Lately I’ve read quite a few ‘New Year, New Me’ posts and I’ve noticed that many of them included a resolution to have a better skincare regimen, which was up there with eating healthier and being more active.
So today I thought I’d share how I take care of my skin to possibly inspire the skincare newbies out there to amp up their routine, but also to get tips on how I could improve mine. Please, feel free to correct/add to what I say in the post, as I know there’s still a lot I need to learn. Bear in mind that I’m not a dermatologist, nor a skincare expert, so this post is solely based on my personal experience.
Cleanse thoroughly with mild products
Makeup is fun, you can play with it all you want during the day, but at night you absolutely have to take it ALL off. My all time favorite makeup remover is Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, because it removes every last bit of the most hardcore waterproof mascara, but is super gentle on the eyes and skin. Sometimes I do a second cleanse (especially if I’ve been wearing sunscreen or long-lasting foundation) with SEPHORA Ultimate Warming Cleanser (reviewed here) before checking if my skin is perfectly clean by using a cotton pad soaked in Garnier Micellar Water (which I also use as a 2-in-1 second cleanse/toner whenever I skip SEPHORA’s product and as a morning cleanser).
Hydrate & Moisturize
Although being often used interchangeably (even by yours truly), hydrating and moisturizing actually have different meanings. The easiest (but I’m sure not the most scientifically accurate) way for me to explain it is this: dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized, dehydrated skin lacks water and needs to be hydrated. While only some people have dry skin, most people have it dehydrated. Personally, I have oily skin, so I don’t really feel like I need to moisturize (especially during the day), but I definitely need to hydrate.
My absolute favorite product to use in the morning is Collistar Hyaluronic Acid serum (you can read more about it here). Hyaluronic acid has the ability to attract and retain impressive amounts of water, so it works wonders at keeping your skin hydrated.
If you have normal to dry skin, it’s important you also apply a face oil or an oil-based moisturizer to create a barrier that prevents water from evaporating off your skin. In the evening, I often do this too and after my nighttime antioxidant hydrating serum (Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair), I do a quick face massage with Jojoba Oil, which is supposed to be particularly well suited to oily skin (more on this here).
Remember to always hydrate and moisturize the eye area as well. You don’t really need a separate product for this, but face creams sometimes do contain certain ingredients that are not suitable for the sensitive eye area, so I like to play safe and use a specifically formulated product (I’m currently using IncaRose Extra Pure Hyaluronic).
Out of all the ‘magical’ ingredients brands claim to have miraculous anti-aging properties, I think there is one category that you should really make sure is contained in the serum/moisturizer/oil of your choice: that is antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the free-radical damage that is responsible for skin aging and also seem to help prevent sun damage. The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair I’m using contains a nice blend of free radical fighting ingredients and Jojoba oil is rich in Vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant.
Besides the two steps above (cleansing and hydrating/moisturizing), which I consider as the basic core of a skincare routine, if you want to fight dullness and hyperpigmentation, I highly recommend you also exfoliate. I personally like using glycolic acid, an AHA particularly effective at getting rid of dead skin cells for a more even, radiant complexion. At the moment, I’m using Alpha-H Liquid Gold (some sort of glycolic acid toner that you’re not supposed to follow with any moisturizer for maximum results) but I’m not sure it’s the right product for me (more on this in another post). In the past I used Collistar Glycolic Acid serum (from the same Pure Active range as the Hyaluronic Acid I mentioned earlier) and probably liked it better. If you’d rather use a physical exfoliant instead of a chemical one I highly recommend trying LUSH Cup O’ Coffee scrub mask (reviewed here).
Having oily skin, once or twice a week I like to cleanse my pores thoroughly with a clay mask. My current favorite is SEPHORA Mud Mask (which I’ve reviewed here) because, unlike most kaolin-based masks, it doesn’t dry out my skin. No matter your skin type, I think it’s good to also use a hydrating mask every once in a while, for a nice boost of hydration. I don’t have any favorites in this category, so I’m open to recommendations!
I think it’s totally possible to have a good skincare routine while having a streamlined stash, as long as it includes the right products for your needs. Finding the right products definitely takes some researching and a lot of trial and error, but your skin will thank you in the end!
Are you one of those who decided to start taking better care of your skin this year or are you a long-time skincare lover? Do you have any tips to share with me and the other readers?