There are literally thousands of skincare products from all over the world. Just drop by a local drugstore and you will see a long aisle of skincare products that promise healthier, younger-looking, and smooth skin.
What you need in your skincare regimen comprises of the necessities: cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and sunscreen. Plus those products that address whatever issues you have with your complexion.
The good news is that caring for your skin doesn't have to be confusing, expensive, or complicated. That is if you know what you should have in your skincare kit or cabinet.
What You Need In Your Skin Care Regimen
The first thing you need to do when deciding on what products to use for your skincare routine is to cut out all the noise. Not everybody will need 10 different products for their skin, each one promising a different kind of benefit.
In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends not using too many products, because doing so can lead to skin irritation.
According to this New York Times guide, there are three steps to a good skincare regimen:
But Before Everything Else: Sunscreen
It is no exaggeration that you if you only buy one skincare product, then it has to be sunscreen. Consistent use of sunscreen can prevent the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also help with the appearance of pores and imperfections in your complexion.
Just make sure that you have a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 30 or more. Plus, you should know about the two main types of ingredients used in sunscreens: chemical and physical.
Some sunscreens use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that is not absorbed by your skin. Instead, they cover it to prevent ultraviolet rays from getting into your body.
Because physical components are not absorbed by your skin, there's not much risk of skin irritation. But it may leave a grayish or white tint on your skin, especially for those who have darker skin tones.
Other sunscreens use octinoxate, oxybenzone, and other chemicals that are absorbed by your skin and then fights sun damage. The ingredients are transparent and you won't even know if somebody is wearing sunscreen with chemical ingredients.
It's also very easy to apply and lightweight. But it can irritate people with sensitive skin. And there's always that added risk of ill-effects to your health.
How Do You Use Sunscreen?
No matter which type of sunscreen you use, you should apply it 30 minutes before you go out of the house and then apply again every two hours.
For your face, use a nickel-size dollop of sunscreen to fully cover your face. You should also use around two tablespoons of the product to cover other exposed areas of your body.
This step involves washing your face with the right cleanser: a product that is made especially for your face. You might want to avoid using soap or body wash to clean your face. Instead, the AAD recommends using a gentle cleanser and then gently patting your face dry.
Facial cleansers clear away the grime, oils, and dirt from your skin. It also sloughs off the dead skin cells, making it easier for new skin cells to form and emerge. As such, cleansers for the face can help you achieve healthier and younger-looking skin.
Choosing a Facial Cleanser
When choosing a facial cleanser, you should keep in mind what type of skin you have.
- Normal skin has a good balance of oil, durability, and moisture.
- Dry skin is characterized by facial pores that tend to become less and less visible a few hours after you wash
- Oily skin looks greasy or shiny after a few hours.
- Sensitive skin may feel itchy or type, plus it's prone to allergic reactions when your skin is exposed to certain allergens
- Combination skin is what you have when some parts of your skin are oily while others are sensitive or dry.
Knowing your skin type, you can now focus on products that are formulated for it. You certainly want to stay away from products with too much alcohol if you have dry skin. Meanwhile, those with oily skin should choose a product that has a lower pH level that can help in easily washing all that oil away.
People with sensitive skin should avoid products that have heavy fragrances or chemicals that can trigger an outbreak.
Here’s a cheat sheet on what type of facial cleansers you should use depending on your skin type and any skin issues you have.
Your Skin Type
What You Should Choose
These products absorb the oil on your skin while moisturizing it.
Acne-prone or oily skin
Foaming liquid cleansers
These products turn into foam that can help break down the excess oil and bring out dirt from your pores.
Eczema-prone, red, or dry skin
Lotion or cream
These facial cleansers have emollients that can hydrate your skin while cleaning.
Aging or mature skin
These products melt into your skin and can soothe it. It's also excellent for removing heavy makeup.
Maintaining your skin
These soap-free cleansers act like a magnet, clearing out oil and debris without drying your skin.
