Did you know that your skin is the largest and fastest-growing organ in your body? It covers and protects you 24/7. With that in mind, it only makes sense that you would want to take very good care of it. Cosmetology products on the market are available to help you with your skin care program and skin health, but it’s important to know how to use them properly for optimum results. First, though, you need to understand your skin.
Skin’s layers and structure
The three layers of the skin cover your body, protecting your internal organs, keeping harmful bacteria out and giving you your sense of touch. The outer layer – the epidermis – is the barrier layer, but it also contains cells known as melanocytes. They contain melanin, the pigment that gives the skin its color. Below the epidermis is the dermis. Made up of elastin and collagen, it contains hair follicles, sweat glands and sebaceous glands. The deepest layer is the subcutis, where fat is deposited and stored as energy and insulation. Each layer has its own function, from regulating body temperature to retaining moisture and elasticity to removing toxins and producing Vitamin D.
Many of us envy those with “perfect” skin – soft, smooth and dewy – and long to make our problem skin look better. Poor skin texture is a problem for many and appears as rough skin or patches of rough skin. This may be dry, flaky skin on the face, sagging jowls or dark spots caused by sun damage. To improve the skin’s texture, you need to develop and consistently follow a proper skin care regime.
Developing a skincare regimen
Anyone can follow a plan for better skin care. How your skin looks is as much a result of skin care habits as heredity. The basic formula for a skin care regimen is very simple: cleanse, tone and moisturize. The goal of your skin care program is to make your skin function at its best. It won’t happen overnight; it takes time to reap the benefits and notice the effects – generally six weeks of following the plan consistently. Here’s the simple plan toward better skin care:
- Cleanse (to clear the skin of debris and excess oils)
The most essential part of your skincare program: wash your face twice a day with a cleanser that doesn’t strip away the healthy oils. Use it like a professional, concentrating it in the areas where you have the most pores (often around your nose). Never use soap to wash your face, and look for a cleanser made for your skin type:Oily/acne-prone skin: Choose a foaming cleanser
Dry/eczema-prone skin: Choose a cream or lotion cleanser
Mature skin: Choose a butter-like salve
All skin types: Choose anything with micellar water because it removes debris and oil
- Tone (to balance the skin)
Think of a toner as a supplement to wipe away the residue. Look for products with alpha and beta hydroxyl acids, which remove dead skin cells; hyaluronic acid, which boosts hydration and seals in dewiness; rose water and green tea, which calm irritated skin; and/or Vitamins E and C,which attack free radicals. Always apply with clean hands and after cleansing your face.
- Moisturize (to hydrate the skin)
When you moisturize, you’re hydrating and softening your skin by preventing water loss. Use a moisturizer year round, twice a day. In the morning, your moisturizer – your day cream – should protect your skin from environmental hazards and toxins that come through the air. At night, your moisturizer has a different job: to repair damage. Remember to apply moisturizer when your skin is damp so that it is easily absorbed, and always use one that has a built-in broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
Getting the most from your cosmetology products
It’s more in how you use your products than which ones you use. There is an order of application that you should follow, and it usually goes by consistency– going from the thinnest products to the thickest. Normally, whatever you put on first penetrates the best. If you’re using two products to treat two different problems, apply one to bare skin the morning and save the other until nighttime. The exception to the consistency rule is to apply retinoid creams after others because they could irritate sensitive skin if applied first. Also, you want to apply your sunscreen – the most important product you will use – last.
Best skin care tips
Consistency in following your skin care program is essential to success. Here are some other tips that can help you care for your skin and keep it looking bright and healthy.
- Don’t expect a single miracle ingredient or product.
- Exfoliate your skin gently at least three times a week with an acid-based exfoliant (glycolic, salicylic or lactic acid).
- Apply sunscreen in dots and wear it every time you go outside, regardless of the season.
- Avoid products with harsh or irritating ingredients, and pay attention to how your skin reacts to products.
- Apply serum while your face is damp.
- Remember that your morning routine is about protection, and the evening routine is about repair.
- Choose products that are recommended for your skin type.
- Avoid toners with alcohol 40 or denatured alcohol.
- Adjust your skin care regiment seasonally.
- Use retinoid products at night to keep your skin more youthful.
- Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
Learn more about health and beauty at MTI College
If beauty and cosmetology products have always interested you, why not make it a career? Consider studying cosmetology at MTI College’s Paul Mitchell Beauty, Cosmetology and Barbering School. You will learn professional skills in hair, skin and nail care by working hands-on in the school’s clinic classroom. Class sizes are limited, so you will receive one-on-one attention from your instructors. All of them are professional hairstylists and beauty professionals who bring their real-world expertise into the classroom.
Call today and secure your place in the next class at Paul Mitchell the School.