Skin Care Basics

Are you the kind of woman who scrubs her face with soap and doesn't bother with creams and fancy products? Or have you developed a complicated skincare regime from which you never deviate? No matter which category you fit: careless or careful, it can't hurt to take four quick steps toward preserving your outermost layer's glowing beauty. Your skin deserves at least a bit of attention to keep it in prime condition.

Start by determining your skin type. The right kind of skin care depends on acquiring a bit of knowledge about the raw product: your skin. Is your skin oily, dry, sun-damaged or combination/normal?

Tiptop Shape

*Step 1: Cleanse—keeping your skin in tiptop shape starts with keeping it clean. Wash your face once a day, before bedtime. You don't need to spend a fortune on fancy products, but avoid the use of bar soaps which can dry out your skin. Instead, go to your local drugstore. If you have dry skin, go for a creamy cleanser. If you have oily skin, buy a clear cleanser.

Washing too often removes the natural pH balance and oils in your skin. Outside of cleansing your face before bedtime, you can splash some cool to lukewarm water on your face in the morning. Never wash the face with hot or very cold water as both can be responsible for causing broken capillaries.

*Step 2: Exfoliate—this is the step that most people skip over during the course of their skincare routines. But once you convince someone to give exfoliation a try, they're shocked at the immediate improvement they notice in their skin's appearance.

A scrub works to remove the uppermost layer of dead skin. These dead skin cells need to be sloughed away lest they give you a dull complexion. Look for a product that contains small grains to give your skin a gentle scrubbing.

Tight Skin?

*Step 3: Moisturize—most beauty experts insist that moisturizing the skin, no matter your skin type, is crucial to beautiful, healthy skin. But if you have oily skin, you may be concerned about clogging your pores and risking blemishes. Learn to listen to your skin. Is it tight? You need more moisturizer. Are you getting blemishes? Cut back a bit at a time until you learn how much moisturizer is enough without going over the top.

*Step 4: Sunscreen—most of us can't be bothered with caring for our skin while it is young and glowing. We don't think about the future when we're young and narcissistic. But all women should be using sunscreen from babyhood until the grave. This is the number one beauty secret. The sun causes more damage to your skin than anything else. The sun is the number one cause of lines and wrinkles in the skin. Don't look at the sky to decide whether or not you need sunscreen: rain or shine, it makes no difference. Always use sunscreen.

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