Skincare is a hot topic these days but with so many products to choose from, where do you start? Donít stress over skincare selection. We have some simple suggestions to get you going.
The 3 Essentials
Cleanser, Toner, and SPF Moisturiser are skincare essentials.
Washing your face is a basic but essential step of any skincare routine. But why use a cleanser?
Every day your skin gets covered in dirt, oil and impurities. These need to be gently removed. Cleansing twice a day, (morning and night) will help clean your skin and avoid clogged pores. Cleanser also prepares your skin for products like serums and moisturisers to work better.
We recommend Micellar Water, which is suitable for all skin types. Micellar Water uses micelles (tiny bubbles of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in purified water. These micelles attract any impurities on your skin like a magnet, lifting them away and leaving your skin clear. Micellar Water is effective on makeup as well, even waterproof mascara.
However, thereís many different cleansers out there. The right product for you will depend on your skin type, personal preference and budget.
Top Tip: If you donít have a lot of time in the morning you can get facial wipes that are made with Micellar water.
The process of cleansing can leave your skin more alkaline. The principal task of toner is to rebalance your skinís pH level, leaving it radiant. Toners can also help close your pores after cleansing. This restricts how far impurities can penetrate your skin. Some ingredients to look out for are Witch Hazel to tighten pores, Chamomile to calm and soothe and Tea Tree for its antimicrobial properties.
Top Tip: A great way to use toner is by soaking a cotton pad and passing it over your skin.
The basic function of moisturiser is to hydrate and soften your skin. They prevent moisture from being lost from the outer layers of your skin. They also complement the oils that your skin naturally makes. Moisturiser is an essential product to use all year round, no matter your skin type. Look out for ingredients like Vitamin E, Glycerin, Pro-Vitamin B5, and Borage Seed Oil as these are fantastic moisturisers. The type of moisturiser that you need will vary depending on your skin type, whether itís a gel, lotion, cream, or balm.
Top Tip: When rubbing in moisturiser try not to pull your skin down. This can lead to premature wrinkles and saggy skin. Apply your moisturiser gently in circular, upward motions. Around the delicate eye area, pat gently with your ring finger.
SPF Sun Cream/Moisturiser
Daily use of sun cream will prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles Ė who knew! It can also help reduce sunspots and discolouration in the skin tone. More importantly, daily use of sun cream will help to prevent the formation of certain types of skin cancer. Sun cream formulas have come a long way in recent years. They wonít leave your skin looking whiter or feeling sticky and greasy.
Top Tip: To make it easy to remember, invest in a moisturiser with an SPF of at least 30.
Once youíve got the hang of these you might want to look at adding extra steps to your routine.
Serum or Booster
Serums and boosters are targeted products that contain specific active ingredients to target certain skin issues. We recommend slotting a serum or booster between toning and moisturising in your skincare routine. Look for:
- Hyaluronic Acid: Seals in hydration and prevents moisture loss by strengthening your skinís natural barrier.
- Vitamin C: Helps to brighten dull skin and decrease the appearance of dark spots.
- Retinol, Vitamin B3, and Peptides: Stimulates natural production of collagen and elastin to help prevent lines and sagging.
- Colloidal Sulphur and Niacinamide: Calms redness and irritation by decreasing inflammation and improves acne with its antimicrobial effects.
Face masks are ideal for every skin type and every skin concern. They are made using concentrated ingredients that target your skin worry, so you will need to decide what you want to target.
Clay and mud masks are ideal for oily or acne prone skin as they draw out impurities and kill bacteria. Clay masks will close your pores to prevent further penetration from impurities, but this may leave your skin feeling tight. Clay masks usually use Kaolin, white or pink clay.
Peel off masks are like a big blackhead strip for your face. Peel off masks come in formulas to target just about any skin issue you can imagine, but generally they will stimulate circulation and leave your skin looking more toned. They typically come as a gel that dries down to a film like consistency. Once the mask has completely dried, you can grab a corner and peel it off!
Cream masks are ultra-rich formulas specially designed for hydrating dry, mature or irritated skin. Either leave on for a few minutes or overnight and your skin will be left feeling soft and supple.
Gel masks are like cream masks, but much more lightweight. The range of issues they can target is anything from anti-aging to acne. Oily skin types that find cream masks too heavy will enjoy the lightweight feel of gel. However, gel formulas usually need to be rinsed off, whereas cream masks can be massaged into the skin.
Sheet masks are fantastic for fighting dull, dry or aging skin. They can also help reduce acne. These skin heroes are popular in Koran skincare and have proven to be equally popular in the West. Sheet masks are soaked in a serum with a gel like consistency and they deliver a lot of hydration deep into your skin. Sheet masks are ideal when travelling, especially if youíve skipped a few days of your usual routine.
Top tip: After the sheet mask is removed, the excess left on your face can simply be massaged in, no rinsing required.
If your skin feels dry or looks dull, a good exfoliation might be in order. Exfoliation is ideal to unclog pores, fade age spots, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and improve absorption of other skincare. There are 2 types of exfoliants: physical exfoliators (scrubs) or chemical exfoliators (peels).
A scrub uses tiny particles to help gently lift away dead skin cells and impurities. They provide immediate results and tend to cause less irritation than a chemical peel. Some facial scrubs use walnut as the natural exfoliant, but walnut causes micro-cuts and tears to your skin, which causes irritation, inflammation and even infection.
Top Tip: When exfoliating with a scrub, pay attention to your hairline as sometimes skincare products and make-up can build up there.
Top Tip: it is possible to scrub too hard and damage your skin, so be gentle.
Chemical peels are the (relatively) new kids on the block. They break down the bonds between dead skin cells to Ďunstickí them so they can be removed. They also improve the rate at which new skin cells are produced, resulting in an anti-aging effect. Chemical exfoliants can give a more even exfoliation than a physical scrub exfoliant. They come in 3 different levels: mild, medium and intense. The most popular types of chemical exfoliants are hydroxy acids, retinoids, and enzymes.
Top Tip: You need to be careful when using chemical exfoliants if you have sensitive skin. Thereís a higher chance of having an allergic reaction, so always do a spot test before applying it to your whole face.
Getting into a skincare routine is worth it because your skin is one of the bodyís largest organs. It works hard every day to protect our bodies from the elements. Taking care of your skin will help it do its job better for longer. Getting into good habits in your 20s and 30s can strengthen and prepare your skin for the effects of aging.
However, thereís many different skin types and we all have different skin concerns. It can be a bit trial and error to find what works for you. But persevere with it, or even give us a call for more help and advice.