In the A.M.
For dry and combination skin, just cleanse with water. For oily skin use a gel or foaming cleanser. Personally, I just rinse with water and then refresh with a toner.
When cleansing your skin, you are changing its pH balance. To restore your skin to its natural pH level, it's important to use a toner. There are also many additional benefits to toners so choose one that best fits your skin.
3. Hyaluronic Acid
All skin types should be using a hyaluronic acid serum morning and night. Our body makes it naturally but it stars to deplete over time. Topically applying H.A to your skin will help hydrate it better than any other serum, thanks to it ability to hold a 1000x its body weight in water. As much as we all try to drink a lot of water, our skin is the largest organ of the body and our water intake goes to all of our other vital organs before reaching the skin. It would take quite a bit of water to thoroughly hydrate our skin. This is why H.A. comes in handy to act as a drink of water topically applied to get the proper hydration our skin craves!
4. Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it helps prevent the forming of free radicals, which go on to break down collagen and elastin. It's also extremely helpful in getting rid of hyperpigmentation and acne while also helping brighten up dull skin. It has many anti - aging benefits as well!
Wearing sunscreen is the single most important thing you can do to keep your skin healthy and youthful long-term. UV exposure causes not only skin cancer, but also about 80% of visible skin aging. Be sure the sunscreen is labeled broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVB (the rays that cause sunburn), and UVA (the rays that cause tanning and premature aging) and a level SPF 30 or higher for best protection.
In the P.M.
At night all skin types should be double cleansing - especially if wearing makeup! The first cleanse only gets the first layer of oil, dirt, & makeup off and the second will be a much deeper cleanse. Have you ever used a cotton pad on your skin after cleansing and wonder how it's still not clean?! It's because you need a really deep cleanse to be able clean out your pores.
Exfoliation is a natural process where the body sheds dead skin cells, allowing brand-new, fresh skin to be revealed. As we age, that process (called cell-turnover) starts to slow down, allowing dead skin cells to build up, and eventually resulting in dullness, more visible wrinkles, and clogged and/or enlarged pores. When we speed up the process of cell-turnover, we can help skin look younger, smoother, and brighter. Exfoliating should be done 2-3x a week at nighttime and make sure to wear SPF during the day because exfoliating makes you more sensitive to the sun.
It's important to use a toner after each time you cleanse to rebalance the pH and to get immediate hydration and nutrients. This also allows for better penetration of the products that you put on directly afterwards. I like to leave my skin pretty moist from cleansing to help activate the nutrients and get the most out of the product.
Serums generally have the highest percentage of active ingredients. This makes serums one of the most effective and beneficial of all skincare products. This is also why they are usually the most expensive products to purchase. Figure out your main skin concern and try to find a serum that is proven to be effective in treating that problem. Here is a list of serums that I recommend for each skin concern.
The basic function of moisturizers is to help treat your skin when it's dry and prevent it from drying out again. Moisturizers do this by holding water in the stratum corneum, (the outermost layer of the skin) but they have other functions as well. They can help protect your skin from the environment because it creates a barrier on your skin that keeps oils from escaping and harmful outside elements from entering, causing dryness or irritation.
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that helps boost collagen production and aid in cell turnover. This results in more even, smoother skin and helps reduce the appearance of sun spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. It's because of this rapid cellular turnover that retinol is used in the treatment of acne. I like to use it as a spot treatment anytime I get a pimple or whitehead. Some people can use retinol every night and others (like me) can only use it once a week or else will see some peeling. This ingredient makes you sensitive to the sun so only use at night and always wear SPF before going outside.