Great-looking skin in just 10 steps

Last Updated 16 July 2010, 10:58 IST


It is crucial to cleanse your skin twice a day, once in the morning and evening. Avoid using soap on your face. Soap contains ingredients that are harsh on the skin because of its high pH value. Your skin surface has a pH value of 5. Most soaps contain a pH value of anywhere between 7 to 10 and this can suck the moisture out of your skin.

Choose a product that will cleanse your skin without stripping it of its natural and necessary oils. Avoid products with alcohol unless your skin is extremely oily. Follow a cleansing routine. Use your fingertips to lightly spread the cleanser over the your face and neck, and then rinse thoroughly. Blot your skin lightly with a clean soft towel, leaving it slightly damp.

Tone: A toner restores the pH balance of your skin and removes any traces of make-up, dirt or soap. Toners will close your pores and protect your skin from the air outside. But they can also tighten your skin. Avoid those with alcohol.

Essential oils make excellent toners for your skin. Rose water is the best choice for normal, dry or sensitive skin. Witch hazel is a good choice for oily skin. Use a cotton ball to apply the toner. If you have oily skin, use a toner spray for your face and neck. If your skin tends to be extremely dry, you may skip the toner. Move on to moisturising while your skin is still damp from the toner.

Moisturise: Most moisturisers work by retaining moisture rather than creating it. So, always apply a moisturiser on lightly damp skin. Use a light moisturiser in the morning before applying make-up. If your skin is dry, use a heavy moisturising cream before going to bed.

Exfoliate: You should exfoliate once a week if you have dry or sensitive skin. Exfoliate up to four times a week if you have oily skin. Use a gentle exfoliating facial scrub. Wet your face and use your fingers to rub the cleanser in a circular motion gently. Avoid the area under the eyes. Rinse with lukewarm water to avoid a rash later. Follow  this by applying a layer of a mild moisturiser.

Sun Protection: Use sunscreen every day. A moisturiser plus sunscreen is one of your greatest defenses against harmful ultraviolet rays. Sun damage can age your skin fast. It can cause the skin to wrinkle, it can create dark spots and, in some severe cases, it could even lead to skin cancer. Sunlight is extremely damaging to sensitive skin. Be sure to choose a moisturiser that has a sunscreen. Use one with an SPF factor of at least 15, and throw on a hat and a pair of sunglasses when you step out.

Facial Mask: It is advisable to use a facial mask once a week. Choose one that specifically caters to your skin type. Masks can add moisture to dry skin or remove excess oil from oily skin. You should use a mask after a cleansing routine. Again, avoid the eye area. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Diet: Eat food that is rich in Vitamin E or supplement your diet with Vitamin E pills. This should help add more colour and glow to your skin. This is very important, especially if you have problems with acne and other blemishes like blackheads or cysts.

Sleep: Your skin revives itself when you sleep. Eight hours of undisturbed sleep every night is recommended.

Note: This means eight to ten hours each night, not five hours one night and eleven the next.

Massage: Treat yourself to a massage every fortnight, if possible. A massage can unclog the pores on your face and increase blood circulation. A massage awakens tissues and perks up every little cell in your body.

Elimination: Establish regular elimination habits. Toxins appear in the form of poor skin colour, circles under the eyes or skin blemishes.

An excellent antidote to avoid toxins from attacking your body is an early-morning drink of lemon juice and water, or a teaspoon of malt vinegar and a tablespoon of honey stirred into a glass of hot water.

(Published 16 July 2010, 10:58 IST)

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