While there are tons of reasons to love summers, for people with oily and blemish prone skin, there are tons of reasons to hate the season as well. One thing that definitely helps in having a great summer with skin in great condition is keeping it as clean as possible without drying it too much. The cleaner the skin and pores, the lesser are the chances of any blemishes appearing.
Another thing to worry about in summers is heat pimples and heat rashes, specially in south asian countries where the temperature goes as high as 42 degrees Celsius or higher in some cases. The only way around these is to keep your system cool enough. What goes in your system appears directly on your face (trust me I have learnt it the hard way). Drink plenty of plain water, or add cucumbers or mint in water if you are craving some taste. Avoid lots of spicy and sweet food or juices with lots of preservatives.
Here I would share my skin care routine to have a great summer with clean and clear skin:
Step 1: Cleanse:
No matter how expensive or effective a formula you are using, it will not give 100% results if you do not start with a clean slate… err… face I mean. Clean before you start. The product I use for deep cleansing my face is OIL. Yes, I have oily skin and I use OIL to cleanse my pores on weekly basis. Here is the logic, your brain orders the glands to secrete more oil to your skin when it has reasons to believe the skin needs oil. This happens when you are using so called oil cleansing face washes which actually dry the skin out, resulting in more damage than good. This is the reason I do not use cleansers for oily skin. I rather introduce oil from outside so that there is lesser oil produced inside the skin. The oil I use is either coconut oil or castor oil mixed with any other thinner oil like almond oil. Both have ability to penetrate deep into skin when heated. In summers there is no need to heat the oil because while you massage your face with the oil, it will actually penetrate your pores because of the heat from your hands, and will remove any dirt in the pores. After few minutes of massage, you will actually be able to see black and white heads on your fingers, YES YOU DO and that is when you realize why this product is better than any other cleanser in stores. I keep massaging my face until I do not feel any more black or white heads coming out and the skin feels smooth under my fingers.
A word of caution here, please do not get carried away and start massaging your face like you do laundry. This is your face, not your enemy’s so go gentle and smooth and press on the skin while going slowly, alternatively clock and anti-clock wise. The areas I mostly focus on is my jawline, because this is my vulnerable zone since I last got tested for PCOs and got positive results back. The cheeks are also more vulnerable.
After 10-15 minutes, depending how deep cleansing your face needs, take a facial wash cloth and dip it in to bearably hot water and start wiping the excess oil off the face. By now your cheeks should be rosy pink or red and your face would actually look cleaner and fresh.
Step 2: Exfoliate:
I have been using this scrub by St. ives which is actually for blemish prone skin. I will be writing a review for this product separately but you can use your daily or weekly scrub whichever suits your skin the best. I have used sugar scrub too for this step and ubtan at times too.Gently scrub the face for few seconds and clean your face with plain water.
Step 3: Massage:
I use another massage cream for skin glow and production of collagen in skin but you can skip this step as well since you already massaged your face in the first step. However, if you are liking the glow resulting from the step 1, then take any other massage cream specially for face and gently massage in upwards and outwards direction. This increases the blood flow to your freshly cleansed skin and makes your skin glow from inside.
Step 4: Toner:
I wrote a post about the importance of toner for oily skin. I have been using this toner twice everyday for my skin without any problems like over dried skin or skin allergies. You may use the toner that suits your skin.
Step 5: Face mask:
Mud masks have their unique properties when it comes to oil control and pores cleansing. You may use any face mask from using the veggies in the fridge to using the mud mask, but my favorites are the green clay mask, comes in Freeman Clay mask with avocado and oatmeal or the fuller’s earth mask which is available under different brand names like saeed ghani’s or soft touch etc. These clay masks have ability to cleanse your pores and absorb extra oil from the face however I do not use them very frequently because I do not want to over dry my face.
Step 6: Peel off mask:
This is also an optional step. I use again the Freeman’s cucumber peel off mask because cucumber is soothing for skin and the product is good for peeling off any dead skin or blackheads or white heads which I might have missed in earlier steps.
This routine can be carried out weekly or monthly, depending on how often your skin needs cleansing. The freshness on your skin will be evident in coming weeks once you pay little time and attention to your skin. Take care of your skin and your skin will take care of you.