All you need to know about the best skin care routine

skin care routine

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Starting a skincare routine can be overwhelming. You know that it is important and so it becomes your homework to find a single “correct” skin-care routine. But there is no exact way of doing it; it’s just a matter of finding products that work for you and an optimal way of applying them.

You may not have been blessed with genes that are responsible for having great skin. However, daily habits, diet, and a good facial routine can really level the playing field. People structure their skin care according to their skin type, reactions to certain ingredients, budget, availability, and level of commitment. The best care for the skin isn’t the one that’s set for all – it’s deeply personal, so it should be the one that best suits you. 

There are tons of opinions on how to go about caring for your skin and products to choose from. Just remember that although it’s relative, there is an actual science behind skincare. You need to identify first what your needs and conditions are so you can cherry-pick from the multitude of available options. Read on about skin and everything you need to know about it to sort through all the noise.

What is a good skin care routine?

A skin care routine is not just one where your skin has the most positive reaction to; it also has to be something you can readily commit to. You can add more products like exfoliants, masks, or in-office treatments while extending your ritual once you’re comfortable and starting to see significant improvements on your skin.

Types of skin

To know which products to use, you need to be acquainted with the four basic types of skin: normal, dry, oily and combination skin. Our genetics may determine our skin type but the internal and external factors our skin is subjected to largely affect our skin condition.

Normal skin

Normal skin is considered to be eudermic. This means that the skin is well-balanced: neither too oily nor too dry. Here are signs of a healthy, normal skin:

  • fine pores
  • not too sensitive
  • good blood circulation giving it a rosy hue
  • a silky, soft and smooth texture
  • no blemishes 

Dry skin

Dry skin is a skin type that is less oily than normal skin. It struggles to retain moisture because of its lack of sebum and lipids that are needed to keep it. As a result, the skin feels tight and rough and looks dull. It does not have a healthy skin barrier function which makes it prone to damage from external factors.

A skin that is very dry to extremely dry include the following signs:

  • flakes that form in patches 
  • roughness 
  • blotchiness
  • tightness 
  • itchiness
  • crack formation
  • calluses
  • scaling

Oily skin

Oily skin is a skin type that has excess oil and big pores. It is a result of overproduction of sebum known as seborrhea. There are many possible causes for this like genetics, hormonal changes and imbalances, medicine, stress level, and cosmetic products that are comedogenic (blocks pores). 

An oil skin is characterised by:

  • enlarged pores 
  • a glossy shine
  • thicker, pale skin
  • blemishes

Combination skin

As the name suggests, the combination skin type is a mix of skin types. The variation is apparent between the T-zone and the cheeks. Signs of combination skin include:

  • an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) 
  • enlarged pores in this area
  • cheeks that are equal parts normal and dry

Skin care essentials

Many skin care products are available in the market. You can have as many as you want, but just make it a point to secure these essentials:

  • Cleansers: Before putting anything else on your skin, it is important to clean it thoroughly first. Choose a cleanser that doesn’t leave your skin tight after washing or gives a squeaky-clean feeling since it could mean your skin is stripped of its natural oils. 
  • Toners: Toners cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores on the face. It also moisturizes, protects and refreshes the skin.
  • Serums: A serum helps lock in moisture and is able to hydrate effectively. It is applied before moisturizers and after toners. Serums containing vitamin C or growth factors or peptides are best applied in the morning. 
  • Moisturizer: Moisturizers are a must for oily and dry skin. They balance the moisture in the face thereby reducing skin problems and concealing blemishes.  Use one that is lightweight, gel-based, and doesn’t block your pores. 
  • Sunscreen: Too much sun exposure speeds the aging process. Apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF 15 minutes before heading outdoors, as it takes a while for sunscreen to dry and take effect. Hyperpigmentation is harder to correct, so people with darker skin tones need to protect themselves more from the sun. 
  • Eye creams: You might not need an eye cream, but this is helpful to those suffering from undereye bags, dryness, and puffiness. The skin around the eye is thin and is more sensitive to ingredients, so a special remedy for it may be necessary. 

