Skin Care 101 – Your Routine
Look in a shop like Boots today and you’ll see thousands of serums, moisturizers, balms, cleansers, oils, acids, toners, exfoliators… I could go on and on…
So what do we need to keep our skin healthy and what’s useless? Skin care products need to focus on a few main areas; protection, prevention and treatment. This is what a good skin care routine will look like if you want to maintain/create young-looking, fresh and blemish-free skin.
If you’re new to skincare and you don’t know what anything is (or what type of skin you have) feel free to read the Grooming Glossary for Skin Care in your leisure!
- Cleanser – Something to wash off the daily grime your face accumulates during the day. If you live in the city you’d be surprised how dirt-ridden your face can be after a day outside. A basic cleanser will do the job of soap, clean your skin throroughly. You can also buy cleansers that specifically treat your areas of concern.
- Antioxidant Serum – A serum is like a concentrated shot of ingredients that you apply to your skin. The ingredients in an antioxidant serum primarily help to keep your skin protected from the damage caused by pollution and sun exposure. Serums also provide intensive treatment for specific skin issues such as skin discolouration and create extra protection from the sun.
- Sunscreen – The only truly anti-aging cream in the world. Sun damage is the primary cause of premature aging. All that sun you get in your 20s and 30s will bite you in the ass when you hit 40. Daily use of sun screen is VITAL, if there’s one change you’re going to make to your skin care – make it this one. It will prevent your skin from burning, it will prevent premature aging and if you have discolouration on your face such as dark circles and scne scars – it will stop them from getting darker so they can eventually fade.
- Cleanser – Use your cleanser twice a day. At night it will lift off the day’s grime as well as the products on your face from the daytime.
- Serum/treatment – Again you need to apply a concentrated shot of ingredients to your skin. This can be the same serum you used during the day or something more specific to your skin needs. This is where you apply your concentrated anti-aging treatment such as retinol or your acne treatment etc. This is also where you can apply ingredients such as AHAs and BHAs in order to control acne, exfoliate skin and eliminate ingrown hairs from shaving.
Side note: Retinol. Retinol is the only ingredient FDA approved to be marketed as anti-aging. It has been clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as improve the overall condition of skin. It is basically concentrated Vitamin A.
AHAs – Alpha Hydroxy Acids that exfoliate your skin the same way a face scrub would. They gently disolve the top layer of skin to expose new skin underneath. They are used to keep skin tone even, soft and clear.
BHAs – Beta Hydroxy Acids exfoliate deeper inside the pores. This will clean out gunk like spots and blackheads and will also prevent ingrown hairs from growing. Great for acne-prone skin.
- Moisturiser - This will lock moisture into your skin and can work with your serum or treatment to provide benefits to your skin. If you have dry skin it will make it feel moist and supple. Even oily or acne prone skin can do with a bit of moisture as by leaving it dry (or by using lots of drying acne treatments on it) you can cause your skin to become tight, dehydrated and shiny from all the oil it produces to make up for the dryness. It’s just a case of finding the right one for your skin type. In general; creams are great for dry skin and lotions or gels are great for oily skin or combination skin (normal on some bits, oily on others like your forehead). If you’re neither dry nor oily, you can use either.
And that’s it. 4 or 5 products to stick in your shaving bag. It may look like a lot but it’s really only a 5 minute job (if that) . If you stick to a routine like this (or at least similar to this) you can be guaranteed to see results now and well in to the future.
Of course there are additional products that you could have such as face masks and scrubs and toners but they’re not essential to your routine as long as you have the basics down. I will, however, cover those additional products in this blog as they can be great for your skin if you have the time to include them.
Now all you have to do is find the right products to slot into that routine! Finding what works for you can be a process of trial and error but hopefully SCforM can help suggest some products and at the very least point you in the right direction. Perhaps start with reading a few of the ‘Useful Posts‘ above or simply click on your relevant skin issue in the list of categories!