This is my face, if you follow this blog it should be a fairly familiar sight by now. Or if you know me in real life. Anyhow, I decided that the best way of starting to talk about skin care was to show my skin.
So yeah, let’s have a discussion about how to develop a skin care routine.
Firstly, you need to familiarise yourself with your skin. A lot of people focus heavily on simply covering up with makeup and either skip skincare or use the completely wrong products. Remove all makeup, let your skin settle, and then have a good look at it. Resist the urge to try to fix things, just try to have a neutral approach. Don’t judge, just assess.
Using my own face as an example because it’s the only face I have access to. I don’t have any major skin issues at the moment. The occasional pimple, some annoying blackheads, and a bit of dryness or redness every now and then. But that’s really it. I have a slight tendency towards an oily t-zone (especially my nose) and I know there’s a few products my face reacts to. This leads me to the conclusion that I have fairly sensitive combination skin. It also tells me that my skin is in a fairly good condition, there are no concerns that might require medical attention (unexplained allergic reaction and sudden severe acne are examples of things that could be indicators of something more serious), nor are there any problems that require targeted treatment.
A basic skin care routine contains a few different things used each day and some that are used every now and then.
Ideally, a basic skin care routine starts in the morning with: cleanser, toner, and some form of moisturiser.
Night time: makeup removal (if you wear makeup), cleanse, tone, moisturise.
Optional daily routine products: essences, eye creams, night cremes.
My personal daily routine includes an essence in addition to the “holy trio”. I also use simple makeup remover wipes that you can pick up for a dollar or two pretty much anywhere. In case I’ve worn something like waterproof eye makeup or lip products that are difficult to remove, I have an oil based makeup remover that I bring out when I need something stronger.
Things you shouldn’t use every day: exfoliators, sheet masks, heavy overnight treatments.
These things all have great benefits and can be really helpful, but if you use them every day you put your skin under a lot of strain which can cause new problems to develop.
What about double cleansing? This is a technique commonly used in South Korea where you use two types of cleansers. One oil based and one water based. Oil based cleansers are great for removing traces of makeup and dirt, water based ones are good for gentle cleansing. It’s meant to combine the best of both worlds. If you want to try a double cleanse, I’d recommend using gentle cleansers and to always moisturise afterwards. If you do a double cleanse without moisturising, your skin is going to produce a fuckton of sebum and oils to compensate.
What do I use?
These are all budget friendly options that I’ve ended up going for and I find them superior to a lot of the more expensive products I’ve tried.
This cleansing powder from Fancl is the best cleanser I’ve ever tried, an added bonus is that it’s easy to travel with since it’s not liquid. It’s gentle and free from the things that irritate my skin, but gives a really good cleanse at the same time.
Toners are something I struggle with and my skin tends to react to them. However, this Calming Seed spray toner from The Face Shop works wonderfully. I love that it’s a spray on because that means I don’t have to keep buying cotton to be able to use it. It’s a very light weight product that is absorbed quickly. Fantastic if you tend to run late in the morning.
For essences, I use this one from Innisfree, especially in winter since my skin tends to be a bit dry. Innisfree tends to target sensitive skins, but I find that a lot of their products contain alcohols, which is something my skin just can’t handle. This product however, works really well for me.
I use a very light weight moisturiser from Palmer’s, but I can’t actually find it on their website. I really hope that it’s still being sold because it’s perfect for controlling redness. It’s a very calming products and I truly love it.
Exfoliators: I use two different ones depending on what my skin is doing. If I need a thorough scrub, I use Palmer’s Exfoliating Facial Scrub. If my skin is feeling a bit irritated or sensitive, I use this Tony Moly coffee one. The first one is known as a manual exfoliator, meaning that you need to manually rub it to ensure that it works. The second one is a chemical exfoliator, meaning that it targets dead skin on it’s own and you just lightly massage it into your skin before you wash it off.
Eye treatments: If my eyes are feeling swollen, tired, or if it’s a really hot day, I use Tony Moly’s Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick. It just provides instant cooling and it just feels great. It’s also adorable.
When my pores are out of control or if it’s extremely hot, I use Tony Moly’s Egg Pore series. I’ve reviewed the products I use from this series here.