Where should I start my skincare routine?

A good skincare routine helps in tuning up our complexion and troubleshooting areas that need correcting. When done daily, it fortifies your skin and keeps it clean, glowing, and healthy.

Skincare routines may vary due to personal preferences, but they should include these basic and main steps:

Cleansing

Washing your face is important as it rids your face of grime and dirt and readies it for other products. It is ideal to cleanse your face twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. An ideal cleanser is one that doesn’t strip your face with its essential oils with abrasive ingredients like harsh chemicals.  For everyday cleansing, use these cleanser types that match your skin type: foaming liquid, cream or lotion, oil, melting balm, micellar water.

Toning

Toning balances the skin’s pH level and makes your skin less prone to oiliness and infection. It helps create a more vibrant and smoother appearance post-cleansing. It also adds hydration or exfoliation to the routine. Toning is important since it prepares you for the next step which is moisturizing. Use a toner that is oil-free.

Moisturizing 

Moisturizers are used to hydrate and soften the skin. They are a year-round product that anyone can use regardless of the skin type since it complements the production of sebum on the face which, when excessive, causes many common skin problems like acne. They also provide antioxidant protection and overall skin brightening. Use moisturizers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and vitamin C. 

How to take care of your skin daily

For people who have dry skin and don’t wear a lot of makeup on, washing your face once a day is enough. For those who do paint themselves regularly, it is best to clean your face once during the day and once before bedtime. 

Day

The morning routine is all about prepping yourself from exposure to sun, pollution and the elements. 

Step #1: Cleanser – Wash your face with a gentle face cleanser that suits your skin type and warm water.

Step #2: Toner – Toners are created to restore the skin’s pH that’s altered from repeated use of harsh soaps. They also carry anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants, vitamin B, and toning acids. Apply toner on a cotton pad and gently dab it on your face.

Step #3: Serum – Serums are concentrated with nutrients that help neutralize damage from UV rays and environmental pollutants. To use, simply use your fingertips to gently apply the serum to your face and neck. Then, lightly tap, pat, and smooth the serum out without rubbing it too hard to let the product absorb on its own. You can also use your palms. 

Step #4: Eye cream – The use of eye creams would start to make sense when you reach your 20s since this is the period of our lives where our stress levels are consistently high. The skin around the eyes is thin and it is where the first signs of aging appear. To use, apply the eye cream on the skin below your eye using your ring finger so there is less pressure. 

Step #5: Spot treatment – For people suffering from acne spots, this is the part of the routine where you can apply prescription medications for your acne like benzoyl peroxide, which has a 1-3 hour working time. Check your product packaging or consult your dermatologist to know the best way to apply it

Step #6: Moisturizer – All skin types can benefit from the extra hydration moisturizers provide from a day’s worth of exposure to sun, weather, and harsh chemicals. While the skin is still damp, squeeze a pea-sized amount on your palm, rub it with both hands, and apply on the cheeks, neck, and the rest of the face using a circular motion with gentle upward strokes.

Step #7: Sunscreen – This is the last step in your daytime skin care routine. After your moisturizer has dried, put sunscreen dots on your face and neckand gently massage them all throughout. This is your first line of defence against UV rays which it physically blocks. 

Night

Your evening skincare routine should be about aiding your skin’s natural process of repairing itself at night. This is the best time for additional treatments like exfoliation and overnight masks. 

Step #1: Cleanser – Wash your face again with cleanser and warm water to get rid of the day’s grime, dirt, excess sebum, and makeup. You can use a dedicated makeup remover before washing your face with a gentle cleanser. Cleansers leave your skin fresh and ready to absorb the rest of your skin care regimen.

Step #2: Toners –Toners and essences are almost water-like formulas. The former is more to clean and the latter is more about delivering a treatment. Apply them consecutively and in the same way as you would in the morning to maintain skin hydration. 

