Well, hello again, dear reader! Here on Misumi Skincare’s Blog, we’ve often talked about various skincare routines, covered some of the best skincare tips for flawless skin, as well as the best tips for reducing acne. And while the abundance of skincare topics, products, ingredients, tips and skincare routines can sometimes make one’s head spin, we still haven’t talked about the most crucial skincare rules that you should never skip. Well, today is that day - welcome to Misumi’s top 9 skincare rules that aren’t made for breaking!
When it comes to skincare there many rules, here is one rule you should never deviate from when it comes to skincare, then it is this one - never, absolutely never - should you touch your face. And I know, it’s such a basic rule that’s been beaten over our heads so many times, isn’t it? But it’s so widespread for a good reason.
See, whatever you do around your day, your hands are bound to collect various kinds of dirt. The moment we wake up, and heck, even during our sleep, our hands are in contact with almost everything.
Dirty linen? Check. Door handles? Check. The smartphone that you put everywhere and haven’t disinfected in months now? Check. Faucets, handles, doors in public bathrooms? Check. Hand grips during your daily commute? Check. Tables at fast food diners? The tables at work? Keyboards? Check check check. You get the idea. Your hands are literally everywhere and they collect all sorts of filth. And the worst thing you can do is start touching your face and transfer all that gunk on it.
And transferring all the dirt from your hands on your face can lead to clogged pores and in turn, all sorts of irritations and even an acne inflammation. If you really feel like you have to touch your face for whatever reason - wash them well first.
Additionally, this rule is even more crucial for people who already have skin problems or acne inflammation. By trying to pop your pimples, you’re damaging the surrounding skin, and spreading all the bacteria around. And not just around - but you’re pushing it deeper underground, squeezing all the pus into the deeper layers of your skin. Trying to pop your pimples is a very efficient way to make them worse, and turn ordinary, and fairly innocuous acne into severe, cystic acne. That, I am sure you will agree, is not a good idea.
So, if there was ever a Skincare Bible and it contained the Ten Skincare Commandments, guess what the first commandment will be? Thou Shall Not Befoul Thine Countenance!
Wait, what? What do you mean "don't wash your face"? It seems a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it. We all know that we should wash our faces, but just what does “too much” mean? And better still, why? Surely, washing your face too well and too many times couldn’t be that bad, right?
Wrong. See, the purpose of washing your face is to establish some basic level of cleanliness. Regardless of where you live and move about during your day, both urban and rural environments will do their best to cover your skin with some less than ideal substances. Most cities have heavy traffic, and the air pollution will cover your face with a thin layer of microscopic dirt. Out in nature though, things aren’t much better - microscopic particles, such as pollen, are constantly thrown about by the wind, and can land on your face and clog your pores.
All of this makes washing your face pretty crucial. And while everyone has a different skin type, and in turn, different needs and different skincare routines, some basic rules apply to everyone. One such rule is to wash your face, but ideally, twice a day. Giving your face a good wash in the morning, and one more time in the evening before going to bed is that sweet zone you want to be in. Anything less will not clean your face enough, and anything more risks washing it too much.
But just what is cleaning it too much? Well, water, and soaps (regardless of how mild they are, really) remove any dirt and dust from your face. But they also remove most of the skin oil (sebum) that your skin has produced. And while too much sebum can cause clogged pores and lead to acne, too little sebum will make your skin dry, itchy, flaky, and irritated. Not to mention that washing our faces usually includes rubbing it with our hands, which only makes things worse. So - don’t wash your face too much.
Besides washing your face, you’ll need to use cleansers and quality moisturizers if you’re looking for that ideal, young looking healthy skin. Giving your face a good wash once in the morning and once before going to bed will only do so much. Your pores won’t get unclogged, and your skin won’t be moisturized. In fact, as we mentioned above, washing your face a bit too much can cause your skin to become dry and sensitive.
This means that you’ll need to use cleansers and moisturizers every day. Ideally, dermatologists and beauty experts recommend that you should cleanse and moisturize your face at least two times a day. And for the best results, you should (of course) do this after you’ve washed your face in the morning, or in the evening.
Applying cleanser, and topping that with a moisturizer in the morning will prepare your face for the challenges of the day. Commutes, coffee, lunches during your break will all contribute to covering your face with dust and grease. If you don’t treat your skin well in the morning, it won’t have the nutritious resources to deal with those factors. That’s why you’ll need to cleanse and moisturize in the morning.
