The moment you say skincare — the first thing that comes to mind is about skincare in women. But what everyone needs to understand is the fact that skincare is for everyone right from babies to teenagers and adults to older people. Moreover, there is no gender bias when it comes to taking care of the skin. It is believed that following a healthy skin care routine in your 30s can help you prevent skin problems such as wrinkles, sagging, pigmentation and premature aging, as you age. So irrespective of your age and gender, ensure you take care of your skin without fail.
For most people, skincare routine is only about washing your face with soap and water after you get up in the morning. If this is the care with you as well, then it’s high time you up your skincare game. This is because healthy skin can not make you feel good and help you create an impression but also indicates that you are in good health. So it is of utmost importance to take care of your skin and maintain its hygiene with a strict skincare regimen.
If you think that we are here to elaborate on expensive skincare products or high-end skincare routine, then you are wrong. We are here to tell you how you can take care of your skin with simple tweaks in your daily life. And when we say skincare, it is not just about the face and neck but the entire body. Here we go!
1. Clean your face every day: The basis of any skincare routine is to keep your skin clean. Whether you wear makeup or not, it is important to wash your face with soap and clean water as it removes dirt and bacteria that settle on your face during the course of the day and at night. So wash your face after waking up, before bed and after working out.
2. Apply sunscreen every time you step outside: Sun rays contain ultraviolet A (UV-A) and ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation. UV-A radiation can cause premature ageing of the skin and pigmentation whereas UV-B radiation can lead to tanning of the skin and in the worst case can cause skin cancer. Opt for a sunscreen which offers broad-spectrum protection (protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays), has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and is water-resistant. To protect the skin from sun rays, apply sunscreen every two hours if you are out in the sun or more often if swimming or sweating a lot.
In addition to using sunscreen, it is important to follow other measures to prevent skin damage. These include covering your face with a scarf or stole, wearing cotton clothes, opting for full sleeves, using wide brim hats and sunglasses or carrying an umbrella when out in the sun. If possible, avoid going out between 12 pm to 3 pm as the sun rays are too harsh during this time and hence, the chances of skin damage is maximum.
3. Avoid strong/scented soaps: It is a common belief that using soaps with strong fragrance or color is good for the skin. But this is not true. In fact, these soaps contain harsh chemicals which strip oil from the skin and make you more prone to dry skin and infection. So it is wise to opt for herbal soaps or the ones devoid of strong fragrance. (Light soaps for girls and harsh ones for guys, not always necessary)
4. Moisturize your skin daily: This rule applies to everyone irrespective of the skin type. However, people with oily skin need to talk to their dermatologist to know which type of moisturizer works best for them. A moisturizer traps water in your skin, reduces fine lines and makes your skin look bright and young. For best results, apply a moisturizer immediately after bathing or shaving as the skin is moist after having a shower which not only helps to lock the moisture but also maximises hydration.
If you have dry skin, then using coconut oil is a good option as it not only moisturizes the skin but also nourishes it, providing excellent results. Moreover, it is natural, easily available and safe as compared to other moisturizers.
5. Stay hydrated: The first and the most important thing to keep your skin healthy and glowing is to keep it hydrated. Drink loads of fluids right from plain water, lemon water and green tea to fruit juices, buttermilk, and coconut water. Make sure to not add sugar for added benefits. Ideally, it is advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water on a daily basis for healthy skin and body.
6. Do not pop a pimple: Most of us try to pop a pimple, the moment we spot one. But this is not a good idea as poking it can not only cause the skin to become red and inflamed but also increases the risk of infection. Moreover, it can also cause acne scars and dark spots on the skin. So do not touch or poke your pimples at any cost.
7. Exfoliate twice a week: Scrubbing and exfoliation is a great skincare routine if you do it on a regular basis but not every day. This is because, it causes the removal of the dead skin cells and also improves blood circulation, thereby preventing wrinkles and pigmentation. But remember that gentle exfoliation is the key for smooth and soft skin. If you scrub your skin too much or excessively, it may cause the upper layer of the skin to rip off thereby causing redness and increasing the risk of infections. So be gentle when you exfoliate.
