Modern with an Em

Skin Deep September 10, 2008

I may be young, and I admit that I have yet to go through that mid-life period where your body and skin start to change and aren’t exactly how you remembered. However, I take pride in taking care of myself (my skin in particular), and I often get complements on my smooth, clear complexion. Now, I’m not trying to brag or make other people feel bad about themselves. Instead, I’ve decided to share some of my favourite skin care products, and the best tips I’ve ever been given (most of them from my mother, who also has great skin. I suppose I have to thank the genetic lottery, too).

Tip #1: Stick With Your Own Type!
– The first step in skin care is identifying your skin type. The easiest way to do this is to take a mild soap and wash your face. After 2 – 3 minutes, examine your skin. If your skin already feels very tight, you have dry skin. If your skin is already very shiny or a little greasy, you have oily skin. And if none of the above applies to you, you have normal skin. Always try to choose products that are tailored to your individual skin type, because they will do a better job of addressing your particular skin care needs than something that is directed towards all skin types.

Facial Cleanser: The Body Shop Grapeseed Facial Cleanser

Note: I attempted to find this product in the Body Shop Online Store, and was unable to locate it. Please contact your local Body Shop store to ensure that it is still available.

If you have Normal-to-Dry skin, this is the perfect cleanser for you. It’s not too harsh, and it is very hydrating, while still leaving your skin feeling refreshed and clean.

Tip #2: Don’t Confuse Your Skin!
– Some of us love having the newest, coolest things, and the same can go for skin care. However, if you switch your skin care products too often, you risk messing with the natural balances within the skin. Skin is a living, breathing organ, and if you are always switching things up and not letting it get used to any one product, or if you change products as soon as it does get used to one, you are most likely going to have some kind of backlash. That being said, if you have used the same product for years and years and find that your skin isn’t looking as fresh or healthy as it could (or as it used to), it may be time to find a new product.

Facial Scrub: The Body Shop Grapeseed Facial Scrub

No surprise here. I love the cleanser in this line, but I love the scrub even more. It is incredibly hydrating for an exfoliator, and it removes all of the dead skin cells without being too rough on the new skin underneath, mainly due to the fact that it contains finely ground nut shells instead of microbeads or bits of pumice stone. No redness, no dryness, just super smooth skin.

Tip #3: Don’t Overdo It!
– When using scrubs or exfoliating products on your face, or when using a product containing salicylic acid, use only 2 – 3 times per week, unless directed by a doctor to do otherwise. If you overdo it, you will end up with dry, red, peeling skin.

Moisturizer: Dove Energy Glow Brightening Moisturizer with SPF 15

I love love love LOVE this moisturizer. L-O-V-E. For starters, it has a unique pump top that at first I found really strange, but have since come to love because it allows me to easily control exactly how much of the moisturizer comes out, and even if the lid comes off, there is no chance of any spillage. As for the moisturizer itself, it is a dream. It is thick enough to hydrate my dry skin, yet doesn’t feel heavy, unlike a lot of other creams I have tried. It keeps my skin moisturized all day long, includes SPF 15, and somehow manages to make my skin look bright and luminous in a subtle, natural way. To top all of that off, it makes your skin incredibly smooth. My boyfriend once had to use it in a pinch, and commented immediately on how much softer and smoother his skin felt, without any prompting from me. Coming from someone who often has a face full of stubble, I would say that’s a huge complement to Dove.

Tip # 4: That’s (Not) Hot.
– The sun is hot. Sun damage is not. The biggest and most important thing you can ever do for your skin that will have the greatest long-term impact on the future health of your skin (aside from proper hydration) is to wear sunscreen. Every day. No exceptions. Whether it is sunny, cloudy, raining, snowing, or even if you’re only going to be outside for the 30 seconds it takes to get to your car, wear sunscreen. To make it easier to remember, try using a daily moisturizer that already contains an SPF of at least 10, if not 15. That way, you will only have to put one lotion on your skin, instead of having to apply moisturizer and sunscreen independently of each other. Even if you spend all of your outdoors time in your car, you are still at risk for wrinkles and skin cancer. A recent study by the St. Louis University School of Medicine showed that people who spent a considerable amount of time driving are more likely to develop skin cancer on the left side of their body, including their head, neck, hand, and arm. Protect yourself! Your skin will thank you.

Tip #5: Don’t Overdo It (Again)!
– Please please please refrain from wearing pounds of makeup every single day! This is one of the most common mistakes that I see. Covering up bad skin with a lot of makeup all the time is only going to make the problem worse, resulting in you needing to cover it up even more, becoming a vicious cycle. Buy good quality products that address your skin’s individual needs, and if you are unsure of what those are or if you find that nothing is working for you, see a dermatologist.