Body Lotion Isn’t For Your Face:
4 Steps To Great Skin
JUNE 26, 2020
“I don’t have a skincare routine…”
Routine is too generous of a word for a one step process that consists of face soap. And, in the drier months, a moisturizer that could quite possibly be intended for use on the body, rather than face. That’s about as far as I’ve gone, with any sort of regime for my precious face–until now.
I write this piece candidly. Transparently. Whole-heartedly, and honestly. Because I’m confident there are others like me. Who stand alongside all of the fourteen year old boys in skincare knowledge, chuckling at the ‘10-step skincare routine’ memes on the ‘gram, but pondering what those ten steps could possibly be. Are those all…serums?! Creams? Idk.
When you think about it–and I’ve been thinking about it a lot these days, between sun damage, pollution, and literal dirt, your skin goes through a whole lot, daily. Not to mention the layers of makeup we slap on most days. So it only makes sense that our face gets the cleansing and pampering it deserves as it (literally) faces all things first with us, in this chaotic world. But we’re all just learning.
So here’s to that–and building your first skincare routine with me.
Learn Your Skin Type
First up–what’s your skin type? Knowing your skin type is the first step to choosing the right products in your skincare lineup. For example, when you’re shopping, look for products that indicate an alignment with one of the following four that best describes your skin:
- Dry skin
- Oily skin
- Combination skin
- Normal Skin
How do you know what your skin type is? Think about your skin’s characteristics daily, as well as seasonally. Does your skin develop an oily film throughout the course of the day, sans primer? You probably have oily skin. If your skin changes seasonally, or differs in dryness from one part of the face to another, you probably have combination skin.
Step #1: Cleanse
Firstly, there are two types of cleansers to consider: Oil-based, and water-based. Experts say that you should use them both. ‘Both?!’, you ask? Here’s the low-down:
Oil-based cleansers are great for breaking up and dissolving all of that makeup and buildup on your skin, seemingly magically. Seem like an extra step you could do without? Consider this a replacement for your current makeup remover. Apply 1-2 pumps on dry skin, gently massaging your face for about one minute. Rinse off.
Water-based cleansers break down and wash away that excess dirt and sebum from your pores. Dampen your face and add water to suds up the cleanser on your hands before massaging your face gently for another minute. Rinse off.
Pat dry with a clean towel, and don’t linger. In other words, avoid sitting in your towel on the side of your bathtub while you stare at the wall. Save that meditation moment for post-skincare routine because you want to apply your next step to a fresh face. So get on with the rest of it right away before your skin begins to produce oil as a natural moisturizer!
I note to my fellow skincare noobs: Cleansing does not equal exfoliating. That drugstore three-in-one morning scrub is no bueno anymore. This was news to me, but surely I’m not alone in this discovery?
Step #2: Apply Your Serums
To put it simply, serums are secret skin weapons, packed with concentrated doses of active ingredients. Here are a few core serums to consider:
- Hyaluronic acid: seals in hydration while strengthening the top layer of your skin’s barrier function to prevent moisture loss
- Vitamin C: brightens skin, including any dark spots
- Retinol: stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, proteins that aid in the prevention of lines and wrinkles. It’s important to note that retinol is not sun-stable and as a result, is better suited to be a part of your evening skin routine
To apply effectively, drop 1-2 droplets of serum on palms before patting onto your skin.
Step #3: Moisturize
Moisturizers assist in preventing water loss through the outer layers of skin. The basic function of a moisturizer is to soften and hydrate. Essentially, a good moisturizer serves as a healthy drink of water for your skin, if you will. For oily skin, opt for a lightweight gel-based moisturizer, and for drier, try a heavier lotion or cream.
Step #4: Protect your skin from the sun
Sunscreen. The cheapest, most effective way to avoid wrinkles and dark spots.
Experts recommend using a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30, daily. For more coverage when you’re heading outdoors, or on vacation, make sure to additionally use something stronger, like an SPF 60, and apply regularly.
It’s a lot to digest, I know. But when you think about it, these four steps should take you less than four minutes to complete; that’s less than ten minutes per day. And folks, we can chalk those ten minutes up to self-care minutes, which, in all honesty sounds like time well spent. So join me in seriously treating your skin, because Botox is expensive, and an effective skincare routine feels good. *Places cucumber slices back on eyelids.*
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