The Right Way to Clean Your Face
Glowing skin begins with washing your face every single night before going to bed. For one thing, it's important to get the makeup and sweat from the day off your face and out of your pores. Everyone's face produces oil at night, even skin that's usually on the dry side. If you don't cleanse your face of makeup and bacteria, that oil will combine with them to irritate your skin, and it could lead to an acne outbreak.
In the morning, if you have very dry skin, you might want to simply wash your face with a soft wet washcloth without using soap. Otherwise, a gentle cleanser is the first step in your daily skin regimen. Pat your face dry afterward, and now you're ready to give your skin the best protection you can.
Retinol for Skin Care
Once your face is clean, the next step is to apply an exfoliant such as a vitamin A, or retinol, product. Vitamin A contains retinoids, substances that help your dead skin cells slough off and encourage the growth of new cells. During this process, it can also unclog pores and produce more collagen for your skin. Collagen is a substance that helps plump up the skin, making it look more youthful and minimizing the appearance of fine lines.
Retinol products can be purchased by prescription or over-the-counter. The prescription version is stronger, and it's usually reserved for treating severe acne because it can lead to red, peeling skin and irritation. Even beauty products with a lower concentration of retinol can cause these problems, so that's why you should alternate your retinol cream with another exfoliant. Don't use both together, because it could irritate your skin. Likewise, don't combine retinol with other products like benzoyl peroxide, because it could be deactivated.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
Like retinol, alpha hydroxy acids lead to cell turnover by removing the dead top layers of skin. You can find it in a cream base or purchase a moisturizing lotion that contains the product. Alpha hydroxy acids may also even out skin tone and increase the firmness of skin. Alternating this treatment with retinol may produce better results for your skin than using either one exclusively. Both products should be introduced to the skin gradually, beginning with once a week.
Most people should use a concentration of 5 to 7 percent alpha hydroxy acid because any more than that may cause irritation and peeling skin. Sunscreen is always recommended, but AHA makes the skin much more sensitive to sun damage than retinol. Wearing a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more is critical when using it as your exfoliant.
Exfoliation for Healthy Skin
The two substances I just mentioned are considered to be chemical exfoliators, but there are other ways to exfoliate your skin that don't involve chemical action. One of these is a cream that contains a finely ground substance that manually scrubs away the outer layer of dead skin. Pumice is one ingredient that creates a fine scrub that will remove dead skin cells and leave you with glowing skin. Others are natural ingredients such as apricot pits, cornmeal and salt. Sea salt is especially good for your face because it contains trace minerals and helps your skin retain moisture.
Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C
I'm talking about these two beauty treatments at the same time because they can be found together in a serum. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a lubricating substance that keeps the bones in our joints from rubbing against each other. It not only moisturizes the face but also attracts water, giving the same plumping effect as the chemical exfoliators. The hyaluronic acid helps your skin retain vitamin C at the same time that it hydrates.
Vitamin C actively fights the antioxidants that cause damages to your skin. Because it's an acid, you'll need to use it on the days you don't use a chemical exfoliator. A high concentration of vitamin C of up to 20 percent is the optimal amount for noticeable results. Use your hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum at night since exposure to the sun reduces its effectiveness. And, as always, remember to apply your sunscreen when going out during the day.
Peptide Eye Cream
The eyes are surrounded by sensitive skin that's prone to bags and puffiness, as well as dark spots. To increase the buildup of collagen and reduce puffiness, apply a peptide cream each evening before bed. Peptides are proteins, and they can help build the collagen that firms your skin. Peptides can also help skin retain its elasticity, and they even promote healing of wounds.
Seven-Day Facial Regimen for Youthful Skin
Here's a sample week of using these products for brightening and improving your complexion. The longer you treat your skin well, the better it will look, but you should see results in one week if you follow my suggestions. The steps are to be taken in the order listed for each day.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and soft cloth. If you have dry skin, you can use only the cloth and warm water.
- Monday and Friday, use a small amount of either Retinol or AHA afterward. Spread it to every part of your face.
- After you have applied your morning skin products, wait until your skin is completely dry before using toner or lotion or applying makeup.
- Use sunscreen in a spray or lotion form, or as a component of your liquid makeup.
- Gently pat peptide cream around your eyes, giving attention to the area under the brow, and especially the soft skin beneath your eyes.
- Every day except Monday and Friday, use Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum next.
- Follow this up with a night cream suited to your skin's needs. Oily skin will require a different formulation than dry skin.
The Difference Will Surprise You
After just one week of pampering your skin, you should see a fresher complexion. Removing dead skin cells and keeping your face clean and hydrated will give your skin a more filled-out, glowing appearance. The hyaluronic acid will help by retaining moisture in your skin, and the Vitamin C will work to prevent new damage. While you're trying it, be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated, and use sunscreen every day. The longer you continue to give your skin this care, the more striking the results will be!