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Cleansing

Cleansing is the first essential step in your daily skin care routine. 

Cleansing the face 2-3 times a day; is adequate for normal skin. If your skin is oily a more frequent cleansing i.e. 4-5 times a day is necessary. If your skin is dry it is best to avoid frequent washing and you may have to use a suitable oil-based cosmetic cleanser instead of soap, which has a dry effect.  

There are several alternatives to soap and water cleansing. Cleansers can be in the form of creams, milks, lotions, gels and liquids. All are, a mixture of oil, wax and water  which have been formulated to suit different skin types. A cotton -pad dipped in fresh milk available at home, is an equally effective cleanser.

The right way to apply cleansers and creams on your face is in an upward and outward movement. The skin should not be stretched, dragged or pulled. Leave the cleanser on for a minute or two so as to loosen the dirt and make up. Remove it either using a cotton wool or with a tissue paper, again using an upward and out ward movement. Finally rinse with water.

Masks

Basically all face masks have some sort of a cleansing action.  Various ingredients are used in the masks, depending on the skin type. Clay, form an important constituent of many face masks. They help to remove dirt, sebum, and dead skin so that the skin looks clean, soft and youthful.

Fullers earth is a special type of clay often used in face packs. It contains aluminium silicate. As it dries on the skin, it absorbs the superficial dead cells and blots up any excessive oil on the skin. It is therefore excellent for an oily skin but should not be used on dry skin. Kaolin is also a fine clay which has been used for tummy upsets because it absorbs  toxins from the system. It removes grime, oils and dead cells. Kaolin is also best for oily skin and best avoided for dry skin.

Another ingredient of some of the masks is the peeling or the exfoliating agent-these remove the top layer of dead cells from  the skin, leaving behind fresh youthful skin. Oatmeal and bran are the commonly used peelers. Oatmeal is obtained from oats which is rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin E

Also added to many masks are natural ingredients-cucumbers, curds, lemon juice and Brewer's Yeast. It restores the acid / alkali  balance of the skin.

Freshening

The skin care products include cosmetics like skin fresheners, toners and astringents which basically contains alcohol and water. These products are used after cleansing the skin to freshen and tone up the skin, they also restore the acid/ alkali balance of  the skin. Having cleansed, wipe away any last traces of dirt or oil with a skin freshener or toner (cleansing milk) which suits your skin type. Non alcoholic  freshener are for dry and sensitive skin. Those with alcohol (astringent) are for oily skin. People with combination skin should use toner and astringent

Mosturising

Regular use of a suitable moisturiser benefits your skin. The moisturiser not only replaces the water lost from the skin but also prevents its loss to the surroundings. It protects the skin against the drying influences of the environment such as the effects of the sun, cold and heat. Tinted moisturiser are very helpful under foundation. It always keep the make up moist.

 A moisturiser is particularly helpful for dry skins. Oil free moisturisers can be used for oily skins.

There are two types of moisturisers: Oil - in water emulsions and water -in -oil emulsions. The moisturiser you select should suit your skin type. For normal skins, a water based moisturiser containing a little oil is suitable. Sensitive skins and dry skins need moisturisers having a high oil content

Protecting

The sun, is the environmental factor that is most harmful to the health and appearance of the skin. Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight can cause permanent damage to the skin. It can cause the skin to sag, lose elasticity and form wrinkles. Severe sunburn can even cause skin cancer.

Sunscreen and foundation protects the skin against the damaging ultraviolet rays. It also shields your face from direct contact with dirt or pollutants in the air and helps the skin against loosing its necessary moisture.

Sunscreen's come in lotions and creams. A sunscreen with the sun protection factor (SPF) of number 10 can block most of the sun's ultraviolet radiations before it can damage the skin. The SPF number indicates the length of time, the product will protect the skin. Sunscreen's should be applied at least 10 minutes before you go out in the sun.

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