A skincare routine does not have to be complicated or include 10 products. When you are doing it right, you will have great skin with the most basic of routines. But with so much out there, it can seem daunting. Let me help you establish a good yet basic skincare routine.
Why a skincare routine is important.
When you want to lose weight, you know it will involve a good diet as well as regular exercise. And above all it comes down to consistency. If you eat well and exercise one day and binge the next you won’t progress. Well the same goes for your skin. To make any changes or show improvement, consistency is the key. A routine makes the consistency part easy.
It takes time to see results.
Your skin has a renewal cycle (turnover) of roughly 6 weeks. This means it takes 6 weeks for the newly made skin cells to reach the surface. For any real change to show you need to wait for those baby skin cells that you are influencing with the right ingredients, to reach the surface. Sure, you can immediately notice an improvement but for the most part be patient while being consistent!
- Cleanse. You want to be cleansing twice a day with a double cleanse at night. The first, cleans off makeup, dirt and pollution while the second actually cleans the skin. The type of cleanser comes down to your skin type. Oily skins need a gel/foamy cleanser, but you want to avoid ones that are abrasive or too harsh. For normal to dry skin types you want to be looking at a creamier cleanser. Do not be too rough while cleansing and avoid scrubbing it even if you are having breakouts. Keep it gentle and use lukewarm water to rinse off.
- Moisturise. Whenever you have cleansed you need to follow this up moisturising, even if you are oily. This helps seal in moisture as well as bring more moisture to the skin. Some moisturisers even have key ingredients that help with anti-ageing and breakouts. If your skin becomes dry it can stimulate more sebum production, worsening oiliness. A lighter moisturiser is better for oily skin types and a heavier moisturiser for dry and ageing skin. The quicker you apply your moisturiser after cleansing the better the result.
- Wear SPF. Do not overlook this step in your routine! It is the key to ageing gracefully. UV rays not only burn but age our skin and that happens all year round, including through windows and from LED lights. Rather than it being an added step to the routine, you can use one that would combine SPF in your moisturiser. You are looking for SPF greater than 40. Why not find one that does 3 in 1? Moisturiser, SPF and foundation in one. It is possible, Alumier MD have this available.
- Exfoliate. Do this once a week. This helps to remove those dead skin cells that are on top and need a bit of encouragement to shed. It will help your skin glow and look refreshed. Be careful though not to overdo it or use too harsh an exfoliant, as it can stimulate sebum production and damage the skin leaving it vulnerable to reactions. There are two basic types; chemical (like fruit enzymes) and mechanical (particles/beads).
There are some products/ingredients that are now being seen as staples in a skincare routine. These are L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and retinol (vitamin A). The L-ascorbic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps mop up free radicals that cause damage to the skin. It is better applied directly to the skin for this purpose rather than being taken as a supplement (probably because it would be all used up by the time it got to the skin). Retinol helps speed the cell turnover, bringing younger, fresher cells to the surface. So a great one for ageing skin and acne.
What, she didn’t mention a toner?
No I didn’t, as I don’t believe it is part of a basic skincare routine. In the past toners helped remove what ever makeup or dirt was left over (this is covered by double cleansing) and to curb oiliness and blemishes (not needed for everyone). Apparently they help minimise the size of pores and balances the skin’s pH, helping your skin absorb moisturisers and serums. Maybe a nice to have but not essential.
Get the basics right
Start by making sure you have the right cleanser and moisturiser, you are using an SPF daily and exfoliating once a week. Be consistent. Once you have the basics down and you are in a good habit then think about extras like the add-ons discussed or a serum targeted to a problem/concern you have. Build slowly, that way you won’t waste your money on a heavy routine that you can’t stick to.
If you still find this too much or would like some guidance, get in touch! I am always happy to have a chat.