While I was looking through some old binders while cleaning during this period of isolation, I realized I could use some old course outlines to share information about the basics of cosmetology. This will be much more in depth than it is casual.
I am not a doctor and no information in this article or on this site should be taken as medical advice. Please consult with a medical professional should you have any skin or health concerns.
Let’s start with establishing your skin type. Your skin type will likely change over your lifetime so checking every once and a while to ensure your products and treatments are the most effective for your present skin type. There are a few ways to figure out your skin type, but the simplest is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. After half an hour, look in a mirror and see if your skin has an oily sheen. If you have oil all over your face, you have oily skin. If you have oil forming on your nose and forehead but not the rest of your face, you likely have normal/combination skin. If your face feels tight and dry when you smile or talk, you have dry skin. If you have a combination of tight skin and oily patches, you have combination skin.
Let’s talk about cleansing per skin type. Double cleansing is often recommended, especially for those who wear cosmetics or sunscreens. In order to double cleanse an oil cleanser is used first, then the appropriate second cleanser like a foam or lotion cleanser is used depending on the skin type. For dry skin cream cleansers are ideal as they clean the skin without stripping it of essential oils. Micellar water is another great choice for dry skin as the tiny oil particles in the water lift dirt off the skin. Oil cleansers are also a good choice for dry skin, as they work well with every skin type. Oily and combination skin benefit from gel cleansers, foam cleansers, clay cleansers, powder cleansers, bar cleansers and exfoliating cloths and mitts.
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The next step is the use of a cleanser. There are a variety of cleansers available depending on skin concerns. For acne and black heads, astringents with salicylic acid are often used. For dry skin botanical cleansers are soothing. When toners are purchased they should be picked for the current issues with the skin. Toners with high amounts of alcohol can dry out skin. Ones with witch hazel, aloe and urea are generally good for soothing and minimizing pores. Some toners that work well for dry and combination skin include ingredients like vitamin c and hyaluronic.
Let’s get to nourishment for the skin. These are ingredients that have an effect on the skin that are found in skin care products. Cassia Augustifolia Seed is an extract that binds water which hydrates the skin. This ingredient does not have any barrier properties, so silicone or other petroleum products should be applied or also in the product to keep the moisture in the skin. Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is a strong anti-inflammatory. It increases blood flow and is beneficial during breakouts. Aloe vera is very rich in antioxidants and vitamins that soothe and calms dry skin. Vitamin E is a natural water barrier that protects the skin that is also full of antioxidants.
In this skin care industry active ingredients are often marketed without much explanation as to what they do, so let’s clear that up. For a more complete list of ingredients click here. Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is a common chemical exfoliator that often uses lactic and glycolic acids. Benzoyl peroxide is a common anti acne ingredient that often dries the skin but does penetrate the skin very effectively with it’s ability to kill bacteria. Caffeine is often marketed to reduce the appearance of cellulite and puffy eyes. While it does work, it is not a long term product, but it does work short term, though it may cause irritation to some people. Collagen is a protein that binds water to keep skin hydrated. A very common ingredient is glycerine, a humectant that moisturizes and softens skin.
Protecting the skin is just as important, if not more important than moisturizing. There are three ingredients found in sunscreen and some cosmetics that protect from both UVB and UVA to different degrees. Avobenzone protects from both very well but is a chemical ingredient not found in plants or animals, which some do not like using. Zinc oxide is a mineral ingredient that works just as well as avobenzone for dual protections. Titanium dioxide is another mineral ingredient that protects from UVB fully but offers limited protection from UVA.
Let’s talk about sanitary practices. When working on yourself you don’t have to worry about blood-borne diseases or infectious diseases when not sharing any products or tools. On that note, do not under any circumstances share tools, brushes, or any other items that could transfer mucus, blood or any other method of disease transmission. For personal use items they should be washed with an antibacterial soap, scrubbing away anything on them, then sterilized with isopropyl alcohol. For cosmetics, they can be sprayed with isopropyl alcohol.
I hope you enjoyed the article and if you have any questions, suggestions or advice to share please do it in the comments below!