Skin Secrets

Shahnaz Husain
Knowing your skin type is the basis of regular skin care, so that you can select products according to the needs of your skin.
To determine skin type, wipe your face with tissue as soon as you wake up, before cleansing your face. If the tissue is clean, you have a normal to dry skin type. If the tissue becomes stained with grease, you have a normal to oily skin. Combination skins have a greasy area, (usually forehead, nose and chin, comprising the T-zone), while cheeks are dry. Use different tissues for different areas, wiping the forehead, nose and chin with one tissue and using another one to wipe the cheeks. Skin types fall into four major categories – normal, dry, oily and combination.
There are problems that are typical to skin type and dealing with them is an integral part of skin care. The imbalance in oil gland activity leads to skin problems. For instance, an oily skin is prone to enlarged pores, blackheads, spots, pimples and acne, due to excess oil secretion by the oil glands. Similarly, if the oil gland activity is less, the skin is unable to hold moisture. The result is that the skin lacks both oil and moisture and becomes dry. A dry skin tends to acquire premature ageing signs, like lines and wrinkles. It can also become sensitive and suffer from rough red patches.
For dry skin, the daily routine should provide emollients and moisture.
Therefore, the aim of skin care is to restore the balance between oil and moisture.
If you have a dry skin, avoid soap and use rehydrant cleansers containing natural moisturizers, like aloe vera and tone with rose water. The daily routine should include night nourishment of the skin, massaging the skin with nourishing cream and wiping off with moist cotton wool. Ensure that the skin is never short of moisture. Use sunscreens during the day and use a moisturizer under make-up.
Oily skins have a greasy look with large open pores. Specialized cleansing routines are very necessary so that pores remain unclogged and blackheads and pimples are prevented. Use a face wash for oily skin, containing ingredients like neem and basil. For acne prone skin, use a medicated cleanser. Use an astringent lotion or rose-based skin toner. Take professional care for acne. Neglect of acne causes the condition to spread, resulting in extensive scarring.
Combination skins have a greasy area, while the rest of the skin is dry or normal. Combination skins need separate treatment for the separate areas, or products which are suited to all skin types. Both dry and oily areas need moisturizing. So, pay attention to cleansing and use rose water or rose-based skin toner to tone and refresh the skin. The daily cleansing routine for both oily combination skin should include using cleansing grains or a facial scrub, to discourage and dislodge blackheads. Stubborn blackheads should be removed at a skin care salon.
Do’s & Don’ts
Beauty is a matter of cultivating some good habits and getting rid of bad ones…. to last you a lifetime. Here are some tips to give you that extra edge:
* Avoid scrubs on sensitive, very dry, dehydrated skin, as they can deplete the skin of both oil and moisture.
* Remove eye make-up with cleansing gel, using a gentle touch and without stretching the skin.
* Remove creams with moist cotton wool.
* Use a sunscreen before going out in the sun. Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF for sun-sensitive skin. Use sunscreen gel for oily skin
* Cream your hands daily. The hands show age earlier than most other parts of the face and body.
* Don’t frown. Many people frown habitually, without realizing it. Frowning causes early lines and furrows on the forehead.
A healthy diet and lifestyle are also important for balanced skin. If the system is congested, it reflects on the skin. Keep the system cleansed by including fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts, whole grains and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. So, if you want your skin story to have a happy ending, remember these skin facts and basic rules.