Since I created a fresh start with a new website I thought it would be best to start a new series that covers some basic routines. Welcome to “The Basics”; a 5-part series that’ll cover the basics (well at least my version of basic) when it comes to beauty and self-care.
Today we’re starting with creating your basic skin care routine.
What you’ll need
- An understanding of your skin type and/ or skin conditions
- Baby washcloths or facial sponges
- 2 cleansers or 1 makeup remover and 1-2 cleansers
Understanding your skin type
Your skin type is determined by genetics, diet, and how much oil is in your skin. Skin types are defined by the following:
Skin that has a neutral amount of oil and water, usually free of blemishes and imperfections, small pores, and little to no sensitivities. But remember as you get old skin becomes dryer and less lipid so even normal skin types could benefit from extra moisture, hydration, and depending on your age (early to mid 20’s) anti-aging products.
Skin that has nearly invisible pores, prone to wrinkles, overall dry rough patches, red patches, and less elasticity. Moisture is key for dry skin types and cold weather can make dry skin crack and peel.
Skin that has large pores, over produces oil, high shine, more prone to blemishes and clogged pores. Exposure to heat and humidity can make skin oilier. Remember, a healthy amount of oil is normal but if you have visible shine after an hour or two this is a good indication that you have oily skin.
Skin that is red or irritated by triggers such as food, weather, allergies, or products. Noticeable factors include itching, burning, redness, or dryness. If you can find out what triggers your sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid them.
Most of us have combination skin where we have a combination of skin types usually in various parts of the face such as the cheeks, t-zone (forehead and nose), and chin.
Understanding skin conditions
Skin conditions are conditions which need special attention and can often be reversed or greatly improved. Any skin type can have a skin condition. I’ll go over some common ones.
Prominent discoloration and dark marks. Exfoliation and sun protection is vital for this skin condition.
Liquor bottles down, water bottles up! This means skin is lacking water and suppleness which can cause dry patches and redness.
Congested pores, pustules, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, nodules, and/ or lesions. On top of treating your acne you’ll want to treat your skin as you would if it was sensitive. Being too aggressive with acneic skin can be a trigger.
Red flushing (sometimes along with small bumps) or dilated blood vessels.
Temporary sensitized skin usually after a skin care treatment.
A Basic Skin Care Routine
Remove makeup/ first cleanse. This would be the first cleanse of two rounds regardless if you’re wearing makeup or not. I usually start with a good oil cleanser, micellar water, and in a pitch cold cream (I personally stay away from cold creams but if you have a good skin care routine it works fine but often clogs skin and causes whiteheads).
Cleanse and treat/ second cleanse. Now that you’ve removed a day’s worth of filth you would get to your actual cleansing. If you use a specific cleanser to treat your skin type or condition this is the step you would use it in. Also if you use an electronic brush such as a Clarisonic or Spa Sonic this would be the step to incorporate the device.
Tone and rebalance. The products in your skin care routine get the job done but have their own individual pH levels and can leave the skin unbalanced. Toning helps rebalance the skin’s pH to neutrals levels and when used with a cotton round helps with cleaning and mild physical exfoliation.
Moisturize & protect (during the day) or treat & protect (at night). This is the final step in a basic skin care routine. For normal and combination skin types that are free of skin conditions that require treatment you only need to moisturize. If your skin requires treatment for any skin conditions, you would typically apply them after moisturizing unless directed otherwise.
A breakdown of my skin care routine
Makeup remover/ first cleanse: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, Tacha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, Mehron Barred Makeup Remover & Cleanser, Bioderma Sensibio h2O Makeup Removing Micelle Solution
Cleanse and treat/ second cleanse: Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash, Galderma Benzac Acne Eliminating Cleanser, Murad Clarifying Cleanser
Tone and rebalance: Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing All Over Toner, Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe Herbs and Rosewater
Moisturize & protect (during the day) or treat & protect (at night): StriVectin Protect & Repair, DHC Beauty Lift Cream, Proactiv + Complexion Perfecting Hydrator, Proactiv + Advanced Dark Spot Correcting Serum, Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum
If you can’t by the products mentioned, I have combination skin, the occasional breakout, and hyperpigmentation.
According to Dr. Oz if you do a cleanse the morning after a cleansing like above you’ll be over cleansing your skin. I have oily skin but for the past few years I’ve learn towards having more combination skin. Most mornings I rinse with warm water and pat dry with my facial rounds to keep my skin hydrated and ready for moisturizer and treatment. You should always cleanse every evening along with extended treatments and exfoliating and masks, stay hydrated, and aim to moisturize within the first few minutes while the pores are relaxed and ready as opposed to dry and tight making it harder to moisturize. At one point I tried oil cleansing only but felt that it made my skin more congested which lead to whiteheads. And as much as I love virgin coconut oil I don’t find that it breaks down my makeup quick enough.
I’ll be going into more details about an extended skin care routine/ at-home facials soon but for now we have to cover the basis.