Well-Being

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You

So many brands and products available on the market today.

But taking care of your skin has never been more overwhelming.

The question is:

How to build the ideal skincare routine for you before you start looking years older than your age or have to rush to the dermatologist to treat a rash or a mole?

Well, the good news is it’s never too late to start.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to start the ideal skincare routine for you, today.

Ready? Let’s get started?

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You

How Life Affects Your Skin

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You
Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

Our skin is exposed every day to a number of harsh elements: UV radiation, microbes, environmental toxins, frigid temperatures, and harsh chemicals in skincare products. Not to mention your daily food choice, your monthly hormonal cycle, and other factors such as stress and lack of sleep. Over time, these damages accumulate, and eventually, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and rashes start showing.

3 Most Common Skin Issues and How to Deal With Them.

1. ACNE

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40 to 50 million women in the United States are affected by acne, not just in their teens but also in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Acne occurs when skin pores get clogged with dead skin cells, sebum (which is the skin’s natural oil), and bacteria.

How to Deal With It:

Cleansing your face every day is the best way to clear up your skin.  Skincare products with AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) can also help reduce the buildup of dead cells and clear up your skin.

2. FINE LINES AND WRINKLES

Our skin becomes more fragile and thin as we age. It also becomes more prone to dehydration. As a result, fine line and wrinkles forms. However, not all wrinkles are caused by age. Many factors mentioned above are responsible for these wrinkles.

How to Deal With It:

When choosing your skincare products, keep an eye out for ingredients that promote collagen production, like vitamin C. Also start using sunscreen every day, even in winter, to protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays.

3.  DARK SPOTS OR HYPERPIGMENTATION

Dark spots form when the skin produces too much melanin in certain spots. Although this condition is generally harmless, it usually is an indication that you need to wear sunscreen more often.

How to Deal With It:

Chemical exfoliants like AHAs and retinol can be effective at lightening dark spots and evening out your skin tone. However, you need to start wearing sunscreen every day to stop existing spots from getting darker and prevent new ones from forming.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You

Building the Best Skin Care Routine for You

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You
Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

Your skin is your first line of defense against the outside world. So as you look after your health by making better food choices and exercising more often, don’t forget about your skincare routine. There really is no shortcut to healthy, youthful-looking skin other than through a healthy body and a long-term skincare routine.

Two different skin types can react completely differently to the same product. This is why it’s important to identify your skin type before deciding which skincare routine is best for your skin.

Skin TypesMajor IdentifiersProducts typesKeywords to look for
DryRough texture
and tightness
after cleansing
* Creamy Cleansers
* Rich Moisturizers
* Face oils
* Cream
* Hydrating
* Alcohol-Free
* Soap-Free
OilyFrequent breakouts,
visible pores and shine
* Foaming or Gel Cleansers
* Oil-Free Moisturizers
* Chemical Exfoliants
 * Oil-Free
CombinationDriness is some
areas and
oiliness in others (mainly T-zone)
* Toners
* Spot treatments
* Blotting Papers
 * Balancing
* Non-Drying
SensitiveRedness, acne,
burning reaction
to some products
 * Thermal spring waters
* Soothing Botanical Oils
 * Calm
* Hypoallergenic

If you have normal skin (almost no sensitivity, dryness or oiliness) then your skin can tolerate pretty much everything.

Your skin type can also vary according to the season. For example, if your skin is typically normal but becomes dry in the winter, you may want to switch to creamy cleansers and richer moisturizers.

In What Order Should You Apply Your Products?

If you want to ensure that your skin receives the full benefits of each product, you need to apply your products from the thinnest consistency to the thickest or from liquid to oil.

During the day:

  • Step 1: Cleanser
  • Step 2: Toner
  • Step 3: Moisturizer or day cream
  • Step 4: Sunscreen

During the night:

  • Step 1: Cleanser
  • Step 2: Toner
  • Step 3: Spot treatment
  • Step 4: Serum
  • Step 5: Eye cream
  • Step 6: Moisturizer or night cream or face oil

1. The Power of Cleansing.

Removing dirt, sweat, and makeup allows the skin to breathe and renew itself. It also helps other products to penetrate your skin and perform more effectively.

The Proper Way to Cleanse

Cleansing your face can be broken into two steps: removing makeup and washing your face.

