Like many men and women, the multitude of skin care products available in the market must confound you. There are products you can buy over the counter from your favorite drug store. There are also products you can get only from your dermatologist, cosmetologist, or spa. These, they got from professional skin care suppliers.
But no matter how complicated choosing skin care products may be, the basic rules of skin care remain the same. For beautifully glowing, healthy skin, you need to be consistent about doing five things: cleanse, tone, correct, hydrate, and protect.
Remember how your parents and grandparents have repeatedly nagged you about washing your face every morning and evening? That’s age-old wisdom talking, and they’re right. Make it a habit to wash or cleanse your face at least twice a day. Do it in the morning before your day begins and again in the evening before sleeping.
Whatever you do in the name of skin care, you have to start with clean skin. And washing your face is the way you get rid of the oils that have accumulated overnight or throughout the day. It is how you remove the makeup and products you put on your face and purge your skin of pollutants and contaminants.
Comedones are skin bumps and papules or acne, and they include whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, nodules, and cystic lesions. And they mainly form when oil and dead skin cells clog your hair follicles.
Non-comedogenic cleansers are formulated to ensure they will not:
- Clog your skin.
- Cause irritation that could trigger breakouts.
- Block your sebaceous or oil glands, which could lead to the formation of plugs.
In other words, they are cleansers that will not cause or trigger acne. Note, however, that, technically speaking, the term “non-comedogenic” does not mean it prevents acne.
Well, of course, it should do so indirectly. By keeping your skin clean, your pores clear, and your glands unclogged, oil should be able to flow properly instead of combining with dirt and dead skin cells to form bumps and plugs. However, they’re not a magical formula that will prevent acne caused by pollutants, contaminants, and other products.
Do you know those cleansers that are supposed to exfoliate or lift dead skin cells to reveal the fresh skin underneath? Getting rid of dead skin cells also help prevent the formation of comedones that can cause bumps and plugs to form.
Do not abuse exfoliation. Yes, exfoliation can be beneficial, but once a week should suffice. A longer interval between exfoliations should work, too.
And whatever you do, avoid exfoliants with abrasives.
After cleansing and patting your face dry, use toner. Put a few drops of product on your hand and apply them to your face.
Toning is a priming step for the succeeding steps. Traditionally, toners were astringent and designed to lift excess oil off the skin. Thus, toners used to be drying and something most people used with oily or acne-prone skin.
However, toners are a lot different now. There are now toners for different skin types, not just oily skin.
For acne-prone skin, toners may contain acids to remove dead skin cells. For dry skin, toners with glycerin or hyaluronic acid can help with hydration. Toners may also have antioxidants for oxidation protection and anti-inflammatory ingredients to protect against irritation.
So, it’s essential to select your toner carefully. Choose a toner that is right for your skin type, and go for toners with nourishing and protective ingredients.
After applying toner, wait for a few minutes before applying corrective skin care products, which you probably know as serums.
Serums are thick, rich skin care products packed with highly concentrated, active ingredients with a specific purpose. Depending on the formulation, a serum can:
- Brighten skin
- Reduce sebum production
- Rejuvenate and tighten skin
- Protect against irritation and redness
- Provide antioxidants
- Prevent acne
- Improve the appearance of dark circles
- Lighten dark spots
You don’t have to and shouldn’t use all kinds of serums. Choose the serums that will address your specific needs. Of course, like most people, you might have multiple issues you wish to correct. In that case, choose serums that you may layer on top of each other.
After applying corrective serum and waiting for your skin to fully absorb it, seal in the serum’s benefits by applying moisturizer.
Moisturizers come in different types and forms. You want a light gel moisturizer, one that absorbs quickly and easily into your skin if you have oily, acne-prone skin. Leave the moisturizing creams and balms to those with dry skin.
Moisturizers are also usually classified into daytime moisturizers and nighttime moisturizers.
After applying moisturizer, wait a few minutes, then apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. UVA and UVB rays are the principal cause of premature skin aging.
Sunblock can be chemical, physical, or a combination of both. Chemical sunscreens are made up of chemicals. These absorb into the skin to protect against UV rays. They are easy to apply and use under makeup, but be careful about vetting your sunscreen’s ingredients as some can be quite hazardous.
On the other hand, physical sunscreens are made with ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These minerals form a physical layer of protection on top of the skin, protecting against the sun’s UV rays. Mineral sunscreens provide no chemical risk because they’re not absorbed into the skin. However, they can leave an unattractive white cast.
Indeed, it can be challenging to use mineral sunscreens under makeup. Still, with a bit of experience and a little know-how, you should find it easy to apply sunscreen under your makeup and even apply sunscreen over your makeup, as needed.
Note: It may be unnecessary to specify this, but just to be clear, this final step should be reserved only for your morning skin care routine. To reiterate, you don’t need to apply sunblock before bedtime.
Consistency Is Key
Consistency is key to beautifully healthy skin. It is a habit you must form and enforce daily.
Every morning, before applying makeup, you cleanse, tone, correct, hydrate, and protect. In the evening, before bedtime, cleanse, tone, correct, and hydrate. Repeat everything the next day.
And remember to always be careful about using skin care products. Patch testing is crucial to check for irritation and potential allergic reaction before trying anything new.