Skincare is definitely one gift 2020 gave to everyone. That isn’t to say skincare originated or started in 2020. According to Wikipedia, the history of cosmetics spans at least 7,000 years!
That’s amazing, really.
However, we can thank 2020 because skincare gained immense social media popularity in the year. Skincare generally refers to the care of the skin. But why is this different from what people might have been doing before, you might ask. Well, people are finding out that they can cure their own skin problems. Interested? Here’s everything you need to know about having a skincare routine.
What is skincare and why is it important?
Personal skincare is quite unlike anything most of us have done before. Before skincare, when people noticed marks, blemishes, or scars on their skin- or when they dealt with non-communicable skin issues, they either ignored them or went to see a dermatologist.
That sounds quite normal, doesn’t it?
As you might imagine, just like when we are given drugs by doctors, most people do not question anything given by a dermatologist and simply use it as directed. All they can do is hope that it works. If it doesn’t, they move on and assume that what they have is hard to treat.
But that wasn’t good enough.
The problem is that these two things are very different and should not be treated the same. Why? It’s quite common for person A to use a product and see massive results while person B uses that same product and experiences the most negative results or nothing at all.
So, what exactly does skincare do?
Skincare promotes a more interactive approach to dealing with skin problems. What if you knew enough to diagnose your skin problems? Even better, imagine, if you knew enough to know what products are most likely to work for you. Skincare simply teaches you how to care for your skin the way your skin wants to be cared for.
What is a skincare routine?
There are quite a lot of categories of products targeted at different skin issues. You’ll need at least three of these categories to care for your skin. The products that you use, as well as how you use them are your routine. Usually, skincare routines should be done twice a day; morning and night.
Understanding your skin
Before you purchase a single product, you need to know what type of skin you have.
Here’s a simple quiz from Askthescientists that you can take to help you determine your skin type. WebMD explains that there are five types of skin types:
- Dry skin
- Oily skin
- Normal skin
- Combination skin
- Sensitive skin
If you have an oily T-Zone, Healthline explains that you probably have combination skin. Combination skin usually means that you have an oily T-Zone while the rest of your face is dry. It is also important to know that it is possible to have any of the first four skin types in addition to having sensitive skin. Normal skin is neither too dry nor oily. It is perfectly balanced.
Once you know your skin type, you can now move on to the next step, knowing what a skincare routine entails. Now, you can know what to avoid or what to look out for.
Steps in a Skincare Routine
Unlike the skin on the rest of your body, your facial skin is much more sensitive. This is why you should avoid using any product with fragrance, especially if you have sensitive skin. Popsugar explains that “fragrances are known as one of the leading causes of allergic contact dermatitis”.
The sensitivity of your facial skin is another reason that you should avoid washing your face with bar soaps. If you must, it is a better idea to lather it with your fingers and wash your face with that lather.
So how should you wash your face?
Quick answer: Facial wash and fingers.
Washing simply entails using a type of facial wash to clean your face. Facial washes come in different types but they are made to be mild enough for your skin. If you want to pick out a great facial wash, it needs to be created with chemical ingredients that are good for your skin type. It would be a great idea to check out what people with your skin type should avoid.
Don’t want to research?
An alternative to this is to try using products that are marketed for your skin. They usually have labels like “For Dry Skin” or “For Sensitive Skin”.
Washing helps to remove impurities so you should be sure to wash your face twice. For your face to be washed clean, the soap and water must get into your pores and clean them. Hence, it is better to use very warm water. Once this is done, you can use a dedicated and soft face towel to tap your face dry. You do not want to drag the towel around your sensitive and delicate skin. Tap it around softly.
Check out this video by ExpertVillage Leaf Group on how to dry your skin.
Toning is a step that many argue is not necessary but if you have certain skin issues such as dry skin, uneven skin tone, sunburn, oily skin, etc, toning is important. A toner refreshes the skin naturally. Over time, toning will give your skin an even appearance.
What can you use to tone?
One of the most common toners is rosewater. As Healthline points out, rosewater is made by distilling rose petals with steam and is very beneficial to the skin. This means that you can easily buy or make rosewater.
Other products can be used instead of rosewater such as micellar water or toner acids. Toners are in liquid form. To apply it to your face, you’ll need a cotton pad or cotton wool (the former is easier to use.)
Apply some of the toner on your cotton pad and then use the damp pad to clean all over your face. This step not only tones your skin but helps to remove any residual dirt or soap.
Serums are the magic genies of skincare. They are not compulsory but if you really want to get serious about your skin, you need serums.
There are multiple types of serums used to treat various things. Serums are liquid. They are usually a bit thick because most of them use gelling agents such as hyaluronic acid. However, some of them are purely liquid.
You can purchase moisturizing serums, acne serums, sunburn serums, wrinkle serums, and a very long list of others. If you want to get a serum, follow the following process on how to choose one.
- Decide what problem you want to treat. It could be the reduction of the oil on your skin, it could also be getting rid of a mark, making your dull skin shine, reducing the appearances of pores on your skin, etc. You can pick out something you do not like on your face and attempt to fix it.
