If you are at the beginning of your skincare journey, it can seem complicated, we know. You just want to take care of your skin, it shouldn’t be so difficult. Naturally, with a variety of products available on the market these days, the whole process can get daunting.
A few things to keep in mind – your skincare isn’t a fixed thing. A baseline routine that works is a great thing to have. But routines can change for any number of reasons. It can depend on the season, the needs of your skin as you age, or if your skin reacted to a product. That said – it takes consistency and patience to see the results.
Skincare products by type – the basics
Daily cleansing is an essential step in your skincare routine. Oils, balms, foams, gels, the options are endless. Keep in mind, no matter what type of cleanser you pick, it shouldn’t leave your skin feeling squeaky clean. A good cleanser removes sweat, pollution, and grime without stripping your skin of its natural oils. Furthermore, it preps your skin for the rest of the routine.
Drier skin types will appreciate more nourishing cleansers like oils, balms, or creams. Oily and combination skin might benefit from a cleanser with an active ingredient like Mandelic or Salicylic acid. There is no need to spend a ton of money on a cleanser, budget options are plentiful. And before anyone asks (although most of you know this by now) – wipes don’t count as a cleanse.
There are two types of exfoliants – physical and chemical. Both remove the dead skin cells but use a different action to do so. Physical exfoliants include various types of scrubs that remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.
Chemical exfoliants do so by dissolving the bonds between the dead skin cells. Nowadays, chemical exfoliants come in a variety of formulas including serums, toners, pads, creams, or masks. Which one you pick will depend on your skin type, favourite type of acid, and ease of use.
But, do keep in mind, with chemical exfoliants less is definitely more. You don’t need to exfoliate twice a day, every day.
Serums are skincare products with higher concentrations of active ingredients that can treat various skin concerns. This is where you can splash the cash if you are that way inclined since these are the heavy-hitting products. Serums are applied to cleansed face and before your moisturiser. Look for Hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, peptides, and/or niacinamide. Some serums you can use daily (like vitamin C, for example). Others (retinol) you can use throughout the week, depending on how your skin tolerates the ingredient.
The last step in every routine would be a moisturiser. While a moisturiser serves a basic function to hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss, for some people, it can be tricky to find a suitable one. Especially if you have oily or combination skin, or if you are prone to breakouts. The formula and texture are everything, so depending on your skin type, you might want to look for a gel moisturiser, an emulsion, buttery cream, or even a balm.
Many will argue we don’t really need an eye cream. By all means, you can apply your serums and moisturisers underneath the eye and be done with it. But, if you have specific issues like puffiness or dehydrated skin, consider a dedicated eye product.
Sunscreen is a must if you want to protect your skin against cancer and prevent signs of aging. And that means year-round, not just on holiday.
Skincare products by type – the extras
Some swear by facial oils, others think they are the devil. The old adage in the skincare community applies – YMMV (Your Mileage Might Vary). Both Amy and I love facial oil (even though our skin types are different). With all the options available, there is no need to steer clear from oils, you can find one suitable for most skin types.
Essences are hybrids between a toner and a serum. Loaded with skin-loving ferments, botanicals, and vitamins, they are watery in texture and depending on the formula, hydrate, soften, and even out the skin tone. Is an essence necessary in a routine? No. But it can be a nice additional step if you have the time and patience for it.
Masks are another extra that isn’t necessary but can serve as a pamper or emergency treatment. Soothing or hydrating, brightening, or clarifying, you can take your pick. Hydrating masks will give an immediate plumping up effect and soothe and soften. Clay masks work a treat on the T-zone and any blemish-prone areas. Plus, multi-masking is a thing – you can use a hydrating mask on your cheeks and a clay mask on your T-zone.
What is your favourite type of a skincare product?