Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Skin Care Routine

skincare routine of CTM, i.e., Cleaning, Toning and Moisturising.

Moisturising and nourishing
THE MOST important part of skin-care routine is moisturising. Moisture is very essential for the skin to remain healthy, soft, supple, smooth and firm. The skin has the ability to retain moisture and to moisturise itself. However, various factors can cause depletion of moisture and make the skin dehydrated and dry. Some of the factors which cause dehydration are:
* Dry cold weather;
* Excessive exposure to air;
* Constant exposure to air conditioning and heating;
* Excessive make-up.
With lack of moisture in the skin, the cells of the outer layer become dry and shrivel up. This makes the skin texture rough and becomes fragile leaving the inner layers exposed to further loss of moisture. The skin is now vulnerable to the formation of lines and wrinkles and becomes sensitive. The end-result is premature ageing.

Functions of a moisturiser:
A GOOD moisturiser is one that not only prevents loss of moisture and rehydrates the skin but also helps to speed up the process of cell-renewal. It should also contain active ingredients that supply vitamins, minerals and enzymes to nourish the skin, keep it healthy and minimise cellular build-up on the skin surface. Many natural ingredients which have the above qualities are being incorporated into moisturising lotions and creams.

Two good natural moisturisers are
1) Honey
2) Aloe Vera.

* Honey naturally helps attract moisture to the skin from the atmosphere. Honey-based creams provide intensive moisturisation. They are ideal for dry and dehydrated skins.
* Aloe Vera is one of the most versatile plant ingredients. The plant has a unique moisture-retentive ability and powerful healing properties. One of the main properties of Aloe Vera is its ability to seal off moisture from the skin.

Cleansing gels containing aloe-vera have helped acutely dehydrated skins restore health and for sensitive conditions. Another quality is its action on dead epithelial cells on the skin surface. Aloe Vera aids to soften these dead cells aiding their removal from the surface, leaving the skin smoother. The removal of dead cells improves the function of the skin. It also has an astringent action and tightens the skin, thus protecting it from early ageing. It has also shown excellent results on sun-damaged skin with its moisturising, softening and healing actions.
So, when you are choosing a moisturiser, read the label well and choose one which contains honey/aloe vera. For normal to dry skin, use moisturising creams containing honey along with sandalwood.
OILY SKINS need moisturising too, especially in cold dry weather. Use a light liquid moisturiser soon after cleansing and toning while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in moisture and prevent moisture loss.

Nourishing is a way of supplying emollients to the skin so that it can hold moisture better and perform its other functions. In dry and ageing skins, the secretion of sebum, the skin's natural oil, is low. Nourishing helps to replenish and feed the skin; therefore, nourishing is a must in the daily night-care routines, so that the skin is replenished after it has suffered assaults by exposure to the sun, chemical air pollutants, low humidity conditions and make-up. It also prepares the skin for the night so that the process of renewal and repair can carry on efficiently while you are asleep.

How to choose your nourishing cream:
A NOURISHING cream is a "skin food" that is enriched with emollients and Vitamin A & E, which are necessary for nourishing the skin. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant and helps in minimising cross-linking damage. Cross-linking is an oxidation process that causes degeneration to the supportive tissues and thus hastens premature ageing of the skin. Vitamin E also promotes the healthy regeneration of new skin cells. Read the label and buy a nourishing cream of a reputed company which has Vitamin A & E in it. Among the herbal creams, choose something which contains active ingredients like wheat germ oil, carrot, cabbage, and almond which provides valuable vitamins and minerals.

Procedure for using nourishing cream:
AFTER CLEANSING, apply your nourishing cream. Massage your face lightly using upward and outward movements. Avoid areas around the eyes. Pay more attention to dry patches. Keep for 5-15 minutes, remove the moist cotton. Never sleep with cream on, as it blocks your pores.

Eye area:
After cleansing the area around the eyes, apply an outer eye cream. Leave for 5 minutes and remove with moist cotton wool. Take care not to pull or drag the skin around the eyes. Special eye creams are today manufactured by good cosmetic firms. Always try a little cream first to test for allergy. Among the herbal creams, use an almond-based eye cream.

Home-made moisturiser:
Mix ¾ cup of rose water, ¼ cup glycerine, 1 tsp. of vinegar and ¼ tsp. of honey and keep it in a bottle. Use it regularly after cleansing.

Home-made nourishing mask:
Mash a banana and beat in a tsp. of salad or vegetable oil. Brush it on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes till it dries. Then rinse it off. This nourishing mask should be used once a week at least.

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