What products do you really need to maintain healthy and beautiful skin?
My friends and clients asked me this question a lot. At the end of the day there are a few products that every person absolutely needs in their skin care regimen to maintain healthy and beautiful skin. The absolute and best advice is to keep the skin Clean and Protected, In today's blogpost I'll share with you what to look for when purchasing new skin care products.
Before we talk about the different products, let's first discuss on what exactly your skin was designed by the Creator to actually do. First, the skin is an immunity organ. It's job is to defend the body against foreign invaders and the environment. It does so through its Acid Mantle which is a moist layer of sweat, oil, dead epidermal skin cells and water that sits on top of the skin. In fact, the Acid Mantle is what gives skin “the Glow”. The Acid Mantle aka Barrier Function of the skin is where healthy bacteria and antioxidants live to defend against potential invaders. When the Acid Mantle is continually broken down by using the wrong kind of products, it can lead to dry skin, sensitivity, inflammation and a whole host of issues.
Cleansing the Skin
The Acid Mantle typically has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5, which is acidic in nature. This means the pH of anything you put on your skin at home should be either neutral (7) or the acidity of a 4 to 6 (anything less than 4 maybe too aggressive for home use). When you put products on the skin such as a NON pH Balanced soap like Zest (pH of 10), you are breaking down the Acid Mantle and damaging the skin. Using cleansers that are pH balanced will clean the skin without stripping it of all the tools it uses to keep you safe and “Glowing”.
I recommend purchasing a cleanser from a licensed professional because, not only will they know the pH of the product, they will also know what type of cleanser would be best suited for your skin type. Unfortunately, drug store cleansers are not usually labeled to include the pH, however you can call the company and ask for that information.
I know you have been told before, your skin type doesn’t matter, you still need a moisturizer. Well, that wasn’t always true. In the last 100 years it has become a big issue because of our diets and our environment. When you have a diet of high in salt and caffeine, your body will pull from the skin’s moisture supply and use it in other areas. Previously, skin moisturizers were primarily used to help make the skin soft. More recently moisturizers are formulated to balance or compensate for your skin natural oil production. There are a lot of environmental foreigners that are constantly working to breakdown your Acid Mantle, moisturizers help to keep your skin protected by boosting the strength of your Acid Mantle and fighting evaporation. Once your acid mantle and/or barrier function is stabilized and repaired, you may only need a moisturizer sparingly. When you're shopping for a moisturizer, be sure to ask your esthetician to point you to a pH Balanced product that is right for your skin type.
Protect the Skin
The skin has a natural sun protector called Melanin. It is the protein that causes your skin to get darker when exposed to the UVB radiation. It has been proven time and time again that too much exposure to sun rays are the leading cause of skin cancer, therefore it is time to protect yourself every day. Yes, you do need some sun exposure, but only about 10 to 15 minutes each day for vitamin D synthesis. I am a pretty nature friendly person (do not get that confused with outdoorsy) and because of that I recommend physical sunscreen (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) products that have at least a Broad Spectrum SPF of 30 which shields up to 97% of both UV Aging Radiation and UV Burning Radiation. Physical Sun screen starts working upon application. The 3% of unblocked sun rays makes sure that you are getting an accumulated sun exposure to keep your body healthy.
It is best to find a sunscreen with a physical Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with a SPF of 30, simply to speed up the beauty routine. If you don’t want the potential chalky film of a creamy sunscreen, look into a quality Mineral Makeup that has Zinc Oxide and an SPF of 30.
To sum it all up, to maintain healthy skin and stretch the time between your regularly scheduled deep cleansing facials treatments, all you need is a quality cleanser, moisturizer and physical broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF 30.
What about all those Serums?
Serums are designed to create change in the skin, particularly to repair damage or prompt the skin to produce something it has slowed down making due to normal aging. By the time you are 25 years old, your skin stops or significantly slow down in producing collagen and elastin fibers. The two most important tools needed to help the skin produce and repair the fibers are Vitamin C and Vitamin A. When considering purchasing facial serums, look for a serum with a great delivery system to ensure the active ingredients get into the skin where they can deploy and be used by the skin to fix problems. Your esthetician will be a gold mind of knowledge in helping you choose the serums that'll work best for your skin.