A good skincare routine is the foundation for a good beauty regime. Using the right products can protect your skin from UV rays, increase cell rejuvenation, prevent wrinkles and fine lines, and even improve skin conditions like acne and eczema. Our skin is the largest organ of the body, and does so much for us, (like protecting us from harmful bacteria), so we should look after it as best as we can.
But with so many products to choose from, how do we know what to use, how often to use it and why?
It boils down to skin types - find out about your skin type on this blog post here: What Is My Skin Type? Once you know your skin type, you can look at what products to use for each step in a good routine. A good skincare routine includes cleansing, toning and moisturising every day; with exfoliation once or twice a week, and the odd face mask thrown in too.
You should use a cleanser every day, to remove any kind of bacteria, dirt or excess oils that might be on the skin.
Oily or Combination Skin: Use gel, foam, clay or powder based cleansers as they're the most penetrating. If you have pimples, blackheads or acne, use a cleanser with salicylic acid in it.
Normal or Dry Skin: Micellar, cream and milk cleansers are all brilliant for drier skin as they're more moisturising. Oil cleansers are great for most skin types. This is personal favourite, and the type of cleanser I use for myself.
Toners are a step that's often skipped, but do not miss it out! It's important for shrinking your pores if you have oily skin, or nourishing more dry skin. Tone after you cleanse, every day.
Oily or Combination Skin: Toners that contain witch hazel or tea tree oil are great for people with oily skin and pimples.
Normal or Dry Skin: Toners that contain 5% Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid are brilliant for people with drier skin as it helps to remove excess dry/dead skin from the surface. However, you can use glycolic acid toners on oily skin as well since it also penetrates deep into the pores to cleanse impurities. So, it can be helpful for acne and blackheads too.
A good moisturiser can make the world of different with the condition of your skin, and you should moisturise every day after cleansing and toning.
Oily or Combination Skin: A lightweight, gel based moisturiser is great for oily/combo skin as it soaks in quicker and doesn't leave your already oily skin feeling wet. The ingredient Dimethicone is mattifying, so it's good to use products that contain it. Products containing Retinoids or Salicylic Acid are great for fighting acne and blackheads.
Normal or Dry Skin: Heavier and deeper nourishing moisturisers are best for skin that's on the drier side. Anything that contains Hylauronic Acid will boost hydration while Glycerin helps to retain that moisture.
Exfoliation is also such an important step and should be done at least once a week if you have oily to combination skin, and up to twice a week if you have dry skin. It does brilliant things to your skin like boosting cell renewal which in turn improves any fine lines, acne and scarring; as well as improving blood circulation, skin colour and texture, and increases the absorption of nutrients. Chemical exfoliators contain both AHA's and BHA's like Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid. Physical exfoliators are your typical scrubs that have sugars, pips, seeds and other substrates inside them.
Oily or Combination Skin: You can use both chemical and physical exfoliators. Chemical exfoliators penetrate deeper into the skin and so is better for improving any kind of scarring, acne, pimples and blackheads.
Normal or Dry Skin: You can also use both chemical and physical exfoliators. However, physical exfoliators are better for removing any stubborn flaky, dry skin. Do not use chemical exfoliators or peeling solutions if you have broken, damaged or inflamed skin.
Face masks are a great way to give your skin a little boost. Especially if you're struggling through a flare up of acne, or particularly dry skin. I wouldn't recommend using a face mask any more than once a week and I would tend to keep them for biweekly treatments.
Oily or Combination Skin: Any face mask which targets open pores, acne, blackheads or pimples will be good for you. So this can include ingredients like tea tree oil, charcoal, clay, seaweed and witch hazel. They usually come in the form of clay masks, or masks that dry onto the face and need to be peeled off.
Normal or Dry Skin: Any face mask that targets hydration and nourishment will be great for you. Ingredients like coconut, honey, aloe vera, shea butter and vitamin E. They usually come in the form of sheet or cream masks.
Another good step to add into your skincare routine are regular facials. Having facials every 4-5 weeks can make a noticeable difference in your skin condition. A good beauty therapist will know how to target certain skin complaints and how to improve how your skin looks and feels. As your skin is completely renewed every 4-5 weeks, which is when the very bottom of the skin has risen to the very top and has started to shed naturally, you can even notice a difference after just 2 or 3 facials.
So if you can afford to, definitely look into having regular facial treatments. Checking the ingredients on all your products or making sure you're using the right products for your skin type can make a huge difference in your skin and I hope you notice results soon - remember your skin grows through every 4 or so weeks, so it can take a while to notice results - keep your skincare routine up!