No matter your skin type, having a skincare routine is very important. Your skin is assaulted everyday – pollution, harsh weather conditions, poor diet, stress and even gravity its health.
Your first line of defense against these internal and external elements is an ideal skin care routine for your skin type.
Before using targeted treatments against issues like acne, dehydration or eczema, make sure to have the following steps in your skin care routine.
The Essential Elements of a Skin Care Routine
Cleansing your skin regularly is essential to keeping clogged pores at bay. Every day, bacteria, excess sebum, dead skin cells, pollution and other gunk accumulate on skin. When you properly cleanse your face at least once a day with a gentle hydrating cleanser, you will get rid of this gunk and prepare your face for the next step in the skin care routine.
Unless you have oily or combination skin, toning may not be an essential part of your daily skin care routine. Read more on toning here.
Exfoliation will get rid of dead skin that would could clog pores and cause breakouts and also make it easier for beneficial cosmetic ingredients to penetrate the skin. There are two ways to do this. Read more about physical and chemical exfoliation.
Using well formulated moisturizers like lotions, creams, oils, eye creams will repair your moisture barrier and reduce the amount of water that leaves the skin.
As we grow older, skin also loses its ability to retain moisture. When you do not moisturize, especially after cleansing and exfoliating, your skin cells become so dehydrated that elastin and collagen (the proteins that keep our skin youthful and firm) fibers become brittle and break or clump together. Add that to shrinking fat cells and you will have dull, dry, sensitive skin.
Make sure your moisturizers are full of beneficial ingredients and well packaged to avoid the degradation of said beneficial ingredients.
Sun protection needs to be a priority in everyone’s skin care routine. UV exposure will release harmful free radicals that contribute to a host of issues like premature aging, uneven skin tone and skin cancer.
Whether it is sunny or cloudy; whether or not you’re staying indoors all day, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has SPF 15 at the very least. Sunscreen is tested for its SPF rating at 2 mg/cm2 which comes to about ¼ teaspoon for the average face to get the recommended protection.
If you have dark skin like I do, I’m sure you have experienced the dreaded white caste from the zinc oxide and titanium oxide in sunscreen. Many Asian brands make great sunscreen that leave no greasy white caste behind.
This is optional. If you have acne, spot treatments with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are a great way to deal with pesky zits that seem to appear overnight.
Do you have a skin care routine? What is your favorite part of it? Let me know in the comments below.