You see it written everywhere - people and brands talking about achieving ‘beautiful skin’, but what does that actually mean?
Happy, healthy and beautiful skin is skin full of moisture, soft and non-dry to the touch. Smooth in texture, bright (no dullness), firm and plump. Healthy skin has an adequate balance of water and sebum, remains problem-free, has a well-functioning barrier function, and is not easily affected by external stimuli.
Unfortunately, the amount of water in the skin decreases with age, and the amount of sebum decreases sharply after the age of 40, so it becomes easier to suffer from dryness as you get older. So what kind of skin care is necessary to help maintain skin that is healthy and closer to your 'ideal' skin?
Cleansing, facial washes, lotions, serums, milky lotions, creams, beauty oils, facial masks ... There are a myriad of products out there, each purporting to give you beautiful skin, but should we be choosing products according to our skin issues and problems?
Japanese Cosmetics Concierge and beauty writer Ms. Meisui explains that if we're not careful, increasing the number of items we use on our skin can actually cause an increase in problems, as can changing products regularly if you think they're not working. It can increase strain on the skin, without leading to an effective solution.
Her recommendation? Scale it right back to simple skincare, and see how your skin responds. In fact, she goes as far as saying that dryness is the cause of all skin issues, and by preventing drying skin, you will get significantly closer to healthier skin. The fastest way to get there? Moisturising!
Try to support your skin by supporting its ability to store moisture by itself. Cleanse, tone (if needed) and moisturise. And only then if this simple routine doesn't give your skin enough support, start looking for alternative solutions.
Causes of Dry Skin
Exposure to UV-rays causes not only dryness, but also skin discolouration, ageing and sagging of the skin. As we get older, skin cell renewal takes longer than in our youth, and sluggish skin cell turnover can cause dry, rough skin. Skin care that is unsuited to our skin, or harsh routines that strain the skin can also cause skin problems. Even the environment effects our skin - pollen, pollution, air conditioners and heating can all negatively impact our skin health.
What does Simple Skincare Mean?
Our skin is naturally capable of moisturising itself and protecting itself from external stimuli. However, cosmetics and make-up contain ingredients that can cause sensitivity and irritation. So how can we support our skin so it can support itself?
This is an essential step to rid the skin of unwanted oils and remove make-up. Whatever type of cleanser you choose to use, make sure it’s gentle and causes minimum strain on the skin. Try not to rub at the skin - rather than using your hands to cleanse, use the oil/ gel/ balm/ lather to remove impurities. Try to also keep the water at around 30 degrees - hot water can cause dryness. When drying your face, don’t rub it dry, try to gently pat it.
Our recommendation: Steamcream Cleansing Balm. Using the same blend of 4 essential oils as our Original Moisturiser, it harnesses the power of almond oil and sugar squalane, helping you effectively and gently remove make-up and impurities without straining the skin. Oat kernel oil supports the skin’s essential moisture, leading to smooth and lustrously moisturised skin.
If toner is part of your routine, we recommend applying it by hand. If you use reusable pads or cotton, make sure it’s applied very gently.
Our recommendation: Steamcream Toner. Blended with oat kernel extract, aloe and 9 essential oils, it is abundant in amino acids, supporting the barrier function of the skin while also keeping it hydrated.
Finish your routine by using your moisturiser of choice - be it a light lotion or a cream. Remember, it’s okay to change your moisturiser depending on the season or need. You may find you need something richer in the winter, and lighter in the summer. Use something that leaves your skin feeling nourished and plump, but that absorbs quickly and fully.
Our recommendation: Original Steamcream Moisturiser. Made using a colloidal oatmeal water infusion with a blend of cocoa butter, almond oil and jojoba oil and finished with a blend of four essential oils (lavender, neroli, chamomile and rose). It is a light, fast-absorbing and delicate cream that hydrates and soothes, providing you with year-round moisturised, smooth skin on your face, body and hands.
Do you agree with Simple Skincare? Do you prefer to keep skincare to a minimum, or do you find your skin needs more to be its happiest? Let us know!
- Adapted from an article by Ms. Meisui, a Cosmetics Concierge and Beauty Writer in Japan.