The Age Old Question: Do You Need Skin Care?

The short answer: YES! A resounding YES. Irrespective of your age, you need to take care of your skin.

Ok, so now that you have the answer, I guess you don’t really need to read on, now do you? I hope you do, though, ‘cause I put a lotta research into this one.   What precisely you need will vary according to your skin type, so I have done my best to not loop all skin types to one “set” or “regimen” of skin care rules. Rather, I’ve separated my research {does that make me sound official?!} into some differing categories or thoughts according to common queries I get from clients.  It’s a sort of a skin Q&A, if you will.

 

Expensive Skin Care = Better Skin Care

False. Wholeheartedly false. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I don’t discriminate with beauty products; drugstore or high end, so long as it’s great, I don’t care about the price.

My philosophy is just the same for skin care: there are good and bad products across all price categories. If you look at the ingredients in some high end products, they’re filled with wax and water – not exactly great for your skin but great for companies trying to fill expensive bottles and boost profits – while there are some drugstore products that are formulated with few additives and ingredients best for the job. A few key brands come to mind, recommended by makeup artists and dermatologists alike: Cetaphil {both face wash and cream}, Aquaphor {hand and face cream}, and Simple {namely the facial water} to name a few.

 

Do I Need a Toner?

I’ll admit it. I don’t use a toner. I should, though. This research has changed my mind, and I hope it may for you too. Typically, I’ve seen toners only as astringent types, often containing alcohol. I’ve been told time and time again that toners should close the pores, when really, using these astringents were doing the opposite for my skin – irritating it and inhibiting skin’s ability to repair itself and produce that good ol’ collagen I mentioned above.

Well, I’m out of the loop I guess. There’s a number of great toners on the market with water-based formulas with beneficial ingredients. These are what are best for your skin. Often, there’s some cell communicating ingredients and anti-oxidants that repair skin and produce almost instant benefits.   Toners can be a key part of keeping your skin healthy and younger looking! Be sure to grab a toner designed for your skin type – I used to think the astringent was the best – this is incredibly wrong. Like I mentioned above, stick to something formulated to manage your skin type effectively {ie. Don’t add more oil if you’re already oily, but add oil if you’re dry}.

A word of caution: stay away from anything with a heavy fragrance; a lot of toners may include these. Fragrances are often an irritant for the skin and do just the opposite of what you’d want a toner to do.

  

As you Age, you Should Change your Skin Products

There’s some truth to this, yes. As you age, your skin changes and you loose skin elasticity – read: collagen and elastin. That’s a blanket statement, yet relatively true for most people. Collagen and elastin are two key components of the dermis, which is the deeper layer of our skin. These are the deepest parts of the skin, just above the fat layer. So, as this goes away, what happens? You show your age!

Some people naturally have more oil in their skin, while others lose a lot of hydration and show visible signs of aging like wrinkles and sunken skin. This is what we all know as a skin type, and generally speaking, it’s what you have throughout your life – from teen years and beyond. Don’t automatically assume that once you’re “mature” {here, I’m referring to 50+…no judgment!} you need to change your regimen – that just may be working well, might I add – simply because there’s a product marketed for “mature” skin. Keep using the products you’ve been using, but perhaps if you see small changes, invest in a product that resolves that issue from a skincare line designed for your skin TYPE, not your age {ie. If you’re lacking moisture but have oily skin, grab a heavier moisturizer targeted for oily skin, not a heavy product designed for “mature” skin. It’ll only make it worse}.

 

Do I Need to Moisturize Daily?

Yep. You do. If you already do, keep it up! If not, start. Bottom line. Without moisturizer, your skin can appear dry and dull, and you may lose a layer of protection {these are just two negatives, by no means an exhaustive list!}. You’re also missing out on an SPF if you don’t apply that separately, as you can certainly opt for a moisturizer with an SPF according to your proper skin type.

Moisturizer also helps circulation, reducing collagen depletion. Reduced collagen depletion = less wrinkles {see, we’re learning something!}. A proper moisturizer does a lot of repair work too. Let’s be real, we can’t be 100% on point with our diet, skin care, lack of exposure to pollution and anything else that negatively impacts our skin. We can’t simply change our lives completely in pursuit of perfect skin; it’s just not realistic. Therefore, use your moisturizer to repair any damage {big or small} you’ve done to your skin. No, it won’t protect against skin cancer entirely – but an SPF will help – but it’ll make a significant difference. Makeup junkies rejoice! An added bonus: your makeup will go on smoother and look better too!

Wanna avoid wrinkles in the long run and keep your skin in top shape as long as possible? Use a moisturizer – male or female.

 

I Drink a Lot of Water. So, My Skin Must be Hydrated Too!

Nope. That one’s false. I recently learned this after upping my daily H2O intake in hopes of improving my skin’s appearance. The easiest way to think of it is like this: humans aren’t plants. We can’t photosynthesize all the water we drink and create a beautiful bud at the end of our “stems”. Water doesn’t go straight to the skin. Instead, there’s many, many other processes going on internally that utilize water to function effectively, and so what’s left for skin is limited in its quantity.

So, how can you improve hydration? That’s gonna take some work. Avoid exposure to alcohol {NO!!!!!}, harsh winds, dry heat, and long baths or showers {I’m super guilty of this one…}. Also, avoid alcohol based astringents as I noted above. Diet does play a role too, so be sure to eat foods that are rich in essential fatty acids.   Flaxseed oil supplements can help too!

 


 

Phew! That was a lot. If you’ve stuck with me this far, amazing. Thanks for reading! This list is by no means exhaustive, and I’m certainly not a dermatologist. I’m merely sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired through my own research and welcome you to do much of the same.

 

Questions? Comment below. I would be happy to do a part II!

If you’ve got your own tips, share them too!

 

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