But the same applies to the evening as well. After washing your face, you’ll need to remove your makeup too, and cleansers are very efficient when it comes to this. A good cleanser will not only remove any dirt, dead skin cells, and excess oil from your skin, but it will also remove any makeup. And makeup can be less than ideal - it can sometimes contribute to getting your pores clogged. But, besides being mindful about makeup products, using a quality cleanser or toner for cleaning your pores before going to bed will prevent any skincare problems.
To reiterate, if you’re using cleansers and moisturizers in your daily skincare routine, your best bet is to apply them twice - once upon waking up in the morning, and once before going to bed.
I know what you’re thinking. I’ve been there. “Oh, I’m out on a picnic today, and tomorrow I’ll be spending time and money doing shopping. But it’s cloudy so it’s all right!” No, it’s not! Especially not if you have sensitive skin and you’re out and about in the middle of summer. Cloudy or not, the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays still land on your skin, and do their nasty business there. So, wearing a hat or not, cloudy or not, you should never procrastinate on sunscreen.
See, the sun is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to causing all sorts of damage to your skin. Photoaging is one thing, but frankly, the least of your problems. A blemish here or there, or getting a tan isn’t something that can’t be prevented or that can’t be dealt with. But harmful solar radiation is one of the most frequent causal factors that contribute to skin cancer, which makes that sunscreen very, very important. Discoloration and a wonky, uneven skin tone can be dealt with, and a nice tan can even compliment your looks. But the worst case scenario? Better not think about it at all, even. Just make sure you always carry some sunscreen in your purse (or pockets, hey!) and apply it - ideally - every day.
One of the most important, but persistently overlooked skincare tips, is that skincare is not an exclusively external process. Enriching your diet with fruits and vegetables can boost your skin just as well as the most expensive skincare product. Or to put it differently, there is no amount of expensive skincare products that will make your body change the way it works and use its own, natural resources and processes, to make your skin healthy. But there’s something you can do that is a bit more challenging, and it involves making significant changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Your body is your temple, and you are what you eat. When it comes to tailoring your diet with the aim of improving your skin, some choices work better than others. For example, while you shouldn’t completely forget about tasty, tasty cheese, reducing dairy can improve your skin.
Additionally, most of us are guilty of enjoying coffee a bit too much, and sometimes it’s to our own detriment. While it won’t be the case for everyone, and definitely not with all kinds of coffee, coffee can encourage the formation of acne by messing with your metabolism. The problems with coffee is that too often, we enjoy it with sweets or processed sugars. Adding sugar and milk to it, and you know - all those tasty creams in the ever-larger selection of exotic lattes isn’t the healthiest of options for your skin.
And while fast food, barbecue, and french fries are deemed to be one of the significant causes of acne, that’s largely a myth. Sure, existing on an unhealthy diet of fast food won’t do wonders for your health, but that, alone, doesn’t make for bad skin. When enjoying fast food, and other greasy dishes, the danger comes from the particles of grease that attach to your face. Your nose and the area around your mouth are the most vulnerable, but you can easily prevent this by washing your face after enjoying a tasty, oily meal.
And of course, ditto for smoking - the smoke usually engulfs your face, covering it with microscopic dirt and tons of irritants. If you’re a smoker and would like to go easier on your skin (and overall health), transitioning to vaping can be a good thing.
In addition to what you should avoid, there are also foods that can have a beneficial effect on your skin. As we said, but it's totally worth repeating: adding fruits and vegetables to your diet is absolutely crucial for your skin, since it can improve your immune system, reduce inflammations, and provide your body with enough antioxidants to keep your skin healthy. Of course, getting enough sleep, not touching your face, and being mindful of your pillows and phone can go a long way. Add to that a good exercise regimen, and you will not only boost your skin’s health, but become a healthier person overall.
I know what you’re thinking - who needs exfoliation? That’s for people who are beauty-obsessed. But you couldn’t be far from the truth. Exfoliation has many benefits for the skin, and besides contributing to, as it were, beauty, it also helps your skin regenerate itself. Not only that, but exfoliation will make your skin look much clearer than before. That’s because exfoliation works by sweeping the surface layer of your skin, and getting rid of the dead skin cells. Once the dead skin cells are out of the way, your skin will take less time to work on rejuvenating itself and replacing the old skin cells with new ones. In other words, exfoliation both cleans your face, and literally “paves the way” for a clearer looking skin.
However, if you’re exfoliating, you should be very careful as to how often you actually do it. Exfoliating more than once a week, like two, or even three times, is a tad much and can cause damage to your skin.
