It’s never too late to learn how to start a skincare routine. If all you’ve ever done is splash some water on your face and lather up with whatever bar of soap was lying around, there’s definitely room for a good skincare product or two to help keep your skin clean and healthy-looking.
No need to get overwhelmed by a multi-step skincare routine that’s too complicated to keep up consistently. This simple skin care guide will help you narrow down what your skin needs, from moisturizers to sunscreen.
Read on to learn more about the importance of establishing a solid skin care plan, what types of products you should definitely have by your bathroom sink, and some nifty tricks to help make your new skincare routine stick.
Why A Good Skincare Routine Matters: Build Habits That Help You Have Healthy Skin
Skin care isn’t a frivolous or high-maintenance thing. Regardless of your skin type, having a consistent skin care routine is key to keeping skin healthy and protected from environmental factors (like the drying effects of winter and the damaging effects of the sun) and the natural process of aging (which brings about fine lines, the loss of elasticity, and pigmentation).1
It may seem like a tall order given what your skin is fighting against, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. It’s important to cover the basics consistently first — cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin from the sun — before taking into consideration any special needs your skin might have.
Assess Your Lifestyle, Not Just Your Skin Type (Oily Skin, Dry Skin, Sensitive Skin)
Some skin care guides will tell you to base your choice on products based on your skin type, but here’s the thing: it’s just as important to examine your lifestyle and how it may be affecting your skin. Otherwise, normal skin might become combination skin or sensitive skin given certain lifestyle factors, or your currently dry skin or oily skin could have more to do with your habits than genetics.2
Do you spend most of your day in an air conditioned room with recycled stuffy air that could be dehydrating your skin? Or, do you spend a lot of time outdoors exposed to the sun? These factors could be contributing to the current state of your skin, regardless if you believe you have a normal skin type.
Even how much makeup you wear (and how effectively you remove it from your face), how late you stay up at night, and how often you hold your dirty phone up to your face could influence if you have oily skin, dry skin, or more sensitive skin than average.3
Having a clearer picture of how your lifestyle could be impacting your skin will help you not only choose the products you need, but it may also aid you in tweaking your daily habits (such as your diet and stress-relieving go-to’s) to better benefit your skin’s health.
Select A Cleanser And Moisturizer With Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Enzymes, and Antioxidants
Not all cleanser products are created equally, as far as your own unique skin care needs are concerned. The wide range of available cleansers out in the market can make it overwhelming to try to choose the best one. So, instead of judging cleansing products based on how flashy they look, flip them over and read the ingredients list.
Look for active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, a powerful moisturizing compound. Antioxidants and exfoliating enzymes can support the health of your skin and help to gently reveal brighter-looking skin. These are powerful compounds that benefit skin without stripping it of essential moisture or aggravating any irritation or redness you may already have.4
Say Goodbye To Dead Skin Cells: Exfoliate Regularly
Don’t ignore the potential benefits of exfoliating your skin. While cleansing and moisturizing on a daily basis might be enough to get you by, squeezing in an exfoliating step (whether it be through a manual exfoliating treatment weekly, or by choosing products with built-in exfoliating ingredients gentle enough for daily use) may help support skin’s cell renewal process.5
By sloughing off dead skin cells and stimulating your skin, you can help your other skin care products settle into the skin and work their powers more effectively. You can also help revitalize tired-looking skin, as exfoliating can help restore your glow and reduce the appearance of some signs of aging.6
Never Skimp On The Sunscreen
Don’t ever skip sunscreen. This is perhaps the most important factor in any skin care guide. Sun protection from sunscreen is very important if you want healthy skin. In fact, sunscreen may help protect your skin from damage caused by the harmful rays of the sun (like skin darkening and spots).7
Opt for a lightweight formulation sunscreen without added ingredients (like scent) that may irritate skin. If you’re not sure what works best for you, ask your dermatologist for their sunscreen suggestions.
Incorporate A Good Eye Cream Into Your Skincare Regimen
The skin underneath your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face. This means it reacts to your skin care products differently — it is more sensitive and prone to its own set of skin problems.8
Experts recommend choosing a separate eye cream that specifically targets your delicate under eye area. A good eye cream can help correct discoloration, improve the appearance of fine lines, and hydrate the area well. Your regular moisturizer might be too harsh, so invest in a concentrated formula that’ll be kind to your eye area.9
How To Make Your Skin Care Habit Stick
It can be challenging to build a habit, especially if you’re new to skin care. Here are some tips that may help:
- Talk to a dermatologist to get a clearer idea of what your skin needs (as well as some product recommendations). This may help you be more consistent, since your skincare routine will be “doctor’s orders.”
- Make it more intuitive. Put your night-time moisturizer and a small mirror on your bedside table so you’ll be reminded to apply some before hitting the sack. Display your products prominently by your bathroom sink so you’re motivated to use them.
- Make it a self-care project. Take photos of your face regularly, and track the improvements to your skin’s appearance and quality.
Don’t underestimate the impact a skin care routine can have on both your health and self-esteem. Consider it an act of self-care — you’re investing in both your skin’s health and your own confidence each time you slather on a quality moisturizer or sunscreen. Adding a few minutes to your bathroom routine will benefit your skin for the years to come.
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