Basic Skin Care
Often times we use this term "Skincare" and in simple words it means taking care of one's skin. But why do we take care of our skin ? And the answer, we all know is, to look good and beautiful. To some extent, we all try to keep our skin healthy and beautiful, in our best possible ways. But there are times when the question comes in our mind that are we doing or using the right things for skincare ? Though it's not a new concept, but over the last decade or so, we have seen a phenomenal evolution in this regard, and it's astounding to see the surmounting awareness that has emerged for Skincare. So let's talk about skincare today, and the basic fundamentals one should be aware of, before starting personal skincare regime. As I have said that it's not a new concept, therefore if we go back to primeval times, delve deeper into history, study our Vedas and ancient books, or simply just go back to our family history, we will realize that Skincare has always been prevalent, holds a great importance and is ever constant. Starting from our Gods and Goddesses, to kings and queens, from people of affluent lineage to a layman, and coming little closer to our grannies and nannies in our families, everyone had their own tricks and tips to enhance, sustain and maintain the beauty of their skin. Previously Skincare relied totally on natural products, that which was available in the environment, which we term as natural, herbal or ayurvedic and merging it with ingredients that were present in our households. In olden times different variations, combinations and formulations used to be done, based on the basic knowledge of skin tendencies, bringing desired results. With human evolution, changes were inevitable, and with advent of science, technology and researches, the definition of skincare also changed, making it more cosmetic, adding in the use of chemicals, which provided instant but superficial results, and sadly not long-lasting. We all agree that we are living in a fast-moving life, where in there is always a lack of time and patience, and anything that gives instant result is always welcome. But when it comes to skin, it doesn't work like this, or even if it does, it is going to be short-lived, working just on surface level. There are various factors that affect a person's skin, and without going deeper into it, skincare is incomplete and will not give desired results. Our lifestyles, climatic conditions, our habitat, places where we spend our maximum time, and most important our health are the prime factors that govern the quality of our skin.
Nature and Skincare
There's a proverb " Nature is the best therapy" and I couldn't agree less with this. From times immemorial, nature has always been the basic source of all the ingredients that we need for our skincare. The great treasure that's hidden in mother earth since ages is in abundance, perpetual, and is available for everyone. As nature has its own pace, and takes it's own time to bring balance and harmony, likewise the products made out of green ingredients, and plant-derived, may take time, but will give long-term, everlasting results. In the era of Botox, Collagen improvements, Cosmetic Surgeries, which is a fast and instant way to acquire beauty, we are forgetting that it's all chemically treated, and sooner or later will wear off. Whereas, if we embrace the natural means of beauty and skincare, it is definitely going to show up throughout our lives. Ageing is inevitable, but following a healthy, natural and appropriate skincare regime can definitely slow the process of ageing, wherein opting for shortcut methods has it's repercussions, and as a result, something that should ideally happen at the age of 55, might pre-pone, and show it's effects at the age of say 45 or 50. Hence, the way it is said that "Eyes are the reflection of one's soul", same way "Skin is the reflection of one's health".
Skincare starts with identifying the skin type
The first step towards skincare is to identify one's skin type and understanding it's requirements. Without having the clear knowledge about our skin type, oftentimes it so happens that we end up using a product which is not meant for us. To make it more simpler, I will say that a most commonly used, and considered to be universally harmless ingredient in every household is besan ( chickpea flour) and surprisingly as against the common belief, it doesn't at all suit all skin types. It's inherent property is dry, therefore it sucks out the moisture, so people having dry or combination skin has to keep in mind to add something into it, to balances it's dry nature. We all have our own methods and observations to understand our skin type, which is the most essential before starting any skincare routine.
Importance of Sunscreen
Oftentimes we are told to apply sunscreen at all the times, during the day and the most commonly asked question is, whether to apply sunscreen even when we are indoors ? And the answer to this is a big YESSSS. When we are indoors, we are under the effect of blue light, that emits from our tubelights, cellphones, gadgets etc. which is equivalent to the sunlight outside. The effects of this blue light is also the same as UVA rays, like premature ageing, tanning and dullness, to name a few. So, it's a must, without any doubt to use sunscreen indoors also. To pick the correct sunscreen is also an important, at the same time a very simple choice to make, between chemical based or mineral based. It's everybody's guess what to opt for. The importance of Sunscreen can be considered the same, as how we take plant based vitamins to strengthen our body's immunity and create a barrier against diseases, likewise sunscreen creates a protective barrier on our skin to shield from UVA rays.
Health and Skincare
A person's physical health and skincare goes hand in hand. By keeping ourselves healthy through right eating habits will take care of our skin to the maximum. A simple element like water, is so underrated, and though we all know it's importance, still we take it for granted and neglect our body's requirement of it, resulting in dehydrated body and skin is it's integral part. Dehydration leads to lusterless, sagging skin, depleting natural oil production. Apart from other benefits, water takes out toxins from our body, leaving our skin refreshed, supple and shining. Therefore, one more time I would recommend appropriate water intake everyday to have a healthy skin. Knowing about our body type, understanding our gunas and doshas which are as follows : Pitta, Kapha, Vata A person having Pitta dosh will be having Acne and Rosacea and therefore incorporating products with cooling properties like aloe Vera, sandalwood, turmeric etc. in their skin care regime will provide great relief. Person having Kapha dosh will have whiteheads, pimples and water retention. Their regime should include Gua Sha massages for activating lymphatic drainage system, giving optimum results for a healthy skin. Person having Vata dosh will have dry and rough skin, prone to wrinkles. Such people need maximum moisturization, every 2-3 hours and preferably using oil based moisturizers. Their skin requires products that consists of Ashwagandha, Honey, Ginger, Gotukola, Oats, Almonds etc.
We all follow our bit of personal hygiene and maintain our lifestyles accordingly. While taking care of our skin, we need to be extra careful and pay attention in small but important and often neglected details. Timely changing of linens, pillow-covers, towels etc., washing and sanitizing hair combs and brushes, and other such personal usage items play an important part in our skin condition. Keeping a check on these aspects will definitely take care of skin hygeine and health. So, these are the basic areas from where skincare begins, the prime factors that one should pay attention to, going to the root of one's own body type and the kind of lifestyle one is following, and being aware of the natural and chemical based products based on your choices, will prepare you to take care of yourself and your skin, drawing best benefits and results. In short I have tried to bring in notice the prime factors to be kept in mind before planning to buy any skincare products and following any regime. Understanding all these factors will make your skincare regime more simpler, smoother, providing you maximum benefits from the products they you choose after knowing your skin's fundamentals, and giving you best ever-lasting results.
Next I will come back with another interesting topic, to help and promote awareness on beauty, skincare, skin health and the right kind of products and remedies. Till then get a knack of your body and skin type, and start exploring products that suits it best.