How to Care for Your Skin: Beginners
Clear, radiant skin is a fundamental component of beauty, helping to project an image of health and vitality. Facial skin care basics such as cleansing your skin, exfoliating it regularly to remove dead cells and keeping it hydrated with moisturizers can help you keep your complexion looking its best. In addition, applying sunscreen daily can help protect your skin from the free radicals and UV radiation that cause wrinkles and discoloration.
Cleanse your face to remove makeup, dirt, contaminants and excess oils by massaging a mild facial cleanser over your entire face and throat with your fingertips for 20 to 25 seconds. Rinse the cleanser off with splashes of lukewarm water until no residue remains, then pat your face dry with a clean, soft towel, taking care not to rub at your skin. In addition to removing surface dirt, cleansing your face makes it easier for your skin to absorb moisturizers, sunscreen and other beneficial products.
Repeat the facial cleansing before bedtime. Oily, acne-prone skin may need to be washed three times a day; use an oil-free, non-comedogenic -- or non-pimple forming -- face wash that contains either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Consult a dermatologist if in doubt about the best type of facial cleanser to use on acne-prone skin.
Mix 2 tsp. ground oatmeal, 1 tsp. baking soda and enough water to make an exfoliating paste. Use the pads of your fingers to spread the mixture on your face, then rinse off by splashing with lukewarm water and pat dry. Oatmeal works as a gentle natural exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells to reveal fresher skin underneath; this helps to clarify and tone your complexion. Performed regularly, exfoliation can reduce wrinkles, alleviate blotching and discoloration, and brighten your skin.
Repeat the exfoliation weekly -- using either a homemade treatment or a good-quality commercial product -- if you have dry or normal skin. Skin Care Tips From Dermatologist says that oily skin may need to be exfoliated twice a week. The American Academy of Dermatologists concurs, but advises to avoid using an exfoliant in the midst of a breakout; the friction can aggravate acne.
Use a moisturizer immediately after cleansing and exfoliating your skin. Apply the product by gently tapping it into your skin with your fingertips; this technique promotes circulation and helps absorption. Do not pat your face completely dry before using a moisturizer; leaving it slightly damp can help the moisturizer seal in water. An ideal moisturizer is one that contains sunscreen, as well as antioxidants and natural emollients and humectants such as dimethicone, grape seed oil or petrolatum.
Apply a facial-quality sunscreen after moisturizing, if your moisturizer doesn't contain one.
Use an anti-aging product nightly if wrinkles are a concern. Use either an over-the-counter retinol or a dermatologist-prescribed tretinoin cream. To avoid skin irritation, start off by using the product every other night.
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