Care About Your Skin(care)

Photo by Alex, taken on May 5th, 2016, Some rights reserved,

Photo by Alex, taken on May 5th, 2016, Some rights reserved,

Skincare. It is equally as important as brushing your teeth, but many still forget this small task. From a glance, it might seem like a lot to handle, however, once you get the hang of it, the effort will be worth it. We are going to cover everything from skin types to different types of products and layering them into our personal skincare routines. 

The products you should use depend on your skin type, which could be the reason why you want to buy skincare in the first place. There are several different types including:

  • Dry skin can include a tight, dull, and/or rough complexion with red patches or more visible lines; skin could become itchy, cracked, irritated, inflamed, or even scaly.
  • Oily skin can consist of a dull and shiny complexion with enlarged pores, blackheads, or other blemishes. 
  • Combination skin can be commonly dry on the cheeks and oily on the forehead, nose, and chin; this type might require different products on different areas of the skin.
  • Acne-prone skin which consists of either inflammatory (small red bumps, cysts, and typically larger and more painful acne) and/or noninflammatory (clogged pores such as blackheads or whiteheads); environmental factors, a poor skincare routine, and dry or oily skin can all contribute to acne and should be treated based on the type of acne and type of skin.
  • Sensitive skin can be red, itchy, dry, and/or burn with certain products.
  • Normal skin has few imperfections and doesn’t usually show any signs of oiliness, dryness, or sensitivity.

The most essential products to use are a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. There are many other treatments to include, but they aren’t necessary, and adding too many could be a problem. Other treatments can be serums or physical and chemical exfoliators. Let’s break it down in order of which to use them: 

  1. Cleanser: This first step to your skin routine allows you to wash off all of the sweat and leftover sunscreen; you can even add a double cleanse to take off any makeup or excess oil you have on your skin, however, it’s not always needed because many cleansers can wash off any sunscreen or small amounts of leftover makeup. This should be used twice a day.
  2. Exfoliation: This helps brighten skin and remove dead skin cells off the face, but it requires more diligence in making sure you apply sunscreen and moisturizer because they cause the skin to be drier and more sensitive to the sun. This step is not necessary as it is a treatment, but it is still an amazing type of product to consider. There are two types of exfoliation: chemical and physical (scrubs). Chemical exfoliates use enzymes and acids to remove and dissolve dead skin cells and oil buildup, and they are said to have consistent results across the face. AHAs are a more gentle type of chemical exfoliation that targets the top layer of the skin which would be more beneficial to sensitive and dry skin. BHA’s work much deeper into the pores to clear out acne and excess sebum, but if you stop using it, your acne may come back. This type would be more beneficial to acne-prone and oily skin or those who have blackheads. The last type is PHA’s, and they are perfect for those who are just beginning to dive into chemical exfoliation because they don’t penetrate the skin as well and provide minimal irritation! Overall, be sure to not start with too harsh of an acid because it may be damaging. Physical exfoliation on the other hand is the process of rubbing small particles around your face to buff away those dead skin cells. Even though they may not be as reliable as acids, there are plenty of very effective and nonirritating scrubs out there! Be sure to remember to not scrub too hard, rub too much in one place, or use the wrong grains (such as apricot or walnut particles); you may end up doing more harm than good. Regardless of which type of exfoliation you choose, always be wary of ingredients and make sure that the brand or product is trustworthy enough to use. Also, be sure to only use this 1-3 times per week at night!
  3. Serum: This is either a water-based or oil-based treatment that can be used for various reasons such as to hydrate, brighten, fight acne, prevent wrinkles, and much more! While they aren’t necessary for a routine, they can be extremely helpful and should be considered!! When to use them depends on what the packaging says so keep an eye out!
  4. Moisturizer: This step is very essential to all skincare routines regardless of skin type! A common misconception is that moisturizers will just make oily skin look more greasy, however, not using a moisturizer could lead to a damaged moisture barrier, and it could be the reason your skin appears oily. When you don’t lock in moisture, your skin will produce excess oils to hydrate it, but those oils could result in acne or worsen skin imperfections. Therefore, oiler skin should aim for lightweight moisturizers while dryer skin should aim for heavier creams. They should generally be used day and night on the face and neck.
  5. Sunscreen: This is the most important step of all because it prevents skin damage, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and much more; sunscreen should be used every single day throughout the year regardless of weather or season. Clouds and cold air doesn’t prevent UVA (responsible for premature aging and sunspots) and UVB (responsible for sunburn and skin cancer but more intense during the summer) rays from reaching and damaging your skin. There are two different types of sunscreen: physical/mineral and chemical. Physical sunscreens sit on top of your skin and divert UV rays to protect the skin; this type is better for those who suffer from blemishes, redness, and sensitive skin because it is less likely to be irritating and prevents discoloration. However, some mineral sunscreens can have a harsh, white cast so be wary! Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and break them down into heat; this is easier to apply and looks better under makeup though it is likely to enhance discoloration and needs to be reapplied more often.

Abby Settipani’s skincare routine is fairly simple while keeping her face protected, healthy, and glowing. She has sensitive/dry skin, so moisturizing is essential. She washes her face twice a day with the Cetaphil Cleanser and uses the Cetaphil Moisturizer with SPF 50 in the mornings. This moisturizer is amazing because it allows her skin to look glowy without appearing chalky. Those who have been referred to as “pasty” can struggle to find a moisturizer with sunscreen that does not enhance their ghostly appearance, but that SPF Moisturizer blends in easily without leaving residue that makes the skin look ghostly and oily. This product is also light enough to layer with makeup, so it does not feel heavy and cakey. On the other hand, at night she uses the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask to replenish any lost moisture within the skin. Settipani also exfoliates twice a week in the p.m. after her cleanser with the Cetaphil Exfoliating Gentle Scrub; this is not drying and is gentle on the skin. Although this routine is basic, it is very effective!

Livi Wold’s routine includes products that are perfect for her dry and slightly textured skin! She starts with the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser because it gently removes all grime without her skin feeling tight or stripped afterward. Wold then goes in with The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA, an AHA chemical exfoliator, twice a week at night to gently dissolve the dead skin cells, and this product also includes Hyaluronic Acid to make her skin appear plump and hydrated. Her next step is using The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% which is a serum that reduces the appearance of blemishes, discoloration, pores, and oil while also brightening and evening the skin. She uses the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to restore hydration in her face; she chose the thicker cream because her skin can get extremely dry and tight. Lastly, Livi uses the Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 70 to protect her skin from harmful UV rays and prevent premature aging! Before trying new products, she makes sure to check the ingredients list by copying it into INCIDecoder!

Skincare is important to keep skin healthy, so knowing your skin type can help determine the complexity of the routine, the products used, and help prevent breakouts as well as wrinkles. Just as it is important to shower and brush your teeth, skincare should be a part of your basic, hygiene routine. Be sure to keep in mind that not all routines will show a visible change overnight so be patient! Healthy glowing skin helps you look and feel your absolute best! Care about your skincare!