Sunday, August 14, 2011

Simple & Effective SKIN CARE REGIMEN

Skin is important and I am not the only one saying that. We may not know what our skin goes through and the damage it sustains everyday, but suddenly when you look in mirror and see crow's feet and wrinkles or large pores or pigmentation we panic and start looking for options.

At such a stage, our skin is not in the position to repair as this damage has been collected over years. This 'gunk' that is accumulated over decades of time has deeper roots. I believe in preventive skin care than treating skin concerns and here is a glimpse of an 'ideal' skin care regimen.

First of all we must learn to invest in effective skin care products rather than gimmicks and advertisements showing models and actors (who use the cream only for that ad.) There are some genuine skin care brands that do not need a model to show how effective their products are. We, consumers are their real models.

Please remember to custom fit your skin care regimen according to your skin types, lifestyle, skin's needs, climate and your sun exposure. One must know that an over-fed skin (with too many products) would end up as spoilt as a pampered child and vice versa. I am not going to mention brands as it would be homework for you and I am not promoting any specific brand here. This is just an ideal skin care regimen one must religiously follow to get your skin looking naturally luminous and glowing. I am also not discussing masks and other skin treatments in this article to keep it short and sweet.

Steps for Simple Effective Skin Care

  • Cleansing and Cleansing Accessories
Cleansing is the most most important step towards good looking skin. Its cleaning your skin of all impurities and pollution so that it feels fresh and good. Water in itself has lot of energy to wake up our skin and the nervous system hence water can do wonders to the skin on its own. But not too much of water splashing. 

Cleansing in the morning should be different from cleansing at night as the damages and debris collections are different. In the morning use a gentle cleanser as your skin loves to be pampered in the morning just like you do. Cleansing while bathing is best recommended especially if you take bath with luke warm water as it softens and soothes the skin while hydrating it and also helps clean pores better.

Cleansing at night should be thorough as you need to remove the accumulated grime, gunk and all that has happened throughout the day. Cleanser with micro beads made from Jojoba are really good ones otherwise any of your favorite cleanser would do. I'd recommend a bit stronger one for the night though.

Don't forget cleansing accessories like makeup removers for face and eyes. Their constitution is different than that of your face wash and they remove the makeup particles by dissolving them. Keep it handy if you heavy makeup on. Makeup in bed is worse than anything as it clogs pores and can lead to acne. Even if the formula is non pore clogging, gravity pulls the makeup particles into pores when you sleep parallel to ground.
  • Toning??
Very over-hyped products, yet changing the course of your skin care regimen. Toners never tone your skin but just give it a refreshing feel. Some of the toners hydrate dehydrated skin facilitating better absorption of serums and moisturizers but its not a necessary step to do. 

Stay away from alcohol based astringents that dry your skin and give you that bad tingling sensation (a signal that we often misinterpret as the working of product). Alcohol free toners are just hydrators. Its your choice to tone the skin though!!
  • Exfoliation ; Daily and weekly
Exfoliation is manual or chemical removal of top most layer of dead skin to reveal younger looking glowing skin. It could be weekly regimen with scrubs (not harsh ones) or home based chemical peels OR could be daily using liquid exfoliators.

Exfoliators do wonders to skin. They help cellular renewal and trigger faster turnover thus getting the glowing cells upwards. Help reduce pore clogging and minimize their size, smooth or rather iron out fine lines preventing them from transforming into wrinkles. Exfoliation when done daily helps your skin remain "alert" thus boosting skin's natural capacity to regenerate.
  • Serums
Concoctions of powerful ingredients in higher concentration, serums are best used for treatment due to their penetrability. Serums have better advantages over treatment creams due to increase concentration, small molecular size and faster long term actions.

Look for serum that suits your skin concerns. I love to apply an anti-ageing serum at night despite age, as they help me minimize the chances of getting future line (especially smile lines and frown lines).
  • Hydration
The more your skin is hydrated the better resiliency it shows and you regain your youthful appearance. Hydration is a natural phenomenon and creams that hydrate not only lock in moisture into the skin for longer hours, but also plump the skin and help serums do their jobs.

Dehydrated skin is always oily, flaky, rough in texture, sometimes scaly and dull in appearance where as hydrated skin is dewy, glowing and youthfully radiant. You can choose hydrating serums (fortified with hyaluronic acid) or hydrating creams (I prefer oil free ones) as a part of your regimen.If you think this is not a convincing skin care step then you can also invest in hydrating mists that almost every company makes.

Certain ingredients like Green Tea, White Tea, Hyaluronic Acid, Crystals and minerals, Aloe Vera etc. should be looked for in the form of serums, creams and mists. I believe Japanese and Korean brands make some of the most amazing hydrating products.
  • Moisturization
With lesser concentration of active ingredients, a moisturizer simply locks in moisture, prevents environmental damage and seals the skin barrier. It a myth that moisturizers at night dont allow the skin to breathe. If that was so, you would have felt strangulated or uncomfortable just the way you feel after coming from a hectic sweaty day until you wash your face. Moisturization is good but should be custom fit after doing all the previous steps mentioned.
  • Sunscreens
Utmost part of your skin care regimen and makeup routine, sunscreen ends your regimen in the day and starts your makeup routine. Sunblocks should be broad spectrum, light weight, oil free and packed with anti oxidants to fight surface free radical damage. They should be inconspicuous on your skin but should be strong enough to sustain damaging rays and environmental aggressors. 

Please do not skip sunscreens as their absence is the reason one suffers from pigmentation, open pores, premature ageing and mostly dull complexion.
  • Night Creams
They do their work at night and provide your skin with nutrients essential for regeneration and repair. Night creams like serums do an excellent job of improving the clarity of your skin and imparting that youthful glow.

Skin is the largest organ of the body and should be treated with respect. See the results that you get following a hard core skin care regimen. Do not forget to mix and match and try new things. Even skin gets bored of the same stuff again and again.

This was just a glimpse of how to begin. Hope you find this article useful.

Till then,



  1. Thanks a lot Pavani for liking the post! Its very simple and basic but worth giving a thought!

  2. fantastic article Dr Neeraj! its very helpful for beginners!

  3. could you suggest some anti ageing serums? i cant seem to figure them out..I turned 30 in may

  4. this is the kind of information I have been looking for...simple and easy to adapt. I am going shopping with your suggestions in mind to buy some skin products. Keep posting the lovley blogs..Cheers

  5. Nice post. Good information. Taking good care of our skin is important to achieve a beautiful and healthy skin.


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