Have you started taking longer in front of the mirror while getting ready? Has your list of makeup products increased from the basics? Is your dressing table now strewn with concealers, foundations, color correctors etc. out of necessity to cover up the spots and wrinkles which have started appearing? Does your regular skin care product seem to malfunction? Congrats my friend! You have crossed the threshold into your 30’s.
The skin cells are no longer turning over in 14 days. It is now taking approximately 28-35 days to regenerate and this timeline keeps increasing as we age. Which means that dead skin cells accumulate on the surface of the skin giving it a dull appearance. The production of collagen and elastin, which keep the skin firm, taut and elastic, reduces. Hormonal changes affect the skin negatively as well. Years of damage and neglect to the skin starts becoming apparent and add to this the environmental stressors like pollution, lack of sleep and anxiety and you might as well say – Shiver me timbers!
All is not lost yet though. It is a wake-up call to up your skin care routine as per your specific needs to start getting the 2nd glance in admiration, again.
The Very Beginning
Let us begin at the very beginning to understand the basics before a good skin care routine can be build.
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
You are probably tired of hearing this, but we still can’t stress enough on the importance of water in our life. Many people underestimate its power in helping you achieve beautiful skin and overall health. pH balance of the skin, flushing out toxins from the body, reducing wrinkles, preventing pimples and acne, keeping the skin elastic are just some of the benefits of water. You cannot achieve beautiful, healthy skin without hydration. So, drink up!
Before you even start planning and purchasing products for your skin, you need to be aware what type of skin you have. Do you have dry, oily or a combination skin? Is your skin highly sensitive? The skin care routine will depend on it.
Do keep in mind that the skin type can also change as per the season and the environmental stressors that it is exposed to and hormonal fluctuations. The skin type also changes with age and hormonal fluctuations. Every change in skin will require an adjustment in the routine.
Woes To Be Addressed
Is it the sun spots that are troubling you? Or are pimples and acne your bane? Do you want to get rid of tan? Is your skin dry and flaky? Or is it a combination of these? Identification of issues helps in finding the right product. Listing them down will present you with the complete picture of your skin needs.
CLEANSE – TREAT – MOISTURIZE is the simple Mantra to build the skin routine. The face needs to be cleaned of all dirt, dust, oil and any other impurity to receive the next set of products. Treat refers to skin concern specific products like ubtans, face packs, serums, eye creams etc. A moisturizer needs to go on after the treatment has been applied to seal it in.
A.M. Skin Routine
Good morning Sunshine! Let us get started with getting your routine right.
You would have cleansed your face before sleeping and probably wondering about why you need to cleanse your face again in the morning when all that you have been doing is sleeping. Well, we need to rid the skin of the buildup of oil and products applied at night. A clean skin is more receptive to the next products in the skin care routine.
Remember gentle, soap-free cleansers are the way to go to maintain the skin barrier. If you have dry skin, opt for natural cleansers with humectants like honey and aloe vera etc. In case of oily skin look for cleansers with tea tree, rose water, neem, lemon etc.
It should be done once or twice a week. It helps to remove the buildup of dead cells and can also address certain skin issues. Ubtans are best for exfoliations. They can easily be made at home and you can add other ingredients to it that can address specific skin complaints. The basic Ubtan is Bengal gram and turmeric mixed with milk for dry skin and rosewater for oily skin. It makes an excellent exfoliator along with added benefits of removing tan and pigmentation and providing a glowing complexion due to the properties of turmeric. Ready mix of natural ayurvedic Ubtans are also readily available in the market.
Though not an absolute essential, it is good to use a toner as it does have many benefits. It unclogs pores and removes oil and dirt much more efficiently than a cleanser. Calms and tightens the skin and visibly reduces the size of the pores, giving the skin a smoother and a polished look. Naturally hydrating toners increase the absorption of the next set of skin care products.
Stay away from toners that contain alcohol as it can cause irritation and can be immensely drying. Always choose toners made from natural ingredients and chemical free.
The history of beauty has changed since the creation of serums. They are light in weight, non-greasy products bursting with nutrients which are topically delivered. They are more readily absorbed by the skin and are super effective with regular use.
A wide variety of natural serums are available in the beauty market which can easily work on your skin to provide a burst of nutrients, heal and protect against further damage. Vitamin C serums made from natural products and Kumkumadi serum made from Kumkumadi Oil (based on age old recipe from Ayurveda) are lauded for being anti-ageing and providing an even skin tone and a glow.
This is an absolute must in any skin care routine, even for oily skin and in all seasons. When applied after a serum, it locks it in so that the serum can continue doing its work without interruption. Moisturizers also lock in the moisture in our skin and prevent its loss via transpiration. In case of an oily skin, opt for a lightweight water-based moisturizer.
Come rain or shine, winter or summer, whether you are indoors or outdoors, Sunscreen is the need of the hour and needs to be applied 365 days around the year. It not only protects from the UVA and UVB rays, but from the damaging effects of the blue light emitted by electronic devices.
You can either opt for a moisturizer with a SPF30 or above or apply a sunscreen after the moisturizer.
P.M. Skin Routine
Night time routine is crucial as it is the time to provide your skin with as many nutrients and active ingredients. The skin laps it up as it repairs and regenerates while we catch up on our sleep.
Sleeping with makeup on is a No. It can clog the pores and result in a break out. Natural based and chemical free makeup removers not only remove all traces of the cosmetics but also hydrate the skin while on the job.
It is extremely important to clean your face of any traces of makeup, makeup remover, oil, dirt and grime which has accumulated throughout the day.
It is a bit more important to tone at night as it catches and removes any remedial makeup, dirt and oil missed by facial cleansers and preps the skin to receive nutrients and the healing products. Rose water is an excellent natural toner which also smells wonderful and is relaxing.
Like in the daytime, a serum should be applied after toning and before a moisturizer.
Night creams are heavier than day time creams and contain many active ingredients. They work their magic on the skin while we sleep and help to correct the skin problems, regenerate and heal. Using anti-ageing cream at night helps to reduce the obvious signs of aging. So just slather it on without worry as you don’t have to step out.
Use eye cream to focus on the delicate area around the eyes and reduce the dark eye circles, fine lines and puffiness. Eye creams help to plump up the skin around the eye, giving a more youthful appearance.
And just like in day time, a moisturizer is also important in the night skin routine to lock in the products and moisture.
The Guru Mantra
And now for the Guru Mantra – “Stay Stress Free”. Stress releases Cortisol, a hormone which can lead to excessive production of sebum which can clog pores and cause acne. Stress has a way of ageing us like nothing else as it affects the elasticity of the skin which causes wrinkles. Stress also affects the body as a whole, in many different ways, like compromising the immune system.So, for a healthy skin, stay happy!