Soaps, gels, creams, lotions, serums, toners, and many more different products for different skins and purposes are offered to us every day for taking care of our skin and enhancing our beauty. A research from 2017 estimated that the average woman in the U.S. uses a minimum of 16 products before leaving the house and will spend up to $300,000 on beauty products in her lifetime. As crazy as it may sound, the numbers are based on the real data and I am pretty sure they are very similar (or maybe even greater?) in other countries as well.
What I started noticing is that many women from different ages around me seem to be completely lost in this cosmetics jungle and lack basic understanding of a proper skin care, which leads them to a disappointment in products they use, or even lowered self-esteem. In this article I will share my experiences, discoveries, and knowledge that actually worked for me and some other women I shared it with.
The importance of cleansing
Whether you wear makeup daily or not at all, it is very important to cleanse your face every evening. Many of us think that wearing no makeup allows us to skip this step in our evening routine and that is so not true. Just think of all the pollution that is in the air these days – it all gets to your skin, not to mention the sweat, oil, and other impurities that your pores produce. Quick test: at the end of the day when you don’t wear makeup, take a clean cotton pad with some micellar water on it and gently sweep it all over your dry skin. I bet the cotton pad won’t be as clean as you started with!
A very different case is if you do wear makeup – then a thorough skin cleansing should be an absolutely inseparable part of your evening skincare routine. All the products you put on your skin clog your pores and, if you don’t remove your makeup well, you end up having a lot of blackheads, pimples, or even acne. Poorly removed makeup can even cause skin irritation and allergies, especially when it comes to eye makeup, which can result in some serious eye irritations and swollen eyelids (been there!).
Morning skincare routine
- Face cleansing. During the night your skin goes through different processes, including regeneration, that produce a slightly greasy layer on your skin in the morning. Therefore, it is very important to cleanse your skin and prepare it for a new day. My skin is very sensitive and gets irritated/red fast, which is why I mostly skip the face wash in the morning and end up washing my face simply with cold water – it refreshes you and your skin. For people with a very oily skin, it is better to de-grease it after night with a facewash, as oily skin produces much more oil during the night than any other skin type.
- Toning. If you don’t have much time in the morning, you can go straight to the step 3, but I still recommend you consider toning your skin before using a moisturizer for the following reasons. Toner quickly restores your skin’s pH balance, which may have been lost during the washing. In addition, it shrinks your pores and refreshes your skin, allowing it to absorb the best qualities of your moisturizer better. I recommend using a calming toner for all skin types, as it will reduce any possible irritation from washing your face including redness. For those of you with a very oily skin, I recommend using a toner with salicylic acid to de-grease it even more.
- Moisturizing. Use a moisturizer that fits your skin type, with a huge preference for natural organic products, as they contain plenty of valuable natural ingredients that feed your skin and don’t damage your health in the long run. Gel type day creams are great for oily and combination skin types, as they prevent your skin from shining and reduce the production of excess oil. Bonus feature: your makeup also looks much better with it and you don’t need to use a primer.
Evening skincare routine
- Cleansing/makeup removing. For makeup users and not, I strongly recommend using micellar water to cleanse your skin in the evening. After trying all kinds of different products for removing makeup, I conclude that micellar water is probably one of the best skincare innovations. A good micellar water removes makeup from your skin, eyes, and lips, so you don’t need to buy separate products for that. It is best if you use a non-scented, hypoallergenic product for a sensitive skin, even if your skin is not sensitive. This is simply because those products usually contain much less ingredients that may irritate your skin, so it is extra gentle for your face.
- Washing. I noticed that many women finish their evening routine after they are done with micellar water. I have to disappoint you – it does not completely remove your makeup, you basically do only half of the job! If you take a closer look to your pores in a good lighting after cleansing your face with a cotton pad with micellar water, you will see that your pores are still filled with makeup and dirt. Here comes the face washing part, for which I recommend using any sort of washing gel, foam, or soap of your preference, and a special face brush or sponge in addition to it. The latter allows you to massage the face wash deeper into your skin, allowing for a better result and improved blood circulation that encourages skin regeneration.
- Toning. Again, you can skip this step if you prefer to jump to moisturizing, but you would be surprised that even such a thorough cleansing may have had its flaws. Sometimes you forget a small area on your face, so face toning is basically your chance to correct that mistake. Furthermore, just like explained in the morning routine, a face toner calms and refreshes your skin, so it is prepared to absorb all the cream you apply later.
- Moisturizing. Last but not least, moisturizing is always the last step of your skin care routine. For night you can use a bit more nourishing, heavier cream or even oil, which will literally feed your skin while you sleep. However, for those suffering from a super oily skin I still recommend using a gel type of cream. A good gel for oily skin reduces the greasiness of it in the long run – it took around 1-1.5 year for my skin to turn from super oily to normal, thanks to the gel formula and a toner with salicylic acid.
Additional skin pampering
1x in 1-2 weeks, depending on your skin condition. Every type of skin (yes, even the oily one) needs moisturizing to stay healthy, especially when it comes to those of us working in offices (think of air heating, conditioning) and those living in colder climates (late fall, winter, early spring). Pampering your skin with a moisturizing/hydrating face mask once in a while can really make a huge impact on how your skin looks and feels.
1-2x in a week, depending on the condition of the skin. Every type of skin also needs detox and exfoliation to remove the dead cells and other impurities. I recommend starting with a very gentle scrub after washing your face with a warm water – it will open your pores and unclog them, scrubbing the dead cells away. Follow with a relaxing session of a clay mask of your choice (white clay is beneficial for aging skin, green and rhassoul clay for problematic and oily skin suffering from blackheads).
Share your experiences/tips in the comments section below!