Like everything else, the basics are what you need to know to get ahead. Where skincare is involved, knowing exactly what to do will give you that glowing, healthy looking skin. It may sound simple but not having it down pat can either cause you not to do enough for your skin or worst, aggravate it by doing the wrong thing. So here you go – a breakdown of what your skincare routine should look like.
CLEANSING: WHAT TO USE
The most basic of your skincare routine – getting the dirt and grime out of your pores so you can have clear and clean skin. The first step is to know your skin type – whether it is oily, normal, dry or sensitive. Our advice? Get it diagnosed by a specialist so you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Some skin can be both oily and dry at the same time so best to get an expert’s opinion. Then, get a cleanser that suits your skin type. Before you slather on, make sure your hands are clean! Last thing you want is to transfer dirt and germs from your hands to your face.
CLEANSING: HOW OFTEN IS ENOUGH?
For most people, cleansing twice a day – morning and night – is sufficient. However, if your skin is oily, you may need to wash more than twice. But don’t overdo it as you could be aggravating sebum production. Skin is dry? It could serve you well to skip the morning wash with a cleanser; instead just rinse with water to freshen up if you’ve not slathered your face with cream the night before.
How much cleanser is enough, you ask? Simple – just think the size of a 20 sen coin, which is sufficient to clean your face well. Use gentle circular motions when washing. Finally, pat – don’t rub – your face dry with a clean towel.
EXFOLIATION: WHAT WORKS
One of the reasons why you’re breaking out, even though you’re not a teenager anymore? Blame it on dead skin cells accumulation on top of your skin. Dead skin cells can clog up pores, which will then results in breakouts as well as dull and tired skin.
The thing to do? Grab a scrub and exfoliate! But not just any scrub – make sure to get one that suits your skin and isn’t too rough to begin with. Opt for gentle exfoliators with small and nourishing micro-beads made from natural ingredients like jojoba beads. Stay away from large and rough granules as these can “tear” your skin and lead to infection.
EXFOLIATION: DO IT RIGHT
The key to exfoliation? Don’t get carried away! Over-exfoliating can cause skin to become damage, irritated as well as increase sun sensitivity. So if your skin hurts or if the skin texture has changed dramatically (from oily to extremely oily), it’s a good indication that you’ve gone too far with the exfoliating step.
What’s recommended? Just once a week, say experts. And use gentle pressure to work in the beads. Apply a thin layer on wet skin, use your fingertips to gently massage in circular motion. Make sure to avoid sensitive areas like around your eyes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
TONING: WHY DO IT
Some experts say you can skip this step altogether but if you’re all about getting clean, then a toner is what you need. This step helps remove additional dirt your cleanser may have missed and “close” pores to give skin a smoother appearance. A toner can also prep your skin for products that follow after.
When picking a toner, avoid words like “astringents” as these are generally alcohol based and will strip away the natural oils your skin needs. Pick ones with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid to bind moisture to the skin. Apply with a soft cotton pad – concentrating on your T-zone – prior to using your moisturiser.
SERUM: FOR A SKIN BOOST
If you’re targeting specific skincare concerns like ageing or redness, then a serum can come in handy. In a gist, a serum is concentrated with the right ingredients that penetrate into deeper layers of skin to give it a boost (which is why it’s so expensive too!). Think of it as vitamins for your skin.
With so many serums out there for specific skin needs, picking the right one won’t be too much of a challenge. To use though can be quite confusing. As a general rule of thumb, apply your skin brightening serums during the day and your anti-ageing serums at night (as skin repairs take place at night). Follow by your moisturiser.
MOISTURISE: GET YOUR SKIN GLOWING!
Everyone needs a moisturiser, even if you have oily skin. A moisturiser not only hydrates your skin – which is extremely important for skin’s healthy – it helps to lock it in for softer and smoother skin with regular use.
With our humid weather, it’s best to stick to a light moisturiser for day and a slightly heavier one for night to repair skin from sun damages. Go for creams if your skin is dry and normal, and lotions if your skin is oily. Make sure to look out for words like “non-comedogenic”, “dermatologist recommended” or “hypoallergenic”. This means the moisturiser won’t clog your pores.
Apply after toner and serum. Wash your hands and use a spatula to scoop out the moisturiser if in a jar (don’t want to contaminate the entire jar now!). Put little dabs on your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. Then, gently massage into your skin in small, circular strokes. Massage until fully absorbed. While you’re at it, make sure to apply some onto your neck too! If you’re wearing make-up, leave on for a few minutes before application.
DON’T FORGET THE SPF!
An extremely important skincare step, especially in our weather! Always wear SPF during the daytime to protect your skin from the sun, whether it is rainy, sunny or gloomy. Sunrays are everywhere and can cause premature ageing like wrinkles, discolouration, dullness and lack of firmness.
Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or more. Apply it at least 20 minutes on exposed skin. If possible, re-apply every two hours, especially if you are out all day. Removing your sunscreen is just as important (not doing this right can clog up pores!). So at the end of the day, give your skin a really good cleanse. Follow up with toner, serum, moisturiser and you’re on your way to great skin!