In a world of tight schedules, harmful pollution, high anxiety and mounting tension, your skin takes the toil, and it shows! Yet, all is not lost. With a little commitment to smooth, clear and attractive skin, you can maintain the natural beauty of your skin at home! Keep reading to get tips and simple at-home methods to maintain youthful skin and fight the signs of aging.
It is absolutely certain that beautiful skin cannot last without proper care. The adverse affects of the world we live in have the potential of making skin look old and tired even during the prime of youth. Therefore, it is essential to regularly and thoroughly clean your skin so as to keep it glowing with vitality. Besides cleansing and facials, massaging the skin regularly and properly will greatly reduce the appearance of wrinkles and tighten your skin.
Cleaning your Skin
The first step in caring for your skin externally is to clean it properly. Perspiration, grease, dust, stale make-up, dirt and bacteria all collect on your skin and must be removed completely. Use cleansing cream, milk or lotion or just plain cold cream to clean your skin. Apply the cream on your face and neck and gently massage it in. Rub the cream on your face and neck in circular and upward motion for at least five minutes (duration also depends on the instructions provided with the cream you are using). Remove excessive cream with tissue, damp cotton wool or a small damp towel.
Next, tone your skin using skin freshener (mild), skin tonic (medium strength) or an astringent lotion (strong). Toning is important as it removes any remaining greasiness on your skin after the cleansing process is complete. It closes pores, refines the skin, and if you intend to use make up, it leaves a smooth clean texture which will hold foundation and powder much longer.
Nourishing your skin is an essential part of any beauty routine. Dirt, dust, hot and cold weather, cosmetics and even sunlight all tend to dry out the skin, robbing it of moisture and oil. Skin foods attempt to replenish nourishment to give skin its natural healthiness. It is not necessary to use a thick, heavy skin cream every night. If you do not like a greasy face when going to bed, simply choose a light, easy to absorb moisturizer which will disappear in minutes. Many of the newer liquid moisturizers fall into this category.
A facial is the quickest way of cleaning, reviving and refining faded skin, leaving the skin light, soft and glowing. A facial also does a thorough job of relaxing jangled nerves so that you emerge not only looking younger but also feeling fresher and more relaxed. A facial once every fortnight will ensure youthful and fresh skin for a long time.
The most luxurious way of getting a facial is to go to a beauty salon and sit back while experts do their job. If you do not have the time or cannot afford the luxury of regular salon treatments, you can give yourself a facial at home. Choose a time when you can be undisturbed and quiet. Get everything ready before you start so that you can relax and enjoy it. Follow the routine below for a quick home-facial:
- Tie your hair away from the face and neck and use a headband to pull hair away you're your forehead.
- Cleanse your face and neck with cleansing milk and wipe off first with a facial tissue and then with a wet towel.
- Apply cream all over the face and blend it thoroughly - then massage your face and neck in an upward direction.
- Prepare a face-pack suited to your skin type and on a thoroughly clean face, spread a fairly thick layer avoiding the area of the mouth and a large circle round the eyes. Then lie on your back and keep the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes or till dry. Do not talk while the mask is on your face.
- When it is dry, wash your face and neck with cold water, keeping your eyes closed. Dry your skin and apply skin tonic.
- If you have an important date, use skin tonic after the facial, then apply moisturizer and make up.
Massaging your Skin
Massaging your face is essential for youthful looking skin especially for the 40 and above. An effective way to counter wrinkles, massaging is a slow process and its results are obvious only if it is continued for a period of time. It is not a magic potion which can bring a change overnight and one has to be patient with it. However, there is no doubt that massage reduces unattractive fleshiness, tightens facial tissues and muscles and increases blood circulation.
Once you have lines and wrinkles, you can only get rid of them by plastic surgery. Massage and facial exercises can help prevent new lines from forming but cannot remove the old ones already on the face. By toning up the muscles and nourishing them, you can prevent new lines and wrinkles from forming. Remember, whether you have a lumpy, flabby, withered or sallow skin, your face can regain the appearance of youth under the action of your own fingers. Lines and wrinkles usually appear on the forehead, temples, eyes, nose, cheeks, chin and mouth.
Massage is effective only if the skin is clear. Do not forget to remove all traces of make-up otherwise skin pores will be blocked by particles of dirt. All blackheads should be removed. If the skin is oily, then remove oiliness by applying cleansing milk. Fresh lemon juice is also very effective in removing excess oiliness. If skin is dry, use a good moisturizer before massaging it. If the skin is oily, it is advisable to use some astringent lotion. Apply Vitamin E cream before a massage, but the quantity of this cream should be enough only to give sufficient greasiness to the skin so that the hands and fingers move smoothly on the face.
After having cleaned the skin, press it with light but firm fingers, putting a little pressure while applying a good cream. Trained fingers can hold the skin firmly and apply even pressure. With the passage of time, visible defects like wrinkles, flabbiness and dead cells are greatly reduced and a fresh and young look is restored. Massage should start from the neck upwards and end at the forehead or temples because all veins and tissues get an increased blood supply by this process. The skin around the eyes is delicate. So it is advisable to apply cream on this part without pressing it. Cream takes 15 to 20 minutes to get absorbed by the skin, so massage should continue that long. Wipe off extra cream with a cotton wool swab soaked in water (preferably rose water). The best time to massage the face is before going to bed.
Art of Massaging
- Slow Massage - This is the most common method of massage. The secret is to massage slowly and patting/vibrating the skin. Using the fleshy part of your finger tips, press the skin lightly but firmly. The process starts at the base of the neck at a slow speed. The speed increases as the fingers move upwards. Stroking gives rest to the nerves and the vibration is useful in subduing pain that might be caused by massaging.
- Fast Massage - The front half of both the palms are used to massage at speed, taking care to make a circular motion upwards.
- Pressure Massage - This is a method when pressure is applied by finger-tips. This is effective for removing pouches beneath eyes.
- Stroking Massage - Chubby cheeks are stroked with the tips of fingers. If the nose is broad, strokes are applied from the nose to the temples on both sides.
- Pinching Massage - the skin is held, as in pincers, between the thumb and fingers. Such a massage is effective for a double chin and wrinkles on the jaw.
- Friction Massage - The movement requires pressure on the skin while it is being moved over the underlying structures. Fingers or palms are employed in this movement. Hard movements are usually employed on the scalp while light movements are used on the face especially on the neck.
- Piano Playing Movements - This exercise develops facial muscles and makes them firm. It should be done on the entire face, especially the cheek area, with your fingers. The movements must be supple yet brisk.
Making your own Skin Products
Home-made Massage Cream
Heat together four tablespoons of sunflower (or safflower oil) mixed with 4 tablespoons of lanolin. Then slowly add heated rose water to it. Now add a tablespoon of camphor oil to make a really invigorating massage cream. To make this cream lighter mix two tablespoons of petroleum jelly.
Home-made Massage Oil
Mix together half cup each of almond oil and castor oil. Add one teaspoon of camphor oil. Shake well and use.
Melt together 2 tablespoons lanolin, 2 tablespoons almond oil and 1 tablespoon apricot oil. Then add 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Apricots are very rich in vitamin A.
Mix the following ingredients and use as an anti-wrinkle lotion:
2 tablespoons cucumber / mint mixture
4 drops peppermint extract
1 pinch alum powder