What's on your bathroom counter? Home skincare is super important!
Going to your fave skin guru. Some of us do it routinely. Some would like to more than we do, and for some it doesn't ever cross our minds. Ever.
Whichever you are... it's ok!!
Sometimes no matter how bad we want to, we just don't seem to have the time, the funds, or we don't know where to go or who to trust. That last one is another topic for another day...
What I want to talk about right now is what are you doing at home? If getting in for facials or treatments isn't possible, your homecare routine is that much more important!
It's kind of like going to the dentist. If all you really did was have routine cleanings, your smile might not be so pearly white and amazing. Of course you don't do that! It's so easy to brush daily, floss daily, use a whitener or tooth treatment. And I think it's safe to say most of us are doing those things.
SO.... why don't we give the same respect and attention to our skin??
Home skincare routines don't have to be crazy. Or overwhelming. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars and hours of your precious time applying creams, and serums, and gels, and masks. Granted if you look at some bathroom counters (ummm, guilty! ;) ) it looks like we need an intervention! :) Trust me, that's not necessary.
Home skincare is simple. You can be done in 5 minutes. And not spend your entire paycheck on product.
It can be broken down into 4 steps:
1. Cleanse. Yup. You have to wash your face; at night especially. There really isn't a way around this one. All of the make-up, pollutants, free radicals, insane things our skin gets bombarded with daily needs to come off! They body and skin recharge and heal while you sleep. Don't give that garbage any more opportunity to sit there and damage your pretty face. :)
2. Treat. This is an important one. Do you have acne? BHA or salicylic acid is perfect. Do you have hyperpigmentation (dark spots), sunspots, melasma? Brightening products like retinol, kojic acid, licorice root, arbutase, vitamin C or hydroquinone can help. There are some amazing products/ingredients that can benefit the skin, those are just some great examples and starting points.
3. Moisturize. This one is so important, and is often overlooked. Sometimes our skin seems oily; especially in warm weather months. So why use a moisturizer? It seems like that is the last thing we need, right? The answer is no. When the skin is damaged, or stripped of it's natural protective barriers, our body has a hard time holding in moisture. As a self defence, to try and create a barrier, the skin produces more oil.This oil can clog pores and cause breakouts. It's important to not use a cleanser that strips your skin. If after washing it your skin feels really tight, that's not the sign of clean skin; that's skin that has been stripped to much. If your "treat" step burns, makes you beet red, or you feel super tight and sensitive, it might be too strong. Cut back a bit, like use it every other day, or exchange it for a less potent product.
There are awesome moisturizers available for every skin type that can help the skin be healthy and do it's job. Moisturizers are important to help with maintaining our protective barrier to keep the bad out and the good in.
4. Protect. Yup.... sunscreen. Especially when treating our skin with a retinol, or vitamin C, or whatever awesomeness you're using, the skin can become extra sensitive to the sun. Too much exposure can lead to MORE lines, wrinkles, or sun spots. Also, not all sunscreens are created equal. Make sure you're using one that protects against UVA and UVB. Most sunscreens have the UVB protection, but study after study have shown how much damage we are doing by skipping out on the UVA protection. You don't have to get crazy with SPF 1 billion. SPF 30 is great. A higher SPF doesn't necessarily provide a big difference in protection and the price tag on the product is probably higher; the key is to reapply it throughout the day.
So. 4 steps. Potentially 4-5 products. That's all you need to create a big difference in the health and appearance of your skin. If you're unsure what to use, it's safest to stick with what's recommended by the pros. The girls at the makeup counter in the mall are amazing and super fun, but the skincare product they are selling is usually full of foofy fillers, perfumes, and dyes (some of which have preservatives that are causing more damage to the skin) to make it feel luxurious.
The best products I have seen don't have much smell. They aren't a pretty color. They don't come in a gift set with mascara. They get right down to business with ingredients that get the job done. No unnecessary extras.
So remember, take the time to use good skincare at home. If you don't know what to use or what you need, go to the pros to find out. If you don't have someone to go to, there are resources online, or talk to a friend. (ahem.... ME!) :)
And when it comes to skincare.... Keep It Simple Skincare.