09 July 2007

beat the heat (part 2) - skincare

in my second part to surviving high temperatures without going crazy, i thought i'd cover some tips for summer make up. (if you haven't read my tips for beating the heat, read part1 too~!) but before i go into the make up bit, make sure you get the skincare correct. after all, according to shu uemura, japan's fabulous make up guru, "beautiful make up starts with beautiful skin". i thought that was more important. after all, it doesn't make sense for you to be layering make up on, when the base is all wrong. that's like painting on a dirty canvas. ugh. and yes guys, even if you don't use make up, skin care is still important!

in summer, we've got to worry about many factors: perspiration, dead skin, heat from the sun, pore-clogging dirt, global warming, and even dryness caused by air-conditioning, making skin dry on the outside and oily on the inside. but my belief is that if you take good care of your skin, and have a proper skin care regime at least in the mornings, shiny skin will be a thing of the past. i also believe in investing in good skincare products; buy the best of whatever you can afford.

in the mornings
step one: cleanse well.
using warm water and a good cleanser of choice. pay particular attention to your t-zone, where most of us get a little oily in, or the u-zone, where adult acne kicks in.
+ i have been using avene's cleanance soap-free facial cleanser for years, which should be good for normal/combination/oily skin types. it's gentle and does it job well, without stripping the skin of its natural barriers.
+ to remove make-up, i swear by shu uemura's cleansing oils. i love his
high performance balancing cleansing oil : fresh. used correctly, it removes all sorts of make-up, even heavy heavy eyeliner. and you don't even need to cleanse again after that.
+ also try cult-favorite
mario badescu's enzyme cleansing gel.
+ i feel
biotherm and lancome also have some very good products to suit anyone's skin needs.

step two: tone/lotion.
many people believe that toning is nonsense. however, i feel it is extremely essential, to prep your skin before moisturising. i don't usually use a toner that contains alcohol, but when my t-zone feels particularly naughty, i do. when using one that contains alcohol, saturate a cotton pad or ball with the solution, and pat all over skin, taking care not to drag too much or to go near your eye area. if it has no alcohol, i like to pour it into the palm of my hands, clap my hands together a couple of times to spread and warm the lotion, then pat it into my face. all over. finally, when you're done patting the lotion in, either with your hands or with a cotton pad, using the palm of your hands, place them over your cheeks, then forehead, chin, and neck, for a few seconds each. the warmth of your hands will help the absorption of the lotion. the idea is to sort of "push" the lotion into all your pores!! think of that while you're doing it! i swear this makes a huuuge difference! (in fact, they did a "test" kind of thing on japan tv before and the results were amazing!)
+ although pricey, i swear sk-II's facial treatment essence, also known as 'miracle water' is really a miracle in a bottle. ok because it's rich in pitera, it kinda smells a little. but ignore all that!! this is a brilliant product! it moisturises and clarifies your complexion so that you radiate from within. it also leaves your skin feeling plump - in a non-fat kind of way. i think the right word is supple. when i was plagued with acne, this was the only thing that could calm my skin down.
+ also try mario badescu's seaweed cleansing lotion, lancome's absolue lotion or biotherm's white detox extra refreshing detoxifying lotion.

step three: moisturise.
after patting lotion into your skin in step two, it is important to keep your skin hydrated all day long and seal in the moisture. some people, my sister included, absolutely hate to apply moisturiser because they can't stand it's stickiness. well darlings, it's 2007; no one's asking you to slick vaseline all over your face. find a product that absorbs fast enough for your liking. most gel-types do. but gel-type or not, pour a small amount (not too much! start small and add more if you want!) onto your palms, rub your hands together once or twice to warm up the product, then apply gently to your face.
+ i heart sekkisei by kose. in fact, not just their emulsion, but their entire range of products!! it claims to brighten and clear the complexion. i am a firm believer!
+ also try
biotherm's hydra-detox detoxifying moisturising fluid.

step 4: moisturise eye and lip area
even peeps with oily skins should. after all, in summer, many of us are stuck in air-conditioned rooms, and even if we aren't, the eye and lip areas are usually dry, and thinnest and most sensitive to the sun's rays. use an appropriate eye cream/gel for your skin type, and apply lip balm liberally, preferably one with spf 15 and above.

step 5: uv care.
this is one important step that should not be missed. the sun's rays are still the biggest culprits of photo-aging and skin cancer. find one that is non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog your pores. find a sunscreen with at least spf 15 AND broad-spectrum, which means it helps protect against both uva and uvb rays. preferably, carry a small, spray-on sunscreen in your bag when you go out so that you can re-apply, even on top of make up. but apply sunscreen at least once a day before leaving the house. even when you're sitting by the window, the sun's uv rays will get to you.
+ i'm a fan of shiseido's anessa, and i'm on my 3rd bottle now. i use "perfect pearly sunscreen" which doesn't clog my pores, doesn't slide off even during sports, and best yet, has a nice hint of pearly sheen to it.

step 6: oil control.
look for a product that satisfies these 3 criterias: does not turn white, does not make it difficult to apply make up on top (some do! some just slide everything right off!) and lastly, does not disintegrate into powdery lumps. it should feel somewhat smooth and powdery, but if it comes off into lumps then dump it! apply a small amount over your t-zone or wherever that might get oily.
+ try benefit's doctor feelgood or lancome's pure focus t-zone.

at night
basically, repeat steps 1 to 4 from the morning. nights are meant for special care, because when you sleep, your skin rejuvenates. if you use a gel moisturiser in the day, try using a lotion or cream type at night. past the age of 25, i also believe that most people would benefit from a night cream or emulsion for their particular skin needs. i also think it's good to use a 1% beta-hydroxy lotion on problem areas like the nose, forehead and cheeks, which gets rid of blackheads and clears the pores. (check with your dermatologist if you are unsure.) especially in the summer, vitamin a products might make your skin sensitive and you might want to try switching to vitamin c products instead. they give you the same anti-wrinkle benefits, and protect against UV rays as well. night time is also meant for pimple cream!! dot it on wherever you need it!!
+ i love mario badescu's drying lotion. gets rid of those nasty little buggers.
+ benefit's boo boo zap and ka pow! are also pretty potent! (and have such fun names)

when i have an extra 5 minutes in the mornings, i like to give myself a quick, hydrating mask. usually a sheet/paper mask. just slap the mask on after cleansing and while i pack my bag or change my clothes. 5 minutes later, it takes 1 second to remove the sheet mask from my face, and i can go on to tone, moisturise, etc.

i skip step 6 sometimes, and only apply a mattifier when my skin is feeling particularly naughty. otherwise, steps 1-4 i do religiously everyday, twice a day, and step 5 i do in the mornings, or whenever i go out. a good skincare regime hardly takes more than 5 minutes, although it took me like 2 hours to blog this (and find all the links), and perhaps 20 minutes for you to read this.

i also set aside one day a week for "me" time, where i do all sorts of girly stuff like put hair mask, paint my nails, and do a scrub and a clay mask. hydrating masks i do whenever i feel like it. heh heh :)

make it a habit to take good care of your skin and your skin will thank you later.

part three: summer make up