A new year means a new you, right? Let’s start by giving your skin a little lovin’ and going back to basics. We’ll be talking about how to get your skin ready for all your complexion goals this year.
If you read this month’s other blog on naturopathic dermatology, then you’re well aware of the importance of communication between your skin cells and how using the wrong products or tools topically can jumble the message to those deeper layers. Now that you understand what’s required for healthy skin, how do you get started? Easy! Healthy skin begins with the basics. In order for your products to work their very best, it’s crucial that we set the stage every day, morning and night. We call this simple foundation “Getting Skin Ready” and it follows three steps: Cleanse, Scrub, Oil Control.
Dr. Obagi says, “Many people mistakenly see the skin as a wall to paint or decorate, but not as a living organ to nurture and heal… Everyone needs to cleanse, exfoliate and tone, no matter what their skin type.” Here’s how to do just that:
Step One: Cleanse
Cleansing your skin is absolutely vital to maintaining healthy skin. Why? The most obvious benefit is that it removes makeup, dirt, oil and debris from the surface of the skin. We’re exposed to so much throughout the day, especially living in the city, and our precious skin is constantly coming face to face (pun intended) with bacteria, pollutants, viruses, dirt… you get the picture. By simply cleansing your skin in the morning and evening, you’re getting rid of these harmful impurities and giving your skin a breath of fresh air!
Okay, sounds logical but is it really necessary to cleanse in the morning after you’ve been snoozing for the last eight hours? YES! While we’re sleeping, we’re still secreting oil and sweat and oftentimes we’re rolling around on dirty hair full of styling products or a pillowcase and sheets that should’ve been washed sometime last month. And you’re just marinating in it… all night. Need we say more?
Without cleansing, our skin would be covered in a thick layer of dirt and grime, which would hinder the rest of our products from doing their job and nobody wants that.
Step Two: Exfoliate
Once skin is squeaky clean, we can exfoliate away the excess buildup of dead cells that are experiencing just a touch of separation anxiety. Exfoliation is key to polish the skin to restore a smoother texture and healthy glow.
Despite what some internet “experts” might tell you, using a quality scrub on your skin is actually one of the most important aspects of your skincare routine for both the face and body. You may have been lead to believe that physical exfoliants are harmful to your skin rather than helpful. And while that may be true for some products, it certainly isn’t the case when it comes to ZOⓇ and pharmaceutical-grade products. With all ZO scrubs, if you were to look under a microscope, you would see what resembles a golf ball…perfectly spherical with slight, smooth divots throughout.
By utilizing a natural property like magnesium crystals, we’re also able to feed the skin essential mineral nutrients. We all love a two-for-one. Aside from just dry skin, a good scrubbin’ can help combat PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), clogged pores and blemishes, textural irregularities and ingrown hairs too.
So, the hot question is how often should you do it? A great starting point would be two or three times per week. As important as it is, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Over-exfoliating can result in weakened barrier function and sensitivity. Exfoliating two to three times per week will increase blood flow, meaning more nutrients will come to the surface layers of the skin and encourage new cell formation, break down and drain toxins and help to break down fatty tissues. After exfoliating, especially with ZO’s Exfoliating Polish, your skin is left feeling baby smooth and ready to absorb all of your other amazing products!
Step 3: Tone / Oil Control
Toning controls oil production and balances your pH. Toners haven’t always been so celebrated. Once upon a time, these kinds of products contained high amounts of alcohols and perfumes, which did nothing but strip and irritate the skin.
A quality toner will restore your skin’s pH level, which is an absolute must for healthy skin. pH levels are an indication of the acidity level of your skin and are measured on a scale of 0-14, with 7 being considered neutral. Our skin’s pH level should be around 5.5, making it slightly acidic. This is imperative for maintaining proper barrier function and keeping a strong acid mantle. Our skin is our body’s first line of defense in our adaptive immune system so we rely heavily on this acidity to kill bacteria and viruses on contact.
Toners are especially helpful for those with acne prone skin as they can also work to restore balance and calm the sebaceous glands, thereby reducing oil production. We can’t get enough of the ZO Medical Cebatrol Pads — with salicylic, glycolic and mandelic acid, they’re the perfect mix for us combo or acne-prone babes!
Ensuring we don’t have too much oil is critical to the functioning of our cells as well. Much like when we’re feeding the skin from the surface with the wrong tools, when we have too much oil, it causes our cells to become lazy. Oil in the skin will also excite our melanocytes, which are responsible for creating melanin or pigment deposits.
Finding the Right Combo of Skincare Products
You’ve got the steps to achieving flawless skin down but when it comes to products, what exactly is right for you? Skincare isn’t one size fits all. Sure, we should all be following these same fundamental steps, but the products we choose need to be suited to our skin type and needs. Here are some of our favourite ZO combos:
- If you have ‘normal’ skin, you’ll want to use the TE Pads and Exfoliating Polish and then choose between the Hydrating Cleanser or Exfoliating Cleanser, depending on if you’re on the oilier or drier side. However, if you’re anything like us, you’ll have a morning cleanser (Exfoliating) and an evening cleanser (Hydrating).
- For those who tend to be acne prone or very oily, opt for something with a little more punch. Oilacleanse, Vitascrub and Cebatrol Pads will be your GSR BFFs.
- Rosacea or sensitized skin should go for the creamy and calming Hydrating Cleanser, soothing Balatone and Exfoliating Polish (diluted with your cleanser or water).
Now that we’re all on the same page with how to prep our skin from both the inside and outside, let’s get perfect skin and kick 2018’s ass! Book your complimentary consultation now and we’ll help you make it happen.