Natural skin care tips from dermatologists:
A typical skincare routine involves exfoliating, cleansing, spot treatments and moisturizing! However, how often you should moisturize, exfoliate or cleanse, depends on your skin type.
This means skincare routines vary from person to person. Of course, this raises the question; how do I perfect a routine best suited for my skin? In this time of clean beauty we promise you it is possible to craft skincare treatments using ingredients found in your home or garden. Don’t be scared of chemicals as some are actually super beneficial for your skin. However, it is also possible to ruin your skin in the long run using chemicals and artificial ingredients. Here are some answers we found based on dermatologists research.
Question: What is a good basic skincare routine?
Although many people assume that great skin is a matter of 'good DNA', the truth is, your daily habits have a bigger impact on your skin than anything you inherited. I know, there are dozens of studies that contradict this statement, but that doesn't mean you should be abandoning skincare and leaving it up to fate. Ultimately, it's about caring for your skin and keeping it healthy for as long as possible.
Basically, a good skincare routine consists of three steps:
- Washing your face/cleansing.
- Toning/balancing skin
- Moisturizing, hydrating, and softening skin.
Why you Should Wash your Face Twice Every Day
Your skin's role is to act as a preventative barrier against dirt, debris, and pro-oxidative air pollutants. Cleaning your face regularly is vital in that it slows down aging associated with inflammatory skin conditions.
Cosmetic acupuncturist Kathleen funk recommends 'double cleansing'. A procedure that involves you washing your face in two separate steps. You start by using a cleansing oil to remove dirt, makeup, and debris. Follow this up with a face wash of your choice.
It is worth noting that your skin's needs changes depending on your microenvironment. Meaning, if you are moving to somewhere where the weather or temperature is a bit unusual from what you are used to, you might have to make some adjustments to your regime.
That said, the majority of skincare experts and dermatologists recommend this:
Use the right amount of product
Product overuse or abuse does not only waste money, but it may also be counteractive. To solve this possible problem, dermatologist suggests you use this amount:
- Retinol: the size of a pencil head.
- Eye cream: pea-sized blob.
- Primer: pea-sized/peanut-sized.
- Moisturizer: ten-cent coin.
- Face cleanser: 50 cent coin.
- Body cleanser: golf ball
- Body sunscreen: shot glass.
How can I identify my skin type?
We identify skin type through characteristics, here is a quick guide to figure out your skin type:
- Sensitive skin: reacts to skincare products with acne, burning, or redness. People with this type of skin are most likely to react to chemicals, and unnatural ingredients. If this is you try to use calm/mild cleansers and products and always check what ingredients are in your products.
- Oily skin: key identifiers for oily skin include visible pores, shine, and frequent acne. Wash your face at least twice a day and use sulphur, tea tree, or salicylic acid-based cleansers to dissolve excess oil. This can also be adjusted with diet as often the oil on face is caused by junk food intake.
- Dry: Dry skin looks dull, feels tight, and is often rough-textured. Dry skin may be a sign of an underlying condition or caused by your environment. The best remedy is moisturizer or what is prescribed in your treatment plan. Also ensure you are drinking lots and lots of water.
- Combination: some areas may be oily, others sensitive or dry. Combination skin requires balance, meaning, knowing to put which products on specific areas of your skin.
- Normal skin: although rare, people with normal skin experience very little or no sensitivity, dryness, or oiliness. These are the lucky ones!
You’ve gotta remember though, that your skin type varies according to geographical location as well as season. For example, some people experience oily skin only during summer or dry skin only in winter.
How Can I Tone my Skin Naturally?
Traditionally, there are three main undertones, that is warm, cool, and neutral. Neutral undertones mean that your skin tone is almost the same colour as your actual skin, whereas, warm undertones range from peach, to yellow and golden. Lastly, cool undertones include blue hues and pinky purples.
How do I even out my skin tone?
Uneven skin tone is a common condition that's often harmless, the main source of concern for the people living with it is aesthetics. For example, you may have darker uneven patches because of excessive melanin production in some areas.
At this point, you have two options, you can cover problem areas with makeup or get to the root cause of it and correct the issue. We suggest to always attempt to figure out the latter before relying on make up. We have to first ask ourselves - what causes uneven skin tones?
