As the corona pandemic is raging, showing no signs of weaning off, self-care has become the focus of the moment. With online meetings and work from home being the new normal, the emphasis on maintaining our facial Skin has taken a front seat. It's not just about looking good for work, but also about pampering yourself to lift your spirits and boost your mood.
In this pandemic, we witnessed a boom in DIY facials with celebrities leading from the front. “Many people turned to access what was readily available, ingredients from their kitchen or natural substances. They felt these would be least harmful on their skin,” says Dr Chytra Anand, dermatologist, cosmetologist and founder of Skin Q Beauty Care. However, she cautions that many do not know that every natural substance is active and, if not used in the right proportion, can lead to skin irritation and rashes. “We've seen an increase in the demand for online facial courses as people want to know how to do facials at home. Facials are a great way to rejuvenate your Skin and also pamper and relax,” she adds.
Dr Chytra explains that a good facial has 5 steps: Deep cleansing; Exfoliation; Nourishment with massage; Skin repair and boosting with an active serum; Protecting and calming the skin with a mask and these steps need to be done in this order. “Unless you follow the correct order, the facial is incomplete”, she adds.
There are several benefits of a facial and each step takes us closer to glowing, smoother and supple skin. Dr Chytra lists the benefits of each step involved in a facial.
Exfoliation: our Skin is dynamic and changes every 28 to 30 days. As we age post 25 years of the page, the skin cycle becomes sluggish, and the dead cells clump up on the surface leading to a dull appearance. Exfoliation will help remove the covered dead cells, which leads to a smooth and healthy looking skin and provides the stimulation needed for underlying cells to produce skin cells faster.
Nourishment: Skin needs to be nourished with moisturisers and oxygen. This happens through increased circulation. The massage step helps increase circulation add lymphatic drainage. The circulation brings in fresh oxygen to the skin cells and drains the toxins.
Repair: other than normal Skin, all different skin types require some form of repair or boost. Dry /dehydrated skin requires hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E actives to restore skin hydration and moisturise the skin. Tanned and hyperpigmented skin requires skin brightening agents and pigment suppressants like kojic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide, licorice and emblica to help suppress the pigmentation. Acne-prone Skin needs salicylic acid, niacinamide, azelaic acid, retinol liposomes, curcumin, neem, etc., to reduce oil secretion, unclog and deep clean pores and reduce acne inflammation.
Protection: the skin needs to be protected from the external environment by closing the pores at the end of a massage, which is done through the application of a mask. Any facial, be it at home or at a professional salon, you need to ensure these five basic and critical steps are followed.
Dr Chytra recommends once a month facial for normal and healthy skin, for those in between 30 – 35 years of age, once in three weeks and those 35 years and above once in two – three weeks.
When you are doing a facial at home this is what you need to use:
Cleanser: Use a Ph balanced, soap free cleansers or micellar water.
Exfoliation: Use active exfoliants like glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or gluconolactone. You can also use enzyme exfoliants like papaya and pumpkin. Do not use scrubs or beads on the face and neck
Massage: Use shea butter, mango Butter, cocoa butter or oil for dry skin.
Repair: Use hyaluronic acid serum, niacinamide serum, vitamin E serum or pigment lightening gels
Mask: Clay masks are ideal. Kaolin or fullers earth for oily skin, calamine mask for sensitive Skin and sheet mask for normal skin.
“You should ideally get ready-made facial kids as these are formulated in a five-step manner for various skin types. Always choose a facial kit specific to your skin type: normal / oily / combination /dry / dehydrated / sensitive/ pigmented / acne prone,” advises Dr Chytra.
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