Skin. It’s the largest human organ and one we often overlook. Especially at a young age, our priorities tend to lie in making sure we upkeep our bronzed glow by basking in the sun as opposed to implementing an anti-aging regimen. But in all fairness, who wants to think about crow’s feet before they surface? The future of your face is now and implementing a solid skincare routine at a young age will only produce more impressive results in the long run. That being said, let’s break down the basics of skincare:

 

woman_in_bathroom Adobe Stock | © Jacob Lund

 

Cleansing

Perhaps the most important step, but what’s more important is choosing one that compliments your skin type. Most commonly, cleansers come in both cream and gel forms. Those with dry or delicate skin may want to opt for a cream cleanser as they are known for being the gentlest option. Although cream cleansers won’t foam, they are still packed with rich ingredients that help combat those dry and sensitive skin types. For those with more normal to oily skin, gel cleaners are for you! Most, if not all, of these, include ingredients that break down dirt, oils, makeup, and external pollutions in a more aggressive manner than that of cream cleansers – don’t get me wrong, they both get the job done! It’s important to cleanse in both the morning and night to minimize the overproduction of bad oils on the skin that can clog pores and cause breakouts. Although at night, before you do anything, it’s a good idea to remove any residual makeup you have on from the day whether that be with a makeup removing wipe or oil-based product. This is often referred to as double-cleansing.

Check out: Revision Skincare's Papaya Enzyme Cleanser for a gentle exfoliation rich in vitamins and minerals

Next up, Toning

This is a step I find most people tend to skip out of fear. The stigma around toners is that they’re harsh and irritating though, there are a plethora of options to try depending on your skin type and concerns. The main purpose of toning is to restore the natural pH balance of one’s face following a cleansing, or double-cleansing. Although not the most imperative step in your routine, different toners will deliver different benefits depending on what it is you are looking to achieve. 

Check out: Peter Thomas Roth's 8% Glycolic Solutions Toner for a hydrating method for removing excess oils

 

woman_using_serum Adobe Stock | © ryanking999

 

Serums

Serums have recently become popular again – and they are much more exciting than the ones we used to watch our grandmothers slap up their necks and faces each night. Serums are ultra-concentrated treatments that provide varying benefits – depending on which you choose. For example, vitamin C serum is a beautiful option for those wanting to neutralize UV damage whereas hyaluronic acid-based serums are really effective in plumping and delivering dense moisture to those with dry skin. A great option for those focused on anti-aging are peptides. Peptides are short strands of amino acids that promote the regeneration of collagen whether that be in skin, hair, or nails. By promoting collagen generation, you’re improving your risk for premature aging and wrinkles by improving your skin’s overall elasticity. 

*Weekly exfoliation and masks are also great options to target more specific concerns. 

Check out: SkinMedica's TNS Essential Serum for a fan favorite rejuvenating treatment to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone, and texture

Moisturizing

In addition to skin being the largest organ, our skin is the greatest barrier we have against environmental risks and infections which means keeping this barrier strong is imperative to your overall health and well-being. Simply put, strength comes from moisture – the drier the skin the more prone to cracking it is, which causes you to be more prone to infection. Sometimes people with oily skin think it’s okay to skip this step, although this would be a huge mistake. When you strip the skin of its natural oils through the cleansing and toning process, the skin naturally wants to produce more oil to compensate causing the creation of excess oils, leading to break-outs and other texture abnormalities. Some people opt for a thinner cream in the mornings and a specially formulated night cream in the evenings. This is a personal decision, what matters most is that you moisturize both in the morning and night regardless of skin type. 

Check out: EltaMD's AM Therapy and PM Therapy for a moisturizing regimen suited for all skin types

And, perhaps, the most important of all: Sunscreen! 

Sunscreen is the best, and only assured way to prevent premature aging. This step is pretty self-explanatory, I just need to stress how important implementing an SPF into your daily skincare routine is.

Check out: GLOWBIOTICS's Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30 Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB for beautiful, bright, protected skin

 

You may wonder, is this order really that important?

Yes, the sequence is important in order for your products to penetrate the skin in the proper and most effective way. A good rule of thumb to follow for this would go in the product order according to consistency, beginning with the thinnest or the least opaque.

 

This is just a basic overview of a solid foundation for one’s skincare regimen. Of course, if you have more specific problems or concerns having a conversation with your dermatologist is essential in finding the best products for you specifically.