Facial Care

Written by Serena Berger
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Cleansing and sun protection are the two most important elements of facial care. If you don't do these two things well, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of frustration, buying products to try to undo or combat damage which could have been easily avoided and can't be undone. If you cleanse your skin well and keep it from becoming damaged by the sun, however, your complexion will be clear and your skin will stay younger longer.

Basic and Essential Facial Care

Sunscreen is straightforward enough--wear it all the time. Get an SPF of 30 or 45 and apply it any time you go out of the house. You may find a moisturizer or foundation with a sunscreen in it and opt to wear that. There is no reason not to do this (and you may prefer it, given the stronger smell of many drugstore sunscreens), but you should make sure that your facial sunscreen is not oily or greasy so that it doesn't give you blemishes.

You might be a little bit alarmed to find out that you don't really know how to wash your face, however. Most people scrub too hard. Perhaps they think this is the way to get everything clean. Perhaps they think that this will serve to exfoliate, and they know that exfoliation is a good thing. Unfortunately, vigorous scrubbing with a washcloth and soap will accomplish neither of these objectives, at least not without a serious down side.

First of all, you should not expect to accomplish your exfoliation by washing or scrubbing. If your skin is becoming dull or flaky, get a special cleanser or AHA mask to exfoliate thoroughly and safely. If you have blemishes (especially those caused by bacteria), scrubbing with a washcloth will spread them, not clean them out. Wash very gently with a liquid facial soap made to treat whatever set of skin conditions you have. Consider getting cleansing cloths instead of a washcloth that is used repeatedly. You can also wash with just your fingertips and then dry your skin with a soft towel, moisturizing immediately afterward if dryness is a problem.


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