. If you have existing lines that you want to soften, invest in an additional eye cream. Meaning that you don’t switch eye creams when you get wrinkles, you still want to prevent them from happening at the rate they would happen normally in addition to also soften the existing lines to lessen their appearance. A rich textured eye cream to be used in the evening as to not interfere with makeup is often a Vaseline type consistency and will topically lubricate the thin skin around the eyes to give a smoother appearance.
Now that you have been educated on skin and its basic needs, you can’t pretend you didn’t know. Make the decision today to look younger in 10 years that you would otherwise. Invest in your face. You’re worth it. Consider this; how careful are you with the most expensive outfit in your wardrobe? Do you take it to the dry cleaners or just throw it in the wash with harsh detergent? Chances are that outfit will be hanging in a thrift store in a few years. But this is the only face you’ve got. It would be great if we could rotate our face as often as our wardrobe. But we can’t trade it in for a new version, so take precautions to prevent it from aging as fast as your genetics and lifestyle warrant.
Love and Wisdom