A few of my friends and I have been talking a lot lately about what it takes to achieve good skin. The steps required. The products. What is necessary and what isn't? How much is too much?
Here is my take on the "basic" skin care routine.
To start, here's a detailed breakdown of a basic skin care routine (as basic as I could make it, at least):
1. Remove all traces of makeup. In my opinion, this is a really important step. When you sleep with makeup on, the makeup can wipe off on your pillow case and onto other areas of your face, potentially clogging your pores, dirtying your face, and more. I have to admit though, I have fallen asleep with my makeup on plenty of times myself. Still! Doesn't mean I don't regard this as an important step. :)
Here an article I found that goes into a little more depth:
Take Eye Makeup Off Before Bedtime
My current HG Eye Makeup Remover is Sonia Kashuk's Remove. It's a liquid I use in conjunction with soft cotton squares to remove my eye makeup. I usually just let it sit on my eye to soak in. I wipe it across my eyes as little as possible. I prefer liquid makeup removers over facial wipes or cleansing cloths because those tug on your face. The ones I've tried were actually a bit rough on my face.
2. Tie up any loose hair using hair ties, headbands, and/or bobby pins.
3. Rinse your face with luke warm water. Make sure your face is thoroughly covered in water so that the cleanser reaches all areas. You don't want to wash with water that is hot or cold because those temperatures can shock your skin, causing the capillaries beneath to break which results in redness/discoloring around your nose, cheeks, and eyes.
4. Squeeze a nickel sized amount of cleanser/face wash onto your hands, rub your hands together (that's just what I do), and gently massage into skin using a gentle, circular motion. Emphasis on "gentle" because tugging/pulling on your skin can also lead to broken capillaries. I usually massage for about 10 seconds. Use a cleanser that is gentle enough for your skin and don't forget your to wash your hairline and neck too.
5. Rinse off the cleanser with luke warm water.
6. Pat your face dry with a clean and soft face towel. Make sure to pat dry (not rub or drag the towl) to reduce wrinkles as you mature.
7. Apply toner, if applicable. I've never noticed a difference in my skin with/without the use of toner so I don't use it in my normal skin care routine.
8. Apply treatment to your skin. This is where you apply any treatments you might have like benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids, topical exfoliants, etc.
Currently, I apply BHA liquid all over my face, wait for it to soak in & dry, and then apply benzoyl peroxide on specific problem areas (pimples). In my experience, I would be wary of applying lotion on top of benzoyl peroxide (at least during the day) because it may leave a lot of while chalkiness on your face.
9. Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. No matter if your skin is oily or dry, everyone should moisturize. Apply gently. Never drag at your skin because this can potentially cause wrinkles/broken capillaries/loss of elasticity in the future. I apply my lotion by squeezing a small amount into my hands, rubbing my hands together, and then just patting it gently onto my face. Tug at your skin at little as possible. Don't forget to apply moisturizer to your neck and décolleté.
10. At this point, if it's the morning time, you'll want to apply sunscreen all over your face, neck, and décolleté. The two latter are most often forgotten but are also just as important because the skin on these areas is thinner and much more sensitive than the skin on your rest of your body. Honestly, when I think of old people, the first thing I think of is how wrinkly their hands, neck, and chests are.
Only apply sunscreen IN MORNING or during the day. Never at night before bed. Just use a normal moisturizer at night. To save a step, you can buy a moisturizer that already has SPF in it.
- Exfoliate regularly. If using a physical exfoliator, try and look for an exfoliator without “polyethylene” in it because those are actually plastic exfoliating beads and they’ll just be washed into the oceans! Making your own homemade exfoliator is also really easy. Currently, I using a chemical exfoliant: a BHA liquid. It's water soluble so it's capable of exfoliating the surface of my skin AND inside my pores unlike physical exfoliators which only exfoliate the surface of your skin.
- Avoid touching your face during the day as much as you can. Bacteria from your hands can easily be transferred to your face.
- Wash twice a day: once in the morning and once at night, preferably after you brush your teeth so that you don’t wash off any lotion from your face while you’re rinsing your mouth.
- Use your bare hands to wash your face. In my opinion, this is a lot gentler than using a wash cloth.
- Try not to squeeze or pick at your pimples. Even though I know it can be realllllly tempting. I still do it myself sometimes. :/ If you don't know how to properly remove blackheads/pimples, you might just push it further down the pore and aggravate it.
- Change your pillowcase often. I try to change mine once a week or once every two weeks.
Well hopefully this was of some help to those of you looking for some skin care routine clarification. Please comment/drop me an email if you have questions/comments! :)
Something I've been wondering about:
- If I use the same products on my body as on my face, will I have nice skin on my body too? Sometimes, I notice that an older woman's face might look as supple as a 20 year old's skin but everything else (mainly arms, neck, décolleté) are not? I don't know how one might go about putting toner (if one used toner) over their entire body though. Hah.
And to leave you with a picture of delicious pastries:
Mmm. Yummy :)