As we age our skin loses its plumpness, suppleness, and elasticity. This is a natural process. However, with a good skincare routine, tailored to your skin’s needs, it is possible to slow the aging process. But what is a good skincare routine? What are the products I need to purchase in order to maintain my youthful appearance?
It all started with the Ancient Egyptians who used oils, sand, resins (frankincense and myrrh) and scented waters to treat their skin. This ancient society took skincare seriously, and it was an actual ritual, because cleanliness meant holiness. No one was allowed to perform any ritual before cleansing. Then there was the brutal desert sun. And we all know what extended exposure to the sun can do. These treatments soothed, smoothed, and slowed the aging process.
I’m sure you are wondering what makes me the expert on skincare. Well, I have seven years’ experience in skincare and makeup with one of the world’s top cosmetic lines. I’ve been a skincare consultant, makeup artist, and a manager of others who do this work. Even so, I’ve also experimented with my own skin. Using different products from different brands from drugstore to high end to botanicals. And the one thing I have found, you have to choose the right products for your skin type and its needs. This is not your mother’s, cousin’s, friend’s, skincare. This is unique to you. So, let’s get started.
Your skincare routine is the key to the great skin you’re wanting. All the expensive creams, serums, face oils, cleansers and essences in the world won’t give you beautiful skin if you only do it once or twice a week. Consistency, as with the Ancient Egyptians, is the key.
I’ve had women tell me they don’t wash their faces at night. They choose to wash in the morning. Washing in the morning is great but cleansing at night is most beneficial. You see, when you’re at work all day or out in the yard; your skin is exposed to pollutants. Those pollutants come from ventilation systems, pollen, exhaust fumes, etc. Those pollutants are sitting on your skin at night as you sleep. When you cleanse, it gets rid of all the debris, giving your skin a breath of fresh air. It also prepares the skin to reap the benefits of the skincare products that follow, creating an environment for repair.
At 57-years young, I have no wrinkles, save for a light line in my forehead that I work on diligently. I attribute this to a full nightly routine. In the beginning it may seem daunting. Think of it as 10 minutes for you.
Fact: Skin is the largest organ of the body. Care for it the way you do all of your other organs. It repairs itself nightly just as the rest of your body.
A part of that skincare is also drinking water. I’ve had clients complain of fine lines and dryness. My first question is “how much water are you consuming?” Water does not include caffeinated, or sugar filled drinks, both of which can sap water from your system and your skin. Tea can be effective in hydrating as well as long as it’s not caffeinated. This is the first piece of advice I give when a product is not working. The second question is how often you are washing your face. Is the skin too dry or does it need exfoliating so that it can absorb the products? Third, how much product are you applying? Too much can clog pores and create other problems. Too little will defeat the purpose of the product.
Once or twice per week, using a mild scrub is good for a smooth complexion and keeping the pores open, by sloughing off dead skin cells that can create blackheads. It also helps to shrink enlarged pores. Choose one that has round microbeads. Exfoliants containing granules can sometimes scratch the skins surface causing damage. Does the skin do this naturally? Yes, every 28 days, our skin sheds revealing a new layer. However, the process can be helped along if there is dryness or flaking in between.
An essence helps to restore natural moisture balance, while priming the skin for serums and moisturizer. Essences target specific concerns, as well as, adding hydration to the deepest layers of your skin. A toner, which can also be used, instead of an essence; hydrates the top layer of skin. It has a water like consistency versus the slightly thicker essence. And is used to clear any residue left by cleanser or makeup.
Serums come in all varieties. Depending on your skin’s needs, you may choose a serum that specifically brightens skin. Or, one that lightens dark spots. I don’t recommend using more than two serums together, and if you do, the less viscous goes first. Decide your main target and choose a serum on that basis.
Cream or Moisturizer
Creams hydrate the top layer of skin. They help to seal in the benefits of your essence and serum, so that they don’t evaporate from the skin. Creams also target specific skin concerns and are usually the last step in your skincare routine. In a previous blog, I talked about face oils and their use in conjunction with your moisturizing cream. Click here to see more on Face Oils.
Eye creams hydrate the delicate skin around the eyes, which is usually where you begin to see lines and crows’ feet. Eye creams can also target specific concerns such as sagging, dark circles, and puffiness. The important thing to remember, is that the area around your eyes is more sensitive than the rest of your face. So, in applying anything around the eyes be gentle.
Sunscreen is a must year-round. Even on cloudy days. It is not the sun’s rays that do the most damage. It is the UV rays, which are present rain, shine, sleet, or snow. UV rays are a major cause of premature aging of the skin.
Now that you’re armed with knowledge, you may be thinking, there are a lot of steps. Call it self-care, filling your own cup, so that you are able to fill others. Call it an investment in having great skin into your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and beyond. Consistency is the key. You will notice the difference in the first week. I used to tell my clients to take a selfie at the beginning, then another one week later. Make sure it’s in the same place, with the same lighting, to get an accurate measure. If you’ve been consistent, you will see a noticeable difference.
DeLydia is our resident expert on skincare with extensive experience working in the skincare and makeup industry with one of the world's top cosmetic lines. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and a MISM in Information Systems. She is passionate about the health of our skin and providing information that is clear and easy to understand as well as links to her love of Nature's wisdom.