Discover the Proper Approach to Effective Skin Care
By Michael Russell
The largest organ of the body is right out there for all to see - your skin. Yes, it is an organ with specific functions. One main function of the skin is to help remove toxins and waste from the body through the facility of sweating. If the toxins are trapped in clogged pores they can result in symptoms like acne. If the skin can't "breathe", it can't properly cleanse itself.
When thinking about skin care, remember that your skin is a gateway, not a barrier. Oxygen and other chemicals move through the skin, going in and out of the body.
Americans spend millions of dollars each month on skin care products, but are they getting the right ones? Do you know what your skin needs to stay healthy and vibrant and therefore good-looking? The first place to start is to determine the type of skin you have. You can then move on to discovering what regimen will help you to maintain its health.
There are three basic skin types - dry, oily and combination skin. Probably you will find your skin is some mixture of these types, as they are quite broad.
Oily skin tends to be shiny and typically prone to acne and blackheads. This type needs no moisturizing, particularly during youth. Containing an excess of sebum, the material that keeps the skin from drying out, oily skin tends to attract and trap dirt and whatnot in the pores. You may benefit from plain, MILD soap and water. Wash with warm water, which will open the pores and loosen the dirt and rinse with cold to help the pores close back up. A toner or astringent, which are drying agents, may be applied after cleansing. Avoid alcohol-based products, as these kill the skin cells and do not apply any oily substances. If the label says the product contains mineral oil or alcohol, then choose another.
Dry skin looks dry and can be flaky. There is a lack of sebum, which creates this dryness and the skin can be easily chapped. In very hot or cold weather, dry skin reacts by tightening up - you can feel the tightness if you have it. Mild, alcohol-free cleansers and make-up are important to combat the dry flakiness and you should moisturize the skin daily.
Most people, of course have some combination of dry and oily areas. Commonly there is an oily area around the forehead, nose and chin, called the "T" zone, with drier skin elsewhere. Unless these differences are severe, you shouldn't need two products, but use a mild cleanser and arm water. There are several cleansers designed for combination skin and you might want to experiment with these. You could also experiment with moisturizing the dry areas.
An important point, which should be clear from the above, is that any product containing oils should be avoided, regardless of skin type. The old theory was that the oils would trap moisture inside the skin and therefore keep it hydrated and young. This has been proven to be a very poor approach to skin care because, as mentioned, the skin is a membrane through which liquids and gases must pass. Sealing it up with oil merely traps dirt in the skin and prevents the necessary sloughing off of skin cells. Further, when sealed this way your moisturizer cannot get into the skin where it is needed.
Choose your skin care plan carefully, drink plenty of water and you can maintain youthful skin for many decades.