Love, Family & Food

Love, Family & Food

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My little secret to keep skin healthy

Hello readers. I am back with another post about skin care. I’m currently back to Ipoh and I cannot go online due to zero internet connection. I went out with my besties last week and she hunted for cleanser for her blemish-prone skin. She asked me for suggestion, but some skin care products appeared to be a little expensive for her. But anyway, this post is for me to share out some of my experiences with acne and how to deal with it.. So long story begins now:

1. My skin type
My skin is blemish-prone, with oily T-zone and upper cheek but dry at the corners of my lips. I’m not sure is it considered as combination skin or totally oily skin. My skin can be really shinny after 3-4 hours.

2. History of developing acne
I started to get pimples and acne around my teenage years (about 13 years old) but it was well-controlled with products. My acne problem worsen when I was 17 years old. The pimples were spreading to my whole face and it was red, bumpy and painful. I remembered that there were no clear spot on my face back then. I was ashamed to look into the mirror for my reflection. When I look at people, I did not look at them in the eyes.
People around me keep suggesting me this and that for my skin. Until one day, my classmate suggested me to go to dermatologist for help. I went to a skin specialist and he gave me some product to be used, and also some antibiotics. I spent about RM1000 after 3 treatments. It did helped my skin to start clearing up, but after I stopped taking antibiotics, my acne came back. So I’d decided to stop the treatment as it was pretty costy for student like me.
Then, another classmate suggested me to go to beautician for beauty therapy. Well, the products really helped my skin and my skin turn out to be better since then. However, when I joined university, my skin started to become worse again. I started to develop pimples and acne. Although I tried various products but non of it helped.
Until recently around age of 23, my skin started to be better after using certain products.

3. My knowledge on skin care and how to deal with acne

A) Skin type
I must say that after battling acne for so many years, I’ve considered myself to be knowledgeable on skin care. To care for our skin, first, we need to identify our skin type: Oily/Dry/Combination/Sensitive/Combination of different skin types (eg. dry + sensitive/ oily + sensitive). Identifying your skin type is crucial as it is the basic step for you to determine the suitable products for your skin. For example, if you have oily skin, then you should be using products which can control sebum production while if you have dry skin, then hydrating products will be best to nourish your skin back. Choosing the wrong products for your skin type can be a disaster as it can worsen your skin problem. Take for example, if you have dry skin, but you are using a product that controls oil production. This can cause your skin to be drier. Therefore, before choosing any products, consider your skin type first and what is your main concern of your skin: dryness? ance? oily? sensitive?
B) Right skin care products for your skin
After identifying your skin type, then you can free to choose your skin care products. The most basic skin care for all skin type is cleanse, tone and moisturize. I stress again, it’s for ALL SKIN TYPE. Many people have misconception of skin care steps especially for oily skin type or acne-prone skin. You might think that your skin is oily enough and therefore you may skip toner and moisturizer, but just cleanse instead. With just cleansing, but not moisturizing your skin, your skin can be dry due to constant cleansing and this will lead to excess sebum production to compensate the dryness due to cleansing. Excess sebum can cause clogging of pores, leading to ance, pimples, cycts and black or white heads.

Thus, no matter what skin type you have, you must cleanse, tone and moisturize according to your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, then use cleanser of gel consistency or with gentle exfoliator (microbeads) to remove excess oil and dead skin cells. Such cleanser can remove oil and impurities to prevent pore clogging. But if you use cleansers that of cream based or hydrating cleanser, this is more likely to make your skin even oilier. The same goes to sensitive skin. Choose cleanser with less chemical and fragrance. My choice of cleansers nowadays are Hada Labo AHA BHA cleanser (night) and Naruko Narcissus Total Defense AA Foaming Wash. They both work well on my skin to remove oil and dead skin cells at the same time keeping it moist.




