The New Face Care Mantra (Part 1)

We all know the old face care mantra, right? Let’s say it together: Cleanse! Tone! Moisturize!

It’s a great mantra in that it tells you exactly what steps to take and what to use. But is that enough? Not for today’s savvy skin care enthusiast.

We want to know why!

The New Face Care Mantra helps you understand what’s important with each of those steps. But it doesn’t use steps so much as bases that need to be covered. So, are you ready? Here’s your new skin care mantra:

  1. Preparation
  2. Nutrition
  3. Protection

(This is also some peoples’ third date mantra!)

Let me break down why each of these is important to consider. Keep in mind, some products will help with more than just one of these (like toners); and sometimes you will want to use more than one product to cover a single one (for a more diverse nutrient profile or better protection).

Preparation

The idea here is to prepare the skin for the next 2 steps. It’s simple! Clean your face to ensure the best absorption of your serums and moisturizers. Hey, you’re cleaning your face anyway, right? (Just say yes).

Sometimes (1 – 3 times a week) you need to exfoliate to remove the top layer of dead skin cells that can inhibit absorption and give the skin a dull appearance. Clay masks are a great way to get a deep down cleaning. Toners help reduce pore size, add moisture to the skin, and aid in the absorption of oils, serums, and moisturizers!

Typical Preparation Products:

  • Makeup Removers
  • Cleansers
  • Exfoliators
  • Toners and Hydrosols
  • Masks

Nutrition

The epidermal (topmost) layers of the skin do not contain blood vessels so it’s difficult for nutrients taken internally to reach them. The structure of the epidermis also makes it difficult for moisture to pass to the upper layers.

Topical application is a great way to get nutrients and moisture directly into the skin.

Here are some of the nutrients you want to look for:

  • Vitamins (especially A, C, and E)
  • Minerals (especially Zinc, Selenium, and Copper)
  • Essential Fatty Acids (especially Omega 3, 6, and 7)
  • Flavonoids (such as Green Tea Polyphenols)
  • Peptides (usually derived from fruits, are the amino acids or building blocks of the proteins found in skin)

Toners, especially hydrosols, often have a wonderful combination of these nutrients and can be mildly antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and moisturizing.

Typical Nutrition Products:

  • Toners and Hydrosols
  • Carrier Oils (Topical Oils)
  • Serums
  • Creams and Lotions
  • Masks

Protection

The most obvious form of protection is from the sun but we also want to protect ourselves from pollution (using antioxidants), moisture loss (using appropriate fats), aging (peptides and phytonutrients), and bacteria (by maintaining the acid mantle).

There is evidence that flavonoids from Green Tea Polyphenols help block UV rays, help repair DNA, act as an antioxidant, and reduce inflammation! Now that’s protection!

Toners and hydrosols are slightly acidic and that’s a good thing. They mix with the skins natural oil (sebum) to form what is called the ‘acid mantle.’ It’s this thin layer on top of the skin helps fight off bacteria that can cause blemishes, as well as provide protection against moisture loss.

Typical Protection Products:

  • Sunscreens
  • Toners and Hydrosols
  • Antioxidant rich Serums, Creams, and Lotions

The Super Stars

When choosing products for your face care regime, you want to consider things like effective preparation, the nutrient profile and/or the protection potential. Some products are going to stand out as being suitable for more than one or all of these steps. These are the superstars!

Toners and Hydrosols – If you didn’t figure it out already, I love toners! They add moisture and nutrients, they make it easier for nutritious serums, oils and creams to absorb, and they help maintain the skin’s acid mantle.

Oils and Serums – A good oil or serum provides an excellent nutrient profile. The fat content actually helps them penetrate deeply, providing nutrients to all layers of the skin. My favourites include Rosehip Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, and Tamanu Oil. All of these are rich in Vitamins A, C, and E.

BB Creams – Usually these Beauty Balms are tinted moisturizers that have an SPF. They help even out skin tone, provide nutrients and moisture, and protect from the sun.

So there it is! Preparation, Nutrition, Protection. Thankfully, we have a variety of solutions from that natural world that can multitask and cover all of these. All you need to do is ask yourself “Are your bases covered?”


Steve Milito, Body Care Supervisor

Read Part 2 of Steve’s Face Care Mantra series!

References

J. Michels, Ph.D., A. (2011, September 1). Micronutrients and Skin Health. Retrieved November 12, 2015.