When it comes to skincare, the process can be overwhelming, and too many to choose from. It can be daunting to know where to begin or if what you’ve begun is working for skincare Luddites. With that in mind, here is a complete beginner’s guide to skincare, free of preconceived ideas and/or judgment. Here is a Beginner’s Guide to Skincare tips to make skincare easy and enjoyable for you:
Keep it simple
For beginners, we suggest a three-step routine: cleanse, moisturize, and add sunscreen. Of course, you can modify these and add ingredients depending on your individual skincare needs. E.g., if you have acne, you may want to try using a spot treatment. No matter the case, the main three steps remain to serve as the foundation of a healthy skincare routine.
While it can be tempting to spend money on skincare products, keeping your routine simple will prevent your skin from being overwhelmed. Besides that, limiting your skincare routine will help you save money and avoid wasting ingredients.
Determine your skin type
Identifying the skin type is one of the first steps toward a beginner’s guide to skincare. Different skin types have different requirements that skincare products would meet. Oily skin may be more concerned with mattifying ingredients than dry skin, which needs thick and rich moisturizers.
Observe your skin during the day is a simple way to determine your skin type. Is your skin shiny and sticky by lunchtime or dry and flaky in the morning? In either case, these characteristics are representative of your skin type.
Dermatologists divide skin into 4 groups:
- Oily skin: Skin that is shiny as a result of excessive oil production
- Dry skin: Skin that is dry and flaky in some areas and may feel tight.
- Sensitive skin: Skin that is red and irritated or areas that are painful to the touch
- Combination skin: Skin that has both oily and flaky areas
Steps to follow
After determining your skin type, you can narrow down which products to seek out and avoid. Many products will indicate the packaging which skin types they are best suited for, making it easy to find products that will work for you. Here are 3 steps to a beginner’s guide to skincare.
Step 1: Cleanser
A low pH cleanser is an excellent starting point when developing your skincare routine. It is in charge of washing away dirt and extra oil at the beginning and end of the day. To keep the skin’s naturally acidic pH, use a cleanser with a pH lower than 7. With a pH of 9-10, bar soap is insufficient because it can be very drying.
But wait, do you have to tone after your cleansing? If you used a pH-balanced cleanser, you don’t! Toners were produced to “tone” the skin’s pH level back down to its normal acidity. Toners are just optional if you have washed your face with the proper cleanser.
Step 2: Moisturize
After that, apply a moisturizer or a moisturizing product. We recommend an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer because it will be tolerated by [all] skin types, from acne-prone to sensitive.
Aside from these parameters, you can use this step to address particular skin concerns at the same time by searching for a moisturizer made with additional ingredients that target specific needs. The general list of skincare ingredients is lengthy and ever-changing. So for this article, here are some of the most important ones to be aware of in terms of moisturizer:
- Hyaluronic acid: Plumps skin and restores insufficient hydration.
- Ceramides: Essential for skin barrier strength and overall health (and important for those with dry skin and eczema)
- Vitamin C: Offers antioxidant protection as well as overall skin brightening.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, don’t think you can (or should) bypass without using a moisturizer daily. Excessive washing without the use of a moisturizer can cause an overproduction of oil on your skin.
STEP 3: PROTECTION
Finally, protection. This means using an SPF product to shield your skin from UV rays, which is especially important in the summer and the fall and winter. When we have your attention, it is also important to protect your hair from UV rays. Several moisturizers now work as sunscreen and have SPF. So make sure it’s sufficient. Dermatologists prescribe at least SPF 30 for the face. Sunscreen not only protects against obvious problems like sunburn, but it also helps to strengthen the first layer of skin, the stratum corneum. Protecting the skin from UV rays will help prevent additional issues such as dryness, irritation, hyperpigmentation, and even wrinkles.
According to one study, users of sunscreen should apply sunscreen liberally to exposed areas 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun. And then reapply sunscreen to exposed areas 15 to 30 minutes after sun exposure starts.
Optional add-ons to the skincare routine
As previously said, loving your skin means developing a skincare routine that is fully unique to you and your needs. Although the three essentials are recommended, they may not be sufficient for your skin’s needs. So here are a few popular optional items or steps to consider when determining what your skincare routine should be?
- EYE TREATMENTS
Eye treatments, whether serum, gel, mask, or roll-on, can be a different skin routine onto themselves.
This is at the top of our list of optional skincare routines, and, let’s face it. The eyes reveal a lot. Dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines are the most common eye concerns. Most eye treatments are multi-functional, addressing one or two (sometimes all) issues with a single product. Because the skin around our eyes is especially sensitive, it is important to read the ingredients and conduct the jaw-line patch test.
After moisturizing and before applying sunscreen, apply the eye cream or serum. Be sure to let the products breathe in between applications, which means you do not apply each product right after each other and give it a few minutes after application.
In recent years, toner has seen a resurgence in the skincare routine game. It was previously used mainly for oily and acne-prone skin, containing alcohol to help clean out clogged pores and pimples. Most toners do not contain alcohol and are designed to address the same skin conditions as cleansers and moisturizers.
- FACE MASKS
When it comes to face masks, there are many options; sheets, peels, creams – the list goes on and on. You can use face masks once or twice a week, depending on the type of mask and the skin type.
- FACE SPRAY OR MIST
Makeup lovers understand the value of a good setting spray. But these sprays have advanced thanks to advancements in skincare products. Using a face spray or mist isn’t just about keeping the makeup in place; there are now many hydrating options and toning the skin during the day.
- FACIAL TOOLS
Facial tools are nice to have, with costs ranging from drugstore to ultra-luxury, spa-level coin. Tools such as jade rollers, gua sha, microcurrent wands, and others help in applying products, especially serums and oils. Not to mention, when you have a little extra time, they add some TLC to your skincare routine.
The Bottom Line
Building a skincare routine should not be intimidating. And it should be based on what the skin needs rather than which ingredients look or smell the best. Keep in mind that your skincare routine is unique to you, and you do not have the best products for yourself right away. What is your most serious skin issue right now? Choose your essentials depending on this question, and you’ll progress from skincare beginner to skincare expert, all while helping in the attainment of the best skin possible.