We all know that cleansing our skin is an automatic check on our daily To-do list but are you actually doing it the proper way, if at all? You would be surprised by the large number of people who don't really know what a good skincare regime is, let alone how they should be using it.
But don't you worry, I'm going to take you through the ABC's and 123's of not only putting together a bomb skincare regime but also a quick how-to on cleansing your face!
Understanding Your Skin
What many people don't realize is that the skin on your face is much different from the skin on the rest of your body, in fact its much more delicate. So no (Fellas) body soap does not suffice for a good enough face wash and can actually dry out the skin.
I get it, you've probably asked yourself "Well how do I choose a cleanser or skin care regime that works for me with so many brands out there?" Yes the brand options for skincare are endless and can sometimes become overwhelming, but to help narrow down your search you must first determine what kind of skin you have.
Is it dry, oily, normal or a combination of two of more? Is the texture smooth, rough, flaky or acneic? Take a good look at your skin, feel it and let it talk to you. Its been screaming for your attention and now's the time to listen!
Which is your skin type?
What is your skin texture?
What does it need?
Dry, dull or flaky skin would benefit most from a mild cleanser, exfoliation, and emollient moisturizer. Exfoliators (physical or biochemical) remove dead skin cells, allowing new ones to regenerate. This will bring back radiance and allow moisturizers to properly penetrate the skin. The most common exfoliator are those that work on the surface such as scrubs. When choosing a scrub be sure that it isn't too abrasive. It shouldn't feel as if sea salt is rubbing against your face.
Oily skin best benefit from a gel or foam cleanser, an acid exfoliant (glycolic and lactic) and a lightweight moisturizer or hydrating serum. Contrary to popular belief, oily skin needs moisture as all skin types do. Using products that strip the skin of all its oil will only create more oil. Go figure!
Acneic/oily skin best benefit from Cleansers with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinol or activated charcoal in them. These ingredients all help to exfoliate and unclog pores, which will reduce breakouts. When choosing a moisturizer its best to find one with hyaluronic acid or glycerin in them, these do a great job at keeping skin hydrated.
Fine lines/wrinkles best benefit from products such as cleansers and creams that have Retin-A and vitamin c. These ingredients stimulate collagen, fade age spots and smooths rough spots on the skin. As we mature skin becomes more dry so its very important to up the hydration in your moisturizer.
Hyperpigmentation a.k.a "blemishes" is when patches of skin appear darker than the surrounding are and occurs when the skin produces more melanin. Skin with hyperpigmentation would best benefit from cleansers and serums with Vitamin C more specifically L-ascorbic acid as it is the most effective in brightening complexion, aids in healing wounds, reduces wrinkles and protects and increases collagen.
Toners " A face toner is a quick, absorbing liquid that helps to remove excess dirt, traces of oil and makeup, correct and balance the pH of your skin and helps control acne." This is used after your cleanser and can be added to any skincare regime no matter the skin type. Witch hazel (not to be confused with a primary cleanser) is commonly used as a toner because of its anti-irritant properties and its ability to remove excess oil on the skin and clean pores.
Eye cream is recommended in your regime once you reach your early 20's. Though skin does not begin to wrinkle this early, the under eye is very thin and becomes dryer as we enter our mid 20's so starting preventative care is highly encouraged.
Determine Your Budget
Now that you have an idea of your skin type its time to start researching brands right for you. Typically the biggest factor in obtaining skincare is price point . The consumer has to figure out how much they are willing to put into their new regime and if you don't know much about skincare you probably wont see it as much of an investment. I wont go so far as to say that you need to spend top dollar on products but I will tell you that you get what you pay for.
When you determine your price point for Cleaner, Toner and Moisturizer you can then research brands that cater to your specific skin needs. For men I understand that having a multi-step skincare regime can be overwhelming, so to this I suggest starting with at least a cleanser and moisturizer.
One brand that I particularly recommend to those wanting to start a good regime without breaking the bank is Mario Badescu. This brand is moderately priced and has a large selection of products that cater to your particular skin type or condition. You can find them in Ulta Beauty along with many other reputable skincare brands. This is probably the best place to go when inquiring about the different lines available mainly because the vendors to those companies are usually there to help you.
Time to Cleanse
Now that you have your skincare system (cleanser, toner/exfoliant, and moisturizer) lets discuss how to use/apply it. Cleansing the face should occur twice a day, in the morning and especially before bed. When you apply skincare products there is a particular way that it should be done. This may be an extra or unnecessary for some but for those who want to reverse or prevent signs of aging its an absolute must! When applying any skincare (cleanser, moisturizer and eye cream) you want to take your ring and middle fingers and work product upward onto the face. These fingers apply the least amount of pressure while working products upward lifts the skin.
When applying your toner or exfoliant you may want to grab some rounds or use your hands to distribute product around the face. Personally I feel that cotton rounds are most effective for this step.
Last but not least, when applying eye cream you want to take your ring fingers (under the eye is very thin, this applies the least amount of pressure) only and dot the product in under the eye and on the brow bone.
Congratulations! You have successfully discovered not only your skin type but its texture and what products would best benefit YOU.
Remember friends always listen to what your skin is telling you and adjust your regime to its current needs. I hope this article serves you well in your skincare journey and acts as a reference for the future. Be well and drink water!