Step 1: Remove Your Makeup.

To remove your makeup you would typically use a cleansing oil, cleansing water, or cleansing wipes. This step is especially important if you wear waterproof makeup.

Step 2: Wash Your Face.

The goal here is to remove all excess sebum (skin natural oil), dirt, and makeup you loosened up on the first step. Emulsify a small amount of your cleanser with lukewarm water. Massage it onto your face in circular motions for at least 30 seconds. Rinse and pat dry (instead of rub) with a clean, dry towel.

How frequently you should wash your face depends on your skin type. But as a general rule: Never go to sleep with your makeup on.

Do You Really Need a Toner?

Initially, toners were marketed to remove any leftover of makeup or cleanser and tighten the skin. Now toners do much more than that. They can provide your skin with antioxidants, calming ingredients, and even exfoliating acids.

So even if you don’t absolutely need a toner, your skin can benefit from the extra step, and people love toners anyway.

Different Types of Cleansers For Different Types of Skins.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many options available on the market and get swayed by the false marketing claims of each product. If you have a normal skin type, you can use any type of cleanser as long as your skin tolerates it. But for the other skin types you need to know the following:

Types of CleansersDescriptionIdeal For
Cream CleansersThey are usually thick, creamy, and contain moisturizing ingredients. They can also come in the form of “milk” or “lotion.”Dry and Sensitive Skin
Gel CleansersThey have gel-like consistency with antiseptic and exfoliating properties.Oily and Combination skin
Foam CleansersThey start out as cream or gel and burst into foamy lather.Oily and Combination Skins
Oil CleansersIt is a gentle way of effectively cleansing your skin without causing it to dry.All Skin Types
Clay CleansersThey’re known for their absorbing powers. They draw out excess oil and toxins.Oily and Combination Skin
Cleansing BalmsThey come in the form of wax and melt into an oil-like consistency.Dry and Sensitive Skin
Micellar CleansersThey attract oil, makeup and dirt and you don’t need to rise them off with waterDry and Sensitive Skin
Cleansing Cloths, Mitts and SpongesThey are made with special fibers to remove impurities while removing dead skin cellsOily and Combination Skin

2. Why You Should Never Skip Your Moisturizer

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels

Even though your body has its own natural lubricating system, most of us need extra hydration. This is mainly to maintain a protective coating against outside conditions and repair any damage that the sun, weather, and harsh chemicals can cause.

But moisturizers don’t just add moisture to your skin.

They do much more than that.

1. They slow down the aging process.

They improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the water content of the skin.

2. They prevent inflammation and make you break out less.

When the skin is not properly hydrated, it becomes a lot more susceptible to breakouts and irritation.

3. They address your skin concerns.

Some moisturizers are designed to do more than just moisturize. They also contain ingredients such as exfoliants, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories to add more benefits to your skin.

4. They strengthen your protective barrier.

Our skin acts as a protective barrier against toxins and other harmful elements. Without proper hydration, the skin loses its ability to protect the body.

5. They prime your skin for makeup.

They act as a barrier between the skin and the chemicals in makeup. They also allow the makeup to glide evenly on your skin.

Different Types of Moisturizers For Different Types of Skins.

Moisturizers can come in the form of creams, oils, balms, gels, or fluids. But there are three main types of moisturizers: humectants, emollient and occlusive. Each type is designed to do different things.

It’s important to know the difference between different types of moisturizers in order to choose what goes best with your skin type.

Types of MoisturizersKey Ingredients  What They DoIdeal For
HumectantsGlycerin, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, urea, sorbitol and alpha hydroxy acidsThey prevent moisture loss by drawing water from the atmosphere into your skinOily and Combination Skin
EmollientsLanolin, mineral oil, ceramides, dimethicone, plant based-oilsThey fill the cracks in between skin cells and sealing in water.Dry and Sensitive Skin  
OcclusivesShea butter, petrolatum, beeswax and paraffinThey provide a thicker protective barrier to prevent water loss.Severely Dry Skin

How to Make The Most of Your Moisturizer?

1. Apply your moisturizer when the skin is still moist. After cleansing your skin, pat your face damp and apply your moisturizer to lock in the hydration.

2. Adjust your moisturizer each season. You may use thicker moisturizers (creams, oils, balms) for winter and lighter ones (gels and fluids) during warmer months.

3. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and get essential nutrients. Drink enough water and eat food rich in vitamins and fatty acids.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You

3. Sunscreen Is Your Best Defense Against Sun-Induced Damage.

80% of the visible skin changes associated with aging are caused by the sun.

Fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and sagging skin can be caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is why it’s important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher every morning and reapply it every couple of hours, especially during the summer.

It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of sun damage is from everyday activities, like running errands, rather than from beach vacations.

5 Sunscreen Myths.

Despite their importance, there are many misconceptions about sunscreens. Here are five of them.

MYTH 1: Just about any sunscreen will do.

The SPF number on the label indicates how well it can protect your skin against UVB rays (the ones responsible for sunburn and skin cancer) and UVA rays (The rays responsible for skin again). This is why you need to “broad spectrum” sunscreen that offers an SPF of 30 or higher.

MYTH 2: The SPF in your foundation should be enough.

You can never apply enough foundation to reap the benefits of the SPF it contains. Before you apply your make up, make sure you apply enough amount sunscreen (the size of a nickel). And don’t forget your body.

MYTH 3: Higher SPF means you can spend more time outdoors.

No matter how high the SPF of your sunscreen, you still need to reapply it every two hours for optimal protection.

MYTH 4: As long as you don’t go outside, you are protected.

UVA rays can penetrate glass, so you’re never completely protected, especially if you spend a lot of time in your car.

MYTH 5: Darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen.

Although darker skin has a naturally higher SPF protection, it still is at risk for skin cancer and aging.

Skin TypeIdeal Sunscreen formula
Dry Skin and Sensitive Skin* Lotion or cream with added moisturizing ingredients.
* Mineral formulas
Oily and Combination Skin* Fluid or gel formulas
* Oil-free or non-comedogenic formulas

Note: If you have a normal skin that is neither too oily nor too dry, you can use all sunscreen formulas (from gel, to cream, to powder).

4. Antioxidants: Your Skin’s New Best Friend

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

What are antioxidants? How do they work? And why is it important to include this additional step in your skincare routine?

Antioxidants are substances that help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals are unstable, highly reactive molecules that attack stable molecules in order to gain stability. This triggers a chain reaction that damages healthy cells.

Free radicals can be purposefully created by our bodies to neutralize viruses and bacteria. But other external factors can create free radicals, such as the sun, pollution, radiation, tobacco smoke, and other toxic chemicals.

When there are more free radicals in the body than the body can repair, they break down collagen and trigger inflammation. As a result, fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and other skin issues start forming.

This is where the role of antioxidants comes.

Antioxidants are “free-radical scavengers.” They help prevent and correct skin damage and give it a more youthful glow.

The Best Antioxidants for You

1. Vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps boost your collagen production and lighten dark spots. Make sure you store it in a cool, dark place as it can lose its potency when exposed to light or air.

2. Retinol (Vitamin A).

Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is particularly effective due to its small molecular structure, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin. It helps stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell repair and renewal.

3. Vitamin E.

Vitamin E helps accelerate the skin’s healing process. It’s often found in moisturizers, creams and lotions formulated to treat dry skin and reduce stretch marks.

Don’t forget your diet.

The best way to increase your antioxidant intake is by consuming antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, especially raw. Blueberries, apples, broccoli, spinach, and lentils are rich in antioxidants.

Exfoliation 101

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels

What makes babies’ skin so soft and supple?

According to leading dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden, babies’ skin cells are naturally replaced every few days. But as you grow older, “the rate of cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and can make your complexion look dull and lifeless.”

The good news?

Exfoliation help makes up for the slowing down rate of the skin-renewal process. This helps:

1. Remove dead skin cells and brighten dark spots.

2. Allow the release of natural skin oils.

3. Make fine lines and wrinkles look less visible.

4. Allow better absorption of moisturizers, antioxidants, and other skin treatments.

Two Types of Exfoliants.

There are two types of exfoliants: physical exfoliants, and chemical exfoliants.

Physical exfoliants such as face scrub use friction to manually remove the dead skin cells. Whereas, chemical exfoliants use acids or enzymes to slough off dead skin cells.

If you have acne-prone skin or highly sensitive skin, chemical exfoliants are ideal for you because they’re less likely to cause irritation.

