The skin is the largest organ in our body. This was what my Science teacher told me when I was in fifth grade. And ever since then, I have become quite conscious of how to take good care of my skin. Not just facial skin, mind you. When I was in sixth grade I was already a fan of the body wash and body lotion aisles in the supermarket. I would spend a long time lingering by the shelves and smelling the different bottles. And you know what else perks up my fancy? If the lotions have testers! I just love getting my little pre-adolescent hands on these beauty products. After trying them I sheepishly put the wash or lotion in our cart and cross my fingers that my dad does not scold me for adding to the stash of half-used products in the bathroom. What can I say? I was a 12-year old skin care product junkie!

Now that I am in my 30’s, my skin care needs have vastly changed and I have focused more on facial care. By the time I was in my late teens I started getting occasional breakouts. Acne is a common skin care condition among teenagers and I learned of its different causes early on from my Mom who is a dermatologist. Acne could be of hereditary factors. If it runs in your family, chances are you are likely to get them also. While my Dad’s side could take pride in their blemish-free skin, my Mom’s side was not as lucky in the gene pool. Thankfully they have a doctor on their side to treat their breakouts through skin treatments like acne surgery. Hormones could also be culprits of breakouts. As teenagers our bodies went through so many changes and these could trigger zits to just pop out of nowhere. Believe me I myself have gone through horror stories of a zit just suddenly showing up before a big school dance! Now I look back and just smile because while these moments have caused me emotional turmoil (that is not an exaggeration!), I know that a lot of teens out there who have experienced stress and hormonal changes and lack of sleep from schoolwork also share the same stories.

In an article on skin care reviewed by Linda Nelson of the Skin Authority, she mentioned that skin rejuvenation takes only a few days for children. Kids step into the shower, scrub themselves here and there and that’s it! But teens and adults spend more time for their skin care regimen and according to Nelson this is because the exfoliation (the shedding of dead skin cells) and the rejuvenation process takes much longer as people age. Because of this, my 3-step mantra for skin care during my early teens has become longer and more complicated as the years passed. While beauty regimens vary from person to person, some steps are extremely common. Here are some basic skin care tips.

There’s more to Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize

I used to follow the Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize routine during my teenage years. Whether your beauty products are store-bought formulas or home remedies, this basic 3-step regimen is vouched by women and men all over to be the most important parts of skin care. However, as we age, there are more skin issues that we have to address, making our 3-step routine a little bit more intricate. Aside from cleansing our skin, we should also exfoliate. The market is abounding with exfoliating products which speeds up the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin. When we exfoliate we expose a new and healthy albeit a very sensitive skin surface to the environment. This new skin is more prone to darkening so this means we should use sunscreen or sun block every day. Actually, even if we do not exfoliate on purpose, the skin still goes through the natural process of shedding old cells hence, we must integrate sun protection into our regimen no matter what we do. Yes, even those days when the clouds hide the sun, professional advice still says that we should use sun protection to block harmful UV rays! At night when we sleep, the rejuvenation process is far more active and we should take advantage of this by using products that would help our skin restore its vitality. Night creams and eye creams are now skin care staples because they help prevent or slow down the appearance of skin wrinkles that are brought about by aging. Lastly, the one advice that I would really want to share and emphasize to all women out there is this: Never, ever, sleep with your make-up on! After a night’s worth of partying and drinking, dirt may have clung to the makeup on our faces. Dirt combined with makeup blocks our pores which lead to breakouts in the morning making it another thing for you to deal with, aside from your hangover. I sometimes feel lazy or too sleepy to wash my face when I come home so tired but I have learned this valuable lesson with so much regret. Never sleep with makeup on! Let you white pillow cases be your motivation to make your faces clean, ladies!

So whether you are in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s, do not deny your skin of the special attention it deserves. Our skin protects our body but we should also do our part in giving it protection. Remember these basic skin care tips and couple you regimen with daily supplements, a healthy diet and exercise and soon you will find your skin glowing with healthy and vitality!