Taking care of your skin is essential for maintaining a healthy complexion. Although there are a multitude of products available, the experts agree that a simple skincare routine with just three key elements is all you need. Cleansing is the first step in any skincare routine. Lim-Bueser, a skincare expert, explains that the main purpose of a cleanser is to remove surface impurities such as dust and excess oil.
It's important to choose a product that suits your skin type, as foaming cleansers work well for oily skin and gentle, fragrance-free cleansers are suitable for dry or sensitive skin. People with acne-prone skin should opt for medicated cleansers. Additionally, it's important to check the pH level of a cleaning product before using it, as human skin is naturally acidic and should be matched with a cleanser with a pH level between 5 and 6.Soaps tend to be very alkaline and can dry out the skin, so you may want to consider switching to synthetic detergents instead. The second step in any skincare routine is moisturizing.
This helps keep the skin's protective barrier working properly and keeps the skin feeling smooth and soft. The third and arguably most important element is sunscreen. Sun exposure can lead to photoaging and even certain types of skin cancer, so it's essential to use sunscreen regularly to protect your skin from damage. In the morning, wash your face with a cleanser and then apply a moisturizer and sunscreen (or combine the two with a moisturizer that has a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher).
At night, wash again with the cleanser and apply the moisturizer. You can use your SPF moisturizer at night if you want, but you may prefer something thicker. It's important to pay attention to how your skin reacts both immediately after using the product and in the following days. If it's oily, you may need to moisturize less often or use a lighter formula; if it's dry, you may need to use a thicker moisturizer.
If your skin is very dry or sensitive, you may only need to wash your face with a cleanser once a day at night and rinse it with water or micellar water in the morning. But if your skin is especially oily or you wear a lot of heavy makeup, you may need to clean it more often or even double clean it at the end of the day. If your skin is sensitive, you may notice some irritation (redness, itching, peeling), which is a sign that you should back off and call a dermatologist. You'll probably need to be careful in the future to avoid products with certain ingredients such as fragrances that can be irritating.
You might be surprised how after a few weeks of following these basic steps, other skin problems calm down. But if they don't, your next steps will depend on your skin's specific needs. If you have acne, you might want to switch from cleanser to salicylic acid or an occasional treatment for blemishes with benzoyl peroxide; for wrinkles, fine lines or sun damage, you might want to add an over-the-counter retinoid; for hyperpigmentation, brightening agents such as hydroquinone or vitamin C may work. However, it's important to only add one product at a time and wait at least two weeks before adding anything else. Finally, it's important not to give up too easily when trying new products as both over-the-counter and prescription treatments take weeks or months to produce noticeable changes.