Exfoliation’s 5 Commandments.

1. Start Slow.

Start exfoliating once a week if you’re using physical exfoliants or lower your exfoliant’s concentration if you’re using an acid. Then see what your skin can tolerate. For optimum results, you want to aim for two or three times a week.

2. Choose The Right Type of Exfoliant For Your Skin Type.

As stated above chemical exfoliants such as acids are ideal for acne-prone skin or highly sensitive skin. but acids have two types of acids; alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). They work the same way, but each one produces slightly varied results. AHAs are water-soluble, and BHA is lipid or oil-soluble, which makes BHA more effective on oily skin because of their ability to penetrate the pore wall and clean from the inside.

3. Use Sunscreen Daily.

Some exfoliants can leave the skin sensitive to the sun. So if using sunscreen daily is important, it’s even more important when you’re exfoliating.

4. Don’t Overdo It.

If your skin feels sensitive to the touch after exfoliating, then you’re probably overdoing it. Take a break if you’re using physical exfoliants, or lower your exfoliant’s concentration if you’re using an acid.

5. If you’re pregnant, be aware.

If you’re pregnant, some acids, such as salicylic acid, may be harmful to you. Speak to your doctor before incorporating acids into your skincare routine.

5. The Essential Luxuries: Serums, Masks and Oils

Regular cleansing, moisturizing, sun protection, and exfoliation can be all the care your skin needs.

But for people who may be dealing with more serious skin concerns, they can use an additional dose of skin care. This why serums, masks, and oils are called the essential luxuries.

Serums, masks, and oils contain high amounts of vitamins and nutrients that help hydrate, brighten, and repair the skin.

Serums.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You
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Serums contain greater amounts of active ingredients, and since they’re generally lighter than face creams, they can penetrate the skin deeper. They’re typically applied as the last step before moisturizing your skin.

Serums can be used in numerous ways:

* They can be added to moisturizers, night creams, and masks to enhance their potency,

* They can be utilized as a spot treatment for problem areas,

* They can be used as a hydrating gel for oily skin.

Masks.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You
Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

Masks can provide your skin with vital nutrients, seal in moisture, soothe stressed skin, and boost your skin’s damage-repair process.

Masks are typically applied once or twice a week or whenever your skin needs an instant glow.

There are numerous types of masks for different purposes:

Type of MaskPurposeDescriptionIdeal For…
Clay MasksDetoxificationThey soak up dirt and excess oil which minimizes the look of large pores and prevent blackheads.Oily and Combination Skin
Gel MasksSoothing Inflamed or Sun-Damaged SkinThey offer immediate soothing
and are usually infused with collagen and antioxidants which help damaged skin recover faster.
Dry and Sensitive Skin
Cream MasksImproving Skin TextureThey are rich in botanical oils
and moisturizers which can
seal in moisture and smooth
away rough skin surfaces.
Normal to Dry Skin
Sheet MasksEverything ElseBased on the formulas they contain, sheet masks work
with all skin types
All Skin Types

Oils.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Oils don’t just moisturize dry skin, they are also rich in essential vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and lipids which make them better at fighting wrinkles, evening out skin tone, and treating numerous other skin problems. They can also make a great protective barrier against potentially harmful elements in the environments thanks to their antimicrobial properties.

Type of OilsPurposeDescription
Castor, Olive and Jojoba OilsCleansingthey work effectively at removing
makeup, dirt, and excess oils without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Rose Hip Seed OilTreating scars and signs of agingThey’re rich with vitamin A,
vitamin E, and essential fatty acids
that help in healthy cell turnover and collagen production.
Tea Tree, Chamomile and Calendula OilsSoothing AcneThey have anti-inflammatory and
antimicrobial properties, making
it an effective spot treatment for acne.
Coconut OilMoisturizing Severely Dry SkinThis oil is a rich source of vitamins E
and K, iron, and lauric acid. It’s also naturally antimicrobial,
antifungal, and antibacterial.

Caring For The Skin Around Your Eyes

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The skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than any other area in your face. This is why it’s more prone to wrinkling and puffiness. Treating dryness in that area can be difficult too. So when you’re treating around the eye problems, you’ll need gentle yet powerful ingredients.

Fine lines.

Lightly hydrating oils can effectively soften fine lines and support delicate skin.

