We all like to look our best. If we had the ability to choose to have smooth, beautiful and glowing skin then we would. It’s a no-brainer. Choosing to have a solid skin care routine is certainly one of the ways to ensuring that this is achievable.
But what is a good skin care routine? Is there a one-size fits all?… Unfortunately no. We all have different skin types and each skin type will need it’s own special, loving care. So the question then is, how do I know what is good for me?
Whether you have dry, oily, combination, sensitive or acne prone skin we will try to give a basic, easy to understand guide on how to start your journey into the sometimes overwhelming world of skin care products.
Any good skincare routine should combine a cleanser followed by a toner, then a serum and lastly a moisturiser.
The cleanser that you choose should be one that matches your individual skin requirements. For oily/combination/acne prone skin a good place to start would be a gel cleanser or something like Elizabeth’s Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser for combination skin to ensure that not too much oil is added. If you have dry skin then something like a cream cleanser would be best for you. StriVectin Comforting Cream Cleanser would be ideal for this.
Next, we would recommend some sort of toner. There are three main categories for choosing a toner. First, if you have dry skin then a toner with little to no alcohol would be best. Alcohol can dry out your skin so stay away from it if you can. Lancôme Tonique Confort Hydrating Toner would be something that we would suggest for this. If you have oily skin then you may want to choose a toner that also exfoliates. This is because of the increased likelihood of oil becoming trapped in your pores and possibly causing breakouts. If you have combination skin then it’s a bit of a judgement call but you could go for either type of cleanser but again, try to stay away from any that include alcohol, especially if it is a high concentration.
Next comes the serum. People may ask if it is necessary to use both a serum and a moisturiser… well if you want the best results then yes it is. A serum is designed to give your skin deeper reaching benefits than a moisturiser can. They penetrate down into the epidermis and provide a concentrated boost of essential nourishment to your skin. The various types of serums include, brightening serums, exfoliating serums, anti ageing serums, hydrating serums and firming serums. Depending on what you hope to achieve and what your skin needs will, obviously dictate what you choose.
And lastly, moisturisers. There are countless different moisturisers out there but for simplicity we have grouped them into 3 main categories. Humectants, Emollients and Occlusive. In a nutshell humectants are designed for people with dry skin primarily and help to seal in water to hydrate the epidermis (the top layers of skin). They do this by drawing in water from the surrounding air and by pulling water up from the dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis) to hydrate the surface skin layers. These are also great if you have oily skin but still want to moisturise as they won’t add any excess oil to your skin. Emollients are great because they replicate the action of the oils naturally found in your skin. It may also help reduce the amount of insensible fluid loss (we all lose an indeterminate about of water each day, partially through the gaps between the skin cells) by filling the gaps between skin cells. Lastly in our list is the Occlusives. These are designed for extremely dry skin or for people with conditions such as eczema. They create a physical barrier in between your skin and your surroundings, sealing in moisture and protecting from further water loss. These are understandably very thick when compared to other moisturisers.