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Suds Up!

Suds_Up__0If you want to maintain healthy skin, the kind that simply glows with well being, you've got to subject yourself to a rigorous skin care regimen on a daily basis. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but don't fool yourself into thinking that your favorite actresses -- and those models in those fashion magazines -- have the radiant skin they do just because they're lucky. Aside from the fact that they benefit from technological touch-ups, they have to work at it, just like you do. Beautiful skin without effort is mostly limited to babies.

The first and most basic step to any skin care routine is to wash your skin regularly and thoroughly. It's by no means all you need to know about taking care of your skin, since skin care secrets are many and varied, but proper cleansing will be the foundation of any skin care routine the ends with great skin. It all begins, humbly enough, in the bathtub.

You should bathe or shower daily, of course. Regular soap (like good old Ivory) is usually sufficient, but if you want your entire body to reflect the suppleness, elasticity, and glow of your face, consider a soap especially crafted for skin care purposes. Natural soaps come highly recommended. Made from vegetable oils and plant additives, these soaps tend to be much gentler on your skin than most commercial brands, though sometimes they contain ground flowers, herbs, or oatmeal for exfoliant purposes and that "scrubby" feel. These soaps generally contain few detergents, which tend to be harsh to the skin but are necessary for soap to work properly. This being the case, when you use natural soaps -- which might have colorful names such as Lavender Goat's Milk, Hemp Harmony, or Fruit Burst -- keep in mind the fact that you may be trading the deep cleansing that commercial soap can provide for peace of mind and a sensual scent and feel. However, in almost every case they do a more than sufficient job, and your skin will thank you for it.

All of the above assumes that your water is like most residential water supplies -- more or less balanced when it comes to PH and mineral content. Water with too much mineral content (what we know as "hard water") interferes with soap's ability to lather, and thus with its ability to do its job. The result? Your skin might not end up quite as nice-looking as it could be, no matter which beauty products you use. If you have to deal with hard water, you might want to consider adding a water softener to your home's water supply. Not only will it help your skin, it'll make your drinking water better and tastier, and will benefit everything from laundry to dishwashing.

Those portions of your body that are most often seen, particularly your hands and face, require a bit more care. The idea is to remove less-than-desirable stuff like old makeup, dead skin cells, dust and dirt, and (shudder) bacteria -- which love to feast on skin oils and dead cells, and can be potentially harmful to your skin. Soap and water suffices for a quick daily cleaning, but don't over do it; the detergents in the soap tend too be too harsh for repeated facial use. Besides your quick soap-and-water cleansing, at least once a day you should also scrub your face with a special skin cleanser made for that purpose. This will remove the potentially harmful grunge (invisible though it might be to a casual inspection) that might clog your pores. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your face afterward to remove all traces of the cleanser; if it dries on your face, it can irritate the skin.

The type of skin cleanser you'll need for your face will, unsurprisingly, depend on your skin type. If you have oily skin, you should use a mildly exfoliating cleanser, since oily skin is more prone to breakouts. If you've got normal combination skin, which tends to be oily in the "T-zone" across the eyebrows and down the nose, you should use a mildly exfoliating cleanser on occasion, while sticking with an ordinary cleanser most of the time. For dryer skin you should also use an exfoliating cleanser, but one that contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which will help to hydrate and soften your skin. Needless to say, whichever skin type you have, you should follow up your cleansing with an astringent skin toner, which serves two purposes: 1) it removes any lingering traces of the cleanser, and 2) it tightens and tones your pores, which is especially important for those of us with oily skin.

You probably won't hit on the ideal skin-cleaning process overnight, but once you've studied your skin type and done a little experimenting, you should make it a habit. All else being equal, your skin will respond very quickly with more elasticity and suppleness. Your cleansing regimen won't be the be-all and end-all of your skin care routine, but it'll definitely serve as the foundation upon which a lovely skin care structure can be built.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Personal Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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