Read an Excerpt
Tips to Enhance Your Image
By Joni Craighead, Bob Hogenmiller
Addicus Books, Inc.Copyright © 1996 Joni Craighead
All rights reserved.
We've seen it on television hundreds of times: a woman washes her face with a bar of soap and pronounces herself beautiful. But we all know it's not that easy. Good skin care is a lifelong process. You may have been born with a beautiful complexion. But during your lifetime, the sun, wind, stress, and your diet affect the texture of your skin. Of course, aging — a universal experience — will take its toll.
Taking care of your skin makes good sense. You can have younger-looking, healthier skin. This chapter offers tips on good skin care regimens that will help you retain your skin's natural beauty.
Oily skin contains too much oil. Pores are often enlarged and may resemble the peel of an orange. Oily skin is more prone to blemishes and blackheads. However, oily skin does not wrinkle as quickly as dry skin.
Combination-Oily skin has an oily "T-zone" — forehead, nose, and chin — with normal cheeks or "O-zone."
Normal-skin is soft and smooth with the right amount of oil to hold in moisture. Pores are not enlarged. Women under thirty-four rarely have this skin type.
Combination-dry skin tends to be dry with an oily nose.
Dry skin is tight and firm with small pores and may have a rough, flaky texture. Dry skin lacks moisture. Too little oil or sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands. The sebum is not sufficient to create a layer of oil over the skin, which helps to retain moisture. Dry skin is easily irritated when exposed to the sun, wind, or to cold, hot, or dry environments. Dry skin wrinkles more easily than does oily skin.
Sensitive skin looks tight and the pores are difficult to see. It is often dry and dehydrated and is sensitive to any change in climate, especially seasonal changes. Sensitive skin may lose its elasticity and firmness earlier than normal skin, developing lines and wrinkles sooner. Sensitive skin should always be product tested for allergies.
Note: Skin type can change over your lifetime. As we age, sebum production slows, usually causing skin to become drier.
Cleansing Your Face
Cleanse your face twice a day. In the morning, wash, freshen, and moisturize. Before bed, remove makeup, cleanse, wash, freshen, and moisturize. Once or twice a week, remove impurities with a mask.
Use tepid, not hot, water when washing and rinsing your face. Hot water makes the skin oilier or drier, depending on your skin type, and may break capillaries. Face may become red and blotchy.
As you rinse your face, splash it with water fifteen to twenty times to remove soapy residue. Soap can irritate if left on the skin.
After washing, pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel.
Gently rub, never scrub your skin. Harsh handling of your skin could also break capillaries.
Do not neglect your decollete — neck, breasts, and chest. Delicate as the skin on your face, this area should also be cleansed, freshened, and moisturized.
For a smooth, soft complexion, apply rose water to your face. First, simmer a handful of rose petals or rosebuds in water for thirty minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain it into a bottle. Apply the rose water with a cotton ball to your freshly cleansed skin. Store extra rosewater in your refrigerator. It will last about two weeks.
Avoid touching your face. Hands carry bacteria which can cause breakouts and blemishes.
If you have oily skin, wear a hairstyle that keeps hair off your face. Change or wash cosmetic brushes and powder puffs frequently.
Don't squeeze blemishes or blackheads. You may push sebum deeper into the pores causing a larger pimple to form and increasing the risk of inflammation and scarring.
Use an oil-free gel containing glycolic acid to heal blemishes and blocked pores. Glycolic acid sloughs away dead cells and allows pores to drain more efficiently.
To reduce blemish flare-ups, apply a non-oily, alcohol-free astringent to the face, back, chest, and neck. Astringents remove excess oil and help reduce acne.
To eliminate pimples, use products containing benzoyl peroxide. The newer formulas don't dry surrounding skin, only the blemish.
If your skin is oily, sleep on one side of your pillowcase one night and flip the pillow over the next night. You'll avoid exposure to leftover oils, which can cause breakouts.
If the sides of your face are blemished and, if you spend a lot of time on the telephone, clean your telephone weekly with alcohol to remove oil and dirt.
To help improve blemished skin, practice good hygiene, eat a balanced diet, and follow an effective skin care regimen.
Carefully read the labels of skin care products. Ask questions to find the best products for your skin type. No skin care line works for all skin types. Oily skin, normal skin, and dry skin require different products.
Purchase facial cleansing products that are pH-balanced and slightly acidic. Skin has a pH of 4.2 to 5.6, which is slightly acidic. So, choose soaps with a pH below 7 which is acidic. Those above 7 are alkaline; they can dry out the skin surface.
For best results, select a line of skin care products of the same brand. The products will complement each other.
Don't expect all hypoallergenic skin care products and makeup to protect you from an allergic reaction. The dyes, preservatives, and emulsifiers may still cause sensitivities.
