Skincare can be super overwhelming. There seems to be a sea of products that you need to keep up with, with new ingredients popping up all over social media. This simple guide is to help you get started with building your routine – start with these few essentials and build your way from there. We’ll dive into which products you need and why they’re important. So keep reading for the skincare essentials that every girl needs!
An Oil Cleanser or Micellar Water
Double cleansing gets rid of the grime that sits on top of your skin from the day, along with SPF, makeup, excess oil and dead skin. The concept of double cleansing is simple: cleanse first using an oil cleanser or micellar water, then cleanse again using your normal cleanser.
Oil cleansers remove dirt and makeup while leaving a hydrating layer behind on the skin. These are great for your skin barrier if you’ve been using harsh products, and for improving skin texture. After cleansing, avoid using a harsh second cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin – it would be a shame to undo the good of the oil cleanser by following up with a harsh one!
Micellar water is a multi-purpose skin tonic that contains small particles called micelles. The micelles work like a miniature sponge to mop up dirt and makeup while hydrating the skin. They contain oil-loving elements that trap dirt, oil, and makeup and also water-loving parts that dissolve impurities so they can easily be wiped away. Micellar water is a great option for those with oily skin who prefer not to use oil-based cleansers. This has a lighter, more water-like consistency and can be used as an alternative to oil cleansers.
A Cream, Gel, or Foam Cleanser
Having a good cleanser in your skincare cupboard is the best thing you can do for your skin. Apart from having your makeup-remover, you need a gentle daily cleanser. When looking for one, you should consider your skin type and concerns.
For some tips on how to cleanse your skin properly, check out this post here.
This is for all the lazy girls who sometimes (or usually) skip out on the double cleansing. A toner can be your quick fix to removing any last traces of dirt or impurities after washing your face. It’s also a great way to balance your skin’s pH levels after cleansing. One thing to remember: try to stay away from toners that contain alcohol. Those can be too harsh for the skin and strip your skin of its natural oils, drying it out.
A toner is also great for prepping the skin to absorb your other products better. It brings your skin back to its natural acidic state while sweeping impurities away, prepping the skin for the next steps of your skincare routine. Imagine this: your skin is like a dry sponge. If you were to slather cream over a dry sponge, not much of it would be absorbed. But if you were to wet the sponge first, the cream would sink in more easily. The toner preps your pores in the same way one would wet a sponge first to better absorb product.
A Hydrating Serum
Keeping your skin hydrated is essential for all skin types. A PSA for all those with oily skin: hydration and oiliness are not the same thing. You want hydrated skin to help you combat unnecessary oil production. As for dry skin, well that’s pretty self-explanatory.
No matter your skin type, everyone should have at least one hydrating serum (that includes ingredients such as hyaluronic acid) to keep the skin hydrated to improve elasticity and the overall health of your skin. Lack of moisture is one of the main causes for aging skin, which is why this is a must-have to keeping your skin healthy.
Antioxidants are essential to healthy, bright skin. They act as a shield for the skin, protecting it from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. One of the most popular antioxidants is vitamin C.
If you’ve ever seen a sliced apple turn brown, you’ve witnessed oxidation first-hand. This is caused by free radicals that are naturally produced by our bodies and/or come from environmental stressors (such as UV rays, pollution, and smoke). Antioxidants protect the skin against the oxidative damage caused by them and can even reverse the damage that’s already been done.
Whether it be a moisturiser, serum or toner, be sure to include antioxidants into your daily routine. These are the key to maintaining healthy skin!
Exfoliants (Not a Scrub)
Depending on your age, skin type, and skin concerns, you should be exfoliating 1-3 times a week. However, that doesn’t mean you should be scrubbing your face each week. It’s time to replace your face scrubs with exfoliating acids that boost skin cell regeneration without the physical harshness of scrubs. Acids exfoliate the skin by dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells and boosting skin cell turnover. There is a ton of info to consider before deciding which exfoliating products are best for your skin so here’s our guide to exfoliating acids to help you get started.
A Good Moisturiser for Your Skin Type
Moisturiser is essential to keeping the skin nourished and hydrated. It seals in moisture, gives your skin the nutrition it needs, and protects your skin. Moisturisers can be formulated with different active ingredients to address different skin concerns. If you’ve got dry skin, you’ll likely need a heavier cream that seals and locks in hydration. If you’re more on the oily side, you’ll probably prefer a lightweight gel cream.
This should be the last step of your skincare routine, but it’s arguable the most important. This is the number one rule in skincare across all skin types and ages: take your SPF seriously. While it might seem tedious to slather your face in sunscreen every morning, when you consider that 90% of premature skin aging is directly linked to sun damage, it’s definitely worth it. Check out our guide to sun protection for the full rundown on this skincare essential.