Skincare Basics

Many factors can affect your skin’s appearance. Knowing how to properly care for your skin can keep your skin from looking its best.

Free Radicals

Free radicals are loose oxygen molecules that make your skin look older through the oxidation process. Oxidation causes those brown “age spots.”

You can fight free radicals and oxidation with anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are vitamins. Vitamins A and C as well as beta carotene. Many skincare products are made containing anti-oxidants. You can also eat vegetables which are high in anti-oxidants.

The Sun

The sun can be a major source of skin damage, even if you don’t get a sun burn.

There are two types of ultra violet rays that can damage your skin. The UVB rays are the type that cause sunburns. Every sunburn you get in your lifetime, increases your risk of getting skin cancer.

UVA rays penetrate to the dermis, the inner layer of skin that contains collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are what keeps your skin from sagging and allows it to go back after it has been stretched. When collagen and elastin break down, your skin sags.

You should always wear sunscreen, even if you aren’t going to be outside for very long or your skin doesn’t normally burn. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to choose an appropriate SPF.

The SPF number indicates the length of time your skin will be protected. The average person, wearing no sunscreen, can be in the sun about thirty minutes before they start to burn. The SPF number indicates the number times thirty that you are protected. For example, if you are wearing SPF 10, you are protected for 30 times 10 minutes (300 minutes or 5 hours.)

Other Causes of Skin Damage

There are some other factors in skin aging and damage. The environment can cause damage. Pollution, and dry, or winter climates can cause your skin to age prematurely.

Genetics are another factor. If your family has damaged or aged skin, you probably will too.

Proper skin care can keep your skin looking the best.

Wash Your Face

It is very important that you do not go to bed wearing makeup. No matter how tired you are, take the time to wash your face.

Don’t wash your face with regular soap and water. The skin on your face is different than the rest of your skin. Regular soap will dry out your skin and tighten your pores.

Use a facial cleanser for your face. Using warm water, (not hot), lather the cleanser. Using your finger-tips, massage the cleanser into your face in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.


Some cleansers contain a toner. If yours does, you don’t need to use a separate toner.
Toner conditions your skin and replaces minerals and vitamins that are lost during the cleansing process. Simply apply the toner according to the manufacturer’s directions. No rinsing is needed.


There are many different types of moisturizer. You’ll want to be sure that your moisturizer is right for your skin.

Determining your skin type is not as complicated as it sounds. There are three types of skin: oily, dry, and normal. If your skin appears shiny, your have oily skin. If your skin feels tight and is flaky, you have dry skin. If neither of these applies to your skin, you have normal skin.

I recommend buying a moisturizer that contains an SPF. This will eliminate the extra step of applying sunscreen. If yours does not have sunscreen in the moisturizer, you will want to apply sunscreen now.

Separate treatments.

If you use special products for puffy eyes, acne, or blemishes, you will apply them last.

I just want to mention at this point, when applying products around your eyes, do not tug at the skin. This area of your face is especially susceptible to wrinkles. Use your ring finger to apply products around your eyes. Apply it in three or four small dots then smooth it in gently.

Your skincare regimen is now complete. You can apply your make-up as usual.

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