Great Skin Care

Essentially Simple

Everyone wants a great skin care regime that delivers their best and most beautiful skin... The question is how do you get it?

Generally, what will deliver your best skin is a routine that is essentially simple. Keep it as simple as can be, based on your unique complexion's concerns. Ensure that these KEY elements are there and then carefully choose further measures that address your unique needs.

Most skin types will thrive on these simple steps:

  • cleanse
  • moisturize
  • spf

  • cleanse
  • exfoliate skin (suggested for over 20 years of age-chemical exfoliation like good AHA-alpha hydroxy acid)
  • treatment (anti aging option like serum)
  • night moisturizer

Most of us need gentle regular cleansing. Most of us will benefit from regular skin exfoliation. All of us, regardless of skin type, color, or geographical location, need to wear sunscreen.  

Knowing your skin type, will determine the details of the methods and products you choose. Be careful you don't over treat your skin.  You would be surprised how annoyed your skin can get, not to mention mimicking symptoms of other skin types (which will create a lot of confusion for you). 

If you're dealing with acne, caring for your skin can be particularly stressful and using an appropriate system, difficult to determine.  If your acne does not respond to the above care and thoughtfully chosen (and proven) OTC remedies, please see a dermatologist.  It is well worth it to have your skin examined by a pro.

The Elements of Healthy Skin Care: Cleansing, Exfoliating, Moisturizing and Protecting

Shifts in the weather, your hormones, your diet and even your skin care routine will change how your skin responds to methods of care and types of products.  Using the wrong product without realizing it quickly can start a cycle of problems that may lead you to believe your skin is of a different nature than it actually is.

The essential elements of skin care listed above probably seem pretty basic, even common sense? Yet, most of us aren't benefiting from these powerful essentials.

Why? The likely culprit is a mix of misinformation and inappropriate product choices for our individual skin care needs....

Here are the basics about each element:

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The objective of cleansing the skin is to remove all makeup, dead cells, oil and dirt, and to do so without irritating the skin. Using the right type of product on your skin, will thoroughly cleanse without stripping the skin of its natural pH balance.

An example of one of the best cleansers of the past and present is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (can be found in most drug stores). It is excellent for all skin types, gentle yet effective, water soluble, will not strip the skin or leave it feeling greasy, comes recommended by many doctors, and is very inexpensive.

Some others that come highly recommended include SkinCeuticals Foaming Cleanser for normal to oily skin, DDF Non-Drying Gentle Cleanser for dry, sensitive or mature skin and Dr. Brandt Anti-Irritant Cleanser for very sensitive, highly reactive skin or skin that has undergone treatment.

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The objective of exfoliating is to remove dead cells from the skin's surface and result in skin with a fresh healthy glow.  Over time, this step will also increase the skin's capacity to absorb moisture and reduce fine lines and acne.

It is an irritating process that actually, is beneficial to most skin types. The goal and also the problem is determining the fine line between good irritation and irritation that is too much and potentially damaging. Exfoliating can be done can be done manually using a mildly abrasive product (such as a silk mitt or washcloth, a "scrub" or exfoliating mask) or even better, chemically (AHAs, BHA, Renova A, Retin A etc.).

Chemical exfoliators are ideally used in a crème or lotion after the cleansing step (often the benefits in a cleanser are lost down the drain).

Good AHA products are made by a variety of companies:

Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion (daily) for all skin types except those with very delicate or sensitive skin, is an effective and well priced option. Neostrata makes an impressive line up of products with aha including this NeoStrata Daytime Smoothing Cream with SPF15.

For a once a week treatment, consider natural organic Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength or Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive;

"...patented, bestselling, potent alpha and beta hydroxy acid peel that delivers spa grade exfoliation, revealing a brighter complexion while creating firmer-looking skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation for optimum age-defying results."

Good BHA products are made by fewer companies:

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment-This product can be used daily and has a combination of lactic acid (alpha hydroxy acid), some salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid) and list of other interesting natural ingredients.  I haven't tried it, but it receives impressive reports of potency and results.

Tretinoin i.e.. Retin A, Renova etc. require a prescription.

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Moisturizing and Protecting:

#1 Moisturizing the skin creates a barrier between the skin and the air, temporarily maintaining your skin's natural moisture by keeping the water in the skin (not replacing moisture as you may have thought). Note* Moisturizing is meant to assist dry skin, and is not necessarily needed.

The best approach to moisturizing is just enough to effectively accommodate the need.

#2 Protection of the skin from sun exposure is required for all races of people. Yes all. Sun exposure is the primary culprit behind aging skin , wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and most definitely skin cancer (and these negative effects occur in varying degrees depending on your skin color).

A good lightweight moisturizer with an effective sunscreen and a great price tag is Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer, SPF 15, Fragrance Free (can be found in most drug stores).

apple tip graphic Sunscreen is the only product that can truthfully claim to prevent aging and wrinkles and it should be part of everyone's morning skin care program.

Since sunscreens are formulated with a moisturizing base, it can play the role of moisturizer too. If however, your skin is dry, apply your moisturizer to those dry areas, and then the sunscreen on top of that.

The critical components of a GOOD sunscreen include an SPF of at least 15 and these ingredients titanium dioxide, zinc oxide (both physical barriers), avobenzone (Parsol 1789) , Tinosorb S (Bemotrizinol)-NEW and Mexoryl Sx (Ecamsule)-NEW.  Unfortunately, good formulations are not easy to come by.  Make sure you read the active ingredient list to ensure one of these broad spectrum, photo stable sunscreen ingredients are there.

Get A Good Sunscreen! Here are some worth considering:

Normal to Dry (moisturizer built in)

Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer SPF15 by La Roche-Posay is a top choice, award winning, excellent formulation of daily moisturizer with sunscreen.  It is light weight and contains excellent sunscreen agents Mexoryl Sx and  Parsol 1789, for UVA and Octocrylene  for protection against UVB.


SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense SPF 30 is non chemical and has a special formulation to reduce the whitening effect found in other physical sun blocks. Safe for all skin types including sensitive, traumatized and safe for children.

Normal to Oily Skin

Peter Thomas Roth Ultra Lite Oil Free Sunblock SPF 30 contains Parsol 1789 and Titanium Dioxide for maximum sun protection in a sheer light weight formulation.

Dealing With Acne

Acne is a result usually of a combination of things like increased oil production, plugged sebaceous glands from improper skin shedding, and trapped bacteria. In addition, factors like an improper skin care routine, hormonal shifts, and genetics can add to the difficulty in resolving your skin problems.

Reading testimonials from customers can be very helpful in determining whether you too can be helped with your particular type of acne.

Consider Juice Beauty's excellent organic skin care products including this highly regarded Blemish Clearing Serum.

apple contour graphicLast word on your best skin care...
Getting the best results possible are an obvious goal for anyone's skin care program. A little homework now will go a long way in meeting your complexions needs. Start with this simple routine and add as needed.

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