Something so basic like skincare can often be overwhelming to those that are just starting out. From washing your face twice a day and whenever it’s dirty to a whole 10 step Korean routine can be daunting even for those used to skincare.
Taking care of your skin is important as it takes the dirt and grime off your face, nourishes and hydrates, and at the same time protects it from harmful UV rays. If proper care is not taken, the skin is susceptible to breakage and infection.
Every skincare routine must consist of a gentle cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturizer and SPF.
Three simple tricks before starting off any skincare regimen.
A. Know your skin type.
You cannot go around using products meant for dry skin if you have a normal skin type. There are various ways to determine which category you fall in. The easiest way is to wash your face with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Do not apply any moisturizers, serums or treatments. After 60 minutes, examine your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead. Assess whether your skin feels dry, especially if you make any facial expressions. Or if there’s any shine.
If your skin feels tight, your skin is likely dry. Likewise, if there is a noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is mostly normal/combination. If there is shine all over, you most likely have oily skin. Also, if your skin is prone to redness or irritation, you have a sensitive skin type.
B. See a doctor for skin issues.
If you have cystic acne, rosacea, eczema, etc. it is best to seek professional help. Remember skin is an organ and like every other part of your body, if it’s infected or damaged, it needs a doctor.
C. Patch test.
Always patch test a product before you apply it. Patch testing is a method to ensure that the product will work for your skin. You may never know what ingredient you are allergic to, or what might suit someone with the same skin type may not suit you.
For a patch test, apply the product behind your ears and wait for a period of 24 hours to see if there’s an allergic reaction.
How to build a routine
Structuring a skincare routine is quite easy. You need to follow the Cleanse – Moisturise – Protect rule: Cleanser, Moisturizer, SPF.
Choose a cleanser (face wash) that is mild, and cleans your face. You can also use the double cleansing method (cleansing with an oil-based cleanser first) to remove sunscreen and/or makeup before bed.
Avoid cleansers that contain sulfate as these are harsh chemicals and prone to irritate the skin. Cleanse/wash your face twice a day and no more than that. Avoid over-cleansing even if it’s with normal water.
A moisturizer will prevent moisture loss and create a barrier between your skin and the outer atmosphere. It is an important step and should not be skipped. This means that even if you have oily skin, you must moisturize.
Sun damage is real and irreversible. Never step out of the house without applying SPF. Even when you’re indoors, use SPF of 15-20. It is important to safeguard our skin against harmful rays. Apply SPF 20-30 minutes before leaving the house.
Exfoliant and Masking-
Exfoliation is a great way to get rid of dead skin cells. It removes whiteheads and also makes the skin radiant. You can choose from physical exfoliant ( granular, like sugar scrubs ) to chemical exfoliant ( acids in the form of a liquid )
Masking helps detoxify the skin and provide a glow to your face. Masking is like skin treatment, it can provide hydration, relaxation, unclog pores, etc. Masks come in various forms like clay, peel off, cream, sleeping masks, sheet masks among others.
In our next segment, we will talk about skincare for oily skin.