By Madison Hansen
What is Skincare?
Skincare is the application and dedication to carefully applying certain products to your skin to help care for and enhance its appearance. Your skin takes a lot of damage whether you realize it or not, but proper care can help your skin appear healthier and younger while saving yourself a quick buck by avoiding the salon.
Building a Basic Routine
While washing your face and applying a simple sunscreen is the quickest way to get out the door, this has very little to no actual benefits for your skin. Our skin is the biggest organ in our bodies with a total area of over 15 square feet. Throughout the day, our skin sheds cells, and not having a basic skincare routine will lead to short term success and long-term problems.
In a skincare routine that involves the least amount of products, you should be using a gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. A cleanser will clean your pores while leaving your skin balanced and your skin barrier healthy. An overly stripping cleanser will leave your skin dry and a too moisturizing cleanser can cause your skin to be overly oily.
A moisturizer is important because it helps keep the skin barrier functioning properly. Your skin barrier protects your skin from harsh elements and keeps your skin moisturized. This outermost layer of the epidermis is very important. It doesn’t just keep the skin looking healthier but also protects against infectious agents, chemicals, systemic toxicity and allergens. Not to mention, moisturizing properly is what keeps skin looking young and fresh.
Lastly and arguable the most crucial step is sunscreen. Sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and sun damage. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 at a minimum. Any SPF larger than 30 doesn’t show much evidence of having any more protection. Contrary to belief, having SPF in your makeup routine still might not be enough. A foundation with an SPF of 15 might seem like you’re good to go but really doesn’t have enough. If your makeup routine already contains SPF, practice applying more, this will be beneficial in the long run.
Building a Complex Routine
For those of you who are seriously dedicated to the skincare game, there is a complex routine that shows you better results. In a complex routine, there are actually two routines! A morning and a night routine. In your morning routine, you should be following seven steps: cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, acne spot treatment, and moisturizer. In your night routine, you should be following five steps: cleanser, toner, eye cream, treatments and moisturizing.
Some of these steps we’ve already discussed the importance of, but some of the others might sound brand new to you. For example, a toner. Toners can be designed to help with many issues: pores, vitamins, antioxidants, etc. While toners can be useful, they are not essential to these routines.
Does Timing Matter?
When the time comes to actually apply the product, timing does matter. Your morning routine is prepping your skin to protect itself from the harsh environment like the sun and dirt. Your night routine is for recovery and treatment. Either way, when you are applying your skincare routine you want to make sure you give enough time for each product to sink in, between 5-30 minutes.
With so many steps and so little time in the day, it makes sense that not everyone waits that long. We suggest applying products between certain morning and night rituals. For example, in the morning after applying your toner, pause and brush your teeth, then apply your serums. It may not be the proper absorption time, but it will give your product some time to at least dry into your skin.
Addressing Skincare Myths
Since the beginning of skincare, there have always been skincare myths: “chemical-free is better for you!”, “You’ll age faster if you wear makeup!”, or even “If it’s burning, that means its working!” All of these can and have been proven incorrect. Everybody’s skin is different, what may work for others might not for you. Chemically, might be better for others and worse for some. Makeup, if properly taken off at night, doesn’t affect your skin in the long run. A burning sensation doesn’t mean it’s working, it means you need to take it off! Some tingling is normal, but a burning sensation means your skin is in pain! So, take it off with a cool washcloth!
Your Skin is your Friend, Love it!
Overall, skincare can be a large trial and error process. What might work for others might not work for you and vice versa. Despite having clear or blemished skin, your skin makes up a large portion of your body to protect you, so why not protect it? Taking the proper steps for any skin concerns and building a proper routine will be beneficial in the long run. A proper skincare routine will keep your skin healthy, and you happy!