Skin At Its Best

Skin At Its Best

Skin is at its peak when you are in your twenties — the production of oil will have modified and its mechanism for retaining moisture will still be highly efficient. This is the time to establish a good skin-care routine to help keep it looking good as long as possible.

From now on, the most important part of the skin-care routine is moisturizing, for natural moisture is the most valuable single item of a young-looking skin. A very simple analogy is to look at a prune and compare it with a plum. Both are the same fruit, except the prune has been dried of its moisture and it has wrinkled up, just like human skin would in the same circumstances. Natural moisture plumps out the skin cells, making them look smooth and soft.

To help your skin maintain its natural moisture content, you need to protect and replenish it. Because the face is exposed almost constantly to the elements, facial moisture evaporates much more quickly than from any other part of the body. There are also areas on the face that contain little or no natural oil or moisture, and these are therefore the parts that will begin to wrinkle first.

First start with cleansing. This is really the time, if you haven’t done so before, to break the habit of using toilet soap when cleansing your face. That tingly, tight feeling that many people associate with cleanliness is really a drying of the skin — it is contracting to fill in the gaps left by the removal of natural oil and moisture. Another point: most make-up foundations are oil-in-water based which means they need specially-formulated products to remove them from the face. Soap can’t do this efficiently, so it probably won’t leave your skin very clean anyway.

There are now many well-formulated facial washing products on the market and, if this is the type of cleansing routine you prefer, then do choose one of these. It’s worth remembering, though, that excessive contact with water can be drying, and dry skin shouldn’t really be washed more than necessary.

People in their twenties often suffer from combination skin — an oily T-shape that covers the forehead, nose and chin, leaving the rest normal or dry. This skin type will probably benefit from a wash once or twice a week, particularly, for women just before and during their periods, when they may still find the odd spot appearing — most annoyingly!

For normal and dry skins, a good cleansing milk or lotion should do the trick. Pour a little into the palm of your hand, then lightly massage it over your face, starting from the neck and moving upwards. Don’t pull or stretch the skin in any way — simply work in the cleanser using a gentle, circular movement. Afterwards wipe it off thoroughly with a cotton wool pad, again using an upward movement. Then apply your toner. Greasy skin patches may benefit once or twice a week from an astringent — otherwise, use a toner, nonalcoholic for preference.

This should be done at night and in the morning and it is a good idea, too, to put the cleanser on during your bath or shower. The steam will open the pores, giving the cleanser a chance to penetrate and remove all deep-lying dirt.

Finally, the all-important moisturizer, designed for your skin type, should be applied religiously. Apart from replacing lost natural moisture, a good moisturizer will create a barrier on the skin’s surface to help prevent further moisture-loss, and it also enables make-up to go on smoothly and evenly. No-one should ever forget to use it!