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Whether it’s skipping a cleanse before bed when you’re really tired or forgetting to exfoliate weekly, most of us could be doing better with our skincare. The truth is, with all the products out there, skincare can be overwhelming — especially for beginners.
You may have asked yourself, “What’s the difference between a serum and a face oil?”, “How do I know my skin type?” or “What order am I supposed to be putting products on my face?”. While we can’t answer every skincare question you might have all at once, we are going to clear up that last one and a few others along the way. Read on for your essential skincare routine.
Before we get into the order of steps in your skincare routine, you should first understand that there’s no specific number of steps required to look after your skin. The guide below is designed to make it easier for you to know when to apply each product, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them all. Most people will find their skin reacts better to a three, four or five step routine than it does to a nine or ten-step one. Start with a cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. Then you can slowly add other products to your routine to meet your skin’s needs.
Before you start slathering products on your face, you’ll first need to remove any makeup and wash your face with a cleanser. Clean skin helps products absorb properly, so it’s vital you start with this step. Opt for a gentle cleansing oil that will dissolve makeup without stripping your skin, then, if needed, go in for a second cleanse with a creamy or water-based cleanser. If you don’t normally wear makeup, the creamy or water based cleanser will be all you need to prepare your skin.
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, cleaning and purifying clogged pores to help you achieve a clearer, smoother and more evenly toned complexion. Exfoliating shouldn’t be part of your daily skincare routine, but you should add it two to three times a week for best results. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to exfoliate just once or twice a week to prevent irritation.
According to dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD, whether you should exfoliate in the morning or evening depends on your habits and skin type. “If someone wears makeup on a daily basis, exfoliating at night would help to lift any remaining makeup particles from the skin and ensure that your products are penetrating properly”, he advises. Dr Lancer adds that if you have oily skin or your face is dull in the morning, exfoliating first thing may be best for you.
A good toner will remove any last traces of dirt after cleansing, prep the skin for serums and moisturisers and can also minimise pores. There are several types of toner for different skin types, which can be used to hydrate the skin or help with breakouts.
After cleansing, apply your chosen toner to clean, dry skin, then give it a few minutes to work its magic before applying any other products. Toners can be used twice daily after cleansing and should be soothing on the skin. If you experience irritation, you may need to switch out the product you’re using and experiment with different ingredients.
Face masks can help to remove excess oil, draw out impurities and reduce the appearance of pores, as well as help to hydrate skin for a naturally glowing look. You may choose to add this step into your routine a couple of times a week, either in the morning or before you go to sleep.
People often get confused by what serums do and where they lie in your skincare routine order. Essentially, serums are topical products designed to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients directly into the skin. They usually contain nutrients, hydrators and antioxidants to give your skin an extra boost.
You can use serums in the morning, evening or both. You may decide to stick to one serum that you’re happy with, or could use different types for AM and PM applications.
If you’re using an eye cream, you should apply this before any thicker products such as rich moisturisers or face oils to ensure the formula penetrates the skin. Eye creams may help to address fine lines, puffiness and dark circles in the under-eye area.
If you have acne-prone skin, a spot treatment will be an essential part of your daily skincare routine. You may choose to apply spot treatments at night when your body is working hard to repair itself as you sleep, but you can also apply yours in the morning if you’d prefer, especially if you’ve already used an acne-targeting toner.
Next in your skincare routine order is moisturiser, an essential part of any beauty routine. You should always use a moisturiser twice a day to protect your skin barrier, keeping your face hydrated and healthy. Try using a lighter moisturiser during the day and a heavier product at night to aid regeneration.
When you layer a face oil over other skin-boosting ingredients, it can make your skincare routine extra effective and leave skin feeling super smooth.
Face oils can be applied both in the morning and at night. Certain oils such as Organic Jojoba Oil are recommended for acne-prone skin, while others have hydrating, brightening and firming properties that make them the perfect choice for ageing skin.
The final — and absolutely essential — step in your skincare routine is sunscreen, which protects your skin against premature ageing, acne scarring and the sun’s harmful rays. You should apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 for adequate protection. SPF comes last in the skincare routine order because it doesn’t need to penetrate your skin or any of the products you’ve just applied. It simply acts as a protective barrier against the outside world.
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These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters. The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness. It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
For more information and guidance on making your own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.
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