Skincare Jargon broken down…
Skincare can be a mind field especially for beginners. The industry can be totally overwhelming with weekly product launches and the latest “must have” ingredient – do you really need it or is it just a trend. I’m going to help by breaking down a few basic skincare rules which will have you on your way to healthier, brighter more youthful skin!
- Skin Type – It’s really important to understand your skin type. Using products for the wrong skin type can cause irritation or breakouts. The most common types are oily, acne-prone, combination, dry skin. Be careful not to confuse dehydrated skin with dry skin (that’s a whole new post)
- Routine – You must have a routine and stick to it! It’s all about consistency starting with cleansing, when asked about skincare I always say “how do you cleanse” cleansing your face correctly is the foundation to great skin.
- Double Cleansing – Is a must! The first cleanse will remove all the dirt/pollution and make-up is removed, the second cleanse is when you are cleaning your skin. You can use any cleansing gel/cream/balm which ever suits you (I like balms/creams) however you must always removed with a warm flannel or wash cloth. This gives your skin a light daily exfoliation and ensures all the product is removed.
- Product Layering – You may have 3 steps or 6 steps just make sure you are layering them in the correct order to benefit the most. A rule of thumb when applying multiple active serums/cream is choosing the lightest consistency first to the thickest last. The steps of a regular routine look like this: Cleanse, tone (optional) active serum, eye cream (optional) face cream, sunscreen.
- Don’t Apply Too Much Product – In skincare more is not more. This can cause pilling or even block your pores. What’s more it’s a waste of product and money.
- Patch Test – Okay I’m guilty I don’t often do this one as I’m so excited to start using a new product. However it is a good habit to get into, perhaps when using new active serums/acids/retinols. The best way is to apply some to the inside of your arm for a few hours to see how your skin reacts to it.
- Expired Products – All products have a little symbol stating their shelf life once opened. It’s best not to use products beyond this date as it may well be harbouring bacteria which you do not want on your face! If you can’t remember roughly when you got it then it’s probably best to bin it.
- Expensive vs Budget – It doesn’t have to be expensive to be good – just because it cost an arm and a leg doesn’t always mean the ingredients are better quality or higher potency! (you may be just footing the bill of the luxury packaging and pricey PR with that celebrity “face of”) There are so many amazing high street brands or indie brands these days with amazing formulas that work at reasonable price points.
- Sunscreen – Is everything! I’m guilty of not wearing one all year round, sun damage is one of the most effect ways to speed up ageing. There are some really nice ones for the face that aren’t white and feel like you aren’t wearing one.
- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate – An essential step to good skincare, but I’m not talking harsh grainy exfoliators we might of used in the 80’s or even 90’s (no st.ives apricot scrub over here!) I’m talking modern chemical exfoliators AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acid) or BHA’s (beta hydroxy acid) they do a deep cleanse dissolving dead skin cells which in turn promotes new skin regeneration. You can do this 2-3 times a week. Once a week is a good place to start.
- Vitamin C – In skin care (not supplements) is a strong antioxidant. It will help protect your skin and slow down the ageing process. Over time it noticeably brightens your completion and your skin will be glowing.
- Hydration is Key – Every skin type (including oily) NEEDS hydration. This is your first step after cleansing in the form of a good hyaluronic acid (again doesn’t need to be pricey) We aren’t talking thick heavy creams we are talking serums with slip factor. Key ingredients to look out for Hyaluronic, glycerin, peptides and ceramides.
- Masking – Face masks should be part of your weekly routine. There are so many different masks available (sheet mask, cream mask, charcoal, peeling, clay, gel etc) You can do a mini hydration mask for 10mins each morning – pop it on before you jump in the shower. This will hydrate and smooth your skin.
- Sleep Masks – Pop a face mask on before bed. It’s the best way to get maximum results. Some masks have such amazing ingredients why wouldn’t you want it in your skin longer! You do not need to buy a product that specifies it’s a “sleep mask” you can use any mask. Best masks to for are hydrating ones overnight (not a clearing mask like a clay mask) containing anti-ageing ingredients to wake up to fresh plumped skin.
- Retinols – I’m a newbie and need to step up to this game changer. Retinols improve the appearance of fine lines and help even out skin tone. Retinol is a form of vitamin A. They are only to be used at night and introduced slowly starting with over the counter retinols at a low percentage. I’ve recently started using The Inkey List Retinol 1% in a slow release formula. (you must always wear a sunscreen the day after)
- Product Sizing – How much product you really need, I think you will be surprised at the amount required to do it’s job well. Cleanser – 1 grape, Toner/Acid Toner – 2/3 cotton pad, Eye Cream – 2 pine nuts, Serum – 20p piece, Moisturiser – 20p piece, Face Mask – 1strawberry.
- Skin Reactions – Your skin may “purge” from time to time (a reaction to a product) or an imbalance of the skin. You may have upset your skins barrier function. Don’t panic stop using the product immediately and go back to basics! Use a gentle cleanser and keep your skin hydrated.
- Seasonal Skincare – You should switch up your routine throughout the year. The winter months your skin is battling a combination of cold temperatures outside and increased central heating inside. Which will dry out your skin so needs to be treated that way. In summer your skin is dealing with humidity and sun exposure so you need to treat your skin for it’s needs.
- Skin Type Will Change As You Get Older – Apart from seasonal changes your skin care needs will change throughout the decades. As we grow old the levels of collagen decline leading to fine lines and wrinkles and pigmentation may start showing. It’s best to see a dermatologist for any serious concerns.
- Neck/Bust Creams? – No no no you do not need to invest in these products they are just a marketers dream. Instead use your face serums/creams. When you are applying your face serums pull them down to your neck – you may need to go for a second pump.
- Golden Skincare Rules All ages – Get to know your skin type – learn how to layer – wear SPF daily!
Thanks for reading – happy skincare!