If your skin is sensitive, always test skin care products first on your inner forearms or inner elbows. If your skin becomes red, itches, or burns, you are most likely sensitive to a product. Rinse your skin immediately with cold water. Test no more than three skin care products at a time; you'll avoid confusion if one of them causes sensitivities.
Before you purchase skin care products, ask a skin care specialist or makeup artist to explain any ingredients with which you are unfamiliar. Purchase products only where you receive satisfactory answers to your questions.
Never feel pressured to purchase skin care systems. Sample products, and wear them for a day. If you like the products, return the next day to purchase them.
Once you begin a new skin care regimen, several weeks may elapse before you notice improvement.
Avoid using commercial facial tissues on your face. Tissues are made of wood pulp which may scratch your skin. Instead, use inexpensive washcloths to remove makeup.
Do not use plastic "puffs" to exfoliate your skin. They will scratch your skin, and may cause capillary breakage. Instead, use the smooth side of a "scruff puff — a natural loofah pad. Very gently massage your face each morning. Remember to rub, not scrub.
Use only white cotton balls for cosmetic and skin care purposes. Be sure the "cotton" is not polyester. Synthetic fibers like polyester may scratch the skin. The dye in colored cotton balls may cause skin irritation.
Fresheners, which are also called toners or astringents, help cleanse the skin. They remove soap residue, return your skin to its normal pH, and prepare your skin for a moisturizer.
Purchase only alcohol-free fresheners, toners, and astringents. Alcohol dries the skin and activates the oil glands, causing blemishes.
To create your own homemade astringent, boil one quart of distilled water with two ounces each of chamomile, rosemary, and sage. Simmer for five minutes, remove from heat, and cool for one hour. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth. Then apply it to the oily areas of your face in the morning, at night, and after exercise. Store in the refrigerator. It will last about two weeks.
To remove impurities from your skin's pores and to allow your skin to breathe, use a facial mask once or twice weekly.
For best results, choose a mask that contains kaolin and bentonite clays, which remove excess oil from your pores.
Use wash-off, not peel-off, masks. Peel-off masks may stretch your facial skin.
Avoiding the eye area, apply the mask the thickness of a nickel. Leave it on for fifteen to thirty minutes. Remove it with warm water and a washcloth.
For a natural facial, mash half an avocado and mix it with a quarter cup of dry oatmeal. Apply it to your face and relax for twenty minutes. Rinse with warm water. Your skin will feel soft and smooth.
For an inexpensive mask, whip a few egg whites and spread them on your face, chest, and breasts. Leave them on for ten minutes, then rinse off. Egg whites contain collagen and protein, which make your skin feel more firm.
To create a smoother, brighter complexion, try a facial scrub. When used gently, scrubs unclog pores, help eliminate blackheads, and remove the outer layer of dead skin.
Do not use a harsh exfoliating scrub containing salt, sand, or the ground pits of fruits. Abrasive products may scratch your skin, resulting in scars. Consider using scrubs that contain ground almond or peanut meats instead.
After freshening your face, apply a moisturizer to your forehead, chin, and cheeks with a cotton swab while your face is still damp. Pat inward and upward until your entire face is protected.
For smooth, soft skin, use moisturizers containing liposomes. Liposomes hydrate and deliver deep moisture to your skin.
Use emollient cleansers for a more youthful look if you have dry skin or if you are postmenopausal. Immediately after washing your face, lock in hydration by applying a moisturizer.
If your ears are dry and flaky, apply a lightweight moisturizer twice a day. Avoid getting lotion in your ear canals, or infection could result.
To moisturize dry nostrils, smooth a tiny amount of petroleum jelly just inside your nose before going outside and at bedtime.
Every day, drink four ounces of water (typically six to eight glasses) for every ten pounds of body weight. Water flushes out wastes and toxins and moisturizes from within.
Eyes and Eyelids
Treat your eyelids with tender, loving care. Eyelid skin is only as thick as a page in this book. The skin on the rest of your face is two to three times as thick.
Use only non-oily eye makeup removers. Do not use your facial cleanser, which is slightly greasy, to remove eye makeup. Oily products will coat your eyelashes and may cause them to break.
Do not use facial moisturizers on your eyes. Instead, use eye creams and gels. Facial moisturizers contain ingredients that may cause cells to swell, creating puffiness around your eyes.
To alleviate red, tired, puffy eyes, place fresh, cold cucumber slices over your closed eyes. Lie down and relax for fifteen minutes.
Try another remedy for puffy eyes: steep and refrigerate two tea bags. Lie on your back and place the cold tea bags on your eyes for ten minutes. The tannic acid in tea will decrease the swelling.
To help alleviate dark circles under your eyes, wrap a slice of raw potato in gauze, place one over each eye, and rest for fifteen minutes.
Apply a fragrance-free, beeswax-based lip balm to keep your lips moist and soft. The skin on your lips is thin, has few oil glands, and needs protection from the elements.
Gently massage chapped lips in a circular motion with a warm, wet washcloth to remove flaky skin. Apply lip balm.
To exfoliate dead skin, brush flaky lips with a dry toothbrush. This will leave your lips feeling soft and smooth.
To soften your hands and restore a youthful appearance, use a facial exfoliator. Apply it to the palms and back of your hands. Massage lightly for five minutes and rinse. Then massage a lotion or cream into your hands, wrists, and elbows.
When cleaning house, washing dishes, or gardening, wear gloves to protect your hands and nails. If your hands are dry, lather them with lotion before donning latex or garden gloves.
When it's hot and humid, shower in the morning and again at night. Use tepid water. You'll cleanse your skin of the extra sweat and oil it secretes during hot weather.
To prevent body odor and to remove excess oil and bacteria, use a deep-cleansing deodorant soap.
Use a deodorant that is also an antiperspirant to fight both wetness and odor. Gel deodorants are best because they won't leave white stains on your clothes.
Wash oil and sweat from your face with a mild, pH-balanced translucent soap or gel cleanser in the summer instead of the heavy, creamy soap you might use in the winter. Follow with a toner or a freshener. Finish with an oil-free and PABA-free sunblock if you plan to be in the sun.
During spring and summer, use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. You'll add moisture, but not additional oil, which could cause breakouts.
To prevent your face from drying in the winter, wash with a superfatted beauty bar no more than twice a day. Use warm, not hot, water.
During cold months when the air is dry, use a moisturizer that is heavier than the one you usually wear.
If your skin is very dry, cleanse, wash, and moisturize at night. In the morning, rinse with tepid water and reapply moisturizer.
If your skin type is combination, apply an oil-free moisturizer to the oily areas and a heavier moisturizer to the normal to dry areas.
For oily skin, try an oil-free cleanser and/or a soap-free cleansing bar such as Aveeno. These products remove excess oils without stripping and drying your skin.
Use a cool-mist humidifier in your living room, bedroom, and office to add humidity to dry rooms.
Decorate your home with plants, like ferns and coleus to add moisture to dry rooms. Houseplants actually exhale moisture into the air.
Air travel dehydrates skin, since pressurized airplane cabins contain little humidity. When flying, use a moisturizer that is twice as heavy as the one you normally wear.
When traveling by plane, consider spritzing your face every half hour with an alcohol-free facial freshener, mineral water, or tap water.
Apply a lip moisturizer before flying. Your lips have few oil glands and may become dehydrated.
Drink a glass of water every hour you are in flight to retain moisture in your skin. To prevent further dehydration, avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Did You Know?
[check] Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Your skin weighs about twenty pounds (15% of body weight) and is approximately one-tenth of an inch thick.
[check] By the time skin cells reach the visible surface of the skin, they are no longer alive. The cells are "keratinized," transformed by a fibrous protein into thick epidermal tissue.
[check] Skin cells rejuvenate themselves about every 28 days in a 25-year-old and about every 35 days in a 30-year-old.
[check] Your skin loses elastin and collagen and becomes looser as you age. This occurs first around your eyes and later around your jaw line. The first signs of aging begin to show in your thirties, forties, or fifties, depending on how well you have cared for your skin.
[check] Because their skin is usually drier and thinner, women age faster than men.
[check] When you are dehydrated, discoloration under the eyes is more noticeable. Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by fatigue, but they may also be inherited. Some people have thin skin, which emphasizes the blood vessels and capillaries under their eyes.
[check] AHA's, alpha-hydroxy acids, are natural acids found in fruit and milk. Used in many skin care products, they exfoliate the skin, breaking down the bond that holds dead cells in place. As a result, the acids increase skin's ability to hydrate itself and leave skin smoother and fresher.
[check] Cleansers and skin fresheners containing AHA's also regulate the skin's pH, maintaining its normal range at 4.2-5.6 which allows moisturizers to work more effectively.
[check] For each night you go to bed without cleansing your face, it takes seven days for the skin to repair itself. Leftover makeup clogs pores and keeps dead surface skin from being eliminated.
[check] Smoking gives your skin a sallow, yellow color and promotes wrinkles.
[check] There are no structural differences between the skin of African Americans and that of Caucasians; however, black skin tends to be oilier than white skin, and imperfections may be more visible.
Excerpted from First Impressions by Joni Craighead, Bob Hogenmiller. Copyright © 1996 Joni Craighead. Excerpted by permission of Addicus Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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