What do you miss most about being a child? Was it the fact that life was carefree, everything seemed perfect, and you innocently believed in the embellished "happily ever after" fairy tales? There are many joys that come with childhood; ironically through the eyes of a child, some of these are obscure at best. As an adult, I'm now faced with the realization that youth is golden in so many ways, from clear and blemish free, to wrinkle free skin. Hollywood pays billions yearly for their quest to find the fountain of youth. But is there any way to attain this? Is it lost without reclaim?
It goes without saying that I am an avid makeup wearer (nothing comes between me and my makeup.) I've also had my share of skincare problems—you know those unwanted zits that pop up whenever they feel like? This is in addition to areas of dry skin, and an oily T-zone area. I'm perpetually seeking products and techniques that will provide optimal skin care. While makeup is an awesome tool to enhance and accentuate, its use does not replace the need for a rigorous skin care regimen. We can sometimes get lost in "covering" up the problem with concealers and foundation, but truly tackling the problem, necessitates getting to the root and underlying cause. Many of us relish in the thought of having healthy, glowing skin, for which unfortunately, there's no magic fix. I know we live in a world now where money can buy just about anything, and a highly rated plastic surgeon may be at the top of everyone's wish list. But healthy skin starts from the inside. We are often exposed to harsh external factors such as extreme weather and other chemicals, which have no mercy when they're brutally assaulting our vulnerable skin cells. There's also a huge misconception among people of deeper skin tones that our skin is resilient, and can handle extreme situations. Really? While some skin abnormalities may not be as conspicuous as with lighter skin tones, we still need to give our skin as much love as we bestow to other delicate areas of our bodies. There are some daily practices that go a far way. Start giving your skin the attention and care that it deserves.
The basic yet effective 3-step process is outlined below.
1. Cleanse: This is the first step of the 3-step skincare process. Cleansing removes impurities, excess oils, dirt, makeup, and residue from the skin. With cleaner skin, there's a lower chance of bacterial proliferation which can lead to acne. Cleansing can be accomplished with the use of soaps, foaming, gel, or liquid cleansers. Some popular tools on the market now, are skincare brushes like the Clarisonic brush, an electronic device effective in removing impurities from the skin by utilizing a rotating head, spinning at high speeds.
2. Hydrate: Hydration is the process of replenishing the skin with moisture. A toner or astringent can be used to infuse moisture into the skin. Clean & Clear's deep cleansing toner for sensitive skin works well for my skin type. It contains salicylic acid, a potent acne fighter. Manufacturers are well aware of the skincare problems that we face, so they aim to provide products with multiple benefits.
3. Moisturize: After toning, it is essential to apply a moisturizer to seal in the newly infused moisture into the skin. Clean & Clear's Dual action moisturizer promulgates "a combination of oil-free moisturizers and pimple fighting ingredients." Somehow, I've accepted this claim, since this is another product that has been a part of my skin care regimen for a long time.
What else can you do to care for your skin?
Your skin is unique, so developing a killer regimen comes with a proper understanding of your skin type and its tendencies. While some people may discover winning products through trial and error or experimentation, others may need the help of a dermatologist to conduct a thorough evaluation, diagnosis and recommendations of treatment formulas and practices, customized for their skin type. These professionals understand the skin's physiology, and the best method of correction or treatment, comes from understanding the root of the problem. For example, if you are fighting an endless battle against dry skin, you may require a unique formula of hydrators and emollients to reclaim soft and supple skin.
If I were to recommend a universal formula that closely mimics a magic potion, it would be water. Its benefits are innumerable. Water is a solvent so it helps to purify the skin by removing toxins, which results in clearer looking skin. Since it's also an important constituent of our body cells, having enough water will mask the appearance of dry and dull looking skin. Simple solution: drink enough water according to the needs of your body.
The secret to youthful, glowing skin lies within you. Your diet, lifestyle, and skincare practices all influence the appearance of your skin. Healthy, beautiful, glowing skin is attainable. Are you willing to invest the time necessary to experiment, research and understand your skin? Or you'll rather just jump on the Hollywood bandwagon and pay big bucks?
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