So, you’re new to skin care. Or maybe you want to make some changes to your routine.
We know – there are so many skin care products out there today and so many beauty regimen steps that it can all feel very overwhelming. Where should you start? What kind of beauty products should you use? Should you start with the basic skin care regimen or follow a lengthier routine?
It’s okay! We’re here to help.
Must-Have Beauty Products for Your Skin Care Regimen
- Cleanser. A good cleanser sets the stage for your entire beauty regimen. Ideally, your cleanser should be gentle, water-soluble, and must be able to remove your makeup. Avoid cleansers with soap in it – the pH level of soap is too basic and can dry out your skin. When it comes to finding the best cleanser, let your skin type be your guide and choose a product designed to address your primary skin concern – be that oiliness, dryness, acne, or sensitivity.
- Toner. People often skip toners, but as a part of a comprehensive beauty regimen, its actually quite important. Not only does it remove any makeup reside or oil, but it also preps your cleansed skin to receive whatever treatments you put on next. Choose a gentle, non-alcohol-based formula that contains skin repairing ingredients, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
- Moisturizer. No matter what your skin type is, you need to keep it hydrated. Luckily, moisturizers are made for all kinds of skin types and complexions. Moisturizers come in oil-free formulas, and are often packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
- Exfoliants. Its important to remove any dead skin cells with an exfoliator a couple times each week. As you age, the natural cell renewal process slows down which can result in dry and dull skin. An exfoliant works deeper than a cleanser to shed the older cells. You can choose between a mechanical exfoliation (i.e. a scrub or microdermabrasion) or a chemical exfoliator (i.e. lactic acid, glycolic acid). A mechanical exfoliator gently buffs away dead skin cells, while chemical exfoliants dissolve the cells.
- Serums. Serums are one of the most important skin care products you can use. Packed with active ingredients, serums can brighten, hydrate, and repair your skin. Some serums have multiple purposes and some have a singular function.
- Sunscreen. You need to apply sunscreen daily, particularly if you’re going out. Your sunscreen is your most important weapon in keeping pigmentation and wrinkles at bay. Plus, it provides your skin with some much-needed protection. Make sure to choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above.
Building a Beauty Regimen that Works
Whether you’re a skin care newbie or if you’re looking to make some changes to your routine, we recommend starting with these basic skin care steps to build a beauty regimen that works.
- Identify your skin type. Having healthy, radiant skin starts with knowing your skin type and choosing the best skin care regimen that caters to your unique needs. Many people don’t know their skin type and for this reason, they end up using the wrong beauty products. For instance, the care that goes into treating dry skin is very different from how you should treat oily skin. If you’re using the wrong product for your skin type, it won’t be as effective and may aggravate existing conditions or even cause new ones. This is why whether you’re buying a cleanser, moisturizer, or anything else for your skin, it’s crucial you know your skin type.
There are different types of skin types:
- Normal Skin. Normal skin has very good balance, it’s neither too dry or too oily. Those with normal skin don’t usually experience breakouts and rarely experiences changes to their skin throughout the day. Seasonal changes don’t affect those with normal skin and they can use different products without experiencing negative side effects.
- Dry Skin. People with dry skin most likely experience tight, flaky facial skin caused by sebum production. Dry skin is also prone to developing signs of aging, since its lacking the body’s natural skin preserver – oil.
- Oily Skin. People with oily skin have overactive sebaceous glands, typically located in the T-zone, cheeks, and chin. Those who have oily skin may also experience acne breakouts and have enlarged pores because of the amount of oil that secretes for their pores. Those with oily skin often need to powder their face and/or use blotting papers throughout the day.
- Combination Skin. Those with combination skin have dry patches of skin, as well as oily areas.
- Sensitive Skin. People with sensitive skin are prone to irritation and inflammation, and can experience negative reactions to different products. Those with sensitive skin are also highly affected by seasonal changes, so if you have sensitive skin, you may have to switch up your products depending on the season.
- Start with the basics. When it comes to skin care, more is not always better – you don’t have to buy every single beauty product that you think you need. More often than not, the root of any skin issue (i.e. a breakout) is an imbalance that results from something as simple as lack of hydration or improper cleansing. So, hit pause before you purchase every spot treatment or moisturizer you find. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm both you and your skin.
We recommend keeping things simple, yet effective. Here’s a basic beauty regimen that you can follow.
- Step 1: Cleanser. The first step to your beauty regimen is always cleansing. Cleansers are designed to help remove makeup, dirt, and debris that accumulates on your skin throughout the day. Cleansing in the morning is essential to remove oil and buildup that may happen overnight. Conversely, cleansing at night is equally important, especially to remove makeup. Make sure to cleanse your face every night before going to bed to ensure your skin is able to replenish itself.
- Step 2: Toner. The next step in your beauty regimen is using a toner. A toner is going to rebalance your skin, provide gentle exfoliation, and help restore hydration. This step must be done prior to applying your moisturizer or serum, to help retain the moisture that they both provide.
- Step 3: Exfoliator/Masks. Give your skin some TLC. Using an exfoliator and/or mask at least 2-3 times a week is a great way to give your skin some extra care. Exfoliating 2-3 times a week using a mild exfoliator will help remove surface dead skin cells. Dead skin cell buildup can leave the skin looking dull, and may contribute to skin aging, dry skin, and oiliness. On the other hand, using a face mask is a great way to get professional facial results at home. Masks help target your skincare concerns by being applied to the surface of the skin to help the beneficial ingredients soak in for a period of time before it is cleansed off.
- Step 4: Serum. Often, people overlook applying serums. Serums are formulated with a high concentration of key ingredients, but are lightweight in formula so they can be layered under lotions or creams. This is why serums go on before moisturizers, not after.
- Step 5: Moisturizer. A moisturizer can help hydrate the surface layer of the skin to help keep it healthy and younger-looking. As you age, your body produces less of its natural moisturizers and collagen production slows down, so you lose skin elasticity – these are two factors that keep your skin younger-looking. So, its important to keep your skin moisturized.
- Step 6: Sunscreen. Some moisturizers contain SPF, but often not enough. This is why it’s important that you apply a separate sunscreen with SPF 30 or above. Applying sunscreen is unquestionably the most important step in your skin care regimen.
- Introduce new products one by one. Now that you have your beauty regimen outlined, it can be tempting to try everything all at once. Don’t.
Contain your excitement and take it step-by-step – one product at a time. Doing so will allow you to actually test whether a new product is effective, or in the case of an allergic reaction, you can immediately identify the cause.
We recommend starting with one to two products a day, then slowly introduce new products one by one. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to do a patch test before using it on your face. To do a patch test, apply a pea-sized amount to your wrist or elbow. If you experience redness or irritation, try a different beauty product instead. If the product is okay, try it out for a week before you add another product to the mix.
Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to change your routine. You should follow your beauty regimen carefully, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t change the beauty products you use. Allow for flexibility because your skin is an ever-changing organ anything from stress to seasonal shifts can affect it. So, adapt accordingly.
Starting a beauty regimen – and sticking to it – doesn’t have to be difficult.
Whether you’re new to the skin care world or if you’re looking to change your routine, we hope that this article was able to help you.