Good skin is more than just an application upon application of skin care products. Overuse of and a menagerie of skin care products can actually be detrimental to your skin and to your health especially when they are loaded with harmful or otherwise questionable ingredients.
A great complexion and overall great skin, starts with good health which means staying fully hydrated and getting the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals in our diet each day. A balanced diet equals better health and a healthier, glowing complexion. Some basic nutrients the skin needs is pure water, zinc, soy protein, vitamin E, vitamin C, B-complex, carotenoids a flavonoids, and omega 3 fatty acids just to name a few.
In addition to a good diet, your skin also needs cleansing, toning, moisture, and protection. Additionally there may be specific problem areas you will need to address such as blotchiness, acne or breakouts, dry patches, etc.
The basics – cleansing, toning and moisturizing, protection
Cleansing: First and foremost you must understand your skin type when selecting a cleanser. Dry skin should avoid foaming cleansers and use a milk cleanser or lotion, oily skin can get by with a foaming cleanser if not to harsh (drying out oily skin only makes the skin react and produce more oil), combination skin should use a cleanser with a low ph of 7 or less.
Toning: I have read differing opinions on whether a toner is necessary or not but I am a firm believer of toning. Toning removes the last traces of cleanser, restores ph balance and closes the pores prior to moisturizing. Again, understand your skin type when selecting your toner. A few herbs for each skin type are as follows: Dry skin: elderflower and sandalwood, Oily skin: lemon balm or fennel, witch hazel, Combination Skin: Chamomile. There are numerous herbs mixed with green tea or distilled water to easily make your own toner at a fraction of the cost of store bought toners.
Moisturizer: My moisturizer has a double duty, it hydrates and protects because it contains a SPF. No matter what skin type, you skin needs to be hydrated. Dry skin needs hydration and moisture and oily skin still needs hydration. Additionally I always recommend a daytime moisturizer with SPF and a nighttime moisturizer emollient rich.
Dark circles under eyes consider almond oil. It is a natural moisturizer and rich in Vitamin E. It will moisturize and thicken the skin under the eye area so you don’t see the thinness. Massage under eye area before bedtime. Note: if allergic to nuts consider olive oil. Another note: dark under eye circles can be caused by various reasons, the recipe above is for thinning of the skin as we age.
Crows’ feet: no need for a special product, apply virgin coconut oil with a few drops of vitamin E oil at bedtime. I think you will see visible results in about a week.
Exfoliate: this treatment is to slough off dead skin and promote circulation and new cell growth. There are a number of home remedies that work such as oatmeal or cornmeal.
Facial masks: masks can do wonders to hydrate the skin. Again understanding your skin type is imperative. For dry skin consider a China/White Clay, for oily skin use fuller’s earth or French green clay, sensitive skin yellow kaolin clay and combination skin rose clay.
Above are just a few of the simple home remedies that work and are inexpensive and eco-friendly. Why not give them a try and let me know how they worked for you. Additionally when purchasing skin care products look for natural ingredients.
About Author: Carol Belanger, author of 300+ Skin Care Recipes