We checked in with Julia McEwen, assistant fashion and beauty editor at Canadian Living magazine to find out what to do, what not to do and why it's so darned important to take good care of your skin.
CanadianLiving.com: What kinds of skin damage might someone see if they don't care properly for their skin?
Julia McEwen: If you don't properly cleanse and exfoliate your skin, you're vulnerable to an excess of oils and impurities that, over time, will lead to acne, blackheads and whiteheads.
Without using a basic moisturizer, you'll develop flaky, dry, tight and irritated skin, especially in our erratic Canadian climate.
If you don't incorporate a sunscreen into your skincare routine, expect to develop deep-set wrinkles and age spots on your face and hands. These are very difficult to diminish after formation. Also, without proper protection from the sun you’re at risk for developing skin cancer.
CL.com: What's the best way to choose a product that's right for your skin?
JM: First off, you need to know what kind of skin you have: Dry, oily, combination and/or sensitive. If you have dry skin, you'll want lots of moisture so look for humectants and emollients. If you have oily skin, you'll want products that contain salicylic acid and aren't oil-based. Combination skin can benefit from a mixture of the two, and sensitive skin needs to stay away from aggressive chemicals, exfoliators, fragrances, dyes and preservatives.
CL.com: What is the secret to a clean and clear complexion?
JM: Constructing and following a simple yet precise skincare routine that's tailored for you. Also, getting a full eight hours of sleep every night, eating right, drinking plenty of water, exercising at least three times a week and staying out of the sun will do wonders for your complexion and the rest of your body.
10 dos and don'ts for caring for your skin:
Do protect yourself and always wear sunscreen.
Don't smoke, drink too much coffee or go overboard on the booze.
Do use an eye cream.
Don't stress out.
Do exfoliate at least once a week and look for exfoliants that contain AHAs.
Don't tan in the sun or in tanning beds.
Do cleanse. Always remove makeup and cleanse your face before bed. No excuses!
Don't take too many long hot showers.
Do rest and get your full eight hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep will make your skin look dull and your eyes puffy.
Don't use harsh, alcohol-based toners and cleansers.
Best beauty buys
Julia shares some of the best products on the market today in our slideshow. Check drugstores and beauty counters in major department stores across Canada for availability.
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Natalie Bahadur is the senior editor of styleathome.com, and is a regular contributor to CanadianLiving.com.