The world of skincare can be quite daunting when you’re just starting out – with so many different brands, products, techniques and ingredients it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and even easier to get things totally wrong. So here are the basics, everything you need to set up a simple routine that will keep your skin in good condition, without causing any confusion or major dents in your bank balance!
Know your skin first
Before you choose any products, you need to know your skin type, and you need to know what you want to achieve. If it’s younger looking skin you’re after, you’ll need very different products to someone who wants to get rid of blocked pores! The easiest way to work out your skin type is to book a consultation with a beauty therapist, who will be able to advise you on products, as well as treatments that you might benefit from.
Your cleanser is absolutely essential – no other product will benefit your skin at all if you aren’t keeping it clean. Make sure to opt for a gentle one, perhaps more gentle than you think your skin needs. Look for non-foaming gels, micellar cleansers, or ones that use a pump to foam, rather than cleansers that lather up on your skin like soap. This means that the cleanser will be gentle, and balance your skin rather than stripping it of its natural oils.
You’ll be utterly amazed by the difference that regular exfoliation can make to your complexion. Blocked pores, spots, dullness, even wrinkles can be vastly improved by a good exfoliator. Look out for a low-concentration acid, or a gentle face scrub to start off with, and use twice a week. Once you start getting the hang of it, you can look into more potent exfoliators, or even better, book a deeply exfoliating Microdermabrasion facial with your therapist!
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Many people doubt the importance of toners, but they really do make all the difference. They remove the last traces of your cleanser, as well as residue from your tap water, which can dry out your skin.
When buying a moisturiser, there are two things to always look out for – hydration, and SPF. Many, many skin problems are the result of hidden dehydration, so look out for hyaluronic acid in your product. Ideally, you’ll use an SPF30 on your face (no matter what your skin colour!) so look for a separate SPF to use after your moisturiser if necessary.