It’s time we demystify skincare and cut through the clutter of gimmicky products. You’ll be making more informed choices with these straightforward steps.
Take a walk down any skincare aisle and you’ll likely be confused or overwhelmed by the abundance of facial care products for sale. Add in the hundreds of thousands of beauty bloggers touting the latest ‘must-have’ products or that coffee date with your best friend who shares details of the new glycolic acid serum that transformed her skin and you may step back from it all befuddled. With so many voices in the beauty world, it can be challenging to sift through the hype to understand what truly works. It seems the more choices we have, the more perplexing it can be.
FIVE TO HELP SKIN THRIVE
The best way to care for your skin is to focus on the five essential pillars of skin health. Everyone’s skin is unique and different, so there is no cookie-cutter regimen that will work for everyone. However, there is a foundational framework that will help you build a skincare routine to support long-term skin health and radiance. Consider these the five to help your skin thrive!
Does your skin feel tight, dry or ‘squeaky clean’ after cleansing? If so, you are likely stripping away your skin’s natural protective lipid barrier. This is counterproductive to healthy skin. Instead, look for cleansing oils and gentle cream cleansers that will remove impurities, makeup, and sunscreen without drying out your skin and therefore compromising the natural microbiome and protective barrier upon which your skin depends. You’ll know you’ve found the right cleanser when your skin feels fresh and soft immediately after rinsing clean and patting dry.
Your skin’s happy place is where oil and water meet on the skin’s surface. People often disregard toning mists, writing them off as an unnecessary luxury, but in fact, they are an integral step to keeping skin balanced and healthy. Spritzing skin with a flower hydrosol or herbal infusion mist protects against dehydration while also regulating your skin’s pH and preparing the top layers of the skin to absorb nutrient dense serums or oils, which come next in a good routine. Hydrating mists can also be used on top of makeup and sunscreen to soothe and cool skin throughout the day.
Feeding skin is all about delivering antioxidants and active ingredients, often in the form of a serum or ampoule filled with plant-based ingredients to brighten hyperpigmentation, combat the bacteria that cause acne, calm inflammation and repair skin tissue, or gently exfoliate to increase cell turnover and improve the texture of mature skin. These are called ‘active ingredients’ because they often address specific skin conditions and encourage the most change in the appearance of your skin. Applying antioxidants topically is a great companion to filling your plate with bright, vibrant plant foods to support vitamin absorption internally.
You may be wondering why we’re talking about moisturising when we already addressed hydration? It’s because skin moisture and hydration are not interchangeable. Simply put, hydration refers to water and moisture refers to oil. If your skin is dehydrated, it is lacking water. If your skin is dry, it is lacking oil. Pressing in three or four drops of a minimally processed, cold-pressed plant oil seals in the benefits of the mist and serum you used in the previous steps, and also protects skin from environmental damage. Some of the most universally beneficial oils to reach for when you’re starting out are carrot seed, rosehip, and chia seed.
Protecting skin from UV exposure is an essential step to ensure long-term healthy, beautiful skin. Choose an SPF 30 that is broad spectrum without added fragrance. Look for SPF formulas that contain only mineral sun protection ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Zinc sunscreen has come a long way over the past few years and formulas are now feather-light and lovely to wear morning to night. Some offer tinted coverage that diffuse redness and even skin tone, perhaps replacing your traditional foundation makeup.
When it comes to skincare, it’s time to stop buying into the gimmicky ‘quick fixes’. There is no one-size-fits-all skincare routine nor are there ‘miracle products’ that will transform your skin overnight. Instead, understanding the five pillars to caring for your skin is a straightforward way to inform how you purchase products more mindfully. You can refer to these guidelines even as your skincare routine needs to change throughout the years. Remember, the overarching goal is to always gently guide your skin to balance. Proper cleansing, hydrating, delivery of active ingredients, moisturising, and protecting will do just that.