ou should not see normal skin changes as problems that need to be fixed. Try to stop obsessing over minute and transient shifts in skin tone and colour, and adopt a sensible approach to skin care. Some things are beyond our control such as:
- How skin changes, for instance, is a complicated process involving a number of internal and external factors, some of which are within our control, many which are not.
- Ageing causes a decrease in collagen and elastin, the “scaffolding” of the skin, causing the skin to wrinkle and sag.
Gravity can make the skin around the eyes and jowls loose. Aged skin also appears more translucent because of the decrease in the number of pigment-containing cells (melanocytes). It is also thinner and more fragile and at increased risk of injury and less able to repair itself.
Accepting the complex secret life of your skin and responding to it with a “from the inside out” approach is not only sensible and healthy but can also make the difference between being at war or at peace with your skin.
The daily skin cycle
Healthy, normal skin can change on almost an hourly basis. Let me outline how regularly your skin changes in the cycle of a day.
AM – In the morning, you are much more likely to have an allergic skin reaction than in the afternoon.
At 8AM – Your skin is less likely to absorb products than in the afternoon, so it is not a good time to apply rich nourishing masks and serums. Avoid adding layers on your skin in the early morning. Instead, a facial oil that is quick-absorbing and moisturiser plus sunscreen is all you need.
“You should not see normal skin changes as problems that need to be fixed. Try to stop obsessing over minute and transient shifts in skin tone and colour, and adopt a sensible approach to skin care. Some things are beyond our control.”
When switching from the morning to the early afternoon, the skin starts to become calmer.
At midday – The production of new skin cells is at its lowest at midday so you may find skin conditions such as psoriasis are worse. Oil production is also at its highest – your skin may look shiny, especially around the T-Zone.
4pm-9pm – The optimal absorption time is at 4pm, so apply nourishing masks and serums now, if you can. However, most people will be at work so do this when you get back, after cleaning your face properly. Treat yourself to a relaxing facial routine when you get back home to wash off the heavy day.
Skin is much calmer; however, water loss is high at night, so apply nourishing creams and luxurious oils and serums before you go to sleep.
9PM – Midnight – Skin is more sensitive to histamine late in the evening, which means itchy skin conditions such as dermatitis may be worse. If you need a skin-allergy test, schedule it for as late in the day as possible. Your skin is more acidic, and as a result oilier, when you sleep. Don’t make the problem worse by using harsh acidic peels and scrubs before bedtime.
The Monthly Cycle
Of course, women get a little special treat with their flow of hormones going through changes during the months. So let’s have a closer look at this as well to get an appreciation of the phases a women skin is going through on a monthly basis.
Day 1 – Day 4 : Greasy and Acne prone
Skin is most problematic during this time in the cycle. It is oily and thus prone to acne, and you may have pronounced dark circles under your eyes. Your skin is also more likely to react to allergies at this time. Even if you don’t feel like it, try to work up a sweat with exercise – it helps remove dirt and unclog pores. Make sure you seep toner over your face afterwards to remove sweat and grease.
Day 5 – Day 10 : Dry
Your skin is likely to be dry and a little flakey at the beginning of your cycle. Drink plenty of water and increase your intake of healthy fats to help it to stay supple.
Day 11 – Day 21 : Normal and Glowing
Skin should be at its healthiest and clearest between days 11 and 21. However if you suffer from premenstrual syndrome, stress-hormones levels may increase, causing your skin to produce oil. This may lead to inflamed skin and spots. Engage in gentle relaxing exercises such as yoga, to help ease your stress levels and keep skin clear.
Day 22- Day 28 : Greasy and Acne prone
And it starts all again from the beginning.