Waking up to flawless skin is a dream come true for so many of us. We’re sure you ladies can relate to the fact that having even one good skin day is a blessing. But with the everyday stresses and tension, new skincare products releasing practically everyday, and endless advice good skin just doesn’t seem to be in our destiny. As skin care is becoming more trendy, almost every third person is ready to give their two cents whether you ask them or not. We sure have felt overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on skin care routines and products. After spending years trying on this product and that product, different skincare routines, facials, serums, mask treatments, and whatnot, we have finally cracked the code. So let’s talk skincare! We have so many skincare tips and tricks we want to share with you so you too can have that healthy glow.
The Basics of Skin Care
Before we even get started, let us understand what skin care is all about and why it is important for us. Skin is the larger organ in our body and one of the most important one. Taking care of your skin is just like showering everyday and the main purpose is to clean. Just like the rest of your body, your face needs just as much attention and care, maybe more. Throughout your day, you are constantly shedding skin cells and it is crucial that you keep your face clear of the residue. As we age, our skin cells take longer to turnover and create new ones, which often makes our skin dull. Keeping your skin in good condition will only benefit you because it can help avoid acne, early signs of wrinkles, sun spots, etc. Even if you have no skin conditions or issues per se, it is important to establish a basic skin care routine to prevent anything from occurring in the near future. The time and commitment is truly worth the magical results it has not only on your skin but also on your confidence and self-worth.
With that said, let us look at some basic tips you need to keep in mind and practice religiously:
- Wash your face daily
- Wear sunscreen everyday
- Use a suitable moisturizer
- Avoid touching your face too much
- Stay hydrated
- Exfoliate at least twice a week
Before we discuss any products, you need to make sure that you know what your skin type is and what are your main concerns. So, how do you determine this? Well, think about the condition of your skin in the hours after taking a shower when it is bare and devoid of any makeup or product. If it feels or links greasy/shiny, then you most likely have oily skin. And if it feels dry and flaky, your skin type os dry. A third category that may be passable is combination skin which means that some parts of your face are dry and some are oily (usually the T-zone). If you don’t have signs of any of these skin types, then you have “normal” skin.
Now that we have established your skin type, let us look at our problem areas that we want to treat with a skin care routine.
If you have ever experienced a reaction to certain products or have skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, etc., then your skin is considered sensitive. And those with sensitive skin can have any time of skin from oily to normal. The only thing with sensitive skin is that you have to be more careful with the products you use and your routine because you do not want to irritate your skin conditions and make them worse. While it is not a requirement to meet with a dermatologist before starting a skin care routine, you should definitely make an appointment if you are suffering from serious skin conditions.
“Beauty routines are an opportunity to notice changes within yourself. It is not about creating perfection.”Kristina Holey, San Francisco skin-care specialist
A Simple Routine for Beginners
We want you to keep in mind that every skin care routine you come across is a recommendation based on experience. What works for once person may not work for another and that is okay. Instead of giving you a word by word routine that might work for you, we want to share the basic structure of a simple skin care routine. It really is not as complicated as people some skin “gurus” make it seem with all these steps and products.
The 3 basic steps: Always in order of thinnest to thickest consistency
- Oily or acne-prone skin – Foaming liquid cleanser
- Dry or eczema-prone skin – Cream or lotion based cleanser
- Sensitive skin – Oil based cleanser
“Everyone needs moisture, but the texture of your moisturizer will differ depending on your skin type,”Jordana Mattioli, aesthetician
- Oily skin – Gel moisturizer
- Normal or combination skin – Lotion
- Dry skin – Cream
- Inflamed/sensitive skin – Balm
- At least SPF 30
Make sure to cleanse and moisturize every morning and night because consistency is key for results. If you want limit the number of products even more, you can look for moisturizers that have SPF in them such as the CeraVE moisturizer. As for any serums, exfoliants, toners or prescription treatments, they should be applied after you cleanse and before you moisturize.
If you are one of those ladies who loves her makeup and uses it practically everyday, you may want to look into double cleansing. No matter how much you clean your face, somehow there is always a bit of makeup left here and there. With double cleansing, you first wash your face with an oil-based cleanser and then with a water-based one. It is not a requirement of a basic skin care routine, but it can be beneficial for those who need it.
What are Active Ingredients?
There are many products such as serums and exfoliants that contain active ingredients. And if you are new to his concept you may be wondering, “Well what are they?”. These active ingredients are different types of chemicals that work to treat certain skin conditions. For example, the active ingredient Beta-Hydroxy Acid or BHA is an oil soluble exfoliant that cleanses your pores from within and prevents acne and blackheads. The most common form of this ingredient in skincare is known as Salicylic acid found in various exfoliants such as this Paula’s Choice one. Here are a few skin issues you can treat with certain active ingredients:
Aging – dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, etc.
- Retinols – a form of Vitamin A that works by stimulating your general skin shedding process. These are pretty strong, so make sure to speak to a dermatologist and get a prescription or follow the over-the-counter directions strictly.
- Sunscreen – protects against UVA and UVB rays. It is recommended that you use at least SPF 30.
- Niacinamide – a form of Vitamin B3 that helps control acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines.
- Benzoyl Peroxide – can treat mild to moderate acne by killing any bacteria that causes inflamed acne. This ingredient can dry out your skin, so be sure to use a moisturizer afterwards.
- Azelaic Acid – composed of barley, yeast, and wheat that gently exfoliates your skin. Effectively control acne and rosacea.
- Chemical Exfoliants – include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) which work to break down dead skin cells that clog pores.
Dry & Sensitive skin
- Hyaluronic Acid – allows skin to absorb moisture without making the skin greasy.
- Squalane Oil – a light moisturizing oil that hydrates your skin and smoothens skin texture.
- Bakuchiol – a plant extract that works like a natural retinol incase your skin cannot handle the retinol products in the market.
Skin Care Based on Skin Color
Skin care varies based on your skin tone. Those who have a darker tint are more likely to have skin issues such as hyperpigmentation. You can also develop scarring, acne, psoriasis, etc. With the market mostly making products that work best to treat white skin, it can be difficult to treat darker skin issues. However tropical treatments are improving by using ingredients like vitamin v and hydroquinone which are better suited for darker skin tones.
Now that we have covered the basics, you are ready to get started with your own skin care routine. Remember that no matter what these advertisements and so-called skin pundits say, using any skin care product takes time. You will only see and benefit from the results if you stay consistent with the product over a period of time, at least six weeks. So if your acne doesn’t disappear after one use, don’t fret. Just keep up your skincare routine and take care of yourself. This is not a punishment or a chore, it’s self-care and you deserve it just as much as your skin.
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