Let’s be real, whether you feel like Kim Kardashian or Honey Boo Boo, at some point you’ve walked into Sephora or Nordstrom and felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of choices laid out before you.
Even after I started working as an Esthetician I would be so overwhelmed with how much information (true and false) there was out there about skin care and what products to use. I would have clients come in daily saying how they’ve bought every product on the market or were doing some crazy at-home remedy and still their skin was dry, oily, or broken out.
Life is busy and many of us don’t have the time to keep a sixteen-step skin care routine. So, how can we keep it simple but still have the skin we’ve always wanted? What are the skin care non-negotiables? What are some trustworthy skin care brands? And how can we keep a simple skin care routine without being up an extra two hours at night OR break the bank?
Let’s start with the basic essentials you need AND need to know that will be the foundation to anything additional you may want to add to your routine down the line.
Learn About YOUR skin.
It’s impossible to know what products are best for you if you don’t know what skin type you have. Is your skin always dry even when you wake up in the morning? Are your pores really small? Most likely you have a normal to dry skin type.
Is your skin oily in your t-zone by the middle to end of the day? Are your pores a little bigger overall? Most likely you have a combination skin type. Is your skin oily all the time, and your pores larger over all? Most likely you have an oily skin type. Lastly, did you have asthma or allergies as a kid? Is your skin reactive to cold and hot temperatures and does your skin become red easily? Most likely you have a sensitive skin type.
Skin type Vs. Skin Condition.
Now that you know what skin type you have, we also need to consider that the skin condition you’re dealing with may be completely separate from your actual skin type. If that’s the case it may make choosing products really confusing. For instance, say you have a dry skin type but you’re breaking out like crazy. The products typically used to fight acne are very drying and will make your already dry skin that much dryer.
So, what do we do?
We need to take BOTH your skin type and condition into account. Meaning we need to treat the acne while also honoring your unique skin type. For instance, with a dry skin type that is struggling with acne the best cleanser would be a gel based cleanser that has soothing properties such as lavender and hyaluronic acid. This way we are using a strong enough cleanser to remove dirt and debris from the pores while also keeping your skin hydrated and soothed with the lavender and hyaluronic.
Now that we are a bit more educated about our skin and how to start choosing the right products for our unique skin type, let’s talk about an easy and simple skin care routine.
Step 1: Cleansers.
Gel cleansers are great for normal, combination, and oily skin types. Some affordable options are:
- Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
- Olay Regenerist Detoxifying Cleanser
- Arcona White Tea Purifying Cleanser
Foam cleansers are great for combination and oily skin types. Some affordable options are:
Cream Cleansers are great for normal to dry skin and sensitive/sensitized types. Some affordable options are:
- Eminence Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser
- Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser
- Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser
Step 2: Toner.
I always say that toners are the unsung heroes of a good skin care routine. They have so many undervalued benefits such as removing excess product, dirt or oil as well as balancing the ph level of your skin after cleansing or exfoliating. Maintaining a slightly acidic ph level on your skin is vital to having healthy skin for the long haul (but that’s for another post). To keep things simple I’ll just recommend my all-time favorite toner from Arcona.
Step 3: Moisturize (AM & PM).
There are SO many false ideas about moisturizing that I’ll save for another post. But for now I’ll just say that how you choose a cleanser is similar to how you would choose your moisturizer. For example, for normal to dry choose a medium-weight moisturizer, for combination choose a light to medium-weight, for oily choose a light-weight moisturizer. Whichever one you choose the MOST IMPORTANT part of an AM moisturizer is making sure you choose one that is AT LEAST (yes, I’m yelling) SPF 15 or higher.
For moisturizing at night you’ll always want a separate product that 1. doesn’t have an SPF in it (using SPF at night will clog your pores) and 2. is more active. The reason for wanting a more active moisturizer (active meaning the product contains active ingredients that are promoting change on your skin) at night is that while you sleep your body is actively restoring itself so whatever you apply to your skin at night is going to penetrate and absorb that much deeper into your skin.
Some affordable AM options are:
Some affordable PM options are:
These simple five tips will allow you the chance to have the right foundation to build a long, healthy, and loving relationship with the skin of your dreams.