Skincare is one of the best things you can do to, you guessed it, care for your skin. So, congratulations on making your first step in the world of skin care. Before we start, you must note that skincare routines are very much based on the individual, and whilst this is a guide, it is nothing more than just a guide. Determining what skin type you have is a great first step. With so many different types of products and skincare brands on the market, you may be wondering, “Where do I start?”. So here are the basics:
- SPF (sunscreen)
First, you want to start by removing any makeup that you have on your face by using an oil cleanser (apply to a dry face as oil does not mix with water well). You can also use a micellar water to remove your makeup as this often acts as a cleanser as well.
Once your skin is makeup-free, you want to go in with a water-based cleanser. This step is essentially cleaning your face; removing any debris, dirt, oils and pollution that have built up throughout the day/over night. Dampen your skin so that the cleanser can be properly incorporated into the skin. You can do this with a damp washcloth, or just splash your face over the sink. Cleanse for about 60 seconds, using upwards circular motions. Be sure not to be too rough or tug at your face. This applies to every step in your routine.
What is a ‘treatment’? Well, an example for oily skin types, or if you struggle with blackheads, is a salicyclic acid serum. A whaaat? Salycyclic acid is a gentle chemical exfoliant that essentially travels through your skin right into your pores where it deep cleans your skin. Chemical exfoliating serums are seen to be more gentle on the skin than physical exfoliants, which often tug and overly strip the skin. One which I have found works really well for me (and so have thousands of others) is the Paula’s Choice Salicyclic Acid Skin Perfecting BHA Exfoliant.
Some people argue that you should apply your treatment after your toner. However, according to Hyram, if you apply your treatment immediately after your cleanser, this will allow it to properly penetrate into your pores and really work its magic.
If you are just starting out using an exfoliating serum, it is not recommended that you apply it every single day. Start off with 2-3 days a week of use, applying it when you do your night time routine before bed.
Toner can be applied after your serum, or straight after your cleanser if you choose not to use an exfoliating serum. You can apply this using your finger tips and gently patting it into the skin, or lightly spray onto your face if in a spray bottle.
It has been argued that toners are not essential for everyone, however they are seen to balance the pH of your skin after cleansing and help control acne.
A gentle toner which I personally love to use is the Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner.
Why would I want my face to smell nice halfway through my skincare routine?
Ahaa! Essences are in fact very concentrated formulas which aim for those fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tones. If your skin is dry they can help add another layer of hydration. Essence is, again, not essential, however it often comes with great benefits.
Ah, finally a word that is recognisable. Moisturisers can come in all sorts of formulas. If you have oily skin, opt for a gel moisturiser. If you have dry skin, opt for a cream moisturiser. Or not. Find what suits you.
6. SPF (Sunscreen)
Argued the most important step. SPF protects your skin from harsh UVA and UVB rays exerted from the sun. You can mix this in with your moisturiser in order to blend it in. And then add another layer! You really want to be making sure that you are fully protecting yourself from skin cancer, premature ageing, sun spots and all those nasty things that the sun brings. Try to opt for an ocean-friendly SPF if you can.
Extras (if you’re feeling like a skincare guru already)
Okay, so now that you have down all the basics in skin care, you may be wanting to know more. “What about the face masks that all the influencers have constantly glued to their faces?”. Well, if you would like to use a facemask, go ahead. There are several types on the market e.g. clay masks, sheet masks and charcoal masks etc. Whichever one you use should be based on your skin type and what your skin needs in that moment. You can use your facemask of choice after your cleanser step. Be sure to only keep it on for the recommended amount of time it says on the packet. And you don’t need to use a facemask every day -once a week should cut it.
According to Stephen Alain Ko, the order in which you do your skin care doesn’t actually matter, except for one step. You must put on SPF as the last step of your routine to maximise your protection from UV rays and allow the rest of your skin care products to work underneath.
Finally, when you’re applying all of these lovely hydrating, beneficial products, don’t forget about the neck! Imagine a glowing, peachy face on top of a…wrinkly neck. Lovely. Make sure you apply all the way down to the chest area for the best results.
Note: always consult your dermatologist/doctor before using any new products.