A clean, healthy skin is what is needed to create the perfect canvas for flawless make-up and it all begins with a good skincare routine. Yes, you’ve probably heard all of this before, but making your skin feel smooth just isn’t enough. You need to choose the right cleansers, toners and moisturisers based on your personal skin type.
Your skin needs to be cleansed every day and encouraged to maintain a high moisture content by using a good quality moisturiser and drinking plenty of water. Over-cleansing is never good for you, no matter how much you might moisturise afterwards, as this causes you to remove the protective barrier on your skin called the acid mantle. Continuous removal of this barrier does not ‘clean’ the skin, but rather encourages it to produce even more sebum (oil), making the skin appear even oilier.
Exfoliators improve the appearance of your skin, as they remove any loose, dry skin and give you a more youthful appearance. However, remember to always treat your skin gently. When applying an exfoliator, use a light, circular motion but do not rub and rather exfoliate in the evenings, especially if you’re using an exfoliator containing AHA’s. Facial exfoliators should be used once a week by those with dry, sensitive or combination skins. If you have oily skin, you can exfoliate twice a week. Always make sure to apply a rich moisturiser afterwards (even if you have oily skin).
Cleansing should ideally be done at night, after removing any make-up and then a simple rinse with water only (or rosewater) in the morning should be sufficient. Oily skins benefit from a gel-based, foaming cleansers, as these will help strip away some of the excess oil and clean out the pores. Combination skins can use a mild and gently foaming cleansers; while dry skins require more moisture, so a soothing, moisturising cleansing milk or lotion is best. A cleanser containing glycerine (a humectant) will help attract and draw water to the surface of the skin, assisting the skin to stay hydrated and moisturised.
Toners remove any left over make-up or cleanser residue still on your skin and help prepare your skin for moisturiser. They also assist in rebalancing the skins pH level and can aid in tightening pores. Astringents (like Witch Hazel) are great for use on oily skins as they help absorb excess oil, although they can be drying. Mists, toners and skin tonics are less harsh than astringents and are suitable for use on normal and combination skins, although combinations skins may need to use a toner and an astringent on separate areas of the face according to the oiliness of the T-zone. Dry skins need the mildest form of toners, being skin bracers and fresheners. These contain very little or no alcohol and a humectant (like glycerine). Rosewater is an example of a mild toner that can be used on dry skin.
Even though your skin may be oily, it still needs to be moisturised. Be sure to use a light, oil-free, water-based moisturiser, especially after toning with a drying astringent like witch hazel. Products that are labelled as non-comedogenic will not block pores and are great for use on oily skins. A lightweight, non-greasy, water-based moisturiser should be used on normal skins. Combination skins could use the same, although an oil-based, “richer” moisturiser would need to be used when the skin is feeling a little dry, especially during the winter months. Dry skins require a richer, heavier, oil-based moisturiser that will help prevent water from evaporating from the skin. Oil-based moisturisers also last longer on the skin than water-based ones, thereby hydrating for longer.
Eye cream is a must and helps reduce the appearance and formation of wrinkles around the eyes. When using an eye cream or eye gel, never apply the product directly under the eye as this can cause the delicate eye tissue to swell and look puffy. Rather apply the cream on the eye bank (the area about an inch away from the edge of your eye) using your ring finger, as this finger exerts the least amount of pressure and won’t tug at delicate skin in the eye area. Gels are better to use during the day as they are more quickly absorbed and won’t leave a greasy look, like a cream will.
Keeping all this in mind, it is best to try and find a cleanser, toner and moisturiser suited to your skin type from the same brand range. Cleansers, toners and moisturisers are designed to work together and by mixing brands, you may not be getting the best result out of these products.
Beauty comes from the inside and one of the best ways to moisturise your skin is from the inside. So remember to drink plenty of water and herbal tea throughout the day!