Taking the Time to Save Face – Your Own – Literally!

Taking the time to save face – your own – literally!

OK, even with our busy schedules, we manage to fit in manicures, haircuts, maybe a perm and even a pedicure, especially in summer. But, what do you to save your face? How do you take care of your skin? Washing your face twice daily and removing your makeup every night before bed is essential, but good skin care goes much deeper. (I’ll admit, this is normally all I do.)

In fact, deep cleansing is something you should do weekly, as it’s necessary to keep your skin looking fresh and at its best. And, don’t forget your neck; it needs TLC also.

First, there is proper cleansing. Expert (and “my” Clinique gal) says a gentle and creamy liquid cleanser is the best for this. Bar soap tends to be drying. Put the liquid cleanser on a cotton ball and apply to your skin. Use an oily eye makeup remover to take off any remaining mascara. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool water.

Second, is toning. (OK I fall off the bandwagon here, I just use Witch Hazel a couple of mornings a week.) This will balance your skin but you want to be sure to use a gentle toner. For those of you with oily skin, you’ll need one with more astringent. Ask a makeup consultant at the cosmetic counter to suggest one or two for your skin type. And, don’t be afraid to check with your drugstore cosmetic staff; often you’ll find less expensive products that work as well as the pricier “name brands.”

Third, is exfoliating. This is the process of gently removing the dead skin cells which tend to make your skin breakout. The key word here is “gently” so don’t choose an exfoliant which is too harsh. Stay away from those that include ground nut shells or anything that might be harming to your new skin cells; you only want to remove the old skin. And, never use a loofah or a buffing puff on your face because they’re too harsh.

Fourth, is moisturize. Even those of us with very oily skin need to do this. With oily skin, be sure to choose a product that is non comedogenic. Ideally our skin should be moisturized twice daily – morning and night for maximum protection. In the morning, use one with a sun block and just before bed you might use an anti-aging or anti-wrinkle creams. Ideally your “morning” moisturizer should include a sun block of no less than SPF 15. We only have to look at pictures of older women from a few generations back to see what sun damage did to their skin over the years.

Then there are a few other things you can do once a week or every ten days.

Steaming your face is good. (I do this when I have a really congested chest or a bad head cold; does that count?) A quick way is to run hot water in the sink, then take a large towel and create a tent over your head and remain under the towel for about five minutes. You might add some fresh crushed rosemary leaves to the water. An easier way (the other is hard on the back) is to boil water in a large kettle on the stove, add the rosemary (chamomile is good also), tent over your head and remain for about five minutes.

Revitalizing your skin with an occasional face mask is also very good for your skin. A clay-based product is best for those with very oily skin. A cream mask should be used by those with dry skin. For combination skin, use a mud (clay) mask on the T-zone area (forehead & chin) and a hydrating gel or cream mask on the rest of the face.

For puffy eyes, or just to revitalize them, take a dampened tea bag and place over each eye while you nap or lie down for a little while. Also, sleeping on a pillow, or two, will keep your eyes from puffing up quite as much.

Two other activities are part of your lifestyle. Women (and men, too) who smoke are more apt to get wrinkles. So, that’s another great reason to stop smoking if you’re a current smoker. Also, stay out of the sun, as much as you can. The sun rays really damage our skin. And, when you’re in the sun for any length of time, use a sun blocker over your moisturizer and makeup. Don’t forget to use the sun block on your body too.

Now, go out there and put your best face forward!

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