Why should I care about skincare? Skincare in this millennium is not just about beauty, it’s a crucial step for everyone. We all follow how our world is drastically changing, the more modern we are, the more exposed we are to pollution. If you’re human, the effects of environmental factors on your skin should be on the list of your concerns, as without precautionary steps it can affect your skin’s health. Heat, low humidity, pollen and airborne allergens are a few of the main factors that could cause irritated skin or even flare-ups. Stress factors like UV radiation, dust, air pollution and even dry air from air conditioning could make it worse. Don’t be in denial with the excuse ‘Every Skin Is Different‘. Yes, that is true, some skin conditions are caused by hormones but to be frank, skin is still skin and all skin has similar properties which can react any time if you don’t start taking care of it.
No need to worry about all the complicated skincare routines you see ‘skinfulencers’ sharing on social media. I bet some of you may even have difficulties understanding too because skincare terms nowadays are no joke. Being a skincare enthusiast myself, I too get overwhelmed sometimes which causes me to actually study skincare when I’m not even working in the skincare industry. However, all those complicated steps are not really necessary, (even though I follow all those complicated steps) what’s important are just the basic steps which are as below:
1. Cleansing (2x Daily)
Our skin tends to release natural oil throughout the day and the most when we’re sleeping. This causes dust & other particles to easily stick on the surface of the skin, causing clogged pores which sooner would lead to acne. Cleansing the face 2 times daily is a good step to make sure the skin is clean from pollutants which also gives you a refreshing boost to start and end your day. Avoid using body soap as a face soap because high levels of SLS/SLE’s from body soaps could weaken the natural skin barrier which can lead to bigger skin problems. Types of cleansers / facial wash you should look for are the gentle ones with low pH, no alcohol and other irritants.
After cleansing, your skin tends to become dry because it washes away natural oils from your face. Don’t get me wrong with natural oils, our skin really does need it as it balances the skin for our skin barrier. It would be an issue if our skin’s natural oil is less or overly produced, so make sure after cleansing, moisturizer is applied to balance back the loss of natural oils. Moisturizers are supposed to be soothing and purposed to retain moisture in the skin throughout the day. Moisture is actually the key to good and healthy skin. So if your reason for not wearing skincare is because you hate the feel of moisturizers, think again.
Honestly, moisturizers could be a bit complicated, you can apply the term ‘Every Skin Is Different’ here because moisturizers are the most crucial step in a skincare routine as it’s the main source of external hydration for the skin. Hydration is everything when it comes to skincare but the level of hydration each skin needs for a person is different. That is where skincare gets complicated but with the zillions of skincare products available nowadays, all you have to do is try. The key to look for in a moisturizer is the texture and hydration it provides. Knowing your skin type would be most helpful but if you haven’t figured it out yet, focus on the key rules. If you hate the feel of heavy creams on your face, look for lightweight creams like gels as most of them absorb easily into the skin without leaving any sticky residue. For hydration levels, there’s no way of telling how much your skin actually needs it, but for beginners, you can look into ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides or Centella Asiatica (CICA).
3. Sunscreen (SPF)
Among all steps, Sunscreen plays the biggest role. If you skip sunscreen then your efforts with cleansing and moisturizing are just useless. Without sunscreen, your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays from the sun which causes ageing and sunburn to your skin. However, if you only use Sunscreen without cleansing and moisturizing, you’ll probably get acne or other skin problems because most sunscreens are comedogenic (blocks pores). Sunscreen is almost like makeup as it creates a layer on top of the skin, hence it’ll need to be properly cleaned as well.
There are 2 types of sunscreens which are physical Sunscreen (Sunblock) that blocks UV rays and chemical Sunscreen that filters UV rays. Both sunscreens are good options but if you have sensitive skin, look into sunblocks first.
4. Exfoliation ( 3x Weekly)
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells on the surface of our skin so new skin cells could grow. Exfoliation comes in 2 types as well, that is Manual Exfoliation and Chemical Exfoliation. Manual Exfoliations are tools like scrubs, cloths and etc. Avoid using manual exfoliation on the face as it’s rough and could lead to bigger skin problems without proper use. Remember to always be gentle with your facial skin hence the best option is Chemical Exfoliation which are skincare products with exfoliating ingredients.
AHA, BHA, PHA, LHA are exfoliating ingredients also known as actives that remove dead skin cells from the top surface of the skin. However, each comes with a certain level of potency which could also lead to irritation if the skin takes too much than what it needs. Start low from PHA & LHA, then gradually climb to AHA & BHA if you don’t see or feel any sort of irritation to your skin.
Why is exfoliation needed? Our skin naturally removes dead skin cells for the productions of new skin cells but it does need help to completely have it removed. If dead skin cells stay on the skin, new skin cells would be hard to produce causing dull & tired-looking skin. Without exfoliation also, skincare would be hard to absorb into the skin, hence it results in minimal function. What’s the point of using skincare in the first place right? Using actives is an easy method to solve this as it only takes seconds to apply and comes in all sorts of options nowadays like toners, serums, masks and etc. It also comes in cleansers & moisturizers so if you want to keep it simple, own 2 types of cleansers or moisturizers and use the exfoliating one on certain days. However, be careful as constant use of actives every day could lead to thinning our natural skin barrier which is not good, so only exfoliate a maximum of 3 times weekly.
Overall only these 4 are the basics in skincare which may get you wondering the functions of the other types of products found in the market. Well, you can say marketing gimmicks from skincare companies but these additional items such as toners, serums, ampoules, masks and so on are like skin boosters actually. They contain a more potent formulation which leads to healthier & glowing looking skin as it can resolve rather difficult skin problems such as dark spots, pigmentations, fine lines and more. That is why those who are obsessed with beauty can spend thousands on skincare itself. However, truly it’s not really necessary for a 10-step skincare routine, all you need is these 4 steps above and your skin should be good.
I know this may be a bit overwhelming for those who are very new to skincare, there are a lot of rules in skincare if you want the best out of it. What I have mentioned above are really all the basic info which everyone should know, the rest you’ll have to do a bit of study. The easiest way you can learn bit by bit without focusing much time on skincare is by joining beauty/ skincare communities and one of the best I’ve joined is from the Picky Application. It’s a global community for skin enthusiasts, hence there are loads of suggestions and skincare topics discussed. Pssst… did I tell you they give free skincare too? (This isn’t a paid promotion, it’s a really good platform to explore).
Let me know what you think of skincare, is it really needed or just a waste of time & money?
Surimoden is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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