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Having the best skincare routine for your skin is key to keeping your body healthy. Your skin is one of the largest organs and it works hard on a daily basis to protect your body from harmful things such as UV rays. Developing a skincare routine can be overwhelming given all of the options and opinions on different products out there, but establishing a basic skincare routine isn’t impossible.
A basic skincare routine
The most basic skincare routine consists of three steps:
- Cleansing (washing your face)
- Toning (balancing your skin)
- Moisturizing (hydrating and softening your skin)
- Sunscreen (protects against UV rays)
Washing your face may seem trivial but it is a critical step in your skincare routine. Think about all of the things your skin may come into contact with. Dirt, makeup, sweat, other pollutants. All of this needs to be washed away on a daily basis to keep your skin healthy and radiant. It’s recommended that you wash your face twice a day, morning and night, to avoid clogged pores, acne and dullness.
Finding the right facial cleanser for your skin type
Your skin type determines what type of facial cleanser is best for you. You do have healthy oils that are essential to your skin health that you do not want to strip away with an overly harsh cleanser.
Foaming liquid is activated with water or pumped into your palm and morphs into an airy foam that helps break down dirt and excess sebum from pores. This is best for oily or acne-prone skin.
Creams or lotions are formulated with emollients such as shea butter or glycerin which wipe away impurities and hydrate your skin. This is best for dry, red and/or eczema-prone skin.
Oil absorbs oil. Argan oil is non-comedogenic (meaning that it shouldn’t clog pores or trigger acne), lightweight, moisturizing and well-tolerated. This is great for sensitive skin.
Melting balm is a rich and butter-like salve that turns into a liquid when rubbed onto your skin. This can be used without water to dissolve heavy makeup and is usually quite soothing. This is great for mature skin.
Micellar water is often used in French routines. It is a soap-free option that contains molecules that attract debris and oil, similar to a magnet. This is good for almost any skin type and there is no need to rinse or rub it in.
Toner should be used after cleansing but before anything else. Toner acts as an extra layer of nutrients and helps the other products in your skincare routine absorb better. Most toners can be used twice a day.
Try to only use toners with exfoliating acids at night or every other day.
When it comes down to it, moisturizer works to prevent water loss through the outermost layers of skin though they can also complement naturally occurring oils and ceramides in your skin. Moisturizer can get a little more complicated as there are different ones for daytime and nighttime.
Daytime cream typically contains SPF and has a lighter consistency whereas nighttime creams are a bit heavier and do a little more work on your skin. Our skin works to restore and repair overnight while we sleep, which is why night creams are heavier.
Like the cleanser, your skin type determines which type of moisturizer is best for you.
Gel moisturizer is a lightweight water-based option that absorbs quickly and is best for oily skin types.
Cream/soft cream is heavier and more oil-based than a lotion. This is best for dry skin.
Balm is like a cream and has a heavier texture. This is great for inflamed/sensitive skin (not acne-prone.)
Lotion is the classic level of moisturizer that feels more moisturizing than a gel but still absorbs well. This works best with normal or combination skin.
Sunscreen is hands down the most important part of your skincare routine. Beyond protecting yourself from skin cancer, sunscreen also helps prevent brown spots, skin discolorations, red veins, and blotchiness and slows down the development of wrinkled/aging skin.
If you have problematic skin, it is best to consult your doctor or a dermatologist to find the right products for you. I am not a skin specialist but I have done a lot of research to find products that suit my skin best.