By Anand Toshniwal
New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANSlife): A good skin-care routine is the keystone of good grooming. Well-cared-for skin means you'll experience less frequent breakouts, you'll show less irritation and redness, and you'll stave off visible signs of aging. A solid routine will ensure you age more gracefully for the rest of your life. Most importantly, taking care of yourself is a feel-good factor.
There's no single universal best skin-care routine, because everyone's skin is different. Instead, there are two important concepts when it comes to figuring out the right routine for you: skin type and skin concern. We are growing, evolving beings, and our skin is affected by everything. Seasonal changes, climate changes, stress, age, lifestyle changes, and health issues can affect how the skin behaves and what it needs. Thus, we have to be more flexible in our daily skin care routine. But what habits should we keep, and which should we let go?
Given below are a few skincare practices that you should let go in 2023:
Washing the face too much: While washing your face helps your skin remain bacteria-free, too much washing can remove your skin's natural, helpful oils. If you find your skin feeling dry, tight, and irritated, then it's likely that you've gone overboard. Thus, knowing how often to wash your face is crucial in keeping your skin healthy, clear and glowing. As a general rule, it is recommended to wash your face twice a day. Washing your face in the morning removes any irritants from the night and preps your face for the day ahead. Washing your face at night is important because it ensures that you cleanse away all makeup, dirt, oil, and bacteria that builds up in the day.
Popping and squeezing: Most people have the habits of popping, picking, squeezing. Popping pimples is a big no-no. Not only will it result in infection, it might lead to long term scarring. The infection may also result in more acne breakouts. It's best to let acne dry naturally or use a pimple drying lotion. Similarly, it's best not to pop blisters. The unbroken skin over a blister keeps it sterile, decreasing the risk of infection. Also, squeezing blackheads is a bad idea. The oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells accumulated in the plugged-up pore comes out when you squeeze the blackheads. It can cause irritation, skin trauma, redness and scarring. The best option is to get them removed by a professional or get some good nose pore strips.
Overuse of makeup: Unhealthy makeup habits can cause acne, aging, and oiliness or dryness.Overuse of makeup, especially foundations, can lead to skin irritation or acne breakout. Your skin renews itself in a cycle that lasts about 28 days. The application of daily makeup may interfere with that cycle. The longer your skin can go without makeup, the better it will regulate your skin's temperature, oil control, hydration, and its natural exfoliation process. Additionally remember to wash your brushes, once a week is optimal.
Using too many serums: Simplicity is the key to a good skincare routine. Overloading your skin with several products is not that helpful and can have an adverse effect, particularly when you're using too many actives in your skincare products. Excessive use of serums containing AHA/ BHA products can cause irritation, inflammation, redness, and even hyperpigmentation. A heavy moisturiser containing an oil base or heavy occlusive ingredients (like silicones or petrolatum) can cause blackheads, breakouts and acne. If you are adding in new steps to your skincare routine, do it in one product at a time so that your skin gets used to it.
Applying products in the wrong order: The order matters because it determines what ingredients and products are the first to soak into your skin, which can ultimately affect how your skin looks and feels once your routine is complete. If you apply in the wrong order, you could create a barrier on the skin and prevent active ingredients from penetrating it.
Skincare practices that you should definitely adopt this year:
Get the basics right: Cleansing, moisturising, and applying SPF (look for at least SPF 30 and "broad spectrum" on the label) diligently are three essential steps to include in the morning. At the end of the day, it's important to remove dirt, makeup and any other irritants that may have got onto the skin. You can use the same cleanser for both morning and night. Add serums with ingredients like niacinamide and other antioxidants to tackle more than one skin concern. Finally, seal in hydration with a moisturiser.
Sleep, eat, and exercise: We are not alien to all of these celebrities talking about their "beauty sleep". It is the time when your body repairs itself. During sleep, your skin's blood flow increases, and the organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles, dark circles, and age spots. One must sleep for at least 7-9 hours every day. Good hydration is crucial for skincare. Water is essential for keeping skin supple and moisturised. By eating more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fatty fish and legumes, you can help nourish your skin from the inside out. Exercising regularly is also helpful to maintain a healthy glow by keeping the blood circulating.
Use bio-remodelling for hyaluronic acid: Bio-remodelling injections are the latest hyaluronic acid anti-ageing treatment to promote the remodelling of ageing and sagging skin tissue and improves skin quality and skin firmness. It is injected underneath your skin, to nourish and rejuvenate from within. Unlike dermal fillers, bio-remodelling injections are not used to create volume or fullness. Instead, they work to hydrate the skin from the inside and stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, which naturally depletes as you age. This results in smoother, firmer, tighter and younger looking skin. Profhilo is one of the trusted brands out there that offers natural, non-toxic, and patient-centric skin relief using 100 per cent hyaluronic acid. Besides the face, it can also be injected into neck, hands and other areas with high skin laxity.
Retinol and Vitamin C: Retinol, which is essentially vitamin A in its purest form, and vitamin C are excellent ingredients for reversing signs of aging and giving your skin a dewy glow. Retinol helps reverse the signs of ageing and increases the cell renewal process to prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and pigmentation. On the other hand, vitamin C is a storehouse of antioxidants. It reduces the damage caused by free radicals, has anti-inflammatory, hydrating, and moisturising properties. It's best to use a product with Vitamin C in the morning and keep the retinol for night time.
Good things come to those who wait -- and that includes skincare routines. Sometimes it can take weeks for skin care products to start making noticeable changes, so stick with it and give your body time to adjust to your new beauty routine. If you experience a rash, redness, pain with any product, or are not feeling good about your skin, it is important to consult a dermatologist.
(Anand Toshniwal, Consultant Dermatologist & Founder of Aesthetic Aura Skin & Hair Clinic, Hyderabad)