This phenomenon is called over-exfoliation, and trust me, you don’t want to have to deal with it. Since the process of exfoliation involves scraping off the top layers of your skin, in a way, it is also irritating to it. And if you overdo it, you will over-exfoliate, which will make your skin sore, raw, and red. Not to mention that it will also be painful to the touch. When that happens, I’m afraid there isn’t much to do to revert the process. You will need to moisturize, but the brunt of the work will fall back on your body and skin, and you will just have to wait it out until your skin rebuilds itself.
Our skin actually goes through a process of natural exfoliation called desquamation. Desquamation is the gradual replacement of the dead and old skin cells, with fresh, new ones. However, desquamation is rather slow - it can take at least a month before your body completely replaces the skin cells on the surface layer of your skin. That’s why you should be very careful with exfoliation, and you should - ideally - do it just once a week. Anything more can make you over-exfoliate your skin, and you don’t want that.
Alternatively, there are also natural, homemade exfoliation methods that you can use as a replacement for professional-grade exfoliation. However, even natural, DIY exfoliation methods can easily irritate your skin, so the same rule applies. Only exfoliate once a week.
But what is dermaplane? And isn’t it scary? Well… It’s basically running a sharp blade over the surface of your skin. Or in this case, your face. Sounds terrible, right? But once you realize that men drag razorblades over their faces almost every day, it doesn’t sound so scary at all.
But why should you even do that? Well, dermaplaning is very practical, and very useful in maintaining some basic hygiene of your skin. The sharp blade will remove any peach fuzz that you find annoying, but also gently remove any surface dirt or dead skin cells that have become layered on your skin. Of course, you should be careful when dermaplaning, but there are tons of well-made dermaplaning products that are designed to keep you safe.
Besides removing dead skin cells and peach fuzz, dermaplaning also clears the terrain, so to speak. This helps your skin become cleaner, and moves any dirt, gunk, and other debris out of the way. In turn, anything you apply over your face, be it a home remedy, or a professional-grade skincare product, will work much better. Cleansers, moisturizers, serums and so on will find it much easier to penetrate your pores and the deeper layers of your skin, working their magic even better. And, not only that - makeup will sit on your face much, much better, with all the microscopic peach fuzz out of the way.
In the sections above, I mentioned that our skin goes through a process called desquamation. Desquamation regenerates our skin by removing all the damaged, worn out, and dead skin cells, and replaces them with new ones. However, it is a well-known fact that our bodies are much more efficient at repairing themselves during the night, while we sleep.
Why? Well, think of our bodies as computers. Every computer has a so-called working memory, conventionally referred to as the RAM memory. Now, while we are awake and active, our bodies sort of use up all our “RAM” into the activities we are occupied with. That means that during the day, very little energy is directed at our bodies repairing themselves - most of it goes to walking, reading, working, exercising, even digesting food.
But all of this changes while we sleep. Since our bodies sort of shut down, or in other words, sleep, we enter into low energy mode. This, in turn, frees up all that extra energy, or the “RAM” for our body to use for everything else. This is why our bodies are so much more efficient while we sleep, and why it's advisable to apply whatever skincare products you use before you go to bed. According to some estimates, our skin is at least 60% more efficient at absorbing and using all skincare products during the night. So, if you can only do one skincare routine during the day, and have no time in the morning - keep the evening routine and skip on the morning one. That’s what will benefit your skin the most.
Remember, everyone’s skin is different, and each of us reacts a bit differently to the same skincare routines, products, or other ingredients. But not only that - our own skin is often different, depending on what the problem is, or what has caused it. Let’s take acne for example. Are you sure what caused it? It can be a case of hormonal acne, due to hormonal changes or imbalances. However, it can also be due to that new skincare product you’re using, which irritated your skin and clogged your pores. Or it may be something else entirely - like an environmental irritant, or a factor in your diet, or due to some specific lifestyle factor.
See, when it comes to our skin, things can get complicated. But thankfully, that’s where the good doctors, our dermatologists, enter the picture. If you’re not sure what to do with a problem that’s been bothering your skin, or if you’re not even sure what you’re dealing with, a visit to your dermatologist will clear your doubts. Additionally, you don’t even need to be facing a skincare problem in order to talk to your dermatologist. You can visit them to exchange opinions, or inquire about a new skincare routine. A professional opinion is exactly that - it can be of exceptional value both in regards to treating any skin condition you are facing, and in regards to preventing it.
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne or another type of skin disorder or condition, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.