The proper skincare routine is the white whale of the beauty industry, a subject frequently discussed on popular forums with self-proclaimed beauty gurus attempting to sift through an ocean of misinformation. Even the idea of there being a “proper” skincare routine is laughed off in some circles, as some believe that standardizing skincare is impossible because everyone’s skin is unique.
However, research supports that while there may not be a perfect, one-size-fits-all way of taking care of skin, there’s certainly a wrong way to go about it.
What We're Doing Wrong
A recent study shows that 80% of Americans currently wash their face the wrong way, either using potentially damaging chemicals such as hand soaps or bar soaps or foregoing washing their face at all. This lack of deep-cleaning and the use of badly-formulated products actually do more harm than good, causing damage to your acid mantle and causing your skin to feel weak, sensitive, or (if foregoing washing at all) causing issues like acne and blemishes to pop up.
As we age, the consequences of not taking care of our skin become more dire, as mistreatment of our skin for years can lead to unhealthy skin conditions developing, while weaker skin barriers leave us more vulnerable to disease. As such, even a simple skincare routine with the most essential ingredients only can significantly benefit your health down the road. That’s without the most obvious benefit of a thorough, consistent skincare routine: keeping the appearance of wrinkles and other obvious signs of aging and skin damage at bay.
A Simple Skincare Routine
The below article is meant to be read as a skincare routine that can be adapted to many different lifestyles, not representing the full range of what your routine could be, but including all of the essentials to comprise a manageable, affordable alternative to the most extreme skincare routines. Ensuring that your skin stays youthful and healthy is a bit of a labor of love, as you’ll see as you read on: but with the proper skincare routine, one that heals and protects from damage from common threats like wind and blue light, your overall quality of life will increase dramatically in the long and short term.
Let’s begin with step 1: cleansers.
Step 1: Cleanser
There’s a reason that most skincare routines start with cleansing your face, as it’s one of the few inarguable elements of every beneficial skincare routine. This is because in order for your skin to be able to absorb the other products you plan on applying, your pores must first be cleansed.
Things that clog your pores like excess dirt, grime, and even makeup need to be removed before attempting to do anything else, as best case, you won’t get any benefit from the products you slather on top of the clogged pores. Worst case, you’re actually trapping all of that dirt under layers of protection, doing more damage than good. A cream-based cleanser that removes these elements gently is ideal, so conduct some research on cleansers that don’t use harsh materials that will exacerbate any damage.
Step 2: Toner
After cleansing your skin, you can also choose to prime it with a hydrating toner. Toners further prep your skin for the products to follow, gently adding moisture to the skin and soothing any acne or bumps present. Toners are meant to be lightweight products, laying the groundwork for what comes next without caking onto your face.
You may want to consider using a toner if you struggle with acne, as certain toners are made to break down acne over time.
Step 3: Serum
After using a toner, consider applying a serum. Serums offer concentrated doses of nutrients, antioxidants, and hydration to the skin. Because of their light weight and rapid delivery systems, serums allow powerful ingredients to absorb deep into the skin. For people who have suffered long-term skin damage because of ineffective skincare routines, serums may be a great way to get “caught up,” so to speak.
Some serums are stronger than others, so if you notice any sensitivity after using a serum, don’t hesitate to either look for other options or use your serum more infrequently.
Step 4: Eye Cream
A good rule of thumb (one that’s informing the order of this list) is that lighter products should be used first, as they are unlikely to penetrate heavier products. As such, before moving on to heavier products, you should apply your eye creams.
Known for their anti-aging benefits, eye creams gently soothe the area around your eyes, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, preventing rashes and breakouts, and even (if your eye cream has an ingredient like caffeine in it) tightening the area around your eyes.
Step 5: Moisturizer
Moisturizers serve two purposes: they keep the layers of your skin healthy by adding much-needed hydration, and they trap the other useful products in place, ensuring that you get the benefits of using them.
Applying a light moisturizer at least once a day is one of the best things you can do for your skin’s long-term health and should be an absolute priority. However, we’re still missing our last essential ingredient: sunscreen.
Step 6: Sunscreen
It isn’t enough to address the damage already done to your skin: you need a preventative measure in place to make sure that minimal damage occurs moving forward. For its role in that process, sunscreen is an essential ingredient in any skincare routine. Sunscreen does the most lifting out of any other ingredient in your routine (aside from cleansers), as it works tirelessly to make sure that all of your hard work isn’t undone by hazards like UV light, blue light, or pollution.
There are many different ways to incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine. My Day Screen™ offers clean, mineral suncare that hydrates and protects your skin. The Tinted Drops act as sunscreen, moisturizer, and tinted base - combining multiple steps into one value-added product. The Sheer Face Cream - a light, antioxidant-rich lotion - is perfect for those active days outdoors when water-resistant SPF coverage is required.
Once you top off your skincare routine with the appropriate sunscreen, you’re ready to begin your beauty routine. For a clean, hydrating, and antioxidant-filled sunscreen with 3-in-1 benefits, check out My Day Screen™ Tinted Drops.
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