<%-- Page Title--%> Health <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 125 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

October 3, 2003

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Skin Care

If you're like most people, a weekly facial does not fit in your budget. But healthy, glowing skin doesn't have to be the exclusive possession of those who can afford professional skin care. Developing a routine that keeps your particular skin clean, hydrated, and protected can help you look your best. A good daily skin care routine shouldn't take more than 10 minutes a day.
Following is a list of some steps you should incorporate into your daily skin care routine that will help to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy, clear and youthful.

Determine Your Skin Type and Pick Appropriate Products
Step 1 - Cleansing
Step 2 - Toning
Step 3 - Moisturizing
Step 4 - Protection
Feeding the Skin

Normal: Skin is velvety, with small pores and no visible acne.
Oily: Skin has enlarged pores with shiny patches. Frequent breakouts may occur on the face, back, arms and possibly the chest.

Dry: Skin has very small, invisible pores with possible dry and itchy patches. The cheeks, arms, legs, chest and belly may be particularly dry.

Combination: Skin is dry across the cheeks and oily on the forehead, chin and nose. Arms may be dry and back may be oily.

Sensitive: Skin is either oily or dry with irritated and itchy patches. Skin may also be blotchy and reddened with frequent breakouts.
If you're not sure what type of skin you have, ask your dermatologist or a skin care professional. Note that skin on the body may be a different type than facial skin.

Once your skin is classified, you should choose products formulated for your skin type and use them in your daily routine. The four steps in your daily skin care routine should be cleansing, toning, moisturising and protecting.

Step 1 - Cleansing
For the face, any type of soap works fine to remove dirt but may not work as well to remove make-up. Instead, choose a facial cleansing agent in cream, water-based emulsion, lotion, or gel form that's formulated for your particular skin type. There are many different products on the market so you may want to try a few brands before you settle down on one that works best for you. Those with drier skin may want to choose cream or lotion products; those with oilier skin may want to use gel or water-based products. Those prone to breakouts may wish to use medicated soaps or lotions designed to reduce breakouts.

First, splash your face with warm water to open the pores. Apply your cleansing product to the skin in gentle upward strokes (to avoid stretching the skin and aggravating wrinkles), rinsing thoroughly with warm water for several minutes. If you use a product that must be applied with cotton balls or a cleansing towel, again, use gentle upward strokes and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Finish with a splash or two of cold water to close the pores.

This routine is same for the body. Cleanse your skin in the bath and shower with a cleansing product formulated for the body. Rinse with warm water and finish up with a dip or splash of cold.

Step 2 - Toning
Follow-up your cleansing routine with a facial toner, which removes any residual greasiness still left on the skin from your make-up or your cleansing product. It also closes the pores, stimulates circulation, and gives the skin a porcelain-like quality. There are a variety of toners on the market so try to choose one that's formulated for your skin type. Apply the toner with a cotton ball, using the same gentle, upward strokes that you used to apply your cleanser.

Only those with very oily skin need to use a toner on the body. If you have oily skin and breakouts on areas of your body, try using a toner formulated for use on the body. Otherwise, skip to moisturising.

Step 3 - Moisturising
All skin types, even oily skin, need a moisturiser everyday. But like toners and cleansers, there are different types of moisturisers for different types of skin. If you have dry skin you should choose a moisturiser containing oil (such as petrolatum); if you have oily skin you should choose water-based creams and oil-free formulations. You may also wish to choose different moisturisers for the face and body; facial moisturisers tend to be more expensive and complex for your most delicate skin.

Many moisturising creams contain alpha-hydroxyl acids (AHAs), which are fruit- and milk-based acids that help to remove the dull layer of surface skin and expose fresh skin below. AHAs can reduce the appearance of pores and fine wrinkles. If you have sensitive skin, you may wish to avoid these products since they can cause breakouts.

If you have sensitive skin you should look for hypoallergenic products, which are usually free of perfumes and dyes that can cause skin irritation. If you go out in the sun daily, it's a good idea to choose a moisturiser containing a sunscreen.

The moisturiser should be applied to the face in upward strokes. Apply to the body in gentle strokes, applying the most moisturiser to your belly, chest, calves, thighs, and forearms.

(Continued on next week)

Source: YahooHealth


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