One of the things that you can do is to choose a facial cleanser that has all-natural ingredients. Chemicals can be really harsh for your skin and most of the time skincare products will have ingredients that you can't even pronounce right the first time.
Buy a product like the Piper Berry Kale Protein Cleanser that brings together the beneficial effects of kale, carrot, cucumber, and aloe vera in one nifty bottle. Aloe vera can soothe and fight inflammation, while cucumber nourishes and hydrates your skin.
Meanwhile, kale plies your skin with antioxidants that can keep the free radicals away and help reverse skin damage. Carrots have vitamin A and beta-carotene that makes your skin's lipid barrier stronger.
But that's not all the benefits you get, this product has several other natural ingredients such as green tea leaf extract, chamomile flower extract, and lemon protein that brings their own set of benefits to make your skin smooth, clean, and younger-looking.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face?
Choose a cleanser that's mild enough to be used twice daily. Experts recommend that you should wash your face in the morning and at night.
However, if you're pressed to wash your face only once daily, such as when you're running out of cleanser or if you think your skin is getting dry, wash your face at night and skip the morning wash.
Toning Your Skin
After choosing a cleanser, your next job is to look for a toner that will help keep your skin soft and smooth. Toners can also help calm your skin and ease breakouts, dry patches, and redness.
Toners give your skin an added boost of nutrients and help your skin absorb whatever ingredients are used in the products your using. This means that toners can help ensure that your skincare products are more effective.
Toners are a great way to add more beneficial ingredients to your skin care regimen and get more care for your complexion. It's also another layer of replenishment. It's best when you apply toners after cleaning your skin and before everything else because it primes your skin to absorb all other ingredients making your skincare products more effective.
Ingredients in toners can help replenish the nutrients that your skin needs. Like with cleansers, you should choose a toner that is formulated for your skin type.
- Hydrating toners are great for people with dry skin. Read the label and look for ingredients such as rose hips seed, jojoba oil, peptides, glycolic acid, or glycolipids. Stay away from toners that have alcohol in them, as well as those with mineral oil, lauryl sulfate, or petrolatum.
- Refreshing toners are perfect for people with oily skin. With a gentle formula, look for ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate, AHA, sodium PCA, and other oil-free components. Don't use products that have a high alcohol content because this will make your skin dry and signal your skin to produce more oil to compensate.
- If you have combination skin, use both hydrating and refreshing toners. Use the refreshing toner in the summer months and the other one during the winter.
- Mild toners are best for sensitive skin. They should be alcohol-, acid-, and artificial fragrance-free. What's more, ingredients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can also help.
What are the ingredients you should be looking for in a toner?
- Alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid can help get rid of dead skin cells and prevent clogging of pores. It can also help heal sun-damaged skin and brightens your skin.
- Hyaluronic acid moistens your skin and makes it dewy looking. This ingredient can also fade fine lines by plumping your skin.
- Green tea or rose water helps to calm irritation and redness. These two ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamin C and E can help fight free radicals and make your skin look younger.
Hydrating Your Skin
Moisturizers can help hydrate and soften your skin. Apply moisturizers after showers or when the skin is a bit damp, as these products can seal in the moisture.
When using a moisturizer, you should choose those with humectants, or ingredients that draw water into your skin such as urea, lactic acid, or glycerin. You should also look for emollients, such as jojoba oil, sunflower oil, or jojoba.
Overall, you should consider:
- Heavier, oil-based moisturizers are great for restoring moisture to dry skin.
- Ointments that contain petroleum jelly is great for cracked and extremely dry skin.
- Oily skin still benefits from moisturizers, especially those that have more water in them. Water-based moisturizers are lightweight enough not to clog your pores.
- People with combination skin needs a medium-weight moisturizer that also offers sun protection.
- On the other hand, people with aging skin benefits from an oil-based product that has petroleum jelly as one of the ingredients.
