How can I find out what my skin needs without the help of a machine or doctor?
London-based holistic anti-ageing skin doctor Terry Loong, who works with The Body Shop as its Global Skincare Expert, was recently in town for the launch of the brand's new Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask. It will be available in stores next month.
Dr Loong has been practising for more than a decade and is best known for incorporating bits of life coaching advice into her skincare treatments.
Here, she dishes out tips on how to care for your skin by understanding it and the body's rhythms.
Ways to monitor how your skin is ageing
Pinch your cheeks. Full cheeks mean they are packed with collagen; after all, those with round faces rarely have wrinkles.
If you have thin and flat cheeks, you probably need more collagen in your skincare regimen and diet. And if you see fine lines above the cheeks as you pinch them, it is a sign of skin dehydration. So drink more water and use moisturising skincare.
Snap the skin under your eye by pinching it gently. If the skin snaps back immediately, chances are, it is still elastic. If not, you have to focus on an anti-ageing routine. Again, if you see fine lines as you pinch the skin, it means it is too dry.
Pout your lips and look out for vertical lines between the nose and upper lips. If there are plenty of deep lines, it is a sign that you need more collagen in the skin.
Go on a skin fast
When you use too many skincare products for long periods of time, the skin becomes lazy. It does not regenerate itself as much.
So it is a good idea to go on a "skin fast" for three weeks, once every six months, to keep skin balanced.
While on a skin fast, it is still important to keep it clean with a gentle wash in the night and a rinse with water in the morning.
Hydrate with a simple hyaluronic acid moisturiser and protect with sunscreen in the morning. (While applying these products, stimulate skin by gradually pinching it upwards, from the jawline to the cheekbones.)
Skip everything else, like the serum, toner and emulsion.
In the first couple of days, your skin might feel too tight and dry, or become too oily. But stick it out and the skin will return to normal.
This will help to kickstart the skin's regenerative properties.
Treat skin based on monthly cycle
A woman's typical menstrual cycle is divided into four weeks. These are some general guidelines.
Week 1: During one's period, hormone levels are low, and the skin is dry and sensitive. So focus on calming and hydrating it.
Week 2: The skin starts to improve as the level of the hormone oestrogen rises. Pay attention to exfoliation and brightening.
Week 3: As you reach ovulation, the skin glows. Collagen production is at its maximum, so this is a good time to go for your anti-ageing facials.
Week 4: You get pre-menstrual symptoms this week; skin becomes oilier than usual and breaks out. So whip out your mattifying products.
When you are pregnant and full of hormones, your skin will usually be glowing. If you are menopausal, you would be in a perpetual week 1 dry phase. So treat skin accordingly.
This article was first published on Dec 12, 2014.
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