Knowing what Skin care essentials you need may feel intimidating. There are so many products, and even more opinions out there, where do you start? While the ingredients you choose will be specific to your needs, this will guide you through a simple skincare routine, no treatments or serums included. If you are wondering where to start, this is it!
Skin Care Essentials
Pre-Cleanse/First Cleanse: I know what you are thinking, but stay with me. Makeup, dead skin cells, and other environmental factors can leave your skin congested. Double cleansing, with a pre-cleanse first, will removes makeup and preps the skin for cleanser.
Frequency: Do this every single night and your skin will thank you.
Cleanse: now that you have a blank slate (thanks to your first cleanse) your cleanser can actually do its job. The active ingredients in the cleanser will be able to work on skin, and not meet a barrier of makeup or dead skin.
Frequency: Cleansing should be done morning and night.
Tone: Toner can be the unsung hero of a skin care routine. It may seem like a simple product, but they can do so much. A toner is essential to maintaining PH balance and can be used as a gentle exfoliant or treatment. But be wary of using one with an alcohol or witch hazel base, as they can be stripping to the skins barrier.
Frequency: Toner should be used morning and night, after your cleanse.
Exfoliate: An essential skin care product, exfoliation can make or break your skin care routine. Did you know that the outer most layers of your skin, are actually made up of dead skin cells? While this does provide some protection to the more fragile layers below, too much buildup can give the skin a dull, uneven appearance and may even accentuate fine lines. Gently exfoliating regularly will help prevent this and keep your skin health. Exfoliations may be manual (like a scrub) or chemical (like an enzyme or acid peel).
Frequency: Depending on your skin type and what product you are using you may Exfoliate every other day or just 1-2 times a week
Mask: Masks are the most versatile product in this essential skin care routine. There are so many options! Masks can be hydrating, exfoliating or treat other concerns, you can truly customize to your skins specific needs. Frequency will depend on product and your skin type.
Frequency: Gentle masks can be used daily, while treatment or exfoliating masks may be used less frequently or only as needed.
Moisturizer: Not talked about enough, is the importance of moisturizer! Skin wants to be supple and moist. When we are not giving our skin the hydration it needs, our bodies often overcompensate with additional oil production. This can cause breakouts and other uncomfortable things, so do yourself and favor and give your skin that hydration it needs! If you are not going to do anything else, cleansing and moisturizing are the 2 essential skin care steps I would encourage.
Frequency: This step is important both morning and night.
Bonus Hydration: A facial oil can be really helpful in your dry spots or after exfoliating treatments. Layer oil on top of Moisturizer as needed. I suggest layering oil on top of the moisturizer because the molecules are larger and moisturizer may have a difficult time penetrating if you use it first.
Sunscreen: Believe it or not, this is the MOST important step in your skincare routine. Using an SPF gives our skin much needed protection from the harmful UV rays and environmental factors we are exposed to every single day. Contrary to popular belief, SPF does not inhibit Vitamin D absorption and it is still important in the winter or on gloomy days. The UVA and UVB rays that cause skin damage, do penetrate clouds. You can often find moisturizers and foundations that include sunscreen, and get 2 steps in one. I will always suggest an SPF of *at least* 30, and the FDA recommends SPF 15 as a minimum.
Frequency: SPF should be worn daily and reapplied as necessary when spending extended periods in direct sunlight.
Skin care routines can be customized and tailored to your specific skin type and concerns, this is a very basic guideline, don’t be afraid to try new things once you are comfortable with your skin care essentials.