Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WE Beauty - Developing a Decent Skin Care Routine

The Steps to Great Skin Care (part 3)
by Carol A. Allen

Achieving a beautiful, glowing complexion takes discipline. And, there are basic steps to getting your skin into tip-top shape. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing are the key steps, with nourishing and exfoliating significantly enhancing any skin care routine. Once you’ve determined your skin type, it’s time to begin a daily regimen.

Your first step in skin care is cleansing. Cleansers are designed to lift dirt, bacteria and oil from the skin in order to prevent clogged pores. Some cleansers also remove make-up and should be used twice daily, morning and evening. A cleanser should be gentle, not strip the skin and applied on the face in an upwards motion, and then removed with a facecloth and lukewarm water.

Follow the cleansing step with a toner. Toners are your main weapon to balance the skin's pH level which ideally should have a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. Toner helps to refresh the skin and remove any residue left from the cleansing step. Some toners contain cucumber, chamomile or willow bark which increases cell renewal. Others may contain alcohol which can be very drying to the skin. Alcohol-free toners are recommended. Toners should be applied on a 100% cotton pad, starting from under the neck and upwards until there is no trace of soil on the pad. Residue on the pad is an indication that something is trapped below the pores and needs to be removed.

Treatment products such as facial masks and scrubs (exfoliators) should be used one to three times per week. A mask pulls toxins out of the skin while a scrub exfoliates the dead skin cells making way for fresh new cells. Masks can be used at least once a week, whereas scrubs should be used anywhere from once a week to three times per week, depending on your skin type. Treatment products are generally applied after a cleanser and followed by a toner to remove any excess.

Just as you should take vitamins for your body, your skin also needs vitamins. Nourishing products usually have healing properties such as Vitamin C. A rejuvenating mist can give the skin a boost especially if the skin has encountered stress or extreme sun. Serums, help to reduce the signs of aging on a cellular level as well as minimize lines and wrinkles. Most anti-wrinkle serums are fortified with free-radical fighting vitamins such as A, B, and D. Anti-aging serums protect the skin from the environmental elements such as pollution, weather, and the sun, and can minimize the appearance of crow’s feet and deep-set lines. Apply a small amount to your forehead, chin, cheeks, nose and neck, rubbing in an upward and outward motion. Serums immediately absorb into the skin and should be followed by a moisturizer.

Moisturizing the skin twice daily is a critical component of any skin care regimen. Moisture protects the skin from debris and acts as a seal before applying make-up, preventing foundation and powders from seeping into the pores. Moisturizers with SPF 15 or higher are great for protecting against the harmful rays of the sun, however, they generally vary by skin type. Moisture also needs to be applied around the eyes and neck, as there are no oil glands in either area, often leading to wrinkles. Some skin care lines offer one moisturizer for day and night, while others include a night cream. Regardless, it is important to choose the moisturizer for your skin type.

Keep in mind that's it's never too late to start a skin care program. But, the sooner you start, the better your results will be.

Carol Allen is a Skin Care Consultant and Make-Up Artist for Aloette Cosmetics.
You can book a personal consultation by calling (416) 410 7556 or by email to

No comments: