Being a skin care consultant, I often get asked “Do I really need ALL of that?” And my response is always the same, “Yes, you do need ALL of that!” You wouldn’t bake a cake without adding the eggs, would you? Nope! All products in a routine do different things for the skin and can work together to give you maximum benefits from the products you use. While there are many “luxury” products that are nice to use, we all should have a complete, every day routine that consists of particular types of products. It may seem overwhelming or too much to have more than just one or two products to use, but I assure you, there is a reason for each of them and I’m here to break it down for you!
A few things to note…
The exact products you will need will vary depending on any specific skin issues or concerns that you may have. Acne prone, sensitivities, anti-aging, etc.
Everyone’s skin is different! What works great for one person, may not work at all for someone else. All skin has different needs, different allergies, different sensitivities and some people just don’t like the feel of certain products or ingredients.
Sometimes it takes a little experimenting and time. NO skin care product or ingredient is a magic fix that will correct all of your problems in one use (believe me, as someone who battles acne, I wish there was). After much experimentation, I’m like a mad scientist with my routine, but I won’t bore you with those details.
So, what are the MUST-HAVE items for your routine??? I’m glad you asked.
I know what you’re thinking, “I have a cleanser already!” Nope, I’m not talking about a cleanser. Before using a cleanser you MUST remove your makeup!!!
Yep, remove your makeup before you begin your routine. If you don’t, the cleanser will work to break down the makeup and you won’t receive any of the benefits that you are hoping to get from the cleanser (acne fighting, anti-aging, etc.). You’ll want to use a gentle, mild makeup remover so that it won’t interfere with your routine, or cause any additional problems for you. My absolute favorite way to remove makeup is with makeup remover cloths! They are easy to use (no water necessary!), portable for traveling, relatively inexpensive and you can find them at any drug store. Neutrogena cloths are a favorite of mine!
Now that you have removed your makeup and all that dirt, oil and grime from the day you can cleanse! The cleanser that you select is going to be a personal preference based on your specific needs or skin concerns. For example, I have very acne-prone skin, so I use an entire specific regimen that focuses on acne treatment. If you have sensitive skin, then you’ll need to find something that will work for your sensitivities. A cleanser will give you that extra clean skin and prepare your skin for the steps that follow.
Skin Care Tidbit: Using a makeup remover prior to using a cleanser is called “double cleansing”.
No, I’m not talking about those smelly, alcohol liquids we slathered on our faces as teens to fight the oil and pimples! Toners have changed a LOT since then. Toners are used to balance the pH of skin and help remove any lingering dirt and oils that may be leftover. This step will prepare the surface of the skin for the products that follow. These products can also contain additional benefits and treatments for your skin issues. So, you might find a great toner that would have ingredients to help even out skin discolorations, or add hydration to the skin.
Important to note: If you have sensitive skin, this may not be necessary. Toner may cause more problems to someone with skin sensitivities.
Treatment/Serum (acne, anti-aging, dark spots)
Next you will apply any specific treatments or serums for the concerns that you have. So, if you are battling acne, you would apply an acne specific treatment here. Specific treatments or serums will vary from person to person, even if they have the same concerns. Example: I’ve used all the well-known products and brands for my acne for many years with no benefits, but those same products work great for some people. Same goes for all other skin concerns!
Moisturizer (even oily skin ladies!)
EVERYONE NEEDS TO MOISTURIZE!!! Yes I’m yelling, because it’s that important and a common misconception that oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer. A lot of times, people will notice the oiliness balance out with the right moisturizer and their skin becomes less oily. Cray huh?! Our skin is like a road map (not google maps!)…it tells us what we need, if we just follow it and respond accordingly. If you are oily, then make sure you find a moisturizer specific for oily skin, but surprisingly, sometimes the ones that don’t specify work great too! I use an anti-aging moisturizer and it has helped balance my oiliness tremendously.
SPF!!! Your daytime moisturizer should contain sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Even if you aren’t laying out in the sun all day, our skin is still exposed to the sun every day and our skin will show signs of aging more quickly without protection. You can use all the most expensive products to get you skin looking fabulous, but if you don’t use sunscreen EVERY day, then all those pricey products are for nothing!
The skin around our eyes is very delicate, sensitive and thin, so we shouldn’t use the non-eye specific products near our eyes.
Eye creams are specially formulated for the eye area and are lighter than regular facial moisturizers.
Exfoliator (2-3 x's per week)
Get rid of all those nasty dead skin cells!! Not only do dead skin cells clog pores, but having a layer of dead skin will prevent your products from going as deep as they should/could into the skin. Which means, you are not getting the maximum benefits from your products. Dead skin cells can also leave you with dull and tired-looking skin. By exfoliating 2-3x’s per week, you remove dead skin cells and polish skin to reveal a refreshed, smooth surface. Not only will your skin feel amazing, but you’ll also have a healthy glow. Who doesn’t want that?!
Bottom line, every product in your routine serves a specific purpose to help you achieve the best skin of your life. Through a little trial and error, you can find exactly what your skin needs and treat any issues to give you the best skin of your life!
Lastly, please remember, you don’t have to buy the most expensive products on the market to get results. Buy what you can afford! Drug stores have tons of options for all different skin types and concerns, in all price ranges. Regardless of your budget, do your research! There are many times I stand in the makeup aisle of Wal-Mart and Target looking up reviews of products to see what others think.
Want more skincare tips, tricks, and hacks? Want to do an “about face” on your skin, your confidence and your life? Then hop on over to Facebook and join my group www.facebook.com/groups/AboutFacewithNiki.