Wrinkles and Crow’s Feet.

Richly hydrating plant oils and butter are perfect for hydrating and plumping the skin.

Dark circles.

Although dark circles are often hereditary, they can also be caused by a lack of sleep, dehydration, and medications.

An eye cream made with natural brighteners, like caffeine and Cypress oil, is perfect to lessen the darkness.

Puffiness.

Like dark circles, puffiness can be hereditary, but it can also be brought on by overindulging in alcohol or junk food.

A gel eye treatment that cools and tightens skin helps tone down swelling.

Extra Tips

  • The skin around your eyes is delicate. Make sure you never pull or tug on it. when applying products, pat it around your eyes with your ring finger and allow it to soak in.
  • Keeping your eye product in the refrigerator can help treat tired or puffy eyes.

Glowing From Within.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

You are what you eat.

Your diet has a considerable effect on your skin. If what you put on your skin (moisturizers, toners, sunscreen…) is important, then what you put in your body is even more important.

Vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids help your skin stay moisturized, heal wounds and scars, repair damage, and control inflammation. When you don’t get enough of these nutrients, it shows on your skin. Your skin might become dry, dull, breakout, and become more susceptible to sun damage.

7 Nutrients Your Skin Needs.

1. Antioxidants (Vitamins A, C And E).

Antioxidants are also essential for the skin’s structural growth and maintenance. Lack of antioxidants makes the skin feel dry and rough. Your wrinkles will look deeper and your bruises and sunburns will take longer to heal.

Good Sources Of Antioxidants: green leafy vegetables, berries, citrus, and other brightly colored fruits.

2. B Vitamin Complex.

Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, B-12, folate, pantothenate, PABA, inositol, biotin, and choline are all B vitamins. They boost cell growth and are essential for wound healing (sunburns, bruises, infections, and acne).

Good Sources Of B Vitamin Complex: fish, beans and poultry.

3. Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone. It is helpful in the treatment of psoriasis and inflammation.

Good Sources Of Vitamin D: sunlight, fatty fish, fortified milk, and orange juice.

4. Minerals.

Iodine, silicon, and zinc are minerals that have different roles in your complexion. Iodine helps to heal your skin infections. Silicon helps in collagen formation. Zinc helps in skin rejuvenating. It can also boost your hair growth.

Good Sources Of Minerals: seeds, nuts, mushrooms, kelp, certain fruits, and vegetables.

5. Essential Fatty Acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids soften the skin and help in healing eczema, psoriasis, and wounds. They also balance sebum production in the skin. Omega-6 fatty acids, keep the skin moisturized.

Good Sources Of Essential Fatty Acids: fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, and tofu.

6. Fiber.

Fiber helps your body flush toxins and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Cholesterol problems often cause yellow bumps on the skin above or below the eyes.

Good Sources Of Fiber: whole grains, vegetables, oatmeal and nuts.

7. Water.

Water plays a major role in keeping the skin moisturized and youthful. According to board-certified dermatologist Howard Murad “when we are babies approximately 75 percent of our bodies are water. By the time we reach middle age our bodies’ water content can be as low as 50 percent.”

So how much water do you really need on a daily basis?

A general rule is: The amount of water you drink in ounces should be about half your weight in pounds. So if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink about 70 ounces of water—that’s about 8.75 glasses of water a day.

Depending on how much you exercise and perspire, you might need to drink more water.

Another way to monitor whether you’re adequately hydrated is to check your urine color. Light yellow, means you’re getting an adequate amount. Dark yellow, on the other hand, means you need to drink more water.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You

5 Foods (and Drinks) That Slow Down Aging Skin

1. Egg Yolk

Egg yolks, rich in lutein, protects skin from sun damage.

2. Pomegranate

Pomegranate is rich in ellagic acid which makes it a potent source of antioxidant.

3. Tomato And Grapefruit

Tomato and Grapefruit are rich lycopene, which, like lutein, protects the skin from sun damage.

4. Coffee

One study found a direct correlation between drinking coffee and a decrease in photoaging effects. Coffee is also rich in polyphenols, which help to reduce skin hyperpigmentation.

5. Green Tea

Green tea is an antioxidant that helps prevent and reverse the signs of aging.

How to Build the Ideal Skin Care Routine for You

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