- Find out the official name for whatever issue you have. A scar from an injury and an acne scar are not the same. Sunburned skin and dull skin are not the same. When you know exactly what is wrong, you can search for the solution.
- Research serums that target that problem online. Check out reviews and be sure that any product that you pick is for your skin type. Also, be sure that you are buying from a registered distributor of the company to avoid buying fakes.
To get the best use out of it, be sure to check out the recommended usage and follow it.
If you have really dry skin, the sight of the word alone is enough to make you smile. Moisturizers do exactly what they imply; keep your skin hydrated and full of water. If you have oily skin, it might make you wince. However, everyone needs to moisturize. It is a compulsory step. Some people make use of serums that offer moisturizing benefits. If you have oily skin, you might end up doing this.
However, you should know that are different types of moisturizers for different skin types.
- Gel moisturizers: They are lightweight and humectant. Gel moisturizers draw water to the skin cells before locking the moisture in. They are absorbed very easily and are best used for oily skin types.
- Light cream moisturizers: These are emollient moisturizers. They are cream-like but are very lightweight. Light cream moisturizers are often called moisturizing milks, light creams, and light lotions. They fill in cracks in the skin and help smoothen the general appearance. This group of moisturizers is great for dry skin, combination skin, or normal skin.
- Heavy cream moisturizers: These are occlusive moisturizers. They are like creams but are thicker and heavier. Heavy cream moisturizers block dehydration by stopping evaporation of the skin’s moisture. They have a thick consistency to them Heavy cream moisturizers are best for dry skin, especially if the skin is mature and dehydrated.
To enjoy a moisturizer, you need one that is for your skin type. If you have oily skin, you don’t want something heavy as it will probably make you sweat.
Sunscreen is the last step to any routine. It is also the most important. Note that sunscreen is not targeted at any race or skin type. Everyone needs sunscreen.
Sunscreen protects your skin from the dangerous rays of the sun. When you stay outside in the sun for long, the UV rays start to damage your skin and have lasting effects on your skin. Your skin reacts to the sun by developing burns.
If you do not use sunscreen after using your products, it’s the same as not doing anything as you haven’t protected the products from getting dried by the sun.
It gets worse:
Sunburns are the less serious and temporal part of the effects of the sun rays. Skin cancer is more deadly. Not only does sunscreen protect your skin by keeping it safe from burns and helping it to retain its elasticity, but it also protects you from skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, in the U.S, more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. This number can be greatly reduced if we all wear sunscreen.
Now, you are ready to go shopping for the right products for you. However, before you begin, you must understand patch testing.
Patch testing usually refers to testing a product on other parts of your skin before using it on your face since, as we’ve said before, your face is the most sensitive part of your skin.
Patch testing is simple:
Before you use any product on your face. Test it out on the back of your face twice daily (or as directed) for one to three days. If you react negatively, stop it. If not, you can now use it on your face. It is important to note that a large part of skincare has to do with consistency and frequent examinations of your skin so you can catch small problems before they become bigger.
Skincare Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked skincare questions:
How much does a skincare routine cost?
The wonderful thing about skincare is that it is very budget-friendly. It is possible to get a skincare routine under $50 and there are even cheaper local alternatives. However, some moisturizers alone cost double that.
But, the truth is, you don’t have to spend a lot to fix your skin problems. I fixed my acne with an entire routine under $200.
To be honest, it depends more on your choice and budget. Some products do more than just their basic duty. For example, some moisturizers contain retinol which helps fade acne spots. There are also facial washes that help with acne, oil production, etc. Take your time to research.,
In what order should I use my products?
Facial wash, toner, serum, moisturizer, and then sunscreen.
What products are compulsory and basic for a skincare routine?
Facial wash, moisturizer, and sunscreen are the barest minimum that anyone with skin should be doing.
Do I always have to use the same products?
No. In fact, it is very common to have various facial washes and various products targeted at different things. Of course, you cannot use all of them at once. To be safe, however. If you are just starting out, start simple.
Are these all I need for a skincare routine?
To be honest, skincare can get really intense. There are eye creams, pore reduction cream, scrubs, masks, and a whole lot of other things. However, they aren’t compulsory. They are beneficial, however. If you are really going for smooth and flawless skin, you will need to read more on improving your skincare routine.
Should guys have skincare routines too?
Skincare is for everyone with skin. A man with clear and fine skin will definitely be more attractive than one with acne scars, scabs, and whatnot. Skincare doesn’t have to take a lot of money or time.
Skincare is a highly rewarding journey that everyone should be on. With skincare, you can look younger and have healthy and wrinkle-free skin as you age.
As a side note, be sure to double-check any information you receive from your favorite influencers or blog posts. Stick to well-known brands and only buy from reputable sources. Don’t forget, the key to skincare is consistency. Don’t expect to see changes before 4 to 6 weeks.
Here are some reasons why your skincare routine might not be working.
Lastly, remember that beauty standards are forever changing. It is who you are on the inside that matters more!
Disclaimer: Although I am currently studying to be a professional Skin Therapist, I am not a licensed or trained medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website, or in any linked materials.