Uneven skin is often caused by:
- Hormonal changes sometimes related to contraceptive use or pregnancy.
- Age-related spots.
- Acne, scars, keloids, or wounds.
- Sun exposure.
What is a good skincare routine for people with uneven skin tone?
If you want to even out your skin tone, there are three ways to try:
- Lifestyle changes.
- Home remedies.
- Medical treatment.
This is why you must get to the cause of the issue before you begin to heal the problem.
Home remedies for uneven skin tone
With so many factors affecting your skin tone, the best remedy is one that doesn't present any long-term harm. That's why dermatologists recommend that you exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin, even out fine lines and minimize pores. Staying hydrated is extremely important!
Here are the most effective home remedies for uneven skin tone:
- Egg whites and sandalwood.
- Vitamin C
- Kojic acid
- Glycolic or salicylic acid peels.
- Lemon juice
- Witch hazel
Lifestyle changes for even skin.
Sometimes it's a simple matter of changing a couple of lifestyle habits. Some quick examples of lifestyle habits are:
- Wearing sunscreen daily.
- Exfoliate at least once a week.
- Avoid foods that trigger allergies, acne, and or breakouts.
Medical treatment options for uneven skin tone
If home remedies are not working, you should consider visiting a dermatologist. The reason for that is some of the following treatments are only available via prescription and it can be dangerous to use chemicals and drugs without knowing the underlying cause.
Although rare, some treatments such as laser skin resurfacing can result in infection or abnormal healing which is obviously not ideal.
Generally speaking, there are 4 main medical treatments for uneven skin tones:
- Laser treatment: flatten scars, lighten skin, improve skin tone. Recommended for people with keloids.
- Clinical strength peels: exfoliate or peel skin. not recommended for people with sensitive skin/hyperreactive skin.
- 4% hydroquinone: lightens dark spots and evens out skin tone.
- Microdermabrasion: remove outer layer/damaged skin.
Do you Need a Moisturizer?
Moisturizers serve one main purpose, that is to maintain your skin's natural moisture barrier and prevent damage. So short answer - YES, your skin needs moisturizer. People with uneven skin tone, psoriasis or similar conditions require extra hydration, because when you shower you remove your skin's natural oils which hinder’s its ability to protect itself.
Too much moisturizer is bad!
Moisturizers contain different chemicals and sometimes there is no telling what is in the brands you use. If you are noticing clogged pores, excess oil production or rampant blackheads, the problem could be moisturizer abuse. And it doesn't stop there, moisture misuse can also lead to sensitive skin and slowing down natural skin exfoliation.
Combining your Skincare Routine with Your Oral Health Routine
The true centrepiece of your face is without a doubt your mouth. There's no point putting all this focus on your skin just to neglect your mouth. Problems that can occur when neglecting your mouth can be very noticeable, especially when you speak!
- Bad breath.
- Receding gums.
- Tooth erosion/sensitivity.
- Tooth decay.
Owning an electric toothbrush presents a handful of benefits including more effective plaque removal, easier for people with limited mobility, safe for gums, and built in timers to ensure that you don't overbrush or underbrush!
You know that poor oral care can really affect the skin? Let us tell you how.
Lack of proper oral care will result in tooth loss. Missing teeth cause sunken empty spaces on your face that create additional wrinkles which can cause you to end up looking older than your age. On top of that, increased bacteria, germs, and viruses in your oral cavity encourage more absorption leading to inflamed skin, pimples around your cheeks, lips, and chin or in some cases cavities and gum disease.
And the frosting on the cake is bad breath. Bad breath is very hard to ignore, especially during a conversation. The point is, you are doing yourself a disservice if you focus all your efforts on skincare and neglect taking care of your mouth!
Remember to embrace your flaws
We all have flaws, could be freckles, stretch marks, facial hair, cellulite, uneven skin tone, the list goes on and on. Instead of killing yourself with worry which often leads to more health problems, focus on solving what you can change and accept the things you can't.
A good skincare routine is one you craft on your own, so take some time to understand your skin, as well as practice proper oral hygiene and you will start noticing changes in no time!