Flawless, beautiful skin is the ultimate goal for many women. But what it takes to have radiant complexion and healthy-looking skin? Three words: effective skincare routine.
Although having good skincare care is crucial, knowing your skin type is even more important.
It means you can treat your skin the right way and customise your routine to suit your skin’s need and concerns.
Before we start, let’s quickly mention the basics of good skincare.
Key steps and correct order of skincare products
- Cleansing is the most basic element of any skincare routine. It should always follow makeup removal if you wear any. Don’t skip this step even if you removed makeup and cleaned your face with micellar water or similar product, simply as it doesn’t guarantee you got rid of all traces of dirt and impurities.
- Toning is the second step in the skincare regime. It’s important as it preps the skin for any follow on products, restores skin to its natural pH level (between 4.5 and 6) and removes any dead skin cells left after cleansing.
- Serum and spot treatment come next in daily routine. This is what makes your skincare programme personalised simply as you use specific products to target individual skin concerns. Think retinol, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Moisturising is probably the most important part of any routine, and you shouldn’t skip it. It will nourish, hydrate and repair your skin to maintain a healthy and beautiful complexion. Moisturiser should be followed by sunscreen (use it all year long!) in your morning routine or face oil in your night regime (not necessary for all skin types).
- P.S. You may have noticed we skipped eye cream. The reason is that eye creams are not really necessary in your skincare regimen. Although they are formulated “specially” for the thin skin around the eye (good branding?), they are made of similar ingredients as your regular moisturiser.
What is your skin type and how should your skincare routine look like? Take a look at a simple guide to help you with your daily skincare programme.
You have normal skin if…
…your skin is well-balanced, hydrated, neither too oily nor too dry, has no visible pores, blemishes, irritations or redness. However, even healthy and radiant skin needs a regular skincare routine.
HOW TO TREAT? To maintain well-balanced skin cleanse your face daily and tone it with a gentle toner. While moisturiser is a must to keep your skin hydrated and nourished, use a serum and face oil when needed, for example, if you experience dryness during the winter.
It’s best to avoid fragrances and alcohol in your skincare products. Exfoliate no more than 3 times a week (it’s important to not overdo it as you can damage the skin’s barrier which protects you from damaging elements like UV rays and pollutants).
You have oily skin if…
…your skin produces too much sebum. It looks shiny, greasy and has visible pores. Oily skin can be usually caused by several reasons, including dehydration, hormonal changes and imbalances, stress and even genetics.
HOW TO TREAT? You can control the excess sebum with good and regular skincare. It’s very important to wash your face daily with a gentle cleanser and use a toner to balance your skin’s PH.
There is a common misconception that you shouldn’t use a moisturiser when having oily skin, but that’s not quite right. The key is to find the one that is hydrating enough, but purifying and mattifying too.
You have dry skin if…
…your skin produces less sebum than normal skin. It feels itchy, rough or tight. Dry skin is caused by atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.
HOW TO TREAT? Hydration, hydration, hydration. Follow the regular skincare routine, but make sure to hydrate your skin enough. You can do that in a few different ways. Toner is a great way to balance and prep your skin so your skincare products can actually penetrate, while facial oils help to hydrate, brighten and smooth even more.
Also, it would be worth using a mist or face stray to instantly boost your skin, as well as a sheet mask twice a week. Don’t forget to hydrate your lips too.
You have combination skin if…
…you have an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and dry or normal cheeks. You are experiencing flaking, redness and dry patches on some parts of your face, and excess shine and clogged pores on the other. This is the most common skin type and probably the trickiest one.
HOW TO TREAT? Since combination skin is a mix of two different skin types, the key is to treat several skin concerns. Start with a gentle cleanser followed by a toner (look for oil-balancing and hydrating one).
Hydrate daily with a lightweight moisturiser and use a facial oil on dry areas. It’s a misbelief that oils make your face feel greasy, the opposite, they will actually help your skin to retain hydration and control oil production.
You have sensitive skin if…
…your skin feels irritated, red, itchy or flaky. Simply it’s more reactive than normal skin because the skin’s natural barrier is weak.
HOW TO TREAT? Sensitive skin is more prone to redness and irritation, so it needs special care too. Avoid skincare products that contain fragrances, artificial colours, preservatives and alcohol.
Instead, go for clean beauty. Natural ingredients such as camomile, green tea and aloe vera are anti-inflammatory and soothing.
Few last tips
- Never avoid night skincare routine as that is when your skin renews and repairs;
- Don’t over-exfoliate; as we mentioned above, you don’t want to damage your skin’s barrier which is a defence mechanism;
- Always wear sunscreen, yes, UV rays penetrate through clouds even when it’s cloudy;
- Avoid using a face towel (especially if you are prone to acne or irritation); this is a common practice in a Korean skincare routine for a few reasons. Firstly, your towel collects bacteria, dead skin cells and oils and you don’t want that on your perfectly cleansed face. Secondly, your products absorb better when the skin is damp. P.S. It literally takes a minute to dry itself.
Editor’s note: Feature image via Sora Shimazaki.