You may not think too much about your skincare routine, but the truth is we all should. However, with so much skincare advice out there and so many products to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to focus your energy. For me there are some basic steps that form the foundation of a good and smart skincare routine and regardless of age, skin type and concern, all these steps should be followed. For someone younger, they might not need a specific targeted treatment product such as a serum but certainly from your mid 20’s, I think it’s important to boost these steps with a targeted product for your specific concerns.
Step 1: Cleanse
This is essential for your routine. Cleansers help “wake up” the skin in the morning and in the evening are used to remove make-up, impurities and oil that can lead to clogged pores and dull skin. Starting with a clean face allows the skincare products you use afterwards to work even better. I often get asked about “Double Cleansing” double cleansing involves using a cleansing oil, balm or cream to break down make-up, SPF and sebum on the surface of your skin first, then following it with a deeper second cleanse. You could say that this second cleanse is the actual cleansing of the skin stage, now that the make-up is off. I double cleanse every evening and the only time I might not is if I’ve been indoors all day and have no make-up on.
Step 2: Tone
There is sometimes a lot of confusion around toner, and when you’re first establishing a daily skin care routine, it may even seem unnecessary. But most experts agree that toning is an important addition to your skincare routine and is key to prepare your skin for what is to come. Well-formulated toners hydrate, refresh, and rebalance skin, along with lowering your skins pH level, and making sure it is ready to absorb the creams and serums that will follow.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Without exfoliation, skin tends to appear dull and rough. Boost microcirculation and cell turnover by exfoliating 1-3 times per week and transform dull skin into bright, healthy and radiant skin. There are two types of exfoliators, chemical and mechanical. Both can be effective tools for removing dead skin cells, but chemical exfoliating ingredients like AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) and enzymes are often more effective in getting deep into your pores and removing build up. Mechanical exfoliators include scrubs, facial brushes and electronic cleansing devices. All of which help to remove dead, dull skin.
Step 4: Targeted Treatment
This is the step that most daily skin care routines are probably missing and can be the difference between good skin and great skin. Skin serums and treatment creams allow you to customize your daily routine to the highest level. Once you know your particular skin concerns, whether that’s brown spots, breakouts, wrinkles etc., you can add your treatment product to your routine. Remember “prevention is better than cure”. They would be applied after your toner or exfoliator if you use one and before your moisturiser (day and night).
Step 5: Eye Cream
Day and night time moisturisers can absolutely be applied around your eyes and if I’m stuck for time I tend to do this. However, if you wish to use a separate eye product, choose it based on how dry the skin around your eyes is and on other concerns you might have, such as wrinkles, dark circles, or puffiness. Don’t apply your eye cream last, as no matter how careful you apply your serums/moisturisers you will always get some in the eye area and then your eye cream won’t absorb where you want it to. Eye cream first, everything else afterwards!
Step 6: Moisturise & Protect
You day cream provides hydration throughout the day and it also serves as your defender towards environmental stresses, damaging sun and pollution. That is why day creams are generally formulated with protecting active ingredients. Using a moisturiser that contains SPF or applying a sunscreen after your moisturiser is key for protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays and maintaining a youthful and healthy skin. Your night cream will also contain active ingredients and will provide your skin with extra nourishment while you sleep. Just to note also, skin’s cell regeneration is heightened overnight and using a night cream will assist with maximising this. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing!