Skin care regimen

skin careContrary to popular belief, skin care does consist of more than just “water, soap, moisturizer” (and some people do not even bother with the moisturizer part!). And a lot of people always wonder where their favorite (usually Asian) stars get that pristine perfect clear white skin that seems so unachievable to us “normal people.” Perfect skin begins with a good, consistent skincare regime. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the best out of your skin .

1) Cleansing – simple is key here. You need to find a good cleanser that your skin responds well to, and stick with it. You can find a good cleanser at the drugstore. There’s no need to spend $40 on a fancy wash. Avoid bar soaps as they tend to dry out the skin. According to Rona Berg, in her book, “Beauty,” a French cosmetics executive once told her, “Soap should only ever touch your skin from the neck down.”  We agree. Choose a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin or a clear cleanser if you have oily skin. Be careful not to cleanse too often. Washing at night should do you. If you have dry skin, consider cold cream like Pond’s, which the French use. Simply apply cream, then wipe off, no water needed (if you have hard water it can be especially harsh on skin). Most women prefer the water method: Use warm water to loosen dirt and clogged pores. Use a dime-sized bit of cleanser, then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. You’ll also want to take off your makeup with a proper makeup remover.
In the morning, a splash of lukewarm water is all you need (we find it’s great for removing excess oils from your nightly moisturizing). Never wash your face with hot or cold water (both can cause broken capillaries).

2) Exfoliate – is the step most people skip in their weekly skincare routine. But trust me, if you start properly exfoliating your skin, you will notice an almost immediate difference. According to Berg, one of the reasons men’s skin looks more youthful than women’s is because men tend to exfoliate daily when they shave. There are several ways to exfoliate skin: Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and retinoids. Scrubs work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that tend to dull your complexion. We find exfoliating skin once a week with a microdermabrasion kit keeps skin glowing year-round. Make sure you use a gentle scrub with tiny grains. Big grains in cheap scrubs can tear skin and cause more harm than good. My favorite microdermabrasion kit is made by Lancome
In the hour it takes to get a chemical peel, you can take off five years from your face. Can’t afford the price tag for a monthly peel? Try some over-the-counter peels that work over the course of a month.

Retinoids (such as Retin-A or the more moisturizing Renova) also work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells while also generating collagen in the skin. “Collagen is the skin’s structural fiber,” dermatologist Dennis Gross said in O Magazine. “As we get older, it breaks down, creating lines and large pores.” Skincare experts disagree on all sorts of things, but most of them consider retinoids to be a miracle skin care. I’m addicted to Retin-A, which I pick up in Mexico on my yearly jaunts.
 Should you use a toner? Some people swear by toners, but many beauty experts do not (I once read a skincare expert claim, “toners are only for copy machines”). Toners are meant to remove all remaining traces of oil, makeup and dirt, but a good cleanser should do this. I firmly believe it’s up to you. If you like the way your skin feels with a toner. Buy it. Use it. Enjoy it.

3) Moistruize   – while I know of at least one famous beauty editor who swore skin doesn’t need moisturizer, basically everyone else I’ve read disagrees and is an adamant believer in it. A basic law of beauty is that everyone, no matter her skin type, should moisturize. Even if your skin is oily, it will benefit from moisturizers. (The only exception is those with acne). Why? Moisturizers seal moisture into skin (Berg calls this the “Saran Wrap effect”). So how much should you moisturize? Your skin will tell you. When your skin is tight, it’s crying out for moisture. Be careful not to overmoisturize – this can clog pores.

Take careyour skin care, and it will take care of you! Keep it clean and treat it well and it’ll look younger and healthier longer!