All your Skincare questions answered
Author: Danielle Cauchi
What is a good skin care routine?
A skin care routine is vital to keeping your skin healthy and happy. But you need to be consistent and apply the routine every day to see long term changes. As they say, good skin is not Express Delivery – you can’t have it in two days!
To properly care for your skin, you need to have a day and night routine. Using specific products for the day and for the night will allow your skin to thrive, not only in the short-term but for the years ahead.
The best method is to use a three-step process both in the day and the night. These steps are:
Here is an example skin care routine that will have your skin recovering in as short a time as possible. Of course, as you get more adept with this routine you can trial other products that can assist specific skin care concerns, such as anti-aging, dark circles and dryness.
Any skin care routine has to begin with cleansing. But contrary to popular belief, not all cleansers are made equal. Try find a gentle face wash, especially if you are planning on using more Active Ingredients later in your routine.
If you have a toner, this is the time to apply it. A toner is not an essential part of a skin care routine, but it is useful to balance your skin’s pH. If your skin is sensitive or dry, a hydrating toner will be helpful in soothing your skin. For acne-prone skin, a toner with Salicylic Acid is the best product for you.
Using a serum for your day skin care routine is a good step in reversing damage from sun and pollution. Typically, a Vitamin C serum is your best friend for this. You want to find a stable form of Vitamin C so that your skin absorbs the molecules.
Three good examples of stable forms of Vitamin C are:
- AAP (aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate): Good for minimizing hyperpigmentation, age and sun spots.
- MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate): Less risk of skin irritation and known to combat free radicals, prevent signs of damage from UV rays and environmental pollutants.
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (BV-OSC): Brightens and evens out skin tone, prevents UV damage, reduces melanin production and improves collagen synthesis.
- Eye cream
Gently use an eye cream to protect your under eye area. As this area is very delicate, it’s best to apply your product using your ring finger.
Now that you’ve finished the treatment part of your routine, you need to moisturise your skin. Moisturisers keep your skin hydrated and also help strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.
For your day time skin care routine, use a lighter moisturiser that will soak in to your skin quickly. This type of moisturiser is also best used as it will avoid piling under your makeup.
This is by far the most important step of your day time skin care routine. Make sure to apply sunscreen even if you are predominantly indoors, as UV rays can still come through the windows.
The sun is the largest factor in your skin aging prematurely, so this step outweighs all the others. Never leave home without applying your sunscreen!
Once again, start your routine off with a cleanser. But this time you can use an oil-based face wash to remove your makeup if you prefer instead of a gentle face wash. It’s entirely your call!
Similar to the day routine, this is the time to use a toner if you have one you like to use or want to try.
- Serums and Treatments
This is now the time to use your serums or treatments that include Active Ingredients. AHA Acids are a great option to use at night, as it helps build collagen and improve radiance by clearing away dead skin cells.
You can also use Retinol at this time. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that helps with decreasing wrinkles, bright spots and pore size.
Just be careful if using AHA Acids like Glycolic Acid together with Retinol, as this can irritate your skin. If you are intent on using an AHA Acid with Retinol, it is recommended that you don’t use them together in the same routine. Either use on alternating days, or one in the morning and one in the evening.
- Eye cream
It’s recommended to ‘train’ your skin around your eyes to tolerate Active Ingredients, as the results are very effective once your skin can handle them. Try to use a pat a bit of your serum or treatment from Step 3 around your eye area before applying your eye cream.
Your skin will reap the benefits of these Active Ingredients!
- Acne treatment
If you have a spot, you can apply your acne-solution at this time. But remember, the best way to treat acne is to stop it occurring in the first place with a strong preventative routine (like this one!) that you consistently do. Otherwise you’re just fighting spot-fires as they occur.
Moisturising at night is an essential part of the skin care routine. Moisturisers create a barrier that seals in the Active Ingredients and Hydration. You will wake up with plump, glowing skin after using a moisturiser at the end of your night time skin care routine.
- Face oil
This is an optional last step, but if you have a face oil, this is the time to apply it. Face oils lock in moisture while you sleep and don’t cause breakouts for those with acne or oily skin (despite what some people worry about). Face oils with Retinol and AHA Acids are a great way to hydrate and soften the skin overnight by adding extra moisture.
How to take care of your skin
Taking care of your skin goes beyond just a consistent skin care routine. You also need to manage outside influences that can affect your skin negatively.
After all, your skin is another body part, so taking care of yourself will keep you, and your skin, healthy.
Some tips to take care of your skin are below.
Protect yourself from the sun
The sun is the number one danger to your skin. Too much exposure over years can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin care related issues. Not to mention the very real threat of skin cancer.
To protect yourself, always use sunscreen, even if you’re going to be indoors. UV rays can come through the windows, so sunscreen is always best used.
Protective clothing and avoiding direct sunshine during the hottest hours of the day will also help protect your skin.
Smoking can lead to lifelong damage to your skin. It will make your skin appear older, paler and more wrinkled.
In addition to the many other dangers to your health related to smoking, your skin’s health will undoubtably suffer from smoking.
Be gentle with your skin
Too much care can also take a toll on your skin if you are using the wrong products. Use gentle face washes to limit over-cleansing and avoid strong soaps that can be harmful.
Try avoid hot showers or baths, as this can remove natural oils from your skin. Warm water and limited bath or shower time is recommended for healthy skin.
Eat a healthy diet
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins for optimal skin health. Drinking plenty of water will also keep your skin hydrated.
Manage your stress
Stress is often a contributing factor in poor skin health. Stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger breakouts or other skin issues. Managing your stress levels will help keep your skin happy and healthy.
Does skin care expire?
Skin care can expire but usually will last a minimum of 36 months.
But you can extend the life of a skin care product and it’s efficacy by storing it in a fridge, as it will allow the ingredients to remain stable.
How to care for acne prone skin
Acne is a part of life for many people, but treating your skin can become more tricky. Acne can occur when your pores become clogged by substances on the surface of the skin or from the mixture of natural oils and dead skin cells shed from within the pore.
But acne can also be caused by hormonal changes, medicines, sweat and other reasons.
To care for acne-prone skin, use these tips:
- Cleanse your skin gently
- Remove all your makeup and dirt from your face twice a day (morning and night)
- Avoid oil-based cosmetics
- Use a moisturizer or skin cream that is water-based or "noncomedogenic" or that clearly states that is safe to use on the face and will not cause acne
How to take care of dry skin daily
Dry skin can be painful, uncomfortable and unattractive. It can present as red, itchy patches and is common in many areas of the body.
Managing your dry skin is crucial to treating it to avoid painful fissures of the skin.
Follow these tips to care for your dry skin daily:
- Avoid long, hot showers: Hot water strips the skin of natural oils faster than warm water. Try to keep your showers or baths between 5-10 minutes in warm water once a day.
- Use a shower gel or cleanser with a moisturiser: Try to find an unscented, soap-free cleanser.
- Moisturise after your shower: Pat your skin with a towel after you shower and after you wash your face or hands. This should leave your skin damp. Apply a moisturiser to your skin within five minutes of washing to lock in the moisture.
What is cosmeceutical skin care?
The term ‘cosmeceutical’ refers to a product that sits between a traditional cosmetic product and a pharmaceutical product.
Cosmeceutical skin care products are scientifically formulated with Active Ingredients to deliver better results for your skin.
There are a range of different ingredients designed to treat specific skin care concerns, such as Salicylic Acid to fight acne or Niacinamide to reduce redness and moisture loss.
Always be careful when using multiple cosmeceutical skin care products in the one skin care routine, as they can at times irritate the skin if used together.