Beauty Basic: Skincare 101- easy steps to a beautiful complexion

Ashley Evert, Assistant L&A&E Editor

As previously mentioned in the back to school beauty article, skin care is the first and most essential step to beauty.  Without healthy skin, makeup can look cakey or look like it has melted off one’s face from overzealous oil glands.
First things first: cleansing. If the day’s makeup is not removed and pores are not cleaned out, numerous problems can arise like whiteheads and blackheads.  In order to avoid these problems and others, one must choose the appropriate cleanser for her skin type.
Women with oily skin should look for a gel based cleanser that soaps up nicely.  This will remove all those excess oils that accumulate throughout the day.
Ladies with dry skin should keep their eyes peeled for a creamy cleanser with moisturizing agents in it like glycerin and  acid because these ingredients draw water to the skin. Try avoiding foaming cleansers, which will dry out skin, and use deep massaging movements while washing the face to stimulate oil glands.
Those of us with combination skin can wash our faces with a gentle, water-soluble gel-based or mildly foaming cleanser. Apply certain products to certain areas of the face to treat those issues. One product does not fit all for combination skin.
For sensitive skin, women should use a cleanser with glycerin, which builds an even skin structure and attracts just the right amount of moisture to hydrate skin while still being gentle with no side effects. Make sure to use odor-free products, as perfumes will irritate the skin.
Through all the research, makeup artists, dermatologists and friends and family, all seem to agree that the best two cleansers for any skin type are Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser and Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple.  So when in doubt, opt for the wallet-friendly Cetaphil or the slightly indulgent Philosophy for cleansers that will most likely do exactly what you need them to.
Once the skin is cleansed properly, it’s time to apply any toners for those with oily skin or treatments for those with acne-prone skin. Next, any serums or eye creams that will help to prevent collagen damage (the stuff that keeps skin elastic and younger looking).
Moisturizer is next step in the skin care process. Drier skinned ladies should use a heavier, creamy moisturizer. Look for the term “emollients” because these molecules will help increase moisture levels in dry skin.
Ladies with oily skin should stop being afraid to moisturize – not moisturizing actually makes skin overproduce oils because the body is telling it that it is not receiving enough moisture. An oil-free moisturizer should be used to give the skin what it needs without drowning it in unnecessary moisture.
Now that skin is properly clean, treated and moisturized, makeup can be applied or one can go out fresh-faced and ready to face the world with gorgeous skin.
As far as those strange remedies that grandma used to preach, a few of them really do work. Olive oil can be used as makeup remover (wash excess oil off after), lemon juice can fade acne scars if used 3 times a week, and sliced tomato is a powerful sunburn remedy.
These are just basic steps to take to improve skin. For any types of treatments for more serious problems, be sure to see a dermatologist. A professional opinion is always worth the time for anything more than a little dry skin or the occasional stress-related pimple.