8. Check the expiry of makeup products: Have you ever checked the expiry of your makeup products before buying? Most of us do not check the shelf life of makeup products. As a result, we end up using expired products on our face and skin, which can cause an allergic reaction and also increase the risk of skin infection. Right from lip balm to eyeliner every makeup product has an expiry date, so please do check it the next time before you buy one.
Also, you can apply sunscreen and moisturizer and then use your makeup products. It not only helps you to prevent the direct contact of makeup products with the skin but also accentuates the positive effects of the sunscreen and moisturiser. One important thing to always keep in mind is to do a patch test before you start using any product on the skin. This can help you to know if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the product and help you decide accordingly. You can test a small amount of the product on the back of the neck, arm or leg. Never test any skin care product on the face as the skin on the face is very sensitive.
9. Do not touch your face very often: It is wise to keep your hands off your face most of the times as our hands touch a lot of things. If you do not wash your hands and touch the face, then there is a risk of letting bacteria on your face. As the skin of the face is very delicate, it can lead to breakouts and in the worst case, skin infection. So be wary.
10. Choose products based on your skin type: Instead of blindly following your friends or cousins for skin care products, know your skin type first. This is because for the products to work on your skin you should pick the ones that suit your skin type. Everyone has different skin types and textures which react differently to the ingredients present in these products. So know what your skin type is — dry skin, oily skin, combination skin or normal skin — before choosing any skincare product.
11. Clean your makeup brushes: When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? Don’t remember right? Well, most of us do not know that we have to clean our makeup brushes quite regularly. Cleaning the brushes not only removes the residual makeup present on the brushes but also removes dirt.
12. Check product labels always: This is to ensure that the ingredients present in any particular products suits your skin or not. Also, the requirement of every skin type is different, so one has to buy the products accordingly. Check the product if it is suitable for oily, dry or normal skin. Choosing the right product will make sure you get the best results.
13. Invest in a quality razor: It is important both for men and women to invest in a quality razor for a better experience. For some people, multi-blade razors can work very well as it shaves too closely to the skin giving you the perfect look. But in some cases, it can lead to razor bumps and ingrown hair. In such a case, invest in a single or double-blade razor. Also, shave in the shower or immediately afterward as warm water and steam cause hair to become soft thus, helping in a smooth shave.
Do remember to always shave in the direction of hair growth as shaving in the opposite direction can increase the risk of ingrown hair and also do not provide a smooth finish.
13. Use after-shave lotion: Just like using a moisturizing shaving gel acts as a barrier of protection while shaving, using after-shave hydrates and soothes the skin. It helps to seal the skin pores after a nice shave. It is wise to opt for alcohol-free after-shaves as alcohol can make your skin dry.
14. Quit smoking and alcohol: If you smoke then quit smoking as smoking has adverse effects on the overall body including the skin. Smoking causes the blood vessels in the skin to constrict thereby decreasing the blood flow to the outermost layers of skin. It also depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients making you look older and leading to wrinkles.
Just like smoking, excessive intake of alcohol can also harm the skin in the long run. Alcohol in excessive can cause dehydration and also affect the blood circulation in the body. It impacts the liver thereby preventing the liver from clearing toxins from the body. This causes accumulation of toxins in the body which in turn affects the skin.
15. Consult a dermatologist for skin problems: Last but the most important point in a skin care routine is to consult your dermatologist when in doubt. Instead of trying home remedies to deal with skin pigmentation or infection, it is wise to visit a doctor to get it treated effectively. Also, the use of over the counter products for skin infections can further worsen the condition. So if you have any skin-related symptoms such as redness, itching, swelling or stinging, then book an appointment with your doctor at the earliest.
In addition to this, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting a good night’s sleep and managing stress can go a long way in keeping your skin healthy and glowing.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Anuj Saini, Manager, Data Science)