Most people are aware that it is important to have a skin care routine. The benefits range from keeping your skin healthy to the emotional benefits of embracing skin care as self care. But you may be wondering, what skin care products do I really need? Let’s talk about it!
The Beneficial Basics
Everyone – everyone – can benefit from these basic skin care products. Regardless of your age, gender, skin type, and skin goals, you need these products!
The first product everyone needs in their routine is a cleanser. Cleansing the skin is critical for skin health, as it removes makeup, buildup, pollutants, dirt, and other debris. Step one to every skin care routine is cleansing!
I always recommend starting your routine with a gentle cleanser with no active ingredients. For this staple product, look for a cleanser that is calming, soothing, and gentle.
Cleansers come in a wide variety of styles – creamy, gel, foaming, etc. Find a cleanser style that you enjoy using! There are no wrong answers when it comes to your preferences.
My favorite cleanser is the Ultra Gentle Cleanser from Face Reality. It starts with a liquid-gel texture but it works into a rich, creamy lather as your massage it into your skin. I find the texture is the best combination for most people’s preferences!
Toner is a controversial topic! In general, you don’t need toner in your routine. Toning is a lovely step after cleansing which can help remove any residue left behind from cleansing, it can balance and refresh the skin, and it can impart properties of the specific toner. For example, a hydrating toner will add additional hydration to the skin.
That example is actually my favorite use for toner! Here in Colorado, the air is so dry, it takes a toll on our skin. Incorporating a hydrating toner after cleansing is an awesome way to add hydration back into your skin before locking that hydration in with a moisturizer. If you struggle with dry, flaky, tight skin, adding a hydrating toner is often my first recommendation.
As an added bonus, you can decant some of your toner into a spray bottle and spritz your face throughout the day for a refreshing pick-me-up!
Okay, back to the 100% must-haves! Even if you have oily and/or acne-prone skin, you need a moisturizer! Incorporating a moisturizer into your routine will help to protect your skin from the environment by keeping the skin moisturized so it can protect itself appropriately.
Just like cleansers, there are lots of different kinds of moisturizers depending on your skin’s needs. If you have oily skin, a light-weight moisturizer like Clearderma is usually the most pleasant to use. If you run on the dry side, a more rich formula like Cran-Peptide Cream will give you more benefits. If you haven’t found a moisturizer you like before, I would urge you to try again!
Every human being on the planet needs sunscreen in their daily skin care routine! It should be the final step of your morning skin care routine, before applying makeup if you are a makeup-wearer.
UV damage from sun exposure is totally avoidable by properly using sunscreen (especially when combined with wearing protective clothing and consciously seeking shade when outside). UV damage leads to wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancer. Preventing UV damage is important for your skin’s appearance and health!
I recommend an SPF of at least 30 for daily use. Most dermatologists agree with this bare minimum, but are beginning to recommend a minimum of SPF 50 to accommodate for any potential user error in application (typically not applying enough product).
Finding the right facial sunscreen for your preferences can feel a bit like a Goldie Locks experience – multiple tries to find the SPF that’s just right. This is perfectly normal! The goal is to find the sunscreen that you will happily apply every single day and can wear all day. A great starting point is Daily SPF, it is a formula designed to be safe for acne-prone skin and easy to apply on the daily.
The basics above are the skin care products that anyone and everyone could benefit from. From that point, there are additional products that you might not need, but might benefit from!
Products with active ingredients are a big factor to consider if you have specific skin goals like anti-aging or fighting acne. Active ingredients are ingredients like Vitamin A (Retin-A, retinol, retinoid, etc.), Vitamin C, mandelic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, etc which actively target specific problems.
I recommend keeping your basic products gentle and free of active ingredients while you’re developing your skin care routine. That is a precaution in case you find you get dry or irritated skin, it just helps to minimize the risk of that irritation and to troubleshoot which product(s) might be causing it.
Great products to incorporate active ingredients are serums and masks. Serums would be applied in your routine after toner and before moisturizer (with the exception of Vitamin A serums, you might choose to apply them after moisturizer depending on the serum and your skin type). Masks are an at-home treatment that you can apply after cleansing, leave on for the recommended time, then wash away and finish with the rest of your routine.
Do you have more questions about creating a targeted skin care routine for your specific needs? I recommend making an appointment with us so we can get to know you and your skin to put together the best possible skin care routine for you!