All skin types require regular care to remain glowing and healthy. Even though skin types do differ, and a special regime is required for each, some skincare habits are beneficial for all. ChitoCare beauty has rounded up some essential tips to help you along your pathway to radiant skin.
When it comes to skincare, things can get overwhelming. So many products, so many new and magical ingredients, so many Dos and Don’ts. People with skin conditions or allergies to specific ingredients know all about what they should and should not be doing. However, for most people, correct skincare can be a bit confusing. The first step is to know what skin type you have, as it determines what kind of care your specific skin type requires, what products to use and avoid, and what habits can help you achieve optimal skin.
Irrelevant of skin type, however, some core habits are beneficial for all. Underneath the layers of our skin, we all function in pretty much the same way. All our bodies require shelter from the natural elements, access to healthy food and clean water, and rest to recover from the labours of everyday life. When we add some love and pampering to the mix, we tend to thrive. And the same is true for our skin.
Even a little bit of attention can go a long way, if care is consistent and you pay attention to what your skin is trying to tell you. To better understand what your skin type is, you can read our related post. Until then, here are some core skincare tips to keep your skin beaming.
Alongside cleansing and moisturizing, wearing sunscreen is part of the Holy Trinity of skincare. Wearing sunscreen is paramount to preventing premature skin aging and protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV light – the most severe of which is skin cancer. Your face is permanently exposed to the elements, so unprotected, daily exposure to UV rays can harm skin cell DNA and cause sun-related skin damage, such as wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, leathery skin and other undesirable effects.
To stay protected, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face every day. Yes, that means also during winter, even when it is cloudy and even if you are indoors, as UVA rays can pass through clouds and glass. Make sure you use sunscreen with adequate SPF (Sun Protection Factor), ideally one that also suits your skin type, and remember to moisturize if you experience sunburn. ChitoCare medical Healing Spray is ideal for use after sitting in the sun, as it reduces redness and inflammation, relieves sunburn and promotes natural skin healing, thanks to marine chitosan that protects the skin from external factors, helps to lock in moisture and reduce the negative effect of free radicals.
Pro tip: Keep in mind that weather and climate also affect your skin, so changing seasons can bring about different skin reactions. Wintry weather can lead to dry, sore or cracked skin, while heat and humidity can bring about oilier skin and acne breakouts. Similarly, dry air caused by heaters and air conditioning can also increase the chances of dryness or irritation. Paying attention to how such external factors affect your skin will help you better care for it.
Keep it clean
Our skin is our first barrier of defence against the elements. This is especially true for the skin of your face and hands as, most of the time, they are more exposed than the rest of your body. This is why it is crucial to wash your face at least once per day depending on your skin type – to wash away dirt, grime, bacteria and pollution. Most people wash their face at the end of the day (which is ideal) or whenever they take a shower (which is also acceptable). Either way, choose a cleanser that suits your skin type to avoid drying out your skin or causing irritation, and always wash with warm, not hot, water. Hot water can dry out your skin or cause sensitivity or redness.
As your skin’s detox enzymes are released overnight, washing your face first thing in the morning will help you wake up to a fresh and clean complexion. Furthermore, always remove make-up before sleeping. Not only do make-up, concealer and foundation clog pores and cause wrinkles, but clean skin will also better absorb products, such as serums and moisturizers, applied after cleansing.
Additionally, avoid touching your face throughout the day, as this spreads bacteria that can lead to breakouts or even infections. In the Covid-19 era, hand sanitation has been constant, to prevent the spreading of the virus. Eczema cases and reports of dry or cracked skin increased due to the harsh nature of alcohol hand sanitizers, while for some people the use of protective masks created skin-related problems, such as breakouts, rashes and rough or irritated skin. Keeping a balance between sanitizing and moisturizing will help your hand and face skin remain both clean and soft. To keep your hands soft and smooth after washing or sanitizing, apply ChitoCare beauty Hand Cream, to protect and nourish dry, cracked or flaky skin. To keep your face skin soft, nourished and protected, apply ChitoCare beauty Face Cream with SPF 15 after cleansing, morning and night. Containing natural moisturizing oils and antioxidants, it is also suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
Pro tip: To help your face skin remain clean and clear, regularly wash your make-up tools, as with time they collect bacteria and leftover product residue. Experts recommend washing make-up brushes and switching out your powder puff at least once a month, especially if used daily.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
No doubt this has been drilled into your head from an early age, and there is good reason. As we age, our skin naturally loses moisture, leading to inelastic and dry skin. Moisturizers contain oils or other ingredients that help your skin lock in water. Moisturizing regularly helps your skin barrier remain healthy, smooth, soft and elastic. A healthy skin barrier keeps you protected from external aggressors, harsh weather and pollution.
To keep skin plump, elastic and soft, choose a moisturizer that suits your skin type and apply to the whole face. Do not forget to apply moisturizer to your neck and decolletage area as well, as these areas are often neglected even though they require care and attention too. ChitoCare beauty Anti-Aging Repair Serum is ideal for all skin types and significantly improves skin hydration, firmness and elasticity. Take your time applying moisturizers, as gently massaging your skin will boost blood circulation and bring about a rosy glow. Some experts even recommend increasing your blood circulation by hanging your head over the side of a bed for 2 minutes a day! If acrobatics are not your thing, you can achieve a healthy pink glow by working out, doing yoga or going for a brisk walk outside.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the skin around the eyes and on the neck contain fewer oil glands, so keeping those areas moisturized is equally important. A special brightening eye cream is recommended for the sensitive skin around your eyes, to help prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. When applying cream to your neck, always spread it with upward motions, against the pull of gravity. This will also help smoothen out wrinkles and folds caused by “tech neck” – that’s the squishing of the neck skin due to the 45-degree angle at which we hang our heads when looking at smart devices, such as cell phones and tablets.
