Skincare… with all of the tips and advice out there and the countless number of products on shelves it can be quite a complicated area but understanding skincare is a wonderful thing that can be extremely valuable. Our facial skin is more delicate and thinner compared to the other areas of our body so it’s important to look after it properly. Whatever skin type you have whether it’s dry, oily, sensitive, mature or a combination the benefits of a regular skincare routine and regular attention can give you wonderful results.
This week I felt like writing a back to basics guide that makes skincare that little bit easier. It doesn’t have to be complicated… so I’m going to share just six simple suggestions that will be beneficial to your skin. Of course if you are passionate about skincare and delve deeper into it then there are many other steps that you can add to your daily regime but for this easier guide I’m just going to outline the top basics if you are looking for an easier skincare routine.
For all of these suggestions I would recommend finding products that you have thoroughly looked through the ingredients. Many can be filled with harsh and unnecessary chemicals and toxins so it’s important to read those labels to know exactly what you are applying to your face! You can use my blog post that I wrote the other week as a place to find out about some of the toxins to avoid in products.
- Cleanse – Cleansing your skin thoroughly every morning and evening is a must, it removes all traces of dirt, pollution, excess oil and dead skin cells. Cleansing helps to prevent breakouts, skin dehydration and ageing over time. Don’t use harsh cleansers or scrub roughly though. The best type of cleansers are certified organic ones that can ensure you that the cleanser is free from preservatives and harsh detergents so it won’t be stripping your skin and causing irritation. Soft muslin or microfibre cloths are a perfect option for removing all traces of makeup and grime. After doing this I like to then double cleanse to ensure that every last bit of dirt I can possibly get off my skin has gone. After cleansing gently pat the skin instead of rubbing it with pressure.
- Tone – Toner is a funny one, some think it should be an optional step others like me think it’s an important one. The reason why I think it deserves abit more of an important status in a skincare routine is because toners help to rebalance the skin after cleansing and it prepares the skin for the moisturiser. There are many good toners out there whether you use a simple herbal water formula or something more complex. I like any good quality organic toner which is free from alcohol and harsh preservatives and one that has a formula rich in nourishing antioxidants and herbal extracts. Toner is also great for an after exercise product as it refreshes your face afterwards from the sweat that has clogged up your pores.
- Moisturise – Before moisturising I personally like to apply a nourishing serum as they are more lightweight than moisturisers so can penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin and by using one daily I really have seen smoother, firmer and more moisturised skin since. However, this is a basic guide so if you don’t want to add too many products to your skincare the next important step would be to moisturise. Every skin type benefits from moisturiser! Most people who are prone to acne or oilier skin may sometimes avoid adding more moisture to their face but, I wouldn’t recommend that as there are great moisturisers out there that are created specifically for certain skin types so the best thing is to find one that works for you and your skin’s needs. Applying a good moisturiser that suits your skin helps it to stay hydrated, healthy, supple and toned. Normal/Combination skin only really need a lighter lotion, skin that is more prone to Dryness will benefit more from a richer cream and Oily skin works best with a gel based product. Basically find a product that ensures your skin gets everything it needs and without the synthetic chemicals that it really doesn’t need at all, and remember that during night time your skin works harder and repairs itself so a nourishing moisturiser will be perfect to support your skin restoring as you sleep.
- SPF – Your day moisturiser should always contain SPF in it, that’s like the number one skincare rule and thankfully there are many great ones on the market that do contain sunscreen. There are two options available; you can either choose a chemical based sunscreen or a mineral sunscreen. The difference between these is that chemical sunscreen ingredients penetrate the top layer of skin to absorb the UV rays whereas the mineral sunscreen ingredients form a barrier instead on the surface of the skin that helps to reflect the UV rays away. It’s totally up to you which sunscreen option to choose but for me personally I prefer a good quality organic mineral based sunscreen. And yes we really do need sun protection all year round! Even when it is cloudy because the sun’s rays are that powerful. I probably don’t need to list the reasons why we need to wear SPF as your probably already very aware of these but it is a crucial step for any skincare routine.
Not to include in an everyday skincare routine but important for once or twice a week…
- Exfoliate – Gently exfoliating your skin once or twice a week is brilliant for getting rid of dull and old skin cells and it also helps to stimulate the production of new cells too. Your skin will be smooth, soft and more radiant after an exfoliation session and by doing this it can make your skincare products more effective as the newer and fresher skin has been revealed. A good quality natural ingredient scrub or polish that uses oats, crushed seeds or clays is best and ones that have no added harsh chemicals too. It’s important when exfoliating to never rub harshly as that can damage your delicate facial skin… so exfoliate gently.
- Face Masks – I love a facial mask it makes me feel lovely and pampered but it really is more than just a treat. Applying a regular face mask once or twice a week can help to deeply cleanse, rebalance, nourish and rejuvenate the skin leaving it in a fantastic condition. Again avoid face masks with harsh chemicals, unwanted toxins and unnecessary colours and preservatives. The best masks include high quality herbal extracts with antioxidants and skin loving ingredients like essential fatty acids that really help the skin’s natural defence and repair. If your feeling creative there are many nourishing DIY facial mask suggestions out there to try.
As with many things there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach… what works for one person might not work for your skin so definitely give it time to find an appropriate skincare routine that you can stick to daily and one that personally works for you so you can give your skin the chance to be the best it can be.