As for toner, always use toner without alcohol or fragrance. I believe many people said that using astringant can shrink down the pores, and reduce sebum production. Well, the fact is that alcohol tends to dry out the skin (a no-no to dry skin) even though you use it on oily skin. When the skin is dry, you are more prone to excess sebum production to regulate the dryness, thus, leading to more breakout and pimples. Therefore, use a toner which is gentle on your skin. I personally like to use toner by SIMPLE because it does not have any alcohol or fragrance. It keeps my skin supple and soft.. =)


Then, you must moisturize your skin. For dry skin, you can opt for cream based or hydrating moisturizer. If you have sensitive skin, stay away from products which are harsh (eg. Clearasil, Oxy, Proactiv), and opt for products without fragrance and more gentle (hypoallegic). But, if you are having oily skin, try to use moisturizers which are lighter, oil-free and hypoallegic. Try not to choose cream-based moisturizer because these products can be too rich for your skin, making it oilier. I use moisturizer by Naruko Tea Tree Oil Out Balancing Moisturizer and Clinelle’s Moisture Glow Moisturizer. Both of these controls my sebum production and treats acne. After using these, my skin turns out to be really clear. =)


These are just the most basic steps to care for your skin. There are some additional steps your can do to further treat and care for your skin.

C) Treating your skin like a baby

Our skin cells will die and new cells will be produced to replace the dead ones. Dead skin cells will stay on our face if it is not removed, and sometimes, it can build up and clog our pores. With bacteria living on our skin, these culprits can cause inflammation and infection in our clogged pores. Then, acne or pimples formed. So, if you want to keep your skin clear, you have to remember to get rid of these dead skin cells as well. Exfoliating your skin weekly (2-3 times a week) is crucial to get rid of these dead skin cells. Exfoliator can come in many different forms (eg. with microbeads like Eucerin, larger beads like St. Ives, peeling gel from Laneige or Naruko and chemical exfoliant like alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)) and you can choose it based on your skin types. I am not very sure which is suitable for dry and oily skin but those larger beads are not so appropriate for sensitive skin as it can be too harsh on the skin. I personally use Laneige strawberry yogurt peeling gel or St. Ives apricot scrub weekly prior to mask. Just love to exfoliate because your skin can be really smooth and clean afterwards.

After exfoliating, you can always treat your skin with masks. There are many many types of masks available in the market (eg. sheet mask, sleeping mask, clay mask, hydrating mask and etc). Choosing a mask for your skin type is also very important because it helps to treat your skin according to your skin problem. For oily skin, you can opt for exfoliating mask or clay mask because it can help to remove dead skin cells and draw out excess oil and cleanse your pores. If you have dry skin, then hydrating masks (sheet mask or those masks with aloe vera and olive oil) are what your skin need. If you need extra treatment like whitening or anti-aging, you also can have mask once a week. Mask can be done 2-3 times a week after exfoliating because it can absorb into the skin much better and gives maximum effect to the skin.



Aside from the basic skin care steps: cleanse, tone, moisturize, you can add more steps in your skin care routine by using serum or essence, eye cream and sleeping mask or night gelly. Choose essence based on your skin type as well. Most serum in the markets can be very thick and rich and some of it are not suitable for oily skin at all. I know that Naruko Tea Tree line has their serum which is light in consistency and does not clog pores. Perhaps this is a better choice for oily skin. Eye cream or gel is necessary for all skin types because it can helps to reduce dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. Sleeping mask or night gelly is the final step for your night routine because it helps to seal in all the products that you have applied to your skin.

      
4. Lifestyle to beautiful skin
Well, enough of products. To achieve beautiful and clear skin, we do not just rely on skin care products. But beauty comes from the inside as well. Remember to eat more fruits and vegetables for antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals for skin health. Secondly, reduce intake of fat and sugar because these can cause excess sebum production. Also, drink lots of water because it can help to keep your body hydrated and cleanse away toxins from your body.





If possible, try to get enough rest and exercise because these can balance out our hormones and makes us feel good. When we feel good and happy, we will be less stress and eventually, our skin will be better.
I’ve learnt all these from many beauty guru’s in YouTube. And the video below has helped me a lot to understand my skin and what I can do to improve my skin problem.


 At the end of the day, all we need to do to keep our skin healthy is not simple and it’s not that hard at all. All we need to do is lead a healthy lifestyle and choose products based on our skin type and finally, be confident that ‘You ARE BEAUTIFUL’.

With love,
Lai Peng
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