The skincare industry can be kinda overwhelming, which is why we’re (always) here to help. And we totally understand your dilemma; with literally hundreds of innovative products being released each week and the discovery of another “must-have” ingredient, it can be hard to determine what products you really need and what’s just a trend. To guide you through the beauty-jargon on your quest for perfect skin, here are 21 skincare tips that cover ALL the bases.
Get to know your skin type
Understanding and getting to know your skin type is the most important thing you can do for your skin. If you’re unaware or misinformed, you could compromise your skin’s natural balance and trigger irritation, inflammation, breakouts, and even premature aging by using the wrong products. The most common skin types are oily, acne-prone, dry, sensitive, and mature skin; it’s also important to note that you can be more than one type and it can change over time or through the seasons, so always listen to your skin.
Make sure you know how to layer
If you don’t apply your skincare products in the right order you could prevent them from being fully-absorbed, which means they won’t be as effective. The general rule is to apply the most lightweight formulas first so they can be easily absorbed without the barrier of heavier creams. To avoid piling (those tiny little balls you get when you’ve used too much product), when you move onto thicker creams, give your skin time to absorb the product (at least a few minutes).
Don’t apply too much product
When it comes to skincare, ‘more is more’ is not a good rule. So if you apply too much moisturizer, the product will likely pill or could potentially block your pores. Plus, it’s a total waste of product and your money considering your skin won’t be able to absorb it all anyway! Make sure you follow this sizing guide:
Always double cleanse
Double cleansing is our fave K-beauty hack, and it’s completely transformed our skin. By cleansing twice, you’ll ensure all the dirt, bacteria, oil and pollution that’s built up on your skin during the day has been removed, leaving you with a thoroughly clean base for you to layer your nighttime skincare routine onto.
Never forget to do a patch test
Before you start using a new product, you should always do a patch test to avoid the risk of irritation or an allergic reaction. Just apply a small amount of product to your inner arm to see how your skin reacts to the formula.
Don’t use expired products
Hanging onto products past their expiry dates is a big no-no: It’s bad for you. Sadly, your beloved beauty products harbor bacteria (especially if you use them frequently), and these can lead to infections and irritations, not to mention, they don’t perform as well – we’re talking to you, gunky mascara! After a while, products can produce harmful toxins that can be dangerous to your health as well as your skin. As a general rule, if you can’t remember when you bought your face cream, SPF, foundation, mascara or eyeliner – get rid of it!
If you didn’t know, this little jar with a floating lid signals how long you can use your product for once you’ve opened it. So, if it reads 12M that means you’ve got a whole year to enjoy your product – usually lipsticks, blushes, eyeshadows, and foundation will be anywhere in this expiration region, or perhaps even up to 24M. Skincare products with active ingredients could be anywhere from 3M to 6M – so now you know, it’s really worth checking. Especially with skincare containing active ingredients or SPF, as they lose their efficacy and might not give you the protection you need.
Don’t be afraid of drugstore skincare
Don’t assume that a good skincare regime has to cost you serious dough! There’re so many amazing drugstore products and affordable brands with awesome formulas.
Your skin may purge, don’t panic
If you’re using a new product and your skin starts acting out, your skin may be purging. According to celeb dermatologist and author of Beyond Beautiful, Dr. Doris Day “A purge is a reaction from a product. It can be an irritant reaction to a product, leading to piling up of skin cells and their underlying contents. It can be due to an imbalance of water in the skin, an imbalance of the way the cells exfoliate or an imbalance of elements within the skin.” What this means is, the product might not be breaking you out, but it’s causing a reaction in your skin – this doesn’t always mean you should disregard the product.
Sunscreen is everything
If there’s one thing literally ALL derms tell us; it’s the importance of using sunscreen daily to help protect your skin from sun damage. 90% of how your skin ages is within your control and is directly linked to sun exposure. So even on cloudy, winter days, protect your skin by using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above and a 5-star UVA rating. Just apply sunscreen every day, and your skin will thank you for it.
Make masks a regular thing
Most of us will associate a face mask with the occasional pamper night with your girls. But masks are actually super important and can be incorporated into your daily regime. Celebrity facialist Georgia Louise recommends doing a 10-minute mask every morning to hydrate and soothe the skin. Face masks can help address a whole array of skin concerns from oily and acne-prone skin to dry or sensitive skin; you just need to find the right mask for your skin type. Even if you don’t have time every day, do a clay mask once a week and a sheet mask to hydrate as often as possible.
Eat and drink with your skin in mind
No matter how many miracle products you slather on your face, if your diet sucks, your skin just won’t be bringing its A-game. To get that glow, you need to be supplying your body with beauty-boosting vitamins and minerals, and the right nutrients to strengthen your gut. Similarly, there are some foods that you need to avoid if you’re munching with your skin in mind.
You also need to make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day – it’s a skincare no brainer. If you ask any model what their top skincare secret is, it’s to always stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. If you’re not drinking enough water, it can make your skin look dull and emphasize fine lines (you should aim for at least 2 liters a day).
Vitamin C is the ultimate glow-getter
Vitamin C is one of the strongest antioxidants on the shelves, which means it helps to protect your skin from environmental stressors that can accelerate aging. Plus, it’s even been shown to promote and encourage elastin and collagen syntheses, so combined with its ability to banish dull skin, it’s completely transformative.
Moisture is everything
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – we’re not kidding! When it comes to your skin, hydration is everything. Even if you have oily skin, you need to keep your skin hydrated; otherwise, it’ll produce more oil in an attempt to compensate. Make sure you’re moisturizing twice a day and topping up with a nighttime serum and facial mist throughout the day. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, peptides, and ceramides.