I was previously employed as an Esthetician and have obsessed over skincare and beauty products since I could crawl. I was that salon professional who recommended products to people because it is what I sold. I was that person who spent $250 on a new serum because, “it’s worth it” (eeeh maybe NOT). I am here to give you my insight on what I have learned over the years. I hope you will learn from my mistakes and save your money by not feeding into all of the hype. Hopefully this will break down what is important in skincare, and what is not.
The basics of a good skin routine are:
· Cleansing efficiently with a washcloth or brush (i.e. Clarisonic or similar)
· Occasionally exfoliating
· Using an antioxidant serum and SPF during the day
· Using a good moisturizer
· For wrinkles, using a Retinol or Retin-A. Tretinoin is the generic form of Retin-A.
Many of us are overwhelmed when it comes to picking the right skincare products. The more money I spend, the better it works? If a salon professional recommends it, is it exactly what I need? If I buy it in a department or specialty store, is it better quality? If a magazine recommends it, does it work? The answers to these questions are NO! The two main rules of choosing products are 1) What is your skin type and 2) Which products YOU prefer that work best.
The most effective way to achieve phenomenal skin is to have a consistent at-home routine, twice a day, every day. When you wake up in the morning and are getting ready for the day, make time for your skin! If you have to set your alarm 5 minutes early then please, I am telling you, it is worth it. So here is an example of a morning skin routine: cleanse, tone, prevent, and moisturize.
1) Cleanse. Depending on your skin type, you can use a gel or a cream cleanser. Even though I have dry skin, I prefer a gel cleanser because of the foam and I like the “tightness” I feel when it is dry. Normally, if you have sensitive or dry skin you would want to use a cream cleanser. Rule # 2 in action; use the products that YOU prefer.
Remember, a cleanser is just a cleanser. There is no need to spend a lot of money on something that is getting washed down the sink. Cetaphil is sold at any drugstore or supermarket, is very reasonable, and will last forever! Cetaphil is good for all skin types and comes in a gel or a cream cleanser. I currently use Obagi and I like it, but I also enjoy trying new products. So after this bottle I will move on to something else (more likely less expensive).
If you are prone to acne (I know this sounds cliché) but Proactive works wonders. If it irritates your skin, you can use extra moisturizer (step 4) to calm down the redness. The main reason I like Proactive is because of the tiny beads it uses for exfoliation. It also contains benzoyl peroxide which kills bacteria. So the combination of the beads and benzoyl really clear and prevent those dreaded blackheads!
2) Tone. A lot of people skip toning because they think it is a waste of time. Toning not only removes any residue left over from cleansing, but it also restores your skin to the proper pH balance. Restoring your skin to the proper pH allows the following products to be more effective. Again, no need to spend a lot of money on a toner. Just beware that you don’t use alcohol (HORRIBLE for your skin) or salicylic acid unless you have very oily, acne prone skin.
3) Prevent. This is where you use a vitamin C antioxidant serum to prevent cellular damage from free radicals. Vitamin C also helps your skin repair itself and aids in the production of collagen (collagen is what keeps your skin plump and provides support). I use SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, however there are many products sold at your local drugstore or higher end stores like Sephora that are less expensive and just as effective.
4) Moisturize. Since this is a morning routine, you will need a moisturizer that has SPF. The minimum I would recommend is SPF 15; however I use SPF 30 by SkinCeuticals. If you have oily skin you would want a lighter SPF than the SkinCeuticals, as it is very heavy and works well for those with dry skin like myself.
While this might seem complicated, it all takes about 3-5 minutes.
4) Moisturize with SPF.
Be sure to check back later this week for part 2, the night time routine!