People with oily skin often fall into the trap of skipping moisturizer, as they think it will make their skin oilier. However, oily skin requires moisturizing just like any other skin type. In fact, when skin is dehydrated, it compensates for the lack of moisture by producing even more oil, so moisturizing correctly even if you have oily skin is important, no matter how counter-intuitive it might seem.
Pro tip: Applying skincare products in the correct order enhances their permeability, so apply from lightest to heaviest, opting for light creams for the day and heavier moisturizers for the night. For a refreshing shot of hydration, use ChitoCare beauty Anti-Aging Repair Serum. It provides powerful skin nutrients and increases skin hydration, thanks to natural antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, that serve to protect and nourish the skin, and lock in moisture.
If moisturizing is to skincare what watering is to gardening, then exfoliating is like pruning. Exfoliating helps to remove dead cells and make way for new cell growth, in the same way removing dead leaves from a plant will keep it healthy and strong. Humans typically lose 50 million skin cells a day and clearing them away with the help of a gentle exfoliant will help give your skin a rejuvenated look and uncover a fresh and bright complexion.
Choosing a product with a pH suitable for your skin type will help to remove dirt and grime, unclog pores and avoid dryness or irritation. Our ChitoCare beauty Body Scrub is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It is perfect for daily use on the whole body, while it can also be used once a week on the face. Containing natural granules from walnut shells and bamboo stem powder, it will gently slough away dead skin cells, while bioactive marine chitosan will cover the skin in a protective film and offer powerful skin renewal.
Pro tip: When applying an exfoliator, it is crucial that you do not scrub too hard. Increased pressure will not clean your skin better; it will only leave it feeling sore, irritated or red. When you scrub too hard, you run the risk of micro-abrasions that can lead to further sensitivity or inflammation. Instead, spend a little more time gently massaging the exfoliant into your skin using circular motions.
Rest up and reduce stress
Getting enough sleep is one sure way to improve skin health – after all, there is a reason it’s called beauty sleep. When we go to sleep, our body goes into repair mode, helping us recover, repair and rest. Poor quality sleep can weaken the skin barrier function and increase the signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles and dullness. Getting at least eight hours of sleep a day is beneficial to your overall well-being, not just your skin.
Similarly, stress is a serious health matter and it can have adverse effects on our physical, psychological and emotional well-being. Our skin is no different. Taking it easy and effectively managing stress can go a long way in maintaining healthy, robust skin. Detoxing your body is another way to boost skin health. This means cutting out alcohol, smoking, unhealthy foods and other skin aggressors for a specified period, typically 3 weeks. This can help your body get rid of toxins, irritants and other harmful substances that can affect or damage the skin.
Pro tip: Remember to regularly change your bed linen (ideally once a fortnight), as dirty pillowcases and sheets can cause acne outbreaks or skin irritation. Furthermore, be mindful of how you sleep. Sleeping on the sides of your face and squishing your cheeks can increase the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and marionette lines (those lines that run from your nostrils to the corners of your mouth).
Some additional self-care is never a bad thing and treating your skin to a face mask can further improve skin health. A face mask is an ideal way of delivering extra nutrients to your skin or tackling a specific skincare concern. What’s more, they come in many forms – from clay masks and pastes to sheets and jellies, so finding one that delivers the desired effect shouldn't be too difficult. Choose a face mask that is suitable for your skin type and the specific issue you want to address. Whether you want to hydrate, soothe or cleanse your skin, applying a face mask a couple times a month will work to supplement your daily skincare routine.
Pro tip: Check with your dermatologist first about what ingredients best suit your skin type before trying new skincare products.
Watch your diet
We are what we eat and what we eat affects our skin. Thanks to the gut-skin axis, our digestive system is connected to our skin. As both interact with our inner and outer environment, they are in constant communication. Therefore, what you put inside your body does affect how your skin will react. A balanced diet and drinking lots of water can help you improve your skin health. Foods high in vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and minerals will nourish your skin from the inside out, while drinking at least 2 litres of water a day will help flush out toxins that can lead to skin problems or acne outbreaks.
Avoiding foods high in saturated fats, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, reducing your alcohol intake and trying to cut down on smoking will all help alleviate your skin from internal toxins and external aggressors. Increasing your intake of antioxidants will help fight free radicals – those pesky, unstable molecules that break down skin collagen, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, sagging and dull skin. Topping up on antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients will not just benefit your skin, it will also boost your immune system.
Pro tip: Antioxidants are not only found in foods; they can also be applied topically in the form of serums, or they can be consumed orally in the form of dietary supplements. Try ChitoCare beauty Hair, Skin & Nails, to supplement your skincare regime. Containing nutrients, such as Vitamin C, zinc and selenium, that protect cells from the negative effects of oxidative stress, this blend of natural ingredients will nourish you from within, supporting thicker hair, stronger nails and smoother, firmer and better hydrated skin.
* If you are unsure of what skin type you have, or whether you have a skin condition, consult with your dermatologist, so you can be accurately diagnosed and receive an appropriate treatment.