Dr. Nathalie Domloj, Dermatologist and Brand Expert for Fair & Lovely Arabia shares with Komal's Korner the ABC of skin care which starts with the knowledge of your skin, its functions and knowing your skin type and texture.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, 2 to 3 mm thick. It has three layers:
The epidermis, dermis and hypodermis:
The epidermis is the outer-most layer that acts as a protective barrier against UV radiation, harsh weather, microorganisms as well as water loss.
The dermis is the middle layer, made up of fibroblasts that produce collagen and elastin giving the skin its form, shape and elasticity.
The hypodermis is the bottom or deepest layer of the skin which is made up of fat cells and fatty tissue that protects the body from mechanical trauma.
The first step in taking care of your skin is to actually know about your skin type which depends on its tone, moisture, and degree of sun exposure.
Melanin is the pigment that defines your skin tone. It is the body's natural defense mechanism against the sun's UV rays. Thus the higher the melanin, the darker the skin color. Based on color, we have five skin types ranging from Skin Type 1, which is very fair skin to Skin Type 5, which is a very dark skin tone.
People with Skin Type 1 always burn but rarely tan when exposed to sun whereas those with Skin Type 5 lie in the other extreme - when exposed to sun, they always tan but rarely burn. Skin types 2, 3 and 4 show varying degrees of burns and tans.
According to the texture, you can be classified as having a sensitive, environmentally-damaged, problematic (acne prone), or hyper pigmented skin that shows areas of dark patchy color. A lot of factors influence your skin texture, as well as skin tone, including genetic make-up, hormonal changes, and environmental factors like UV radiation, weather conditions or certain medications as well as diseases.
So, how should we take care of our skin?
There are basic steps that you can take care of keeping in mind your skin tone and type.
Cleanse – Cleansers remove makeup, dirt and oil from your skin, hydrating and revitalizing your skin. Depending on your skin type, there are 4 types of cleansers - gel for oily skin, lotion for normal skin, foam for men, creams for dry skin and soap-less cleanser for sensitive skin.
Tone – Toners remove all impurities from your skin and shrinks your pores thus preventing pimples. It refreshes and prepares the skin for moisturizing. People with people with acne prone skin need a toner the most.
Moisturize – Moisturizers hydrate your skin making your skin soft and supple, preventing wrinkles. They stimulate new cells giving you that healthy complexion. It is recommended to use rich creams for the night and light cream or lotions for the day. Regardless of your skin type, everyone needs to moisturize.
SPF - An ideal sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB coverage. Choose a product according to your skin type with at least SPF 15 and apply generously.