Skin Care Basics

You don’t have to spend a fortune on high-end products to properly care for your skin. By following a few simple tips, you can economically build a supply of skin care basics.

A healthy skin care routine begins with the use of a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Read the label before purchasing a product to be sure it doesn’t contain alcohol, which can cause dryness and irritation. Make it a habit to wash your face twice daily, in the morning and before bed. If you perspire heavily during exercise or activity, it’s a good idea to wash your face immediately after.

Faithfully apply sunscreen every day. Protecting your skin from sun damage will keep it looking younger and reduce your risk of skin cancer. Don’t feel you have to spend a lot of money, just stick with a basic, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) 30. But be sure to keep an eye on the expiration date. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of about 3 years.

Apply body moisturizer immediately after baths and showers to trap water in the skin. If you have extremely dry skin, creams and ointments work best. If dryness is not a problem, lotion is fine. Facial moisturizers should be selected based on skin type. If your skin is prone to breakouts, choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer that won’t clog pores. Normal to oily skin may do best with a water-based moisturizer while dry skin can tolerate a heavier, oil-based product.

For problem areas like feet, elbows, and hands, petroleum jelly is a great low-cost skin care basic. It’s also hypoallergenic, won’t clog pores, and helps protect skin from windburn and chapping. Petroleum jelly can also be used to prevent chafing for runners or bikers, protect babies from diaper rash and soothe minor cuts and scrapes.

To cut cost and still enjoy good skin care, stick to one or two basic products and avoid exotic ingredients and fancy packaging. Products that contain fragrances offer no skin care benefit and can irritate skin.

When purchasing skin care basics, be sure to read labels. Vitamin A and alpha hydroxyl acid are inexpensive ingredients with anti-aging properties. If you have sensitive skin, test products by applying a small amount to the inner forearm once or twice a day for a period of 5 days.

Skin care basics don’t have to be expensive to be effective. Simple, low-cost products are not only healthy for your skin; they’re also easy on the budget.


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