Once you have spent some time improving the health of your skin and giving it the tools it needs to rebuild itself, you can work on establishing the best possible maintenance routine. Remember that habits are made in three to four weeks. Start with what you know you can follow for those three weeks. If that means just working on establishing your skin maintenance routine for a month, then your hair routine, that’s fine. Just don’t forget your foundational routine improving your nutrition, hydration and rest!
All makeup should be removed before bed each evening. There are a countless number of products for cleaning your skin, with different formulas for each skin type. Unless you use heavy makeup, it’s easiest to pick a cleanser that also removes makeup. Another option is to just use makeup remover or oil on eye makeup, as foundations and blushers usually come off easily with most regular cleansers. Either way, clean your facial skin every evening before bed, and again in the morning. If you’ve cleaned your face properly in the evening, morning skin will just require a light washing to remove sebum and sweat and prepare your face for your makeup.
If using a water-based cleanser, wet your face with lukewarm water. If using an oil-based cleanser, apply directly to dry skin.
Using your fingers or a soft cloth, gently apply cleanser in small circles over your face, working from your nose to your hairline. Don’t forget to apply cleanser to your neck, using soft swipes upward towards the jaw line. Be careful not to pull or stretch the skin when cleansing. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water
Your skin should be protected from harmful UV rays daily. “Protecting” is a two-step process. The first part of the process is providing your skin with antioxidants and ingredients that will help it protect itself by maintaining natural protective enzymes. The second part is providing it with sunscreen protection.
If you are going to use a vitamin/nutrient antioxidant solution or serum, you can soak a cotton ball with your solution and apply to face, patting your “problem areas” first, then gently wiping over the rest of your face. Apply to neck in upward motion. If using a commercial antioxidant serum, follow manufacturer’s directions.
As women get older, their natural sebum production slows. Skin needs inner and outer hydration to maintain is strength, flexibility and integrity. Moisturizers also reduce the risk of mechanical damage to the skin, by reducing friction and reducing the chance the skin will be stretched or torn by contact.
You can protect and moisturize in one step, but use an all-inclusive skin lotion that provides vitamins C, E, and A, and oils to moisturize and a sun block. You can also provide your own antioxidant protection by applying solutions of nutrient vitamins/herbs to your skin, then using a moisturizing sunscreen.
Apply moisturizer lightly to face in outward motions. Apply to neck in upward motions. Be careful not to pull or stretch your skin. For daytime, if your moisturizer does not already contain sun protection, apply a grease-free sunscreen to your face, throat, as well as all body skin exposed to the sun.
As your skin grows and repairs itself, the outer layer of dead cells slough off. To expedite this process and get to the fresher, newer cells below, it’s recommended that you exfoliate your skin at least once a week. There are basically two ways of doing this, mechanically and chemically.
For mechanical exfoliation, you can use a good skin scrub, a microdermabrasion cream or a loofah pad. Chemically, you can use one of the common acidic exfoliating preparations, glycolic acid peels, lactic acid peels, alpha-hydroxy, etc. Some skin cleansers come with this step built right inside the formula. Your skin type will determine how often you should exfoliate and which method you should use.
Irritated skin, like that with acne, eczema or rosacea will not appreciate the heavy scrubbing of mechanical exfoliants, and even a chemical formula may be too irritating for more than occasional use. Older skin that is highly sun-damaged may require either or both methods, perhaps more often, to remove the layers of damaged skin and help stimulate the production of healthy collagen structures in the deeper layers of the skin.
Whatever formula you plan to use, exfoliants should be applied similar to cleansers. If you are using a chemical peel, avoid “scrubbing” your skin, let the chemicals do the work. If using a scrub, apply VERY light pressure, and work in tiny circles. Again, be careful not to pull or stretch the skin.
Most exfoliants will require some time to “work”. Applying exfoliants right before showering is a good idea, because you can rinse them off under the shower, which helps in removing any residue.
Maintain an consistent daily skin care routine, along with a healthy diet of course, to keep your skin glowing no matter what age you are.