5 Essential Products to Start Off Your Day

by Sarah Ruhlman
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elf-care is all the rage lately, everywhere you turn there is a regimen recommendation. If you have tried or read one, you know that they can be somewhat exerting. On some days, getting out of bed is hard enough without a whole list of products to get through.

The obstacles notwithstanding, personal care remains important. So, what would you say to a compromise? Would it not be easier to start off with a simple routine that you can improve upon at your own pace? 

Let us explore some basic products in your daily repertoire that you can improve on for better results. 

Soaps and Shower Gels

You may have noticed a ‘no parabens’ or ‘sulfate-free’ sticker on shampoos and shower gels on display. The reason behind the disclaimer is that both sulfates and parabens have adverse health effects. Sulfates strip your skin and hair of oils and moisture leaving them dull and dry. Parabens have been proven to cause endocrine disruption.

A good brand of soap or shampoo ought to get you clean without causing dehydration. If you have been leaving the shower with your skin feeling taut and dry, it’s probably time to change brands. Prolonged use of astringent soaps is likely to keep your skin looking aged with visible fine lines.

There are products in the market that are just as effective without being harsh on your skin. As you seek out alternatives, it is advisable to look for those with nourishing ingredients. Olive oil, goat’s milk, and glycerine are a few examples of what to look out for. Your skin will thank you for it.

Moisturizer 

The skin works as a barrier to keep all your organs intact from external factors. Part of that barrier is a layer of lipid fats that lock in moisture to keep your skin supple. In addition, the lipid layer prevents bacteria from getting into deeper layers of your skin.

Whenever you clean your skin, as the dirt is washed away, your skin’s natural layer is also stripped of some fats. As a result, it is left vulnerable which can lead to dryness should you fail to moisturize. Moisturizer works by sealing the barrier and preventing further loss of moisture.

The kind of moisturizer you need may vary depending on your skin; some people have oilier skin than others. However, from a more general perspective, products containing humectants work well for most skin types. You can also consider using a healing ointment alongside the moisturizer if your barrier is in need of extra repair.

Deodorants and Fragrances

One of the main ingredients in most deodorants and antiperspirants is aluminum hydrochloride. Some health studies express concern that it may be a contributing factor to breast cancer. Further, given as it works to block sweat glands, it is considered to be interfering with the body’s natural processes.

The suggestion here is not that you try and get through the summer with no deodorant. Quite the contrary; explore alternatives in the market such as aluminum-free deodorants. They are formulated to eliminate odor-causing bacteria as opposed to blocking sweat glands.

When it comes to choosing a perfume, keep in mind that cologne smells different from person to person due to body chemistry. Learn what scents carry best on your skin by testing different options. Additionally, to avoid clashing, try finding a fragrance that layers well with other products in your routine. 

Hair Care

There is a revolution going on in the hair care industry. Consumers are not just seeking value for money, they require product safety as well. Subsequently, private label hair care products are becoming more preferable due to their quality and regard for consumers’ health.

In light of this, endeavor to be discerning in the products you use to style your tresses. Be wary of harmful ingredients and instead incorporate nourishing and replenishing alternatives.

Moisturizing serums and oils, for example, make hair more pliable and receptive to styling. Coconut oil and shea butter-based products are also good for moisturizing whereas tea tree products will keep dandruff at bay. However, use them in moderation because too much product build-up can be detrimental.

Sunscreen

Before you walk out the door, regardless of the season, slather on some sunscreen. Ideally, the higher the SPF the better, but the lowest recommended minimum is SPF 30. The abbreviation SPF refers to ‘sun protection factor’ which is an indicator of how much protection the product offers. Some common misconceptions about sunscreen include:

  • You only need sunscreen if it is hot outside 
  • Black people do not need sunscreen
  • You need to apply a thick layer for adequate protection 

Bursting the Myths

All the statements listed above are wrong and untrue. The sun is constantly radiating UV rays which cause aging among other effects on the skin. Therefore for as long as the sun is up, your sunscreen should be on. 

Further, melanin does not protect black people from UV rays. They still suffer sunburns and other harmful effects of unprotected exposure to sunlight. 

In regard to application, a normal even layer will suffice. Nevertheless, most mineral sunscreens tend to leave a white cast when they settle after application. There are some suggested tips you can try out so as to enjoy the protection without looking scary.

Conclusion

Contrary to popular opinion, you do not necessarily need expensive products. The right choice of product is more important. Further, try and remain consistent and patient for your efforts to yield fruit. The transformation will not happen overnight and experimenting with too many products may wreak havoc on your system.

It can be overwhelming to start working with too many products when you are not so adept at care regimens. By starting out small and experiencing the benefits of better products, you are more likely to stay the course. With proper self-care, the day will certainly be yours to seize.

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