As I age, I have noticed so many changes in my overall skin condition. I have noticed such a variation in the quality of my skin throughout the years and have always read up on techniques, advice and guides to keep my skin healthy. The biggest thing I have learned is that no one knows the "best" advice -- just the best advice for a particular skin care at a particular age. I have been to doctors and dermatologists who run the spectrum of advice.
Believe it or not, some the of best advice I received was from our "witch doctor". In my early 20's I struggled with acne. Her advice- wash your face with milk. I was skeptical. But, I followed her advice. At the time, I thought "what the hell, it's not like my skin could get worse?" Well, the doctor was correct. I simply patted my face with cool/warm water and then poured approximately 1/8 cup of milk in my hand and rubbed it on my face. It didn't lather. It didn't feel refreshing. It didn't even feel clean. But, I rinsed it off with more cool/warm water and patted my skin dry. My face felt great. My skin cleared up some! I was hooked. The only problem was convenience. I had to pour a cup of milk before I went to bed every night and before each shower in the morning. I adapted this method and kept a container of powdered milk in my bathroom. I would place a spoonful of milk in my palm, add a few drops of water and then massage this paste into my skin. It worked well.
Later, I came to understand that it was the lactic acid in the milk that was so good for my skin. I did this milk method for a long time, but slowly stopped. I did like the results, but became either too lazy or curious about other things. Or a combination of both!
My dermatologist was a firm believer in medications to prevent acne. And while I want to work on the acne, I also want to have healthy skin. So, I went back to our witch doctor for more advice. Her remedies are more "home remedies" but that works for me.
She explained that while I body is covered with skin, not all skin is the same. Elbow skin is different than the skin on our face, etc. Therefore, it needs to be treated differently, more carefully.
She reiterated the milk washing method. She encouraged me to avoid getting sunlight on my face by wearing a hat and make up! Yes, she actually recommended wearing make up. She believes that when applied correctly (in a cleanly manner, with clean brushes and using clean products) the make up actually protects the skin. She recommended NOT using sunblock on my face unless it was dire (like hiking, etc) and when I did use sunblock, to wash it off once it was no longer needed.
I gave her ideas some thought. Lots of thought. They all made sense to me. I am not a big make up fan, but I do wear some make up. Her notion that make up could protect your skin was actually quite clever. It can prevent a barrier to the damaging sun. I also started to take her advice about staying out of the sun more seriously.
As I continued to age, now in my 30's I realized that my oily skin requires some form of moisturizer! How can that be, that I suffer from acne at the same time as needed a moisturizer???
But alas, it is my plight.
I have come up with a routine that works for me. At least for now. And I wanted to share it with you. I know that each person's skin is different so some of these ideas (or none of them) might be helpful for your skin type.
The most important thing to me is to avoid getting sunburn on my face. I go to great lengths to do this. I love the feel of the sun warming my skin, but I do so in extremely small doses on my face. I wear hats and sunglasses when at the beach or laying in the sun. But, I don't fret about daily sunlight during the course of the day. (Perhaps, if I lived in somewhere other than New England, I might revise this theory.)
I use this product, Dr. Bronner's Castile soap (almond oil) to wash my face every morning. I put a few drops in my palm and rub it into my face. I sometimes use a clean washcloth to do this, but not too often.
In the evening, I use a different cleanser on my skin. I switch brands as I look for a gently one. Currently, I am using Noxema cleansing cream. About 2 X a week I use the Rotating Brush that is made by Olay. It sells for $29 in pharmacies and is waterproof, so I can take it into the shower with me. It is a gentle brush that spins, giving me a feeling of good exfoliation. I use this as often as I feel I need, 2 - 3 times a week. It is very gentle, but effective.
I have found that keeping my skin healthy requires me to be in tune with it. Hormones, age, sun, weather, humidity and diet are all factors in my skin. I have to weigh the results with my efforts to see if it is worth doing. As I age, my diet plays a huge factor in my "complexion", a healthy diet = healthy skin. I think that when I was young, my skin was more forgiving. But those days are over!