This week, Tola gives you a guide to putting together your skincare routine.
Skincare has been a popular topic of discussion recently, and has people aiming to achieve clear and flawless skin but not knowing where to start.
The first step to formulating your skin care routine is to determine what type of skin you have. There are five different skin types: normal, oily, combination, dry and sensitive.
Normal skin types usually have little to no texture, are not often prone to breakouts, and have minimal pores. Those with normal skin are able to use the majority of skincare products available.
As for oily skin types, the skin thinks it is too dry and therefore produces more oils than are needed in order to compensate. Many think that the answer to drying out oily skin is to not use serums, moisturisers or any oil-based product, however this approach will do the opposite and make the skin produce more oils. Because of this, the skin is more prone to breakouts and acne.
Those who wear makeup and have oily skin may also notice that their makeup is not lasting as long throughout the day.
Combination skin types are a combination of both dry and oily skin. The T-zone maybe oily but the cheeks may be dry for example, but it differs from person to person.
Dry skin types, however, don’t produce enough oils, so the skin becomes dry. The dryness typically appears flaky and in patches, around the perimeter of the face, under the eyes and cheeks. While dry skin can typically be naturally occurring, external factors can also play a part in what your skin is like: things such as cold weather, dry air, exposure to harsh chemicals in soaps or other products, excessively washing the skin, skin conditions, unbalanced skin Ph, or smoking, for example.
Sensitive skin types are usually prone to redness as well as breakouts and are easily irritable. Once you have determined your skin type, you can now figure out what is right for your skin and put together a skincare routine.
Your routine should consist of four main steps: cleansing, exfoliating, toning, and then moisturising.
Cleansing then removes the excess dirt from your pores. There are cleansers tailored to your specific skin types, so choose the one made for you. When cleansing, it is advised that you do so for at least one minute, this to make sure that the cleanser has time to absorb in the surface of your skin and break down the dirt in your pores. Be careful as not to over cleanse as this can strip your skin of its natural oils.
For men, Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash
Women: Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
Exfoliating gets rid of the skin dead cells and reveals a brighter, softer surface. Over-exfoliating can lead to your skin becoming irritated and inflamed so it is advised to exfoliate two to three times a week. Though they are popular, and they may feel like they are having an effect, exfoliating scrubs aren’t good for your skin as they create micro dermal abrasions on the surface of the skin which leads to inflammation and irritation. The micro abrasions are also entry points for germs and bacteria which of course will lead to breakouts – which is what we’re are trying to avoid in the first place! Instead of using scrubs, you can use gel or chemical exfoliators as these are much gentler on the skin. Chemical exfoliators – typically AHA’s, PHA’s and BHA’s – can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so be sure to wear an SPF.
Glossier Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector
The Body Shop Drops of Light™ Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution
The purpose of a facial toner is to restore your skin to its natural PH levels after cleansing and exfoliating and they can be used day and night. Look for toners that include soothing or calming ingredients such as rosewater or chamomile. Some toners may contain alcohol which is an antibacterial ingredient – although it’s not a bad ingredient, alcohol is drying and can be an irritant so don’t use them excessively.
For Women: Pixi Glow Tonic
For Men: Anthony astringent oil control toner pads
If you want to be extra and add a few more steps to your skincare routine, you can include serums to add some more moisture. A serum is a product that you use between cleansing and moisturising, with the aim of delivering potent chemicals to the skin to retain moisture. Serums are made up of smaller molecules that can deeply penetrate into the skin so it can do what it was created to do. Serums can be used day and night depending on the product and brand.
Vitamin C serums can help tackle hyperpigmentation and can brighten the skin. Other serums such as those that contain Hyaluronic acid are popular too as it can help with redness, uneven skin tone, ageing, and texture, to name a few. “It’s a humectant that attracts water, hydrating the skin without making it oily,” explains William Kwan, MD, a San Francisco-based dermatologist.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The skin around our eyes is thinner than the rest of our face and therefore, blood vessels are more visible, making that area appear darker. Incorporating the use of eye creams into your routine can aid with reducing dark circles, puffiness and even premature wrinkles. The skin around the eyes can also be one of the driest parts of our face. Many women think that you don’t have to start using eye creams until you are in your early to mid-thirties, but the truth is the sooner the better. Think preventative rather that curing. Eye creams are applied after serums and before moisturiser with the ring finger as it gentler and less likely to tug on the skin.
For Women: Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream
For Men: L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Vita Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
Moisturising is essential as it stops the skin from drying out. Regularly hydrating your skin will better protect your skin against the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, when your skin is properly moisturised it is stronger, plumper and more radiantlooking. As mentioned previously, moisturising also helps balance your skin’s natural oil production. Bonus; like primer, it helps your makeup apply better.
For women: Glossier Priming Moisturiser
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser
For men: Bulldog Skincare For Men Protective Moisturiser
Face masks are a very popular trend, with almost everyone and their mother using them. You have clay face masks, gel, sheet masks and even glitter masks. Although face masks can be gimmicky, they contain butylene glycol. This acts as a delivery agent and solvent, which allows your skin to absorb the other ingredients. There are masks for moisture, elasticity, soothing, detoxing, and brightening. If you feel that there are too many options and you aren’t sure as to which products will work for you, look at your skin type and think about the benefits you are looking for.
Garnier Moisture Bomb Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask
Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow MaskGlamglow Thirstymud™ Hydrating Treatment Glam To Go
SPF… the forgotten step in many skincare routines. SPF isn’t only for when you are on holiday sunbathing, it helps protect your skin again free radicals, air pollutants and most importantly UVA and UVB rays –which can cause serious sun damage. SPF also helps tackle hyperpigmentation, especially with darker skin tones and is antiageing. Apply after moisturiser and be sure to apply every two to three hours.
Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 30
Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face SPF50
Though skincare is typically viewed as feminine, men should also aim to keep a skincare regime just as women do. Over time, harsh elements in the environment wear on the skin making it dryer and tougher. And don’t forget that with age comes wrinkles and sagging in the skin. A good skin care routine can slow down the unwelcomed effects of time and our environment.
You can read more of Tola’s work at AffinityMagazine.com