Not long ago, images in magazines and on screens were predominantly of photoshopped skin that was poreless, hairless, wrinkle-less and spotless! We are now in a time where people are recognizing the beauty of real skin and texture, and loving and appreciating their skin that does so much, regardless of bumps, spots and lines. Even as we reject unattainable beauty standards, and become more accepting of how our skin looks naturally, we can still work towards smoother, softer skin. This is where K-beauty really shines. The K-beauty philosophy is to support healthy skin over the long-term by protecting, nourishing and hydrating skin from deep within. As your smooth skin is revealed, your skin becomes the perfect palette for makeup looks, or no makeup at all! K-beauty has blazed the trail for smooth, soft skin with trends such as glass skin and dumpling skin. This has raised a greater awareness of healthy, natural skin and how to achieve it.
What is skin texture?
Simply put, skin texture is your skin’s surface condition. Skin texture presents itself in two main categories - how your skin feels, and how it looks. Rough texture in skin can be caused by bumps, flakes, pits and rough patches, while rough appearance can be seen in enlarged pores and acne scars. It is important to identify what is causing your skin’s rough texture to be able to address the cause and then enhance the healthy skin within.
What affects skin’s texture?
Skin texture is influenced and affected by so many factors, which is why it can be difficult to address and improve. Your skin texture could be bumpy from skin conditions such as psoriasis, contact dermatitis, or keratosis pilaris. Aging and UV damage can also cause rough texture, dull skin and clogged pores by slowing down skin cell turnover. Dehydration can lead to flaky and peeling skin, while changes in diet, sleep habits, hormones and the weather can also influence the texture of your skin at any given moment. With all of these many factors, it is hard to know which is the culprit, and how to adjust and address them. Receiving a diagnosis from a dermatologist would be a beneficial first step to ensure that you don’t further irritate or aggravate your skin and thereby create more rough texture.
While it may be difficult to isolate which factors are causing your skin to be rough or dull, there are a few tried and true methods that can improve and enhance your skin’s texture when it is dull, flaky and clogged.
4 Steps to Reveal Healthy, Smooth Skin
1. Exfoliate gently and consistently. Dry, dead skin cells can clog pores when they are not sloughed regularly. There are two types of exfoliation - chemical and physical. Physical exfoliation happens when you use small particles or textured items, such as a washcloth or scrubber, to remove dead skin. Chemical exfoliation happens when you use acids, such as AHAs, BHAs and PHAs, to lift off the build-up of dead cells on the skin's surface. With either form of exfoliation, it is essential to go slow and start small. Check on how your skin is doing as it can be easy to over-exfoliate, whether it is with a chemical or a physical exfoliant. Another important key to exfoliating is to be consistent. Our skin cells have a life cycle of 28 days. Older, dead skin cells move to the uppermost dermis layer, and the newer, plumper skin cells are underneath them. Consistent exfoliation helps to reveal the healthy, fresh skin throughout your skin’s life cycle and contribute to smoother skin all month long.
2. Soften skin with hydration. For skin that is dry and rough-textured, rehydrating and softening skin
3. Add a retinoid or retinoid alternative into your routine. Aside from sunscreen, retinoids are the products that dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts rave about for its many beneficial properties. However, up until very recently, it is not an ingredient that has been embraced by many Korean skincare companies. Some attribute this to the idea that K-beauty is much more about preventative skincare than treatment after signs of aging have already emerged. Others note that retinol and retinoids can be irritating and drying initially, and many users experience the dreaded “Purge” stage, where breakouts and irritation make skin appear worse. Find out more info about retinoid alternatives here.
4. Wear sunscreen daily, and pair it with an antioxidant. Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen and reapplying throughout the day is a powerful tool for improving your skin’s texture while protecting your skin against further damage. Harmful free radicals can damage skin cells which in turn contributes to rough texture, so a sunscreen paired with an antioxidant will neutralize the damage from free radicals and environmental toxins.
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