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Skin Care 101: Essential Skin Care Products, Skin Care Routine Steps, and Benefits of Good Skin Care

So, you want to start a daily skin care routine, but you have some questions.

Which products are best for your skin? How many products do you have to use? In what order should you apply these products? How do you benefit from these products? 

To get the most benefit out of your skin care routine, you need to follow these skin care routine steps: cleanse, treat, and moisturize.

You’re probably already familiar with cleansing and moisturizing – but what does it mean to ‘treat’ your skin? ‘Treating’ your skin involves using creams or serums packed full of skin care essentials like retinol, alpha hydroxy acid, Vitamin C, and more. 

In this article, we discuss how you can build a skin care routine, what you need, and the benefits of good skin care. 

Essential Skin Care Products

Wondering which skin care products you need? Here are some essentials that should be in your skin care cabinet. 

  • Cleanser

Washing your face is the most essential and basic step of any skin care routine – and a cleanser is what you’ll use to wash your face. You can’t just use whatever body wash or soap you have lying around – you have to use a product specifically intended for your face. 

Finding the most suitable cleanser for you may be a process of trial and error. If you have oily skin, you’ll want to look for an oil-free cleanser, and you may want to consider using a toner too. If you have dry skin, you’ll want to use one without fragrance or alcohol. You’ll want to wash your face gently – and take care not too scrub too hard. Wash twice a day – morning and night – to avoid acne, dullness, and clogged pores. 

  • Toner

Toners should be applied after cleansing and before putting on any other product. Toners typically contain ingredients that restore and replenish nutrients to your skin and can diminish dry patches and redness. Here are some ingredients to look for in a toner:

  • Vitamins C and E to fight daily exposure to free radicals that can age your skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid to seal in dewiness, boost hydration, and plump skin to treat fine lines. 
  • Alpha and beta hydroxy acids to gently remove dead skin cells that can minimize dullness, gently remove dead skin cells, and improve sun-damaged skin. 
  • Green tea and rose water to reduce irritation and redness with an anti-inflammatory effect. 
  • Moisturizer 

Similar to cleansers, moisturizers are for everyone and must be used every time you wash your face. A little trial and error is completely normal when you’re looking for the right moisturizer for your skin. For instance, if you have oily skin, you may benefit from oil-free, gel, or light-weight products. For daytime use, you may want to use a lighter moisturizer that will soak in quickly and won’t cause pilling under your makeup. 

Moisturizers keeps your skin hydrated, prevents it from drying out, and strengthens your skin barrier. They are most effective when applied while your skin is still slightly damp to seal in moisture.

  • Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the most important product in your skin care arsenal. Some moisturizers contain SPF, but it doesn’t hurt to double up with a separate sunscreen product – especially if your moisturizer only has an SPF below 30.

Apply sunscreen every day, even when it’s not sunny outside, and even when you’re covered up. You should also apply sunscreen even if you’re spending your days indoors – UV rays can still come in through windows. When you are exposed, reapply every 2 hours. Make sure that your sunscreen protects against both UVA rand UVB rays. If sun damage and skin cancer aren’t enough to convince you to apply sunscreen, you should know that UV exposure is also the leading cause of uneven skin tone, wrinkles, and skin aging. 

  • Exfoliator

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and clean pores, for visibly smoother and brighter skin. It can be beneficial for removing dull or dry skin, increasing blood circulation, and brightening and improving your skin’s overall appearance. 

There are different exfoliation methods, such as scrubs and chemical exfoliants. Your skin type should determine which exfoliation method you use and how often you should exfoliate. However, for certain skin conditions (i.e. rosacea), exfoliation isn’t typically recommended. 

  • Serum

Serums are another optional addition to your skin care routine. Serums contain ingredients like retinol and antioxidants that support skin health in several ways, such as improving firmness and texture and reducing redness. 

Skin Care Routine Steps

Now that you know which products should be in your skin care arsenal, here are some basic skin care routine steps that you should follow. 

