When exactly is the best time to introduce a regular skin care routine into your life is a question without any particular right answer. In some Asian cultures it begins in the late teenage years, while in the west we tend to wait until our skin starts to show signs of wear and tear before making a serious commitment to taking care of it in a more organised way.
Either way, whatever stage of life you are in it’s pretty easy to develop a simple skin care routine using only the products you actually need. Here’s how:
- Limit your skincare routine to a maximum of five products. More than that means you are adding extra work which is unlikely to be necessary, and if you are busy could lead to you skipping the entire idea. You can always expand things later when you are into the habit of devoting some time to yourself twice a day.
- Go for sample, small or even travel sized products where possible so you can be sure they suit your skin before you spend cash on larger sized options.
- Commit to cleansing your face twice a day, in the morning and in the evening before you go to bed (at the latest). Choose a gentle cleanser rather than an exfoliating product. If you prefer the feeling of water on your skin there are some excellent foaming cleansers which are applied to damp skin and rinsed off with warm water, before gently patting your face dry.
- In the evening, if relevant to you remove makeup with products designed especially for the job. (This may mean using one for eye makeup and another for face makeup), before cleansing as usual.
- After cleansing use an alcohol-free toner to tighten pores and leave your skin feeling fresh.
- If you are concerned about fine lines or have dry patches apply a serum labelled as containing antioxidants to those areas, otherwise skip this stage.
- Moisturiser is the essential third step of a basic skin care routine. If possible look for a gentle product with an SPF of 30+, which will help protect your delicate skin against both UVB and UVA rays.
- Older skin benefits from a heavier cream designed as especially for use at night – and labelled as such.
- When you have settled into a good routine it’s worth adding in weekly extras such as a face mask or an exfoliating face wash, plus daily evening use of eye cream if the skin around that area is dull, puffy or tired looking.
- A final tip: If you prefer to use cloths for cleansing over cotton balls remember to use a clean one each time to avoid exposing your skin to bacteria. Also, pay attention to where your skincare products are stored – keeping them out of direct sunlight is always a good idea. In terms of good hygiene practice liquid products are generally a better bet than thicker products which are sold in tubs, unless you remember not to take the product from the tub directly with your fingers.
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