5 Essential Building Blocks For A Solid Skin Care Routine

Great skin isn’t a myth. It just takes some attention, patience and most importantly knowing what works for you. So what steps can help you get your best skin? Keep reading!

Know What Works For You

More expensive or more steps does not equal to better. Some people achieve beautiful skin with an elaborate 10-step skincare routine. For others, a two-step regime works wonders. Some people swear by drugstore brands, while others prefer investing in luxury brands. Just because a magazine recommended it, doesn’t mean a product will miraculously change your skin – there is simply no such thing.

A lot of times you’re paying for the brand’s marketing budget and store costs versus paying for the ingredients or the formula of their product. Know your budget, learn what your skin likes, read reviews and always start by getting a sample size before you commit to a larger volume.

Eat Your Water

Healthy skin isn’t just about the products you use – your skin is the mirror of your internal health. Redness and/or pimples after a weekend of too much sugar are signs that you haven’t treated your body well and your skin needs to detox.

According to Dr Murad, the founder of the skincare line Murad, it is more beneficial to eat fruits and vegetables that are high in water content than drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. This is because chewing breaks down the structure of fruit or vegetable, and releases the water held inside in a manner that aids absorption due to slower release.

Murad says a cucumber, which is 96% water, is equivalent to drinking three glasses of water. So not only are you getting the vitamin benefits from the cucumber, but you are also keeping yourself hydrated due to the slower release of water from the cucumber into your cells. If you want to help your skin, the first thing to do is add fruits and veggies into your diet.

Sunblock

Sun damage is the number one cause of skin ageing. There are two types of rays, long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays penetrate deep into the lower layers of the skin and cause long-term damage. It can interfere with the skins immune system and cause wrinkles. UVB rays cause superficial damage to the skin. This shows up in the form of burning after a day out, sunspots or tanned skin.

When looking at SPF ratings, it is important to know that no sunblock offers 100% skin protection. An SPF 30 product protects approximately 97% of the sun’s UVB rays, while an SPF 50 protects 98%. A higher SPF will mean nothing if the sunblock is not broad spectrum and does not protect against both UVA & UVB rays. SPF must be applied and reapplied in the quantities that it says on the bottle, to protect your skin correctly. Using makeup with SPF does not count, as you most likely won’t apply the amount needed for the SPF to be effective. Sunblock should always be applied as the last step in your skincare routine before applying any makeup.

Cleansing AKA Washing Your Face

This is the first step in a skincare routine and often the most overlooked. A good cleanser should not dry your face out. That tight feeling you get after washing your face isn’t your face being clean, it’s your face being dried out by the cleanser.

There are a lot of theories on how often one should cleanse. Experiment and do what works for your skin. If you have washed your face the night before, it is unlikely that you will need to wash it again the next morning as it is not dirty. A splash of water and some toner is enough. But then there are those that love washing their faces in the morning because it wakes them up – if it’s working for you stick to it.

Double cleansing is the best route in the evening when you have the buildup of makeup, sunscreen, dirt and pollution on your skin from being out all day. Cleansers come in many forms: balm, oil, sherbet, foams, milk, and gel – the list goes on. Each has its pros and cons. The rule of thumb to follow is if you’re washing your face and you notice that your face is tight, dry or red, you’re not using the right cleanser and should be looking for a new one.

Moisturize

People, especially those with oily skin fear moisturizing. Makes sense, right? Why would you add moisture on oily skin? Wrong. Often your skin is producing more oil because you have stripped it with drying products.

A few things moisturizers shouldn’t do: break you out, clog your pores, make you greasy and sit on your skin with a film. If you suspect your moisturizer is causing any of these issues, rethink it. If you don’t have a moisturizer that works for you, look out for moisturizers with ingredients that are known to keep your skin hydrated – hyaluronic acid and ceramides draw and lock moisture into your skin.

The higher up in the ingredient list you find these, the more they have in them. When in doubt, look for sensitive skin products. If you like face oils, rose hip works well, remember you do not need to use as much oil as you do moisturizer. If your skin feels greasy after application, you have used too much. Also note that it is best to go with lighter oils versus heavier oils for your face.

If you’re currently struggling with your skin, dial back your routine. Focus on cleansing, moisturizing and sunblock. Add in products slowly every few weeks and assess the effects of the products. Our skin is smart and usually, when it’s irritated, it’s trying to tell you something – listen.

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