Blogger at Love To Slay
There are so many skincare rules, tricks and hacks, and thousands of skincare products that all promise to deliver healthier-looking skin. And while some do pack major benefits, there are others that seem to be a waste of time for the girl-on-the-go. But it doesn’t matter how good or bad they are if your basic beauty routine is damaging your skin. We know that sounds dramatic, but honestly, when you get to grips with these basic beauty rules, you’ll understand why they’re so important. If you ensure you follow these five basic skincare rules, we promise you’ll notice a difference.
Tip 1: Always Double Cleanse
Double cleansing means washing your face twice because one wash just isn’t enough. Whether you wear a full face of makeup or not, double cleansing at the end of the day is essential to remove all of the makeup, dirt, grime, and pollution that builds up on your skin throughout the day. Washing your face once with your facial wash will only remove the surface dirt, and this is where the double cleansing comes in. The second cleanse will actually be able to penetrate your pores, sweeping away any sebum and leftover dirt and makeup. This also means your following skincare steps will be able to penetrate your skin better.
How to: Start with an oil cleanser like the Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil, which will dissolve makeup, SPF, pollution, and sebum on the surface of your skin. Don’t worry, oil cleansing won’t break you out, the oil binds with impurities and is washed away. Next, use a water-based cleanser (like a gel, foam, or cream), which will get rid of water-based impurities like sweat, dirt, and any leftover nasties. This will also be able to penetrate your skin and deliver the active ingredients from your cleanser.
Advice: Always use warm water, and not too hot! With each cleanse, massage it into your skin for one minute. If you don’t yet have a cleansing oil, you can start double cleansing just by using your regular facial wash twice. It doesn’t need to be expensive, try the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel (£12.50).
Tip 2: Layer Your Products the Right Way
You need to make sure you’re layering your skincare products in the right way in order for the products to absorb into your skin properly. For example, if you apply a moisturiser before your eye cream, because moisturisers have occlusives in (ingredients that create a barrier on your skin), the potent ingredients in your eye cream wouldn’t get a chance to penetrate your skin properly and work their magic.
How to: The rule is to apply your most lightweight, water-based products first, moving on to your thickest formulas at the end of your routine. The image above demonstrates, start by double cleansing, then if you need to exfoliate or do a mask, do this now. Next, apply toner, which will remove impurities and dirt your cleanser may have missed around your hairline or neck. Proceed with applying spot treatment gels or creams targeted for your problem areas, so there’s no barrier to stop them. Then serum, as these have small molecules packed with active ingredients, then use your favourite eye cream. After, add moisturiser – possible one of your most important steps, as it will hydrate and help to repair your skin, especially before bed when your skin loses a lot of moisture. Finally, use a face oil – this is the last step as they create a protective barrier on your skin (can be used for morning skincare and night time). For your morning skincare, your last step will be SPF. This is equally as important as your moisturiser.
Advice: Let your products soak into your skin for a couple of minutes before moving onto the next step, which will stop them from pilling. Don’t use too much products as this will just cause them to build up and potentially rub off.
Tip 3: Know Your Skin Type
Everyone’s skin is unique, and over time, it changes. There are certain ‘skin type’ categories you can use as guidelines to help you find skincare that works for you. Understanding what your skin needs, means you can find the best products that will work for your skin. Depending on whether your skin is, dry, normal, oily, acne-prone, sensitive or aging, you should be using products suited to your skin type. You might even be a couple of these; you could be both oily and acne-prone, aging and dry, or even sensitive and acne-prone. And depending on seasons, you could be dry during winter and oily during summer, which is why you should switch up your skincare when summer hits. If you are unsure of your skin type, try doing some research on this.
How to: Once you know the characteristics of your skin, you’ll understand your skin type and you can begin to choose products that work for you. Most skincare products state what skin type they’re good for, so make sure you know what you’re looking for.
Advice: Your skin changes and doesn’t stay the same forever. Everything from the seasons, your environment, and your hormones can affect it. If you have oily skin now, you might not forever, so always reassess your skin every six months to see if you need to try something new.
Tip 4: Exfoliate
Regular exfoliation, or at least exfoliating once a week get rid of dead skin cells that block your pores and help with skin cell renewal. This means not only will it clear out dead skin, and dirt and grime that can lead to pimples and blackheads, but it will also instantly brighten your complexion, and allow for your other products to penetrate deeper. Some exfoliators, like AHAs (glycolic acid), can even improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How to: How often you exfoliate depends on your skin type – that’s why tip three is so important! If you have oily skin, you can exfoliate between two to three times a week, but if you have dry or sensitive skin, you may find that exfoliating with gentle exfoliators once a week is plenty.
An important rule is that you don’t over-exfoliate, which can end up removing healthy skin cells, exposing your skin to bacteria thus making you to breakout more likely. There are two types of exfoliators, mechanical (physical) and chemical. You can use a mechanical exfoliator, which contains beads or natural grains like salt or sugar that buff away dead skin, or chemical exfoliators (AHAs like lactic, glycolic or citric acid) which dissolve the ‘glue’ that binds dead skin cells in your pores.
Advice: Never scrub too hard, as this will damage your skin; apply gentle pressure and use warm water. We like the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (£21), which combines physical exfoliators, lactic acid, and fruit enzymes to remove dulling dead cells and uncover unrivalled radiance skin.
Tip 5: Never Forget SPF
Not only can the sunburn your skin, but the truth is, it’s literally destroying your skin. Are we being dramatic? No! 90% of how your skin ages is down to sun exposure.
There are two types of Ultra Violet rays, UVA and UVB, and you need to protect your skin from both. UVB is what causes sunburn, skin discoloration and skin cancer, and this is what SPF protects against. Then there’re UVA rays, which are considered even more dangerous as these penetrate deeper into your skin and cause long-term damage, like wrinkles, sagging skin, the destruction of collagen, and skin cancer. These can penetrate through cloud and glass, which is why you should wear SPF every day, and why you need to find a sunscreen that has a UVA 3-star rating or higher.
How to: Even if your only time in the sunshine is your commute to work, you still need to wear SPF. For the cooler months, you can get away with an SPF 30 with 3-star UVA rating in your foundation or BB cream, but when the sun comes out, we recommend factor 50 SPF and UVA 4-star or 5-star rating. If you’re continually in the sun, reapply through the day – and no, makeup doesn’t protect your skin from UV rays.
Advice: Buy a sunscreen mist that you can apply on top of your makeup to ensure you’re protected if you’re out during the day, and if you can wear a hat, that helps too. We highly recommend the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Face Mist 50 SPF (£14).