Basic Skincare Routine
When it comes to skin care I like to keep it simple. As a daily cleanser I use Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Lotion. I have been using this product for years. Before I wash my face, I apply some onto a cotton swab and remove any dirt or residue from my face. I then rinse/wet my face and apply some more Cetaphil and massage it into my face and rinse again. I love foaming cleansers and have used Lancome, Neutrogena and Bioderma foaming cleansers which works really well. I usually use the foaming cleansers during the Summer months for a fresh feeling. I use Cetaphil during the Winter months when my skin is slightly more dry. The reason I recommend Cetaphil is because it is suitable for all skin types. Dermatologists still recommend Cetaphil because it is mild and non-irritating.
I would like to mention that if you wear make-up, Cetaphil will not remove it. You will have to use a separate make-up remover first. I do not wear foundation, just a concealer sometimes and it is able to remove the concealer effectively enough. When I did wear foundation and mascara Cetaphil was unable to remove all the make-up effectively.
Exfoliating your face with a gentle scrub at least once or twice a week has many skin care benefits. Exfoliating removes any build up completely, removes dead skin cells, it eliminates whiteheads and blackheads and tightens pores. In addition it improves the skin texture and smoothens it, giving it a flawless, youthful, soft appearance. Exfoliating is done after your face has been cleansed. You can exfoliate your face in the shower as the steam of the shower would have softened the skin making your face more receptive to the exfoliation product. If you are not exfoliating in the shower wet a face towel with warm water, squeeze the excess water out and place the face towel on your face for about 1 to 2 minutes. Apply the scrub onto your fingertips and massage/exfoliate your face in upward circular motions for about 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to scrub too hard and do not exfoliate for too long as this may be a bit harsh and cause irritation. Sometimes we think the harder and longer we scrub, the better the results. This is not true and I can vouch for that because I learned the hard way. Once you have exfoliated simply rinse your face and dab dry.
When I was living in Kwazulu Natal I never used to use moisturiser during the Summer months. Kwazulu Natal has a tropical climate and it gets very humid so using moisturiser used to make my face look and feel oily. Since I moved to cape Town which is more of a Mediterranean climate I use a Moisturiser daily. I have noticed that i started developing freckles which I did not have before. The sun and climate in Cape Town is harsher than what I became accustomed to. I used Eucerin Q10 Active which is rich in Coenzyme Q10. This product helps to strengthen cells by replenishing their energy levels for improved cell regeneration, so the depth of fine lines and wrinkles is reduced. Potent antioxidant qualities protect from further free-radical damage. At the moment I am using an Alph-hydroxy Acid cream which Dr. Dagmar Whitaker, a renowned dermatologist in Cape Town makes herself. I took my 16 year old daughter to see Dr. Whitaker for her skin and asked her about my pigmentation/freckles. She suggested I use her AHA cream. I used to offer Glycolic Peels to my clients when I had my beauty spa and am aware of all the benefits of natural acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids. Alpha-hydroxy Acids exfoliate dead skin cells and improves the tone, texture and firmness of the skin and is effective for treating signs of skin aging. The outermost layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum is made up of skin cells called keratinocytes that are sloughed off regularly to reveal new cells underneath. With age, this process slows down, causing skin to look dull. Alpha hydroxy acids speed up this process by dissolving the glue-like substance between the cells so that they’re shed more easily. This increased rate of sloughing, called desquamation, thins out the outer layer of the skin so that it reflects light better and looks more youthful. Research shows that alpha hydroxy acids help to soften fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin pigmentation and improve skin texture. With regular use, skin feels smoother and looks more youthful. There’s also evidence that alpha hydroxy acids boost production of collagen, a protein in the dermis that gives skin support and its ability to resist wrinkling and sagging. The creams available from Dr. Dagmar Whitaker are in concentrations of 5% and 10%. I used the 5% and will go on to use the 10% after another two months. Considering this product is made by a Dermatologist it is very well priced at between R130 to R150 per jar. Each jar lasts for about two months, depending if you are using the cream mornings and evenings. A little goes a long way. I have definitely seen and felt an improvement in skin texture and softness after one month.
When using any skin care product with acids it is important to wear sunscreen with at least a SPF40.