Getting the skincare basics right. Everyday!
Step #1 Commit
Like almost everything in life worth having, beautiful skin takes commitment. Even if you already have skin that you’re happy with, committing to beautiful skin is like going to the gym or commencing on a healthy, life-changing diet. It’s harder to commit, but getting your skincare basics right is worth your time.
You might be thinking if you’ve got good skin, why bother? If things go awry later, you can play catch up. After all, you’ve inherited your mother’s gorgeous skin. It’s all good.
Genetics aside, the good and the not-so-much. It still comes down to how you protect and care for your skin and your skincare basics.
Good skincare basics will give you beautiful skin for a lifetime. Commit and invest in the future of your skin.
Why is cleansing so important?
Cleansing correctly is the missing piece of the ‘beautiful skin’ puzzle, and the more you learn about your skin, the more you’ll understand why it’s the foundation of any successful skincare routine. Let cleansing become part of your beautiful skin mantra or manifesto, whatever you want to call it. Your whole body needs to be cleansed (of course), but for now, let’s discuss the skin of your face and neck as it’s the most exposed part of your body. It’s where you’ll see most of the premature signs of ageing. The skin on your face and neck is also different from the skin on other parts of the body. Facial cleansing needs your attention. How you cleanse your skin is just as important as why.
How you cleanse your skin everyday, is just as important as why.
Let’s start with why. You’re removing makeup, pollutants and dirt. Equally important is what you DO NOT remove. Yep, that’s right, what you don’t remove.
Let me explain. Your skin’s surface consists of intercellular lipids (fats). Think of these lipids not so much as the oil in your skin but the glue that holds your skin together, ensuring a viable, healthy epidermis. Excessive removal of your intercellular lipids will result in the fat between your skin cells diminishing. Leaving you with skin that won’t function as it should. You’ll know this is happening when you suffer from excessive dryness, dehydration, redness, itchiness, and irritation, leading to acquired sensitivity.
In many cases, sensitivity is caused by improper cleansing, not necessarily something you’re born with and often because for too long, you’ve used the wrong kind of cleanser for your skin. Your skin is telling you all is not well, and your lipid barrier, which protects you every day from the external trespassers of the environment, is dysfunctional. Like an unstoppable Storm Trooper, the outside world is breaking through your skin’s acid mantle and protective barrier and triggering dryness, dehydration, irritation, redness and sensitivity.
Your cleanser should match your skin type. Your skin type is the natural oil flow of the skin. It can be oily, combination oily, combination normal, normal, combination dry or dry. Phew. If you’re not sure, a skincare professional can guide you. What’s important is you choose a cleanser to suit your skin type, not your skin condition.
You may think if this happens when I cleanse, then I best not cleanse at all? Well, that would be fine if you never wore makeup and your skin was never exposed to pollution, or you lived in a bubble. I’m guessing you don’t. In which case, cleansing is a good idea, and you need to choose one that works well for you.
And how should you cleanse? In the evening or after a day out and about. At the bathroom basin. Double cleansing is highly recommended and remove with a damp cloth or facial sponge. If you’ve completed your end of day cleanse correctly, your morning routine should be a breeze.
Don’t skip your cleansing, it’s the foundation upon which we build a beautiful skin.
So, on your path to beautiful skin? Cleansing with a mild cleanser and preferably where it has the dual action of cleansing and leaving moisturising properties on the skin to keep it balanced.
So, (and I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’ll say it anyway) avoid soapy, lathery, high foaming cleansers. If you have a history of oiliness, then stick with lightweight water-soluble cleansers with a low detergent factor, or if you have very little or seemingly no oil flow, then you can choose something slightly heavier, but in all cases, go for cleansers with added moisturising ingredients like glycerin or jojoba seed oil. Personally, I prefer pre-cleansing with an oil cleanser, followed by a milk lotion. Leaving the skin in perfect harmony and ready for serums and other active ingredients.
Step #3 Moisturising
Most of us, even if we skip proper cleansing, will at least moisturise. It gives the skin a feeling of comfort; this is true. But, what you’re actually doing is maintaining the all-important lipid barrier of the skin and the delicate pH and acid mantle by adding a layer of moisture as a protective barrier to the environment.
A good moisturiser will prevent moisture loss, protects your lipid barrier and restores the acid mantle reducing symptoms such as itching, stinging, burning and tightness. All these symptoms and signs are a warning that your skin is functioning below par.
The type of moisturiser you choose is important. High water content moisturisers will quickly evaporate and draw moisture from within, leaving your skin dehydrated. Or, if it’s too rich, your moisturiser can potentially leave you with enlarged pores and skin that looks spongy and dull.
Your moisturiser’s goal is to reduce Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), create an environment for barrier repair, leave the skin soft, smooth and comfortable, decrease sensitivity, and keep bacteria in check.
Your moisturiser should contain a balance of both occlusive ingredients and humectants. Skin-identical ingredients. Ingredients that mimic the skins own ability to protect itself from moisture loss. Skin identical ingredients such as ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, cholesterol, and glycerol, to name a few.
Look for these ingredients or ask your skincare professional for advice. No doubt the moisturiser you’ve chosen may have lots of other ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins and peptides, which are important, but without the basic moisturising properties, it’s going to fail at the job it was meant for.
And now you?
Starting with these three skincare basics can be the start of something big.
It might sound simple, but commitment, a good balancing cleanser and a well-formulated moisturiser are truly the skincare basics for healthy, beautiful skin.
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See you next time,