Ingredients to look for in skin care products
Skin ages for both chronological and environmental reasons. Increased age and exposure to pollution and other environmental factors causes lines and wrinkles to become more visible. Major contributing factors to deeper lines and wrinkles include skin that is thinner and less firm, reduced collagen and elastin, and reduced cell renewal.
One way to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles is to use products that deliver powerful antioxidants like vitamin C to your skin. The best vitamin C skin care products will neutralize free radicals, boost the skin’s ability to produce collagen, reduce discoloration, and improve skin texture.
Hydroxy acids are another key. Some skin care products are so high in hydroxy acid that a toner is necessary to prepare skin. Skin that benefits from high levels of hydroxy acids will be able to produce more collagen and elastin. This reduces lines and wrinkles.
After treating your skin with vitamin C, toner, and hydroxy acids, a quality moisturizer and sun block is essential. Sun block must be worn every day, and it must block UVA and UVB rays because sun is the primary cause of older looking skin. Products with antioxidants that reduce damage from the sun are important, but nothing can substitute for an effective sun block.
When you apply your skin care products in the right order, you’re able to maximize their benefits.
Below you’ll find a breakdown of when to apply each of your skin care products. You can subtract the products that you don’t use, but it’s important to implement these steps with the products that work for your skin. Don’t forget to adapt products as your skin changes with climate or travel.
Start your morning with a gentle cleanser to begin with a clean slate and remove any debris from your pillow or from your skin purging at night. In the evening, I double cleanse — using an oil cleanser to remove makeup and/or sunscreen, and then a regular cleanser to remove any impurities or debris from the day.
Toners are used as a way to balance your skin’s pH levels, while an essence will deliver nutrients and antioxidants to your skin. This step is not meant to strip your skin. Think of this step as a primer for the rest of your skincare routine. (*note: if you still see dirt or leftover makeup when applying your toner, you didn’t cleanse your face enough)
Serums and treatments are power-packed with ingredients to help target your specific skin concerns. This is the step to apply your acne treatment, vitamin c serum, and anti-aging serum. I have three different serums that I like, so I mix two serums in the morning and two serums in the evening. In the evening, this is the step where you would apply your overnight peel or exfoliating treatment.
Not everyone uses a spot treatment. This step targets specific spots on your skin like acne scars, pesky pimples, or dark spots.
Eye creams are meant to maintain the elasticity and thickness of the skin around your eyes. If you use an eye cream it’s best to apply it before your moisturizer (remember, lightest to heaviest). Moisturizers are used to hydrate and protect your skin from environmental stressors, while maintaining your moisture barrier. They also help trap all your other treatments underneath, so that they can remain effective. Even if you have oily skin, like me, you need a moisturizer. This is the step where you could apply a heavier moisturizer at night, so it can be absorbed in the hours while you sleep.
Not everyone uses facial oils. A facial oil should always go last and are better used at night. If you want to use a facial oil in the morning, I would mix a very small amount with your moisturizer before applying it to your skin. I use one drop in the morning with my moisturizer, compared to 3 drops a night after my moisturizer. Oils help seal everything in to keep your other products from evaporating.
Sunscreen should be the last step of your morning skin routine. It’s best to use a physical mineral sunscreen rather than a chemical sunscreen so that you can physically block the UV rays and protect your skin.