The health of your skin says a lot about your general state of wellbeing. Your skin is an organ, and just like
your heart or your liver, it needs nutrients to perform its functions properly. If you’re concerned that your
skin isn’t receiving the tender loving care it deserves, there are several things you can do – and they’re all
relatively simple. To ensure your skin is fresh, clean and healthy at all times, it’s important to understand
the basics of skincare.
Get to know your skin
The person best placed to understand exactly what your skin needs is you. You know what irritates it and whether
it’s dry or whether it’s greasy. And only you know exactly what issues lead to good and bad skin days. If your
pores are enlarged and your skin is constantly shiny, the chances are you have oily skin. But if you suffer from
dry patches, blotches and a dull complexion, you probably have dry skin. Understand what your skin needs, and
you’ll be able to purchase the perfect skincare products.
Invest in face wash
Using a face wash daily should help to keep your skin moisturised and healthy. However, there are different
washes for different skin types, so you should take the time to select the right one for you.
Dry skin – If you suffer from scales, dry patches or dry skin conditions such as eczema, you should
select an oil-based cleanser. You may also want to apply a moisturising cream for dry skin, packed with things like
hyaluronic acid (able to hold 1,000 times its weight in water) and fortifying hydrators afterwards.
Oily skin – If your skin is oily, you may be prone to acne breakouts due to the overproduction of
sebum or “see visible or large pores over t-zone or cheeks. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you
should select an oil-free cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can both reduce the
chances of an acne breakout.
Sensitive skin – If you suffer from sensitive skin, there are cleansers on the market designed to
address your specific requirements. These products usually contain no fragrances, heavy oils or alcohol. Instead,
they rely on natural ingredients such as aloe, green tea, chamomile and polyphenols. Among the conditions that can
cause skin irritation are psoriasis, eczema and rosacea.
Once you’ve washed your face, use a toner to cut through the oil on your skin – leaving it cleaner and more even. If
you suffer from acne or skin problems, choose a toner that contains salicylic acid.
Much of the oil, dirt and sebum on your face lurks just below the surface of the skin, so regular exfoliation is
essential. Left untreated, dirty skin can cause blackheads, spots and irritations. You need to clear the dead
skin cells away at least twice a week to ensure dirt and grease can escape.
Change your shaving habits
A wet shave using a moisturising shaving foam is always best for your skin – so you need to make the time for
one every morning. Before you shave, however, wash your face with cleanser, toner and “warm or lukewarm water.
And if you have time, exfoliate. These processes will open up your pores, soften the hairs and remove any
bacteria that’s sitting on the surface of your skin. Shave with the grain, and always rinse the blades after
every stroke. And, of course, make sure your blade is sharp and rust-free. Once your shave is complete, rinse
your face with cool water.
Dry skin is usually thinner and less elastic – which can lead to severe wrinkles and creases over time. You can
maintain the elasticity in your skin – and keep your skin looking fresh and youthful – by moisturising daily.
And to kill two birds with one stone, use a moisturiser that also offers UV protection, as prolonged exposure to
direct sunlight can cause permanent skin damage.
How to look after your skin if you work outdoors
Working outside leaves your skin vulnerable to damage from UV rays. This can accelerate the ageing process in
skin, and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. It is therefore important that you stop what you’re
doing to reapply sunscreen every two hours – making sure you apply it to your face, arms, hands and any areas of
If you work in a relatively dirty environment or battle the daily pollution in the city, the dust in the air has
the potential to get into the deeper layers of the skin, causing inflammation, dehydration and wrinkling. An
easy and effective solution is simply washing the skin to remove the dust and pollutants through proper
cleansing before bed every night and apply ample moisturiser. Wearing moisturiser in the morning is also helpful
because it trap the pollutants during the day, preventing them from reaching the skin.