Our first port of call for glorious skin is cleansing!
Followed by moisturising followed by protection. Simple right? Well, would you believe that something as easy as that routine can be mucked up right out of the gate?
Do you know your skin type?
You may think you do but it’s worth checking in every few months to see where your skin stands on the subject.
Skin types vary. According to water content which is revealed by comfort and elasticity. Oil content shows softness and nutrition. Finally the level of sensitivity which shows tolerance to substances applied and the environment.
Seasonal temperatures and activities can alter skin type very quickly.
There are plenty of sites out there that do quizzes to work out your current skin type. I’ll let them get on with it and not repeat it here.
Always wash your hands before touching your face. Bear this in mind while leaning your chin on your hand in boring meetings. Hello, bacteria meet face!
There are so many ways to clean your skin with the wonderful products on offer. Cleansing wipes should be saved for emergencies, weekends away and lazy days. They are not good enough for regular use. Most of them are loaded with chemicals which are great at dissolving grease, grime and make up but they can be aggravating in their harsh approach.
Whether you use a micellar water, cream cleanser, foaming wash or other product they should all be used twice in the evenings.
This is known as a double cleanse and tone in the beauty business and it makes perfect sense. The first go removes surface dirt, make up and oils. It also strips the acid mantel which is a layer made up of sebum, fats and oils that protects the skin. When this is momentarily gone you can get right into the pores and follicles to get a deep cleanse. Sun creams, serums and makeup can build up to quite a thick layer which can cause congestion. This in turn can lead to break outs. The acid mantel starts building up again straight away so don’t worry, you will not be without your protective layer.
When using a wash off product keep the water temperature lukewarm throughout. You need not open and close pores like sliding doors by applying hot then cold. Hot water can be very damaging not to mention drying so this advice applies to your showers also.
Use light circular motions moving out over the top of the eye and in towards the nose underneath, which are a vital part of not dragging the skin and causing damage by being heavy handed. When applying eye creams and serums use your ring fingers that have less strength in them to make sure you are not bashing the products on.
Exfoliation is an obsession for some with the result of damage and the skin rushing to heal itself. Strangely enough we have a built in exfoliation system that came with our body! Its called Mitosis and is the journey of newly formed skin cells to the surface replacing old skin cells that are shed. Exfoliating speeds up the shedding process and if you are keen then please keep it 2 times a week at most.
(If you suffer from Acne I recommend you try this exfoliator!)
Using a toner or micellar water to remove the last dregs of cleansing products is a good idea, leaving the way clear for your carefully chosen expensive moisturisers.
By the way always include your neck in your routine. The skin here has very few fat cells and will quickly start to sag and have horizontal lines forming before you have turned 30. A dedicated neck cream is a luxury but one that is worth the time if you can afford it. If not, use your face creams right down to the decollete. i.e. just above bra level. This area will likely get as much exposure as your face and if you wear your hair up then remember your neck is a circle not a strip you can see in the mirror!
Once you have finished your routine in the morning apply sun protection – this can be in the form of foundation if you wear it as most have a good dose included and will say so on the front of the box.
As you age or suffer from illness or environmental changes you will need to change your products. What suited you fine at 25 will not be doing the job your skin needs when you approach 30 or even 45 etc. In the same vein it is useless to use a product for an older skin in an effort to ward off ageing – it doesn’t work like that!
You will be cleansing, toning and moisturising for many years so make sure you get the most out of it.
There are a few tools you can add in to enhance your products and they include facial brushes that are electronic and agitate your skin pushing your cleanser deeper into the skin. Many companies do one and I have tested the Magn!tone – you can read the review here on ItheStylist.co.uk.