Products such as the Piper Berry Adaptogens Superfruits Moisturizer helps your skin boost collagen production and get rid of free radicals. Some of its ingredients include squalane that can make your skin feel smooth and soft, while also fading the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Sea buckthorn encourages your skin cells to replenish, which makes repairing skin damage caused by ultraviolet rays. It also contains licorice root that can fight inflammation. You can also use licorice root to even out the skin tone and brighten your skin.
Further, it has bayberry extract that can help your skin fight the signs of aging.
Other Products You Can Consider for Your Skincare Regimen
Of course, once you have the essentials down pat, you are well on your way to healthy, smooth, soft, and youthful-looking skin. But for those who want more, there are always options.
There is a reason why masks have become very popular in recent years. These products can help boost your skincare. The ingredients are much easily absorbed by your skin, compared to other product types.
For instance, the Adaptogens Superfruits Mask can easily exfoliate and brighten your skin when you apply it, so you can get rid of dead skin cells and stubborn dirt. This mask uses natural ingredients with a lot of skin-loving benefits, such as:
- Kaolin clay, which makes your skin a lot softer and smoother
- Sea buckthorn, which helps increase your skin's elasticity while repairing sun-damaged skin
- Licorice root helps to even out your skin tone while also lessening inflammation
- Bayberry gives your skin a healthy glow while making it look younger by fading wrinkles and fine lines.
Masks provide your skin with added care. It’s a good way to pamper yourself too, allowing you to get some me time to relax and take a breather while your skin gets more loving.
If you have a particular skin issue, then you might want to add serums to your routine. Serums contain higher and more concentrated doses of active ingredients that can help you with your skin problems. What ingredients should you be looking for? Well, that depends on what issues you have.
Some of the more common ingredients include:
- Hyaluronic acid for dry skin because it can seal moisture while making your skin barrier stronger.
- Vitamin C if you have dull skin and dark spots
- Vitamin B3, peptides, and retinol, which facilitates collagen production, as well as elastin, both of which prevent sagging skin and wrinkles.
- Niacinamide and colloidal sulfur fights inflammation and redness, while also fighting acne
If you have more than one skin problem, you can use different products to address these. For instance, you can slather a vitamin C serum all over your face, and then use something with hyaluronic acid to target dryer patches on your face.
People with dry skin, or those who suffer from drier than usual skin during winter, will need to exfoliate. Exfoliants remove dead skin cells and flaky skin and promote cell turnover.
Exfoliation should only be a once or twice a week thing, too much and it's inviting more problems for your skin. It's easy to get addicted to exfoliation because you can instantly feel your skin getting smoother after one try. You have clearer pores as well.
Use products with chemical exfoliants and avoid scrubs, to make sure that the protective barrier of your skin is not damaged.
The Low Down: Choosing the Products for Your Skincare Regimen
There are other product types out there that can help you maintain healthy and beautiful skin. But these are the products that you should prioritize. Remember to give them time to work, but you will probably not have too many skin issues just by using these products alone.
Choosing products for your skincare regimen is pretty simple once you drown out the noise. Skincare products should help you protect your skin from aggressors, repair, and cleanse it.
The general rule is in the morning, your skincare focus should be protecting your skin from the pollution, dirt, grime, and everything else that can attack your skin. At night, the focus shifts to cleansing and repair.
Once you understand that, you will need to read the label and see what ingredients are being used. You don't just pick the first product that looks great but can harm your skin. Knowing your skin type and any skin problems you have, you should be able to choose a skincare product that works.
What You Need in Your Skincare Regimen
Out of thousands of products out there promising youthful, beautiful, and healthy skin, you probably only need three to six products in your skincare kit or cabinet. Choose products that have natural ingredients that are carefully researched and formulated by the manufacturer.
Lastly, make sure that you choose products that can effectively correct skin problems, as well as clean, tone, and moisturize your skin.
And oh, never forget the sunscreen.