The skin consists of three main layers: the Epidermis, the Dermis and the Superficial Fascia or Subcutaneous. The skin is the largest organ of the body and will absorb anything you apply to your face. Therefore, the products you use should be natural and free of chemicals. The face and neck are the thinnest areas of the skin, the palms and soles are the thickest.
The Epidermis is the outer skin layer, which has five sub layers that are constantly shedding old cells and rebuilding new ones. The new cells push the old cells towards the surface.
The Dermis is where the collagen and elastin fibers are found, they give the skin strength and elasticity. The nourishment needed for constant renewal of cells comes from the capillary blood vessels in this layer. This is where skin rejuvenation takes place. The rate of cell regeneration is strongly influenced internally by such things as sun exposure, circulation, diet, smoking, drugs and age.
The Superficial Fascia is the bottom layer; it separates the Dermis from the muscles, which allows the skin to move. The life cycle of each new cell is approximately 6 to 8 weeks, therefore any skin treatment will need 6 to 8 weeks of time before any real improvement can be expected. We must also remember the delicate skin of the neck and chest. Generally, all things we do to our face, we should include our neck and chest. The neck is the first to go!
Best skin care practice to keep the skin youthful.
It is very important for the skin to remain clean. We are now living in a time where no matter where we go, there is pollution of some kind; car exhaust, cigarette smoke, pesticides, chemicals, and the list goes on. Toxin elimination happens through the skin’s pores. It is so vital to keep the pores clean and unplugged so that the toxins have a way to be released and the skin can breath properly.
A good cleanser will thoroughly clean the pores, lift out impurities, improve circulation and bring a brightness to the skin. The cleanser will be slightly alkaline, which will temporarily change the pH of the skin, allowing the dirt to loosen and attract itself to the cleanser to be easily washed away. The skin will return to its slightly acidic, pH balance with the assistance of a toner, tonic, or hydrosol. Our skin typically has an acidic pH of 4.5 to 5.5 the pH scale is 0 to 14, 7.0 being the neutral point.
Young skin cells shed effortlessly, however the process slows down as one ages. The new cells form in the Basel layer, the deepest sub layer of the Epidermis. The new cells push the old cells to the surface, that is what causes dry patches, which gives the complexion a sallow, dull and lifeless appearance. The buildup of dead skin cells will also limit how much of your moisturizer will penetrate through.
Exfoliating cleanses the skin while stimulating new cell growth and circulation by sloughing off the dead skin. This is very helpful in keeping the skin color balanced by unblocking the pores and reducing blackheads, spots and blotchiness. Exfoliating gives your complexion a bright youthful glow.
Steaming has been an ancient ritual practiced by many. The Romans believed that steaming was good for cleaning and beautifying the skin. Today, many estheticians would agree to the benefits of steaming.
Steaming is a very important step in the cleansing process. It boosts the blood circulation, which is essential for the reproduction of new and healthy cells. Steam causes the pores to open and perspire which releases trapped toxins and brings them to the surface. It also loosens dirt and impurities so that the skin may breath. The moisture softens the surface layer of the skin and this helps reduce wrinkles. Steam helps to free any dead skin cells, dirt, or bacteria trapped which may cause breakouts and blackheads.
Herbs and essential oils nourish the skin with their healing and rejuvenating qualities by improving circulation, cellular metabolism and regeneration, which brings vitality to the complexion. It will also allow your skin to better absorb any products you use after the steaming such as a facial oil. So make sure your moisturizer is chemical free. Steaming regularly will soften skins and reduce facial lines as well as give a heightened sense of beauty.
For most skin types, a mask is a necessary step in the maintenance and health of the skin, but it is often a forgotten step. A mask is a deep cleansing process that nourishes, hydrates, revitalizes and soothes the many layers of the skin. It balances the skin secretions and draws out toxins and impurities that accumulate over time from all the pollutants in the environment. A mask will soften, tone, tighten and bring a brightness to the complexion.
Masks will also increase oxygen intake, stimulate blood circulation and remove excess oil out of the pores helping to unclog them. A hydrosol or toner is used to keep masks moist minimizing the loss of the much needed natural oils and helps keep the moisture balance of the skin.
Masks are best applied after exfoliation of dead skin cells when the surface of the skin is smooth and clean. This helps the healing and rejuvenating qualities penetrate deep into the pores.
Skin care products work more effectively after the use of a mask.
A toner is an important step of the cleansing process. It will assure that the skin returns to a normal acidic pH, which helps keep bacteria away. They help to prevent moisture loss and dry scaly skin, all caused by either over acidic or over alkaline levels. Overall, a toner restores balance to the skin after cleansing. They speed up cell regeneration, which reduces the appearance of fine lines. They also reduce oil secretion and increases blood flow. Toning your skin also improves the elimination of toxins and it helps to refine and tighten your pores. Thus, reducing the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into your skin giving you a brighter complexion and improved skin tone.
A facial moisturizer/oil is used to help hold in the skins natural moisture as well as it adds moisture to skin if it doesn’t produce enough. They are also designed to help prevent wrinkles, prematurely aging skin and to balance the sebaceous glands. Our skin is always adjusting to changes in climate, environment or diet. A simple light facial oil may be more suitable in summer and a richer moisturizer may be more preferable in winter.
It might seem crazy, but a facial oil can work wonders if you have oily or acne prone skin. Oils are fantastic for helping to rebalance, condition and repair skin. Often, using a facial oil on oily skin can help to regulate the skin’s oil production, which in turn reduces congestion and overproduction of sebum.
Daily – skin care regime should be to wash, tone and moisturize.
Weekly or bi-weekly – skin care regime should be wash, exfoliate, steam, mask, tone and moisturize.
Normal skin – is evenly balanced, smooth and firm. It has finely textured pores, no wrinkles and is very soft. Normal skin can change to slightly dry in the winter and lightly oily in the summer.
Dry skin – is dry, fine textured skin that usually ages faster than oily skin. It needs constant replenishment of moisture and oil. Dry skin has difficultly producing sebum which makes it unable to trap moisture into the skin. It is best to correct it sooner rather than later, as it usually gets drier with time. A build up of dead cells usually occurs which makes the skin look flat, dull, thin and sometimes flaky.
Oily skin – shows fewer wrinkles and is generally a thicker skin. With over production of oil and improper cleansing, this type tends to form pimples and black heads. The sebaceous glands produce too much sebum causing clogged pores.
Combination skin – is just that, a combination of normal, dry and or oily. It may also be combined with normal, wrinkled and/or acne.
Acne skin – is more complicated than oily skin. It can be due to a normal change in youth or later in life. Acne is caused by a poor lymphatic flow and overactive sebaceous glands. Stimulants that aggravate acne are coffee, chocolate, black tea, soda, smoking, etc. Over drying of the skin with the use of rubbing alcohol or harsh soaps does not correct the problem; instead, it over stimulates the glands causing the production of more oil thus, creating more acne.
Mature/wrinkled – happens as we age and fair skin tends to wrinkle more than darker skin tones. Over time, being in the sun, not eating healthy and just being around environmental toxins can cause the skin to age. As we age, the skin’s sebum production slows down and fine lines and wrinkles show up.
Sensitive/fragile skin - is a delicate type, which reacts more to products containing synthetic substances, strong preservatives or chemicals. These products strip away all of the good bacteria as well as the bad. This makes it impossible for the skin to normalize and keeps the skin sensitive. Sensitive skin is most likely thin and vulnerable which needs constant care. Sensitive skin can show symptoms of dryness, rashes and broken capillaries.