We all have something we want to change about our skin whether oily, dry or combination. So what are all these skin conditions, and what is going to help or get rid of them?
There are so many adverts for different skin care brands and so many different price points it’s hard to know what is actually going to help and what is just going to waste your money. Even as professional skin care therapists we are bombarded with brands that claim to be the next big thing in anti- ageing or the miracle cure for acne. The only way to pick a brand or a product is to know what it is that you want to accomplish and why, and what is causing it.
So what causes each skin condition, and what can improve them?
Acne/ Congested skin: The over stimulation of the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. It is common during puberty when the sebaceous (oil) glands are activated – the glands are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands of both males and females. This is why acne in men tends to disappear after puberty and has a tendency not to return, but commonly stays with women or returns throughout life (because sadly our hormones fluctuate throughout the month and levels change as we get older).This sebum (oil) then gets trapped in the pores of the skin this causes blackheads. If no oxygen can get to it, it will quickly turn into a white head.(LEAVE THESE ALONE! The white part you see is your white blood cells fixing the infection!). The problem most people with this skin condition find, is that when they remove oil from the skin it just produces more. This is because your skin needs the natural oils to hydrate the skin, if you’re removing to much oil your skin will produce twice as much to replace what it’s loosing.
So with this in mind you need to find an oil based pre-cleanse and cleanser as, oddly enough, oil attracts oil so it will remove any excess oil whilst leaving enough to keep your skin moisturised. Anything that is primarily alcohol or solvent based will most definitely strip your skin. Use a mild exfoliant to clear out the pores not a harsh one as this will only stimulate sebaceous glands even more. Also use a lightweight moisturiser this will keep your skin hydrated without making it feel greasy.
Dry/ Dehydrated: The main signs of dry skin is that the skin is flaky and peeling this is normally caused by many factors and is normally a genetic skin condition, however can be worsened by over washing with harsh soaps, harsh weather changes and medication. Signs of a dehydrated skin is an itching sensation, a tight feeling and more visible fine lines on the skin. This is normally caused by the skin not being hydrated enough, or the moisture not getting through the top layer of the skin, or the natural moisture being stripped from the skin.
The best way to overcome this is to use an oil based pre-cleanse to get rid of the surface dirt and a cleanser that will clean the skin and add more moisture at the same time. I have found a gel cleanser (for the less severe) or a cream cleanser (for the really dry/dehydrated) does this perfectly. Next step is to use a good exfoliator, something with a hard grain or a high level lactic acid as this will get rid of the layers of dead skin. This will then allow your moisturiser to penetrate deeper into the skin. Finally, use a moisturiser which is highly moisturising.
Ageing skin: As we all know ageing is natural and is something we would all like to slow down. Women start ageing slowly from the age of around 25 however men start to age around their late 40’s, although this happens at a much faster rate. The signs of ageing are increased by UV rays and from free radicals that attack the skin. The common signs of age are loss of elastin in the skin (it does not bounce back as easily), the loss of collagen in the skin (its not as plump), duller skin or dark circles around the eyes (normally caused by dehydration) and thickening of the top layer of the skin.
To counteract these, use a mild exfoliator to reduce the thickening of the top layer of skin and brightening your complexion.This will allow your moisturiser to sink deeper into the skin which will improve the hydration of the skin making those tiny fine lines decrease. Although you can not always rebuild the collogen and elastin the skin has lost, you can protect it by always wearing an SPF no lower that factor 15.
If you feel you need any advice or want more information on skin care or any of the skin concerns mentioned above call Alchemy Therapy Centre on 01908 567766.