Skincare can be an intimidating process. With so many different products out there, it can be difficult to understand what each type of product actually does for your skin. While the order of layering your products depends on what you are using and what time of day, the following steps are some of the basic items you want to include in your routine for youthful, glowing skin.
Cleansers are often the most approachable and commonly known parts of a routine. There are many different types of cleansers, but the main two are oil-based and water-based. Many different regimens, such as Korean skincare routines, call for using both. The oil cleanser removes impurities that are oil-based, such as makeup, sunscreen, or environmental pollutants, while the water cleanser scrubs out your pores to remove the rest.
Other people opt to use makeup-removing wipes and then use a simple gel cleanser to prep their skin for the rest of the routine. It is up to you how to cleanse, but the important part is that you are removing any kind of grime and gunk from your skin before going to bed or starting your day.
Another crucial part of the routine is using a quality sunscreen lotion. According to Hopkins Medicine, applying SPF in the morning is one of the best ways to protect your skin from harmful rays that cause damage and signs of aging. Sunscreen is often applied at the very end of your skincare routine and before putting on makeup for maximum effectiveness. It needs to be reapplied throughout the day as you sweat and spend time in the sun.
Toners are products that are applied after cleansing and usually seek to accomplish a specific purpose. Some toners may contain chemical exfoliants like AHAs or BHAs that can shrink your pores and slough off dead skin, as explained by WebMD. Others may be formulated to support moisturizing your skin and open up your pores to maximize other products in your routine. They typically come in a liquid form that can be swept on with a cotton pad or applied with the fingertips. Overall, they are a great follow-up to cleansing because they can remove any extra dirt while also helping you accomplish other goals you have for your skin.
Serums are concentrated products, typically oil-based, that are best applied after toning to help them really sink into the skin. Harvard Health recommends using them to target concerns relating to aging, as their potent formulations are a good match for filling wrinkles and fine lines. While they usually come in small bottles that run a higher price tag, not much product is needed to get the job done.
The term moisturizer is a broad category that can encompass a wide variety of products, the majority being lotions and creams. As the name implies, the goal of these products is to provide moisture to the skin and then lock it in. Like all other products, different formulas and bases will be tailored toward different skin concerns.
People with oily skin will probably not be looking for the same type of moisture as those with dry skin, so researching ingredients and testing out products is the best way to find what works for your skin. It is also worth taking into consideration that your skin’s moisture needs may fluctuate throughout the year as the seasons change and humidity levels vary. What works for you at one time may not always be the case, so having multiple products on hand is also a good idea.
Skincare can be a great way to indulge and show yourself care and attention. It is also protection for your face and can help prevent things like premature aging and skin damage. No two people have the same skin, so establishing a skincare routine that works for you is a journey of trial and error, but it is one that is worth exploring.