Skincare is such a personal thing that trying to tackle the matter for the masses becomes a complicated task. For some women, the idea of going to bed without the routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing is close to sacrilege. For others… that’s not sacrilege, it’s just another, normal night.
One of the major problems that those who don’t have an established skincare routine face is confusion. Scan your eyes down a skincare aisle and it won’t be long until your head is spinning. The names are confusing; there’s promised fixes for problems you didn’t even know you had; and there’s descriptions of skin issues that are truly befuddling. For those “in the know”, we might fling around words like “chemical exfoliator” or “glycolic acid” as if we were born into this world knowing what that meant – but from an outside perspective, it’s confusing. Perhaps even confusing enough to just forgo the whole idea entirely.
If that sounds familiar – don’t run away! Maybe now is the chance to finally break down the barriers and introduce yourself to the world of skincare. This is the first step to changing the way you think about your skin forever – and for the better, too.
Let’s Start With The Basics
There are a selection of products that would be considered the “basics”, so let’s get those defined first and then we can skip to the more complex stuff. Deep breath, ladies, we’re diving in.
- Cleansing. What it says on the tin: cleansing your skin, initially from makeup and then for a deep clean. Cleansing can be done with a balm, an oil or a lotion. Not a soap. Never a soap.
- Toner. Toner is one of those products that people use because they know they should, but ask someone for a definition and they won’t be afraid to supply as answer beyond: “I guess it’s toning…?”. The purpose of a toner is to restore the skin to its natural pH after cleansing.
- Moisturizer. The purpose of a moisturizer is right there: to moisturize the skin.
So those are the basics and if that’s as far as you go, then fair enough. The above should keep your skin in fairly good condition – not the best, but passable.
Fancy ratcheting things up a gear, though? Then there’s a few extra steps. To keep things as simple as possible, let’s insert the point at which these products would enter into the established cleanse-tone-moisturize routine.
- Exfoliate. Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells, so as to make room for fresh skin and get that all-important glowing complexion. You can exfoliate with a scrub or with a chemical exfoliant (which sounds scarier than it actually is).
- Serum. What you want to achieve with your serum is totally up to you. Serums exist for every skincare complaint known to mankind, from eye circles, to acne, to dealing with anti aging concerns. A serum is a concentrated product designed to target a specific issue.
- Essence. Essences are new to the market in the west, but they’ve been used for years in South Korean beauty – which is still undergoing a popularity surge over here. An essence is meant to give the rest of your skincare a boost. It’s not essential, but they tend to be pleasant to use.
- Moisturizer. This is a basic step, but you can take it up a notch by adding another skin benefit in with your moisturizer. For example, you could look for a moisturizer that’s oil free to help with acne. Or if you have age concerns, then it’s easy enough to find an anti aging firming cream which you can use across your face and onto the jawbone and neck (always a problematic region for aging issues!). Your moisturizer can do more than just provide moisture, basically.
Types Of Ingredients
Of course, there are hundreds of different options for all of these different products. They all claim to offer something special, something innovative, something you can’t be without. So how do you choose?
It’s best to find products by looking for those related to any issues you have, such as uneven skin, dry skin, or wanting to tackle the first signs of aging. From there, you’ll be directed towards products targeting this concern. You can then research any individual component, especially if it features prominently in the advertising, before deciding it’s worth plumping for. Keep an eye out for acids and peptides, all of which have great scientific backing for their efficacy.
So are you going to start a skincare regime?