Many of us think that radiant and healthy looking skin means aggressive treatment with lots of products, yet a focus on gentle skin care may be what your skin really needs. And not just sensitive skin either. All skin types look and feel better when handled with kindness.
The key to a gentle skin care routine is to start with milder products. While there is a place for more aggressive treatments, it’s important to ensure that you don’t overdo it. Too many exfoliants or harsh scrubs used too frequently, can actually strip away your skin’s natural oils and cause micro tears, letting moisture out and allowing bacteria and other external irritants in. The key is in managing the amount and frequency of treatments to maximize their benefits and minimize their risk for skin damage.
Practicing Gentle Skin Care
Here are 5 ways to show your skin some love:
- Cleanse. It’s important to cleanse skin, especially at night to get rid of make-up and any dirt that accumulates through the day. Whether you opt for a cleansing oil or balm, a micellar water, an exfoliating cleanser or a cleansing cream, choose one that doesn’t contain harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate, which strip away your skin’s natural oils and leave it open to dryness and irritation. If you do opt for an exfoliating cleanser, you may not require it every night so consider alternating with a more gentle option. Finally, not everyone needs to cleanse in the morning. If your skin is normal or dry, a warm water splash may be all you need when you awake. We love Apothekari Cloud Nine Foaming Cleansing Creme, which gently cleans while moisturizing and protecting.
- Hydrate. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and sodium lactate grab on to moisture and help skin retain it, keeping it looking and feeling soft, smooth and supple. You can find hydrating ingredients in moisturizers, serums and toners.
- Apply Emollients. Emollients are ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, argan oil, coconut oil and apricot kernel oil, which are best applied after hydrating ingredients to help to lock in moisture. They can soften, protect and smooth skin. Essential oils – those ones that are often accompanied with a heady fragrance – are not the same and are often associated with skin irritation for many skin types. They are best avoided or used in very small amounts in facial care.
- Warm Water, Not Hot. Cleanse and bathe with warm water. Hot water washes away your skin’s protective oils, leaving it dry, tight, and itchy. Lower temperature helps keep the protective stratum corneum (the skin’s uppermost layer) from rinsing away.
- Don’t Touch. Do you ever consider how many times a day you touch your face? Probably more than you think. Between turning door knobs, typing on iPhones and tying shoelaces, our hands come in contact with millions of germs and allergens which can transfer from fingertips onto the skin. Touching can lead to breakouts by spreading P. acnes — the bacteria responsible for inflammation and acne.
How do you practice gentle skin care?