No matter where you look, TV, magazines, the internet, or even just around your local grocery store, we are all bombarded with hundreds of skin care products guaranteed to make you look younger, erase under eye dark circles and wrinkles.
So many products to choose from that do so many different things, and I have no idea where to start. Which is why I decided to research just the basics, the musts. I don’t want to look like I’m 20 again, but I’m not even 40 yet and don’t want to look like I’m 50, either! Here are the four skin care basics that are essential to keeping your skin looking healthy and happy.
Word of advice: How you care for your skin is completely dependent on the type of skin you have: oily, normal/combination, dry, sensitive or sun-damaged. You can find out what skin type you have here.
Remember, cleansing should be simple. Find a great cleanser that works for your skin type, and stick with it. You don’t need to spend $40 on it, though I happen to LOVE Philosophy’s Purity facial cleanser. It gently cleanses while taking off all face and eye makeup in one simple step. You can get 3 ounces for $10, and I only have to use a little bit at a time so it lasts a long time.
That being said, you can find a good cleanser at the drugstore, but avoid bar soaps because they tend to dry out the skin. Choose a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin or a clear cleanser if you have oily skin.
And make sure that you don’t over cleanse! Cleansing at night should be enough. In the morning, just splash some lukewarm water on your face and then moisturize before applying makeup.
Exfoliation is the step most people skip in their skincare routine. I am a big fan of exfoliating, not only because it feels so good, but because there’s an almost immediate difference in the look and feel of my skin afterwards! The easiest way to exfoliate at home is by using any number of scrubs you can find at your local store or drugstore. Scrubs work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that tend to dull your complexion.
Every skin type (except if you have major acne) benefits from moisturizer because it seals moisture into skin.
So how much should you moisturize? It depends. But your skin will tell you. If your skin is tight, it’s crying out for moisture. Be careful not to over moisturize â€” this can clog pores. If you use a really good moisturizer, you won’t need more than a pea-sized amount of it to cover your face and neck. If I’m going to splurge on skin care products, it’s going to be on moisturizer!
This is the absolute most important part of your skin care routine! O Magazine ran an article featuring interviews with several top skin care experts and dermatologists and every one of them said sunscreen was the most important part of your skincare regimen.
Because sun damage is the #1 cause of wrinkles, it is important to use sunscreen every single, day . . . even the cloudy, rainy ones.
You can even combine steps three and four in the day time by choosing a moisturizer with sunscreen already in it – just make sure it contains Mexoryl or Helioplex. Helioplex is found in Neutrogena products, which is what I use daily. But don’t use moisturizers with sunscreen at night; the ingredients they contain are not meant to be used continuously and can aggravate skin.
Do you have a skin care routine? What are your favorite skin care products?