What do we mean by "Skincare"?

Part Two.

Let us now look at the subject of day and night creams and the general subject of moisturisation.

 

Once the cleansing and toning procedure has been completed, then it is time to apply the relevant moisturiser or cream (or indeed, treatment) which our skin requires. There are essential differences between what is required during the daytime and what is best for our skin at night.

During the day, the main tasks of any day cream (apart from "moisturising", of course) is to protect the skin from the rigours of daily life. This includes man-made aggression, in the form of motor fumes and general pollution as much as the weather. Cold weather will need more attention in climates other than the moderate climates of, say, central Europe. Those that live in areas where there is dramatic changes in temperature or excessive temperatures, either up or down, will need to adjust their daytime moisturiser according to the time of year. Our skin does become more dry during the winter months. The sun, though an enjoyable feature, can be the skins' worst enemy. That said, as long as proper care is taken that is, at least, an SPF30 in Summer and perhaps less during colder months, our skin will manage.

Which Moisturiser?

The moisturiser you use, will depend on your skin type. Daytime moisturisers are available as lotions or as creams. The creams usually fall into one of several types. There are humectants (for example Lactic Acid and Glycerine); these attract water and assist with moisture retention. Then we have what are known as "Emollients" and this catergory includes ceramides and some fatty acids. Finally, there is the heaviest of all which are known as the "Occlusives" - the more common term for which is "barrier cream" - things such as lanolin or petrolatum. Many products contain a mixture of the three elements mentioned. Some of the more advanced skin care products do make use of their own research to produce mositurisers which use more advanced ingredients, such as Gluconolactone, which is a naturally occurring polyhydroxy acid (PHA).

 

Do try and read the ingredients tree of any product which you are considering. Many of the mainstream, well known "high street"  products make use of cheaper ingredients such as Glycerine (that is, basically, covering yourself in fat - the same fat which is also works well as a car anti-freeze) as the main product constituent - so your money is not going towards a product which has great ingredients for you, it is going towards paying advertising executives and expensive PR. Another, smaller, not-heavily advertised company uses Gluconolactone as its number 2 listing in their ingredients tree.

Dry skin will need a cream. Normal and more oily skin types may find a lotion easier. Either way, there are a range of moisturisers for the differing skin types. This means of course, that you need to know your skin type.


There are daytime moisturisers which boast an SPF factor. It is important to make sure that cancer causing UVA as well as UVB protection is included. An SPF factor of about 30is probably best. If a product has a lower SPF, that does not make it a bad product, just that any continued sun exposure will need the additional application of a specialised sunscreen.


Be careful if you are using Retinol products during the day (or, indeed, Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid (AHA) products) as you must use a sunscreen as well. Retinol and AHA's make your skin more vulnerable.

 

Remember that the eye area should be treated with a specific eye area product. Green Tea and Vitamin K work well in the eye area. Using general moisturiser for the eyes is not a good idea - many are too heavy for the delicate skin in this area and so may result in small cysts and runny eye make-up.


Try to apply your daily moisturiser while you skin is still damp. This means that any product can be better absorbed by your skin.

Night creams are different. For a start, you do not need an SPF factor. There are (or should be) no motor car fumes for your skin to deal with. It is at night  that the skin does most of its renewal work. Therefore, at night time, we are not only thinking about moisturisation, but also about treatment. Now is the time to apply Retinol (Vitamin A) and any peptides which will benefit the specific needs of your skin. Vitamin C works well on getting collagen production going and for hydration, look for products that contain (a lot of) Hyaluronic Acid. Do not forget to take into consideration your skin type.

If you mean to start a regieme, then a visit to a skincare professional will help you. This will help determine your actual skin type (as opposed to what you think is your skin type) and will help you guard against using products that will cause a strong reaction. Retinol can play havoc with sensitive skin and Glycoloic Acid (or any of the AHA's) may need to be blended into your routine rather then just suddenly using a 10% Glycolic Acid Night Cream.

 

Retinol does help with photo-ageing in general. If you also have sun-damaged skin, then you would need to consider something to deal with pigmentation. Hydroquinone has issues - an alternative is Kojic Acid based products. If your concern is wrinkles or gneral ageing, then a collagen-rebuilding night cream would be best. Again, the eye area will need a specific product as facial night creams may well be too strong for this delicate area.

 

Whatever regieme you choose, remember that you will need to give it time. There is no instant fix. You can start a regieme at any time. Really, though, whatever age you are, the sooner you start, the better.

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