Step #3: Eye Cream – Apply eye cream on your eye the same way as you would during the day. Apart from tackling the aging signs on the eye area, it also protects the skin around the eye against potent ingredients from your other skin care products.

Step 4#: Treatments – This is a good follow-up from your daytime spot treatment especially for acne prone skin. Because the body does the bulk of its repairing while we sleep, prescription medicine for spot treatments, retinol creams, exfoliating treatments, and anti-aging serums are better used at night. However, don’t use them all in one go. Use the treatment for your skin’s of-the-moment needs.

Step# 5: Moisturizer or Night Cream – A night moisturizers or night creams are generally thicker and heavier and designed to be absorbed over the course of several hours. They create a protective coating on the skin to prevent water evaporation while you sleep. The key for healing and maintaining healthy skin is to keep skin hydration. 

Additional step: Face masks

FAQ's

Most frequent questions and answers

 is undeniable that pursuing a rigorous skincare routine requires some serious bucks. Quality skin products don’t come cheap, but most of them are made of natural ingredients like common kitchen items or those found in our local grocery shops. 

 There are many alternative skin care treatments that can be made at home. Here‘s a list of simple home remedies you can fashion a paste, scrub, or overnight masks out of: 

  • honey
  • apple cider vinegar
  • aloe vera
  • alum
  • coconut oil
  • castor oil
  • rosehip oil
  • almond oil
  • green tea ice cubes
  • garlic
  • honey
  • oats
  • rice water
  • rose water
  • turmeric
  • ubtan
  • yogurt
  • papaya
  • raw milk

You can also run cold water over your pulse points, such as your wrists, to lower your internal body temperature and calm your skin. If you’re seeking natural treatments, try acupuncture to improve circulation, digestion and immunity internally, all of which supports healthy skin externally. You can do this on a monthly basis.

Truth be told, a ‘flawless skin’ does not exist. There’s bound to be fine lines and faint signs of skin blemishes on our face no matter the amount of treatments or surgeries we undergo. It is a waste of time and resources to aim for unrealistic beauty standards, but what we can do is to live healthy and glow from within. A healthy diet, a sound mind, and a well-balanced lifestyle will give you great skin from the inside out.

For all skin types, these are the basic things to do to protect your skin:

  • Stay hydrated at all times.
  • Change pillow cases on a weekly basis.
  • Wash or wrap up hair before bed.
  • Apply sunscreen every day 15 minutes before heading out. 
  • Exercise regularly to reduce high levels of cortisol or the stress hormone which weaken the skin, bring on acne, and accelerate wrinkling. 
  • Sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Relax by getting enough rest and meditating. 
  • Moisturize regularly.
  • Wash your face every night before hitting the hay.
  • Lay off the excess sugar.
  • Don’t pick or pop your pimples because they might leave permanent scars. 
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Don’t waste money trying every fad product – choosing a good routine and sticking to it is more important.

Bottom line

Knowing your skin type is key to finding the best skin care products and building a skin care routine around it. Even when you use natural ingredients, some products may actually exacerbate your existing skin problems and cause breakouts, more blemishes, and unwanted skin reactions like irritation or excessive exfoliation. 

Always remember that when it comes to applying products on your skin, less is often more. Identifying your skin type and the important active ingredients that it best responds to is a much better approach rather than slathering on too much products on your skin. Stick to items that are fragrance-free and explore your options by trying on new ones.

Patience is an important trait to have when it comes to skin care. Some skin care regimens may not work right away, and you might end up mixing products or altering your routine too much that you actually rob your skin the chance to get used to a product or active agent and maximize their effects. You can only experiment so much, so stop immediately and discontinue use of products when you start getting irritation or allergic reactions.

Stay consistent with your chosen regimen and products. Give them at least two to three months to see full results before switching if you are still unsatisfied. Be committed into doing your day and night routine and trust the process. 

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