Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Skincare Tips for Summer

Summer is here again and you can finally put on a pretty sundress or shorts and a pair of thongs and enjoy the sunshine! But while you’re having fun, don’t forget to look after your skin by following my Skincare Tips for Summer. Looking after our skin in one of the best things we can do in order to maintain a healthy, radiant glow throughout this summer and for the years to come, so here are my 7 Skincare Tips for Summer:

1. Sun, sun, sunscreen
The first of the skincare tips for summer is simple: wear sunscreen! Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which are most dangerous during summer, when you are out and about enjoying the sunshine. Don’t stop going out into the sun completely – summer is fun! Just apply an SPF 30 + sunscreen when you are outside.

2. Exfoliation is great
Did you know that your skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells? If you don’t get rid of them, they sit on top of your body and make your skin look dry and dull. Exfoliation gets rid of the dead skin cells and uncovers the healthy cells underneath, making your skin look luminous again. Tools of the trade include loofahs, exfoliating gloves, body brushes and believe it or not, the old fashioned facial towel. You can use these with a moisturizing soap or body lotion or for double scrubbing power, try a body scrub or an exfoliating soap. Rub the exfoliator in circular movements over your skin all over your body and then rinse off. Do this two or three times a week and your skin will stay silky all summer.

3. Moisturize
After your shower or bath, especially after exfoliating, apply a good quality body moisturizer to your body for shiny, hydrated skin. For summer, you are best to chose a light lotion that is fast absorbing. Lotions with coconut and mango are lovely summery scents. Spray moisturizers are convenient for bare legs in summer while if you have twenty minutes to spare, natural moisturizers like yoghurt and honey applied to the skin for this time and then scrubbed off will get your skin glowing.

4. For your face
A good facial routine will keep your skin from becoming dry over summer so cleanse, tone, moisturize and exfoliate. After cleansing, it is important to use a toner to remove any excess dirt, oil, make up and sweat residue from your active summer day. Keep your bottle of toner in the fridge over summer for a lovely cooling effect. Choose a light moisturizer that will hydrate your face without clogging your pores. Finally, exfoliating your face is also extremely important over summer. Buy a special facial exfoliator, which isn’t as harsh as a body scrub, and use it twice a week or before applying a sunless tan. It will remove dead skin cells, allow moisturizers to penetrate deeper into the skin and leave your face looking fresh.

5. Keep hydrated
My previous skincare tips for summer have been all about moisturizing, which means keeping the skin hydrated. The best way to hydrate your skin is from the inside, by drinking lots and lots of water. Stay hydrated during the day by packing a large bottle of water into your backpack, handbag or beach bag. Drink water regularly throughout the day and refill it when necessary. Don’t wait until you are parched to take a sip – if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. A great, refreshing way to start the day is to add the juice of a fresh lemon into a big glass of water. It will give you a zing to start your day, keep you hydrated and result in clear, bright skin all through summer.

Figure Out Your Skin Type

"I've found that the majority of women guess their skin type incorrectly, which means they could be using the wrong cleanser," says Leslie Baumann, M.D., a dermatologist and founder of the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute at University of Miami. Baumann stresses that it's best to let a dermatologist diagnose your skin type, but she says you can get a good read from this D.I.Y. test: Rinse your clean face with 10 splashes of lukewarm water, then pat it dry and wait 45 minutes. If your face feels tight or looks ashy, you probably have dry skin. If it's shiny all over, it's oily. If just your forehead, nose, and chin — the T-zone — are shiny, you likely have combination skin. And if your skin is easily irritated, that usually means it's sensitive.

Splash with Care

Here's the cold, hard truth: Rinsing your face with icy water won't tighten your pores. And using hot water, though it may feel good, can dehydrate skin. Lukewarm is best, and if you have redness, try cool — not cold — water, to help constrict blood vessels, Waldorf says. What can impact your skin is hard water (check your supply with a simple water-testing strip, available at the hardware store). "Over time, it can cause skin irritation," Baumann says. "Putting a purifier on your bathroom sink will filter out some of those harsh minerals."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tips to Choose the Perfect Moisturiser for You …

1. Determine

To begin with, you will need to understand what kind of skin type you have. This is not a difficult process; you can either make an appointment with your beautician or research how to conduct a home skin test and perform one on yourself. Ordinarily, skin falls into four major categories, but of course there are variations within these: dry complexions often feel tight and plagued by flaking, combination skins experience dehydration in some areas and greasiness in others, oily faces are prone to acne and shininess, and sensitive skins tend towards redness and irritation.

2. Read Labels

Once you have a good idea of what kind of skin you have, you will need to tailor your routine to its particular needs. This means that the moisturiser that you buy should be custom built for an oily complexion, for example, or for sensitive skin if that’s the type that best describes your face. In short, you will need to read labels very carefully before you make a purchase; don’t be tempted to buy something because your friends have it or because it looks pretty on the shelf.

3. Account for Acne

If you do tend to be plagued by spots, and if your skin becomes shiny over time, you will want to opt for a moisturising product that is specifically labelled with the word ‘non-comedogenic.’ This kind of lotion won’t block your pores in the way that a conventional cream will, and thus it won’t contribute to an increase in spots and blackheads.

4. Hypoallergenic

If you have very sensitive skin, you will absolutely want to go for a product that won’t aggravate dryness or cause any kind of reaction whatsoever. Simple, hypoallergenic skincare is your best bet in these cases: it is usually alcohol-free and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals either.

5. Sample

It is impossible to find out whether or not you like a moisturiser unless you actually try it out on your skin. Ask shop assistant for samples of products in which you are particularly interested: this will allow you to test a moisturiser out over a couple of days and come to an informed decision about it.

6. Think About the Little Things

While the first and most important job that you moisturiser needs to get right is, of course, to nourish and hydrate your skin, there are other factors to take into account as well. Does it smell good to you, for example? Do you like the texture of it? And does it sink in easily without leaving a shiny residue? Make sure you consider the product from every angle – especially if it’s from the pricier end of the scale.

7. Ask the Experts

If you are really struggling to find the right moisturiser for you at your local cosmetics store, it might be a good idea to pay a visit to your skincare specialist or dermatologist. It is possible that you’d benefit from a niche product, and these experts will able to recommend one to suit you.