Our largest and most sensitive sense organ, skin, is a clear barometer of the state of our health. A radiant, glowing face speaks volumes about your diet, rest, exercise and skincare routines. The opposite – dull, listless skin prone to eruptions and dryness – is a wake-up call. Skincare is an important part of looking good – particularly in the age of selfies where the faces are in sharp focus. Adopting a good skincare routine that is nourishing, and protects your skin will go a long way in keeping your skin looking young.
Understanding your skin
Knowing your skin type is the first step towards skincare. You may have oily, dry, combination (dry and oily) or sensitive skin for example. Oily skin produces excess oil and is prone to acne. Dry skin lacks sufficient lubrication due to inactive oil glands, and looks dull, and flaky. Sensitive skin is delicate and finely–textured; often it is too thin to provide enough protection for nerve endings, and so is prone to allergic reactions. It is, therefore, less able to handle the stress of daily routine, odd work hours, as well as exposure to heat, cold, dust and pollutants.
Most people may not realise they have sensitive skin. Have you noticed frequent redness on your face – especially after you step out in the sun? Or overnight dryness or flaky patches on your face or hands? Sometimes an unusual outbreak of acne may be – or even a nasty surprise of puffy eyes and fine lines on the very morning you have an important presentation? All these could indicate that your skin needs help, that it has become delicate and sensitive. The good news is that proper skin care that includes gentle cleansers, toners, moisturisers and a visit to the dermatologist will help you get back the bounce in your skin and glow on your face!
Here are a few "skindicators" that will help you identify a skin issue and deal with it promptly.
- Tightness and irritation that is itchy: This could be the result of using a cleanser that is harsh and dries out the skin. Solution: use a mild soap and moisturiser.
- Fine lines or puffy, red eyes: Dry skin can result in fine lines under stress, as well puffy eyes at the slightest rub. Solution: While there are a host of other reasons for these conditions – dehydration, poor sleep, water retention, perfumed hand creams – keeping the skin moisturised and nourished will minimise sensitive and dry skin issues.
- A sudden blush and or a flushed face: The sun can be a powerful irritant for many skin types; this kind of reaction is typically triggered by exposure to harsh sunlight, especially in sensitive skin. Solution: Never step out without applying a moisturiser with a high SPF factor – at least 20.
Do's and Don'ts for Healthy Skin
- Choose products that have few ingredients, and minimal fragrance.
- Ensure your cleanser – whether gel, soap or face wash – is extremely gentle and doesn't dry out the skin, such as Dove or any other moisture-balanced one.
- For sensitive skin, pick cleansers that have no alcohol, anti-bacterial agents or alpha-hydroxy acids. You can also use a mild cleanser which is specially formulated for sensitive skin.
- Follow a daily skin care routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising your face with the appropriate SPF cream or lotion twice a day, not more.
- Pat your face dry rather than scrub it with a towel, however soft.
- Avoid using any new cosmetic product without doing a patch test behind the ear
- If you have an acne or eczema breakout, see your dermatologist immediately – do not self-medicate as these conditions could be infectious and spread.
- Eat and drink right: Almonds, pumpkin seeds, broccoli and tomatoes, eggs and paneer are skin-friendly foods rich in Vitamins C, E and anti-oxidants; ensure you drink at least 2 litres of water to flush out accumulated toxins and keep your skin supple.
Products such as the Dove Sensitive range of unscented beauty bars provide a quick and easy way to care for your skin with their unique blend of gentle cleansers formulated with one quarter moisturising cream.
The more you pamper yourself using mild products that leave your skin looking soft, clean and smooth – the more it will complement your inner beauty!