Guest Post by Constante Quirino | Ayr Skin Care
It is often said that “less is more,” but did you know this applies to skincare too?
Many women, in an attempt to achieve youthful, flawless skin, go too far, resorting to complicated and costly skin care regimes, elaborate cosmetic or surgical treatments, and unhealthy or even dangerous home remedies.
Our skin already does most of the hard work of taking care of itself. It justs needs a gentle helping hand along the way. Here’s a look at why less is more in skin care, and how you can use this idea to maximize the results of your daily skincare routine.
Less Vigorous Cleansing = More Natural Moisture
The first mistake that we often make is to think that frequent, vigorous cleansing will leave our skin squeaky-clean and blemish-free. While it’s true you can get your skin squeaky-clean this way, the squeak isn’t a good sign.
When you go overboard on harsh cleansers and apply a lot of friction to your delicate skin with face towels, you are actually stripping the skin of its natural healthy oils (sebum) and damaging the pores. This makes the skin red, inflamed, and susceptible to infection. Worst of all, your body is likely to start over-producing sebum to compensate for the moisture loss, resulting in more breakouts than before!
Instead, wash your face with a splash of cool water in the mornings and gently pat dry. Water has cleansing properties of its own while leaving your natural oils intact, and the cool temperature helps to tighten your pores and invigorate the skin. At night, use a moisturizing, natural soap that hydrates the skin while gently removing the dirt and grime from the day.
Sometimes we need a deeper cleanse to really unclog the pores from the root, remove the build-up of dead skin cells, and reboot our skin’s natural renewal process. An occasional facial is perfect for this. The facial shouldn’t cause irritation or breakouts when it is done by professionals who understand the importance of natural ingredients and who use the right treatments for your particular skin type.
Less Pore-Clogging Makeup = More Natural Breathability
The second way we often go too far with our skin is using too much makeup. Heavy foundations and toxic chemicals block the pores and dry out the skin, damaging the natural skin barrier and suffocating the cells. Your skin is an organ and it needs to breathe! This is really a case of prevention being better than cure.
Opt instead for light foundations or tinted moisturizers. Choose quality natural makeup instead of cheap and nasty products, and have at least one makeup-free day every week (at the bare minimum!) to allow your skin to breathe and renew.
The best thing about using less makeup? Less cleansing! When you avoid clogging up your pores in the first place, you’ll only need a light cleanser or gentle face soap in the evening before going to sleep. This way, you’ll save on expensive makeup removers and wipes, and avoid stripping the skin with hard rubbing in an attempt to get off that last bit of colour.
Here’s a surprising twist on the idea of letting your skin breathe: Give your skin a “fasting day” from moisturizer once a week, as well as from makeup. This will do wonders for your skin’s health, as it forces the skin to produce its own hydration and not grow lazy!
Less Irritating Chemicals = More Natural Repair
Ahh…the “quick fix.” How often do we experience a breakout or notice a new wrinkle, and rush to the drugstore straightaway for a miracle product to fix it overnight? These “wonder” remedies are attractive (and often costly), and they sometimes do work in the short-term, but they are only able to produce such rapid results because they contain harsh chemical ingredients that irritate and inflame, and will actually end up ageing your skin faster in the long term. Be particularly careful of going overboard with large quantities of vitamin C, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, retinoids, and exfoliators.
As the skin has a renewal phase of approximately 39 days (and this can become longer as you age), the best long-term plan is to be patient and work with your body’s own healing cycle rather than against it. Provide your skin with nourishing ingredients from the inside through a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins, and apply nourishment from the outside with wholesome skincare products that don’t disrupt your skin’s natural chemistry.
Protect your skin from environmental damage with a non-toxic sunscreen and sensible clothing to avoid burning and drying out your skin cells. This will also save you from freaking out and running to the shop for a high-chemical after-burn cream!
Less Unnecessary Products = More Cash for Quality Products
Once you start preventing skin problems by using gentle cleansing, minimal makeup, daily nourishment, and weather protection, you might start to wonder how many skin products you really need, and which ones. The aim is to work out what your skin needs to be healthy and happy and provide this regularly without skimping or going overboard.
The basics are really a gentle cleanser to remove surface impurities at the end of each day (such as a bar of nourishing facial soap), and a light moisturizer to compensate for the drying effects of weather and climate. You’ll also need a non-toxic, low-irritant sunscreen for the exposed areas of skin like your face, neck, and hands. Radiation from the sun can affect our skin even on cloudy days, and especially when the rays are reflecting off surfaces like concrete or snow, so it’s best to be prepared no matter the weather! And don’t skimp here: Sunscreen is probably the one place in skin care where more is more.
Any additional products you might need would be to treat specific issues you have with your skin, like an antimicrobial solution for breakouts or a toning serum for increased elasticity. You might use these treatments regularly or only for specific periods, depending on what your skin needs. And in every case (except the sunscreen!), see how little you can get away with using.
By working out a minimal routine that keeps your skin in good shape, you’ll have more room in your budget for buying quality products with simple ingredients. Natural ingredients like coconut oil and aloe vera often function as cleansers, anti-inflammatories, and moisturizers at the same time, so you can end up buying one high-quality product instead of three irritating ones!
And That’s How Less Is More
“Less is more” skin care really is simple. All you need to do is to give your skin the materials it needs to repair itself, and keep toxins and environmental damage out. Your skin will do the rest!