Step 1. Know Your Skin Type

Knowing your skin type is the first step to any skin care routine. By knowing what kind of skin you have, you’ll know which products to use and how to properly take care of it. 

  • Normal skin is clear, balanced, and not sensitive.
  • Sensitive skin may itch, burn, or sting after you put on some makeup or other products.
  • Oily skin is greasy, shiny, and may have big pores.
  • Dry skin is rough, scaly, and flaky.
  • Combination skin is dry in some areas (i.e. cheeks) and oily in others (i.e. nose and chin).

Step 2. Cleansing

The right formula cleanses your skin without stripping healthy, essential oils. Be careful with exfoliating scrubs (use once a week) and avoid those with abrasive ingredients. Here are some cleansing tips depending on your skin type.

  • Cleansing dry skin.

If you have dry skin, use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t have fragrances or alcohol – these ingredients can dry out your skin even more. Gently wash your skin, then rise it with warm water. Don’t use hot water as it can remove the natural oils from your face faster. Try exfoliating once a week to get rid of flaky skin cells to make your skin more even and look clearer. 

  • Cleansing oily skin.

If you have oily skin, use an oil-free foaming cleanser to wash your face. Then, rinse with plenty of warm water. After, you may want to use a toner, but be careful because it might irritate your skin. These products can remove extra oil, which makes your face less shiny and keeps it clean. 

  • Cleansing sensitive skin.

If you have sensitive skin, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Then, rinse with warm water. Don’t rub your skin with a towel, instead, pat it dry gently. Exfoliating may irritate sensitive skin. Try not to use products that have fragrance, acid, or alcohol. Instead, look at the label and check for calming ingredients like oats, chamomile, green tea, and aloe. 

  • Cleansing normal/combo skin.

Don’t just use whatever soap you have to wash your face; but, don’t feel like you have to buy expensive products either. Just find skin care that works for you. Apply a gentle soap or cleanser with your fingertips. Don’t scrub your face. Rinse with plenty of warm water, then gently pat it dry. If your skin gets oily or dries out, try a different cleanser. 

Step 3. Moisturize

No matter what skin type you have, you need to moisturize every day. Apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp from rinsing or washing to help seal in moisture. If you have acne or oily skin, find a moisturizer that’s oil-free and lightweight, so it doesn’t block your pores. 

Step 4. Apply Sunscreen

Some moisturizers already contain SPF, but it’s a good idea to use a separate sunscreen, too. Look for a sunscreen that gives broad-spectrum protection with at least SPF 30. Apply it every day, even if it’s cold and not sunny. Reapply every 2 hours. 

Benefits of Good Skin Care

Do you really need a daily skin care routine? 

Good skin care is important for several reasons. Here are 4 benefits of a good skin care routine:

  • Prevention is easier – and cheaper – than correction. Preventing skin problems is easier – and cheaper – than trying to fix them in the future. 
  • Help your skin stay in good condition. You’re shedding skin cells through the day, so it’s crucial to keep your skin in good condition. An effective skin care routine can help treat wrinkles, prevent acne, and keep your skin looking its best. 
  • Achieve younger-looking skin. As you age, your skin’s cells turn over more slowly, making it look duller and less radiant. With quality skin care products, you can remove dead skin cells so your body will replace them with newer, more youthful cells. 
  • Gain more confidence. When your skin looks good, you’ll feel better about yourself and gain more self-confidence. 

The Bottom Line

Good skin care is crucial at any age, and good skin care habits in your 20s and 30s can help prepare your skin for the effects of aging. 

A good skin care routine involves the use of quality cleansers, toners, moisturizers, sunscreens, exfoliators, and serums. Choose quality products with ingredients suitable for the skin. Avoid poor quality skin care products as it can cause negative effects, like allergic reactions, infections, and may even worsen skin conditions like acne. 
With a good skin care routine, you can enjoy many benefits like preventing skin problems, help your skin stay in good condition, achieve younger-looking skin, and gaining more self-confidence.

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