Skin Care Basics
Do you know how to meet the needs of your skin? Determining and meeting your skin's essential needs with a comprehensive skin care regimen is critical to maintaining skin's healthy function and beautiful appearance. While there are several ways to determine your skin's essential needs, the key to optimal skin health and beauty is to meet your skin's basic needs with a comprehensive skin care system. You can maintain beautiful skin and slow the rate at which it ages with a regimen that both supplements and protects the structure and function of the skin.
Basic and Advanced Skin Care Needs
Your skin has up to 10 essential needs for optimal health and beauty. These needs can be divided into two categories: basic and advanced needs. Your skin's basic needs are the minimum, daily needs or regimen steps all skin types require. Advanced needs are those that address specific concerns of your skin and that can be met by incorporating additional regimen steps as needed. Starting in our late 20s, our advanced needs steadily increase. Together, basic and advanced needs form the essential needs of the skin.
Although the skin has 10 essential needs to maintain optimal form, meeting the basic, daily needs with four regimen steps creates the foundation of daily skin care. The four essential steps are cleanse, tone, protect, and hydrate. A look at each step individually will help to clarify how it specifically addresses the essential needs of your skin.
- Cleanse: This step meets the skin's basic need to be free of excess oil, dirt, and pollutants. If these impurities are not removed, you may experience dull, sallow skin; clogged, inflamed pores that can discolor and scar; or free radical oxidation that can damage cells, affect healthy cell renewal, irritate the skin, and initiate hyperpigmentation. To avoid these negative effects, cleansing should be performed twice daily.
- Tone: Toning fulfills a basic daily need by preparing the skin to receive the benefits from other products and should be performed twice daily, after cleansing. Toning works in several ways. It calms and soothes the skin; toning also minimizes the appearance of pores and balances the skin's pH.
- Protect: The protect step meets the skin's basic need for a morning moisturizer with SPF to guard against harmful UV rays and environmental stressors. Sun damage degrades the moisture barrier and structural proteins and promotes discoloration—all signs of premature skin aging.
- Hydrate: The hydrate step provides vital lipids, replenishing moisture, and key repair components for optimal nighttime recovery. Nighttime hydration should be applied once daily in the evening.
In addition to the basic daily needs, your skin also has advanced needs. When specific skin concerns such as discoloration, acne, free radical damage, and aging exist, addressing these concerns is critical for skin health and beauty. Incorporating regimen steps to target the skin's advanced needs gives your skin the needed advantage of advanced skin care. Consider some of the following advanced needs:
- Nourish: For protecting skin health and maintaining youthfulness, the nourish step is essential. You can nourish the skin with powerful antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that damage and prematurely age the skin.
- Treat: The treat step meets an essential advanced need of the skin when key components, functions, or structures within the skin are compromised, leading to signs of premature aging. Treatment products are specially formulated to target those key skin components.
- Refinish: The refinish step focuses on skin that has become dull and rough. Refinishing helps to resurface and polish the skin for a fresh, glowing complexion.
- Exfoliate: When environmental stressors and intrinsic aging begin to interfere with healthy cell renewal, the exfoliate step becomes important. Exfoliation helps remove dead cell buildup for smoother, more youthful looking skin and can stimulate the cell renewal process.
- Mask: The mask step meets an essential advanced need of the skin when the skin requires a concentrated application of key ingredients for an extended period of time. Masks are an excellent way to meet the skin's various needs. Some masks deliver key ingredients to the skin, while others draw out impurities.
- Revitalize: Tired, stressed skin requires the essential step revitalize to restore vibrancy and promote cellular energy. This need should be met once per week after cleansing.
By understanding both the essential, daily needs and the advanced needs of your skin, you can easily create a regimen that meets those needs. You can do this by incorporating specific regimen steps and specially formulated products into your daily routine. It's important to remember that the best skin care products are designed to work synergistically to meet the essential needs of the skin. As they do this, they maintain and enhance the health and natural beauty of the skin.
When following a skin care regimen, it is vital that you use each product correctly. In addition to following correct usage, regimen order, and instructions for each product, keep the following tips in mind:
- The advanced steps refinish, exfoliate, mask, and revitalize can be performed either morning or evening, but not twice in one day. Also, these steps don't need to be performed in more than three to four total steps per week.
- With some treatment systems, the refinish, exfoliate, and mask steps are not recommended for simultaneous use (refer to individual treatment systems for more information).
- When applying more than one treatment product, apply those products that do not form an occlusive film first (i.e., apply serums, then gels).
- Allow serums and gels to dry completely to let the active ingredients soak into the skin. After the serum or gel has dried, apply any lotion or cream treatment products. Allow them to set.
- Day moisturizers with SPF should be applied after the treatment lotions or creams have dried to prevent wiping away the active ingredients. You should wait for day moisturizers to dry completely before applying cosmetics.