Well hyaluronic acid is an amazing skincare product that benefits many people. This is just one example of current trends that have people scratching their heads. It can be hard to know what products to use, when, why, and how, if you don’t know anything about skincare. It's important, however, that you cater to your skin! Here's how to build a proper routine for your unique skin.
These basic steps include: double cleansing, moisturising and sunscreen. These are the foundational steps for a successful routine.
What's double cleansing? Well it's almost exactly like it sounds but not quite. No, you don’t just wash your face two times in a row! Basically, double cleansing is when you use a micellar water or cleansing oil before you wash your face so that you can break up all of the makeup, oil, and sunscreen. You don’t need to do this in the morning… unless you fell asleep in your makeup, which you should never do.
When cleansing, avoid makeup wipes as they just push the dirt, makeup and oil into your skin. The only time I use makeup wipes is when I'm in a theatre production, for example, and I need a quick tool to correct makeup mistakes or for when I need to get that cake frosting makeup off my face in between shows so that I can redo my makeup. Even when I get home after, I do my full skincare routine to take off my makeup at the end of the day, and I use an exfoliant to try and combat the damage of the makeup wipes.
For double cleanings I suggest cleansing oil. But why would you want to rub oil on your face if that's what you're trying to get rid of? Well think of it this way, oil and water don’t mix, so when you use a cleansing oil it bonds with all of the other grime on your face, and then when you rinse it off and go in with your cleanser all of the stuff your face built up over the day is gone.
Micellar water is also another option. Basically, when you put the micellar water on a cotton round (or a reusable cloth) the product acts like a magnet, picking all of the stuff on your face instead of pushing it in your pores. If you don't double clean, even though it may seem like it, you will not get all of your makeup off.
The next step is moisturiser. You must moisturise to help repair and nourish the skin barrier. Why would you go through all of this work to cleanse your face just to leave stripped of moisture? A lot of people like to say, “My skin is so oily so I don't moisturise.” Wrong. Do you know why your skin is oily? It's because when you don't moisturise, your skin tries to do it itself by oiling up. When you find the proper moisturiser, you achieve that balanced look without the shine.
The final step is sunscreen in the morning. From personal experience, I know that it can be really hard for people of colour to find a good sunscreen that doesn't provide a pale cast. I have learned to look for sheer sunscreens to combat this problem.
So now that you have the basics down, if you want beef up your skincare routine you can by using tools like rollers, serums and toners. However, only use these sparingly. Your skin is like a plant; you can't overwater it without causing issues.
For the following steps, do them before you put on moisturiser.
I think a great product that everyone can use is a jade roller or a gua sha, or both. Basically, these products help drain the lymph nodes in your face, which can have many health (and vanity…) benefits.
Never use a toner with alcohol in it. After washing your face, toner eliminates any remaining debris, grime, and pollutants caught in your pores. It can have a significant impact on the look and tightness of your pores when added to your daily skincare routine and applied on a regular basis. Don't use a cotton round to rub it across your face, use your hands and gently pat it into your skin.
I promise you that there is a serum for everything, but you may need to use a moisturiser afterwards to achieve the full benefits of the serum. Earlier we talked about hyaluronic acid; which is basically a serum that keeps water in your face. To use it, after you have washed your face, don't dry it. Instead put some hyaluronic acid on, pat it into your face, and then add on some moisturiser. There is literally a serum for everyone and every problem; the most important thing is that you know what you're putting on your face, and why.
What's right for you
A lot of times it takes some experimenting to find out what you like, what makes you break out and what doesn’t, but if you know what you're looking for you shouldn’t have much trouble. A lot of skincare products actually say what type of skin for which they are best suited. If your skin is oily, I suggest going in with a more heavy duty cleanser and avoiding gel and cream cleansers – and go with a light moisturiser. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, go with a gentler cream/gel cleanser and a heavier duty moisturiser. Go with serums that cater to you. If you have dry skin, hyaluronic acid is great. If you have oily skin, toner might be good. If you're looking for anti-aging, then retinol could be good for you.
The bottom line
Not everything is going to work for everyone. What worked for your friends or your favourite celebrity may not be right for you. However, it's very important to stick to the basics and find what works for your skin. Good luck and remember to do your skincare every day!