It’s true what they say, natural beauty starts with a glowing complexion. And while a balanced diet and the drinking of extra water may serve as foundation for a beautiful, healthy skin, getting that ultimate radiant glow is also a matter of putting together the ideal day-to-nigh skincare routine for you.
The do’s and don’ts for better skin are many seeing how skincare is so individual, and although finding the right products and the right regime for you may feel a little like an impossible mission at times, we promise you your healthy, happy skin will make it all seem worth it.
Below, the 10 skincare products every girl should have on her shelf.
Cleansing lotions are skin cleaning products that are formulated to remove impurities, makeup and pollution from skin, thereby allowing it to breathe. Formulated in cream form, these lotions provide the most effective way to purify the skin and improve its overall health, shine and appearance. Because when your face is clean, it allows the other products you use to work even better, morning and evening.
Some of the important benefits of regular usage of cleansing lotions include helping protect and replenish the skin’s delicate moisture barrier, and the thoroughly and gently removing of impurities and debris without stripping critical skin lipids.
Choose a cleanser suitable for your skin type; a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin or a gel, foamy cleanser if you have oily skin. Make sure to opt for a natural face cleanser, excluding harmful synthetic ingredients, to avoid allergies.
Toners are meant to be used after cleansing, when your skin needs a range of ingredients to restore and repair its surface. Skin can never get too much of these important ingredients, which include antioxidants and skin-repairing substances such as glycerin, fatty acids, and ceramides. The right toner can give your skin a healthy dose of what it needs to look younger, fresher, and smoother, right after cleansing. A well-formulated toner smooths, softens, and calm the skins, while removing the last traces of makeup. It also helps reduce redness and dry patches.
For dry skin go with a hydrating toner that uses rose water, for combination skin try something with natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) to help balance skin tone, and if your skin has a tendency to be oilier and breakout then look for glycolic acid in the list of ingredients.
Exfoliation is defined as the removal of built-up dead skin cells. Exfoliating dead cells can accelerate the skin renewal process and it allows for new healthy cells to take their place. In addition, fine lines and wrinkles are reduced, giving you a healthy and smooth complexion. Exfoliating weekly will unclog pores, reduce redness, blackheads, and breakouts, diminish wrinkles, build collagen, and improve uneven skin tone. Exfoliation also increases blood circulation, which in turn helps you achieve healthy and glowing skin.
If you have oily skin, look for a physical exfoliator, like a scrub or a cleansing device; dry skin types can benefit from exfoliators that remove dead, dull skin, but also provide hydration that’s why they should try for the finest grains in a creamy, lotion texture, one that contains moisturizing oils, or one that’s honey-based; sensitive skin types should avoid chemical exfoliation and most physical exfoliators too, choosing light powders, like rice and oatmeal instead.
During the day, the skin is subject to damaging UV rays, pollution, environmental stresses, and makeup, so creams designed for use during the day are primarily focused on protection and support. They contain SPF to prevent burning, antioxidants to fight free radicals, and ingredients like caffeine to make skin look energized and firm. Day creams are usually designed to be worn under cosmetics, so they have light, nongreasy formulas that are absorbed quickly and allow the pores to breathe.
If you have dry skin opt for rich creams, but stick to something that’s full of healing ingredients like avocado oil, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. If you have oily skin keep an eye out for products with botanical extracts, oil-free formulas and lightweight consistencies. Products with oatmeal or aloe are ideal for soothing sensitive skin. Look for fragrance-free formulas without parabens, especially if you deal with rosacea, eczema and allergies.
Night creams are specially formulated to be richer, thicker and stronger, since you don’t wear them in the sun or underneath foundation. They usually contain the highest concentrations of anti-aging compounds, and they’re made to penetrate the skin barrier over the course of several hours.
As with your day cream, look for a product that matches your skin type. If you have oily skin, look for noncomedogenic (non-clogging) products. If you have dry skin, try a moisturiser with fatty acids to rehydrate the skin, and ceramides to repair its natural moisture barrier. A night cream packed with antioxidants will help to smooth out fine lines.
The skin of the eye area is very different from most of the skin of the rest of the face. It’s thinner, more sensitive and has fewer oil and water glands, so it needs more moisturization. Depending on which eye cream you use, it can help moisturize, hydrate, de-puff, minimize dark circles and temporarily tighten the eye area. Eye creams are very concentrated. This is why they usually come in miniature size containers and tubes. You only need about the size of a pencil eraser to treat your under-eye skin.
The best skin products for around your eyes should be fragrance free, contain anti-aging antioxidants and be delicate enough for this vulnerable area.
Serums are thick liquid-like products with active ingredients like vitamins and anti-oxidants that are formulated with smaller molecules so they can penetrate deep into the skin. Serums are designed to penetrate and treat various skin conditions, such as redness, dehydration or lack of firmness, wrinkles, dark spots or to brighten the skin.
While facial serums can give you added moisture, the main reason you’d want to use them is to get added nutrients into deeper layers of your skin that a regular moisturizer is not able to reach. If you have oily skin, look for products formulated with glycolic acid or retinol to help smooth your skin’s texture, accelerate cellular turnover, and prevent clogged pores. The best serum for dry skin is a light and non-oily hydrating serum that will wash your skin with all the moisture it needs to get rid of the dry, tight feeling caused by dehydration.
Oil products contain essential fatty acids your skin needs to stay properly hydrated, but your body can’t produce them on its own. Oils also act as the skin’s lipid barrier, protecting against extreme temperatures, dry climates, and over-cleansing.
Favorite oils include argan, jojoba, apricot kernel, avocado, macadamia, kukui nut, borage, rosehip, camellia and calendula. Skin care oils should be selected according to their therapeutic properties. Some oils like carrot seed, helichrysum and krill have known anti-aging, skin rejuvenating properties for example, while others like tea tree oil have antiseptic properties.
Masks can be used to moisturize, detoxify, increase circulation and replenish nutrients. But above all, they add an extra dimension to the skin-care routine, and they are truly pampering. If you’re dry or dehydrated, the facial mask should hydrate your skin. If your skin is red or inflamed, the mask should calm and soothe. If your skin is oily and congested, the facial mask can help draw out impurities from the skin.
Skin care experts around the world agree that facial sunscreen is the most important product you put on your face daily. Adding a sunscreen lotion to your simple skin care regimen is a preventative measure that protects against early aging. The sun’s harmful rays can cause many skin maladies such as: wrinkles, freckles, discoloration, and rough skin texture.
For an everyday product for the face, you may wish to find a chemical formula that disappears into the skin. When spending extended time in the sun at the beach or pool, however, you may actually appreciate the film a physical block leaves behind as an assurance that it hasn’t worn off. Apply 20-30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every couple of hours for best results.
Main image: Margarida @ Elite Lisbon.