You want to have a very simple and efficient basic skincare routine. Most dermatologists will tell you that simplicity is key. It save you a lot of time, and also the fewer products you use on your skin, the more likely you will get the results you need, as you are not applying different ingredients all at the same time that can potentially contradict each other’s effects. That being said, you should know when to use the basic skincare products you are using. Here are four that are essentials in a routine, and when you should use them:
- Cleansers – These should be used in the morning and in the evening, in place of washing your face with soap. Soap can actually strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead of washing your face with soap and water, opt for a cleanser instead in the morning and in the evening. Some cleansers need wet skin, while others that are oil-based may require you to have dry skin before applying. To use, just lather for thirty seconds to a minute on your skin, then rinse.
- Sunscreens – Arguably the most important skincare product you should be using on a daily basis. Its usage is non-negotiable. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outside during the day, or 30 minutes before going in the water at the beach or at the pool. At this point, we all know what sunscreens do and what they can protect you from, and it should be second nature for everyone to be using them.
- Exfoliants – Compared to the rest of the items on this list, exfoliating isn’t as essential as cleansing and sunscreen application. For some people, exfoliation might not be part of their routine at all because of underlying skin conditions like eczema or sensitive skin. If you do exfoliate, make sure not to over do it. You can start with just once a week, and see how your body reacts. From there, you can increase the frequency of change the method, either from using a mechanical tool to strip away the dead skin, or through chemicals.
- Retinoids – These are derived from vitamin A compounds that treat an array of skin issues, from acne to fine lines and wrinkles. Retinols themselves can only be given by dermatologists through prescriptions. Retinols on the other hand can be bought over-the-counter. Skin care experts recommend using retinoids three times a week initially to see how your body adjusts. Also, because of the side effects like redness, flaking and mild irritation, it’s not ideal to use a retinoid cream at the same time as an exfoilant. You can either use your retinoid in the morning, then exfoliate at night, or vice versa.