Show your skin some love and it’ll love you back. Or at least it’ll be less likely to wage war on you the night before that important presentation or first date. But what does a ‘good skin care regimen’ even mean? Read on for the wisdom.
3 Reasons A Skin Care Routine Actually Matters
1. Consistency makes a difference. Unless you’re my flawlessly skinned ex-boyfriend who makes due with body wash and sometimes shampoo as a facial cleanser, it takes time to get the skin you want. Dramatic results won’t happen overnight, but you’ll see results if you actually stick to a routine that works for you.
2. Confidence. There’s no denying that when your skin looks good, you feel good. Yes, what really matters is what’s inside, but what do you prefer: a collection of whiteheads camping out on your chin for days at a time, or not? There’s always apps like Facetune2 to boost your complexion confidence in photos, but a skin care routine will get you feeling positive in person with gorgeous skin that glows.
3. It’s easier to prevent, than cure. A good skincare regimen is essential to aging gracefully and will save your future self time and money. We’re all born as soft as a baby’s bottom, literally, with super smooth skin. Over time, harsh elements in the environment start causing damage. Good skin care slows down all those harmful effects and manages other common skin problems like hyperpigmentation, acne or acne scarring.
What Your Skin Care Routine Should Include
A good skin care routine should cleanse, moisturize and protect your skin well. Don’t just clean it, don’t just moisturize it when it starts to feel dry and itchy in winter, don’t just throw on a little sunscreen when you’re headed poolside — you need it all, every day! With the right products, a consistent routine should give you consistent results.
Speaking of consistency, that’s how you should apply your skin-care products: in order of consistency, from thinnest to thickest. Cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer. So, now in detail, this is exactly what you need and why:
- Cleanser: a fancy way to say ‘dude, wash your face’. No, not with soap, because you are no longer a child. Find a cleanser that works best for your type of skin, whether it’s oily, dry or combination and wash when you wake up in the morning and right before you go to bed.
Pro tip: Exfoliation addicts! Although harsh scrubbing may be the only thing that makes you feel clean (I sense some deeper unresolved issues there), your skin shouldn’t have to take that aggression more than once or twice a week. Skin regenerates cells naturally, anyway.
- Toner: the neurotic BFF. A good toner removes the very last bits of oil or dirt left behind after cleansing while restoring pH balance. That’s not all. You know the tight feeling your skin gets after toning? Toners help close pores and tighten cell gaps, essentially preventing environmental contaminants from getting into your skin.
Pro tip: Look for a toner that is alcohol free. While alcohol may be a key ingredient to an epic night out, it’s not an ingredient you want in your toner. Alcohol will strip your skin of the oils it needs, causing it to dry out or produce more oils (breakouts) to overcompensate.
- Serum: gets sh*t done. Want to change your life? Use a serum. Serums are lightweight, full coverage products that are designed for specific purposes, so choose one with active ingredients that tackle exactly what your skin needs: retinol for anti-aging, Vitamin E for acne scars, Vitamin C for brighter skin that glows, etc. Even if you don’t have specific issues, experts still recommend using an antioxidant serum to protect your skin from daily aggressors. I’m not gonna argue with the experts.
Pro tip: Don’t skip steps and mix a serum together with moisturizer, as the moisturizer will interfere with the serum’s ability to absorb.
- Moisturizer: the final, comforting step! Serving as your skin’s snobby nightclub bouncer, a good moisturizer acts as a barrier: keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Cleansing removes oil on your skin, which retains moisture. Moisturizers restore water to the skin and help protect it. Use one with SPF all over your face and neck.
Pro tip: eye cream! If you suffer from puffiness or dark circles, consider adding a nightly eye cream to your routine. Ingredients like caffeine, peptides, hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C soothe and brighten problematic under-eye areas.
What Will Screw With Your Skin And What Else Will Help
Smoking. So, here’s another reason to quit. Premature wrinkles? Check. Dry, damaged, discolored skin? Check. The carbon monoxide and nicotine in cigarettes inhibit blood flow and oxygen from reaching skin cells and will send your skin forty years into the future.
Sun. sucks. for. your. skin. Being super tan is cute for a second in middle school until it’s not. Avoid exposure to the sun as much as you can to prevent the seriously harmful effects of radiation (skin cancer, hi), paper-thin skin that’s lost elasticity, sunspots and pigmentation.
If someone is throwing shade, they’re doing you a favor. Use it, avoid sun damage; let your perfect skin be something else for them to hate.
— The Captain (@sgrstk) May 5, 2017
So, what should you do? Drink water! It’ll clean your pores and rehydrate your skin from the inside.
Eat well. A healthy diet is important for so many reasons, skin health included. Up your intake of avocados and colorful vegetables and limit sugar, processed foods and dairy for a month and tell me if you don’t notice a difference epidermally ( ← it’s a word! I checked).