“Wow, your skin looks amazing!”. Is there any better compliment to hear? Everyone deserves to feel gorgeous and skin care plays a big part in getting you there. Whether you have a 14-step morning skin care routine specially tailored to your needs, or one cream that you swear by, there’s nothing like a fresh face to start the day off right. With more and more people seeking out stunning skin, the American skin care industry is booming. Good skin is in.
But, with so many different products available, making the right choice for your skin can feel like a minefield. Cleansers. Exfoliators. Treatments. Serums. Face Oils. Sunscreens. Moisturizers. Chemical Peels. Toners. Face Masks. Eye Creams. And, these are just the products in the drugstore. Knowing the difference between sensitive and combination skin is a whole other battle... It feels like you’d have to be a skin care expert to even know where to start.
That’s where we come in. Here is everything you need to know about skincare, so we can all start to love the skin we’re in.
What are the different skin types?
We are all different, and so is our skin. Each person has their own skin type, which is prone to its own issues. These are 5 main skin types: Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, Sensitive.
- Normal skin is neutral skin that has regular moisture and isn’t prone to specific issues.
- Oily skin occurs when your sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, giving you skin that appears oily and porous.
- Dry skin has been dried out, either by external factors (like the weather) or genetic factors, and can often crack or appear flaky.
- Combination skin is both dry and oily, in different areas.
- Sensitive skin is delicate and fragile and is more easily prone to irritation from products.
How can skin care help?
Skin care products are designed to help combat the specific problems your skin type is facing. For example, moisturizers help regulate skin moisture levels, combatting both dry and oily skin. Whatever skin issues you face, whether it is dryness, oiliness, redness, wrinkles, acne or clogged pores, there will be a product out there for you.
What are the different types of skin care products?
There are 11 types of skin care products. That’s a lot. With so many products to choose from, when you are standing in the shop, trying to work out the difference between a cleanser and an exfoliator, things can get a little confusing. Let us help break things down for you...
The role of cleansers is exactly what you would expect - to ‘cleanse’ your face. Using a cleanser will remove make-up, dead skin cells, oils, sweat, dirt, and other residues from your skin. This stops dirt and products from building up on your skin and causing clogged pores and acne. Cleansers should be used twice daily, in the morning and evening. They normally come in the form of a gel, cream, or foam which is rubbed into the skin and washed off.
A facial exfoliator is designed to help get rid of the dead skin that our faces shed all of the time. Without exfoliating, these dead skin cells can linger, causing clogged pores. So, when you exfoliate, your skin will appear brighter and glowing. An exfoliator will either be a facial scrub or a chemical-based formula. Generally, it is advised to exfoliate 2-3 times per week.
Skin ‘treatment’ products tackle specific skin issues, which vary from person to person. For example, if you suffer from acne, you may want to purchase a specific acne treatment. Other examples may be an anti-wrinkle treatment, a pigmentation treatment, or an inflammation treatment. Because of the variety of treatments on offer, they come in loads of different forms, from gels to facial pads.
Like treatments, serums have lots of different jobs and should be picked according to your skin type. They are designed to deliver a concentrated dose of goodness, directly to your skin, and should be applied between cleansing and moisturizing for maximum impact. They usually contain lots of lovely antioxidants, which help hydrate your skin and can combat wrinkles, acne, pigmentation and more.
Great skin is all about balance. The skin should never be too oily, but it should also never be too dry. The role of face oils is to help maintain the right balance of oils in your face. They will help keep your skin hydrated and super healthy! Face oils can be used daily and should be used after serum but before moisturizer.
Sunscreen is probably the most important daily skin care product. Your face should be protected from UV rays all year round, even in winter. The best way to include sunscreen in your daily routine is by buying a moisturizer with a high SPF. Two birds. One stone. Sorted!
Whether you are old or young, moisturizers are a daily essential. Helping to keep your skin hydrated, a moisturizer will prevent and treat both dryness and oiliness and keep you looking younger for longer. Moisturizers come in the form of creams, gels, and ointments, and are usually used twice a day.
Chemical Peels are hard-core versions of exfoliators. Instead of just getting rid of dead skin cells, they use acids to get rid of the whole outer layer of skin. This will help remove acne scars, sun damage, and wrinkles, but should only be done around once a fortnight - they are too intense to be a daily treatment.
Toners are a gently soothing treatment that helps enhance the effect of a cleanser and prepares your skin for moisturizer. It works by cleansing your skin of any remaining impurities, and, over time, will tighten up your pores. It also helps smooth your skin tone and texture. Basically, it’s an absolute all-rounder that should be used twice a day after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Face Masks are one-stop treatments designed to give your skin an intense boost of whatever it needs. From hydrating your skin to brightening your complexion, there is a face mask out there for everyone, and they should be used around once a week to keep your skin in tip top condition. They come in the form of clay masks, mud masks, peel-off masks, and creams, each with their own benefit for your skin.
Eye creams are designed specifically for the delicate skin that sits under our eyes. They can be used twice a day to combat under-the-eye issues like puffiness, eye bags, and eye wrinkles.
Where should I start?
There is no point in buying a product that combats dryness if you have oily skin. Before you buy any skincare products, work out exactly what kind of skin you have so you can purchase the perfect products for you!
There are a whole lot of skin care products out there but don’t feel like you have to start by buying every single one! Start with a basic routine: cleanser, moisturiser, sunscreen. Building these steps into your routine each day will ensure your skin has the essential care it needs in a way you can manage. Once you have this nailed, feel free to add in more steps, like serum and toner, if you feel like it.
There is no one-size-fits-all skin care routine, so, you may need to shop around a little before you find your perfect products. If you don’t feel like a product is working for you, change it! A product may take a few weeks or months to take effect, but if you are not feeling like it is working, find something better. You deserve happy, healthy skin, so don’t stop until you get it.