PERFECT SKIN QUEST: HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DAY CREAM
It's a day cream jungle out there: natural, hydrating, nourishing, mattifying, anti-ageing... Get it wrong and your skin will reply with an unsightly crop of spots and blemishes. Which is where our handy guide comes in that includes everything you'd want to know about day cream, including:
- WHY BOTHER WITH A DAY CREAM
- UV PROTECTION: THE BEST ANTI-AGEING STRATEGY
- GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR FACE CREAM
WHY BOTHER WITH A DAY CREAM
Day creams protect our epidermis! The moisturise our skin after we've washed or cleansed. Cleansers (be it soaps, gels or mousses) not only remove grime but also our face's protective hydrolipidic film. So, we need a cream to hydrate, nourish and protect our skin, whilst leaving it comfortably soft. Day creams can deal with blemishes such a red patch, reduce shine, smooth wrinkles, calm dry patches and also prepare skin to soak up other products we apply.
Choose a day cream suited to your skin type
There's an art to choosing a day cream. We need to consider our lifestyle, our state of health as well as the environment in which we live and work - all of these dictate what our skin needs.
- If you have dry skin that's tight or flaky during winter, go for an ultra-moisturising and nourishing cream to make up for your skin's lack of sebum. Apply creamy textures that quickly penetrate skin without leaving behind a greasy film.
- For normal and combination skin (shiny T-zone, normal elsewhere), apply a mattifying moisturiser. Choose a light, fluid cream that won't suffocate your skin.
- Oily skin (shiny all over) also needs moisturising! Opt for a day cream that will nourish, balance out sebum production and mattify your complexion. Stick to light textures so that you don't overload your skin.
- Sensitive skin (red patches, irritations, allergic) needs a gentle touch, so choose hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic creams that won't provoke flare-ups.
The sensual side of day creams
Choosing a day cream is not just about skin types - they also need to be a pleasure to apply! Treat yourself to textures that you like - the idea is to pamper your skin and enjoy a little 'me time'! Sometimes, however, we may be drawn to products that don't actually suit our skin's needs. So, listen to your epidermis - when it's feeling blue, it'll cry out for help! Does it crave light, fluid textures, will only comforting balms do, or does it prefer refreshing gel moisturisers...
My day cream: Do I need UV protection?
Some skin care claims to provide sun protection. Whether anti UVA or anti UVB, these products include protection against UV rays in daylight. But is it effective? We investigate… For a few years now, Asian countries and the USA have been putting solar filters into day cream. In Asia, women shun dark marks and tend to aim for white, porcelain complexion. Meanwhile, Americans take sun protection very seriously.
UV PROTECTION: THE BEST ANTI-AGEING STRATEGY
Even in the city, whether on a sunny or a cloudy day, our skin is vulnerable to UV damage. We must remember that UVB rays, those energetic ones that tan and burn our skin, and UVA rays, the solar rays that penetrate our skin more deeply, have a detrimental effect on the epidermis. This damage is even worse in the deeper dermis layer, where UVA rays break elastic fibres and harm cell DNA.
UVA rays are especially dangerous as they are present all day long, all year round. We often forget that 50% of our annual dose of UVA comes from the non-summer period. This is why it is so important (if we want to prevent premature ageing and the appearance of dark spots, that is) to apply a day cream with SPF whose sun protection system is balanced in UVB and UVA filters as soon as the weather starts to get brighter.
What if my skin only needs protection now and again?
However, not all women need drastic UV protection 365 days a year. For some, a clever compromise is the key to the best beauty routine.
If you live somewhere with little sunshine, if you are not often exposed to the sun outside or through a window, if you wear make up every day... For any of these situations, the solution may be occasional sun protection that fits your skin type and the weather conditions.
When should I apply my skin care with SPF?
- In the spring, when you start to sit outside your favourite café with a coffee,
- On the weekend or on a day off, when you start catching the sun on the end of your nose,
- In the summer in the city every day, when the sun is here to stay.
What kind of anti UV filters does my day cream contain?
To protect our skin from UV damage throughout the year, cosmetic labs have come up with products that combine UVA and UVB protection, skin care and cosmetics, for daily use. In our temperate climate, skin care with SPF 15/20 should do the trick. Don't worry: you will still have a nice glow when the sunshine arrives!
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR FACE CREAM
Moisturisers work a treat. But how can we get the most out of their skin-pampering power?
- Cleanse Clean skin better absorbs active ingredients in our skincare products. Grime, make up and pollutants can prevent ingredients from doing their job, making them less effective. In other words, they can alter our skin's biological mechanisms.
- Exfoliate Regular scrubbing reduces the number of skin-dulling dead cells. By removing dead skin cells, our epidermis is able to soak up active ingredients, for a deeper action. How often you should scrub, depends on your skin type and its sensitivity.
- Improve your blood flow Boost your blood flow by massaging your face with your fingers or a mechanical/electrical brush designed to kick-start your circulation with its bristles. It'll wake up your complexion and slightly warm up your skin, allowing active ingredients to easily penetrate its surface. Cell metabolism and exchange improves, meaning your cream's ingredients will be more effective. They'll be soaked up in a flash!
- Choose the right ingredients for skincare There's no point in investing in skincare treatments that your skin doesn't need. Our skin responds better to active ingredients that it craves. Think nourishing for dry skin, firming for sagging skin, anti-wrinkle for older skin, brightening for age spots and mattifying for shiny skin. That said, all skin types need moisturising active ingredients! Moisturisers plump up skin tissue and leave the stratum corneum porous enough for active ingredients to penetrate the epidermal barrier. But there's no need to slather it on. A dollop's enough to moisturise your face and neck.
- Opt for a suitable texture Go for textures that suit your skin type: gel or fluid for greasy or combination skin, light creams for normal skin and richer formulae for dry skin. Choosing the right texture lets your skin bathe in your moisturiser's goodness.
Article supplied & written by Marie Claire, part of Hearst Communications, Inc
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