Cult favorite products and trendy ingredients may come and go (hello, snail mucus) but when it comes to skincare that can help you achieve your best looking complexion, there are certain rules and tips that have endured the test of time. Put another way, think of how your mother and grandmother told you to take care of your face. They probably told you to never go to bed with makeup on and drink plenty of water. Some skin care tips are common sense (like always wear SPF) while others are harder to follow, such as not touching a pimple. What they all have in common is that they can help you put your best face forward. Here’s a look at tried and true skincare tips.
Always Wear SPF
You’ve heard it one thousand times, but we’ll say it again. Always wear sunscreen, every day, despite the season and the weather report. Damage from the sun is cumulative and causes about 80% of visible aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration. Use a daily moisturizer with sunscreen, or buy sunscreen booster drops to add to your favorite products. Don’t forget about sun protection in the form of hats, sunglasses and simply staying out of the sun.
Moisturize Every Day
Protect and nourish your skin by moisturizing every single day – and this goes for the body as well as the face. Apply lotion immediately after showering to lock in moisture. When deciding which moisturizer to use, it’s critical to know your skin type in order to buy right product, as different skin types require different ingredients, whether your skin is dry, oily, mature, combination or sensitive.
Apply Skincare in the Right Order
What you put on your face is just as important as when – and how- you apply it. The general rule of thumb is to start with the lightest products first, which for most people is a serum. This should be followed by your moisturizer and then your sunscreen.
Clean Your Makeup Tools
Brushes and makeup tools such as sponges can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause irritation and breakouts. Clean your makeup brushes regularly. Although you can buy special soaps designed for makeup tools, a squirt of baby shampoo works just as well. Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly.
Always Wash Your Face Before Bedtime
We know it’s tempting when you’re exhausted, but never go to bed without washing your face. After a day of running around, our faces accumulate dirt, sweat and makeup which can all clog pores and lead to breakouts.
One of the most important steps in any skincare routine is exfoliation. It helps get rid of dry, dead skin cells which can clog pores and make the face look dull. Try a facial brush or just use a soft washcloth if you want to keep it simple. AHA (alpha hydroxy) and BHA (beta hydroxyy) acids work by gently dissolving dead skin cells.
Incorporate Oils into Your Routine
If you have oily skin, you may think that adding more oil to your face is the last thing you need. Facial oils can work wonders for adding hydration – just add a few drops to your moisturizer for a boost. Try oil based cleansers.
Take Care of Your Eyes
The eye area tends to show the signs of aging first, as the skin here is thin and delicate. This means that everyone should pay special attention to the eye area, which needs preventive care and extra TLC in the form of moisturizer, SPF and sunglasses.
Consistency is Key
There is no such thing as a miracle product but what you use can make a big difference- if you use them right, and use them consistently. Be realistic about how much you can do every morning and evening, and stick to it in order to see results. Certain products, such as skin lighteners and anything with retinol, must be used consistently and regularly; otherwise when you stop using the product, things like dark spots will reappear.
Don’t Overwash Your Face
While not washing your face is a problem, so is overwashing it. Some people use overly harsh cleansers on their skin which can strip it off essential oils, leaving it feel tight and dry. Switch to a gentle cleanser, and consider a milk or cream based one. Also consider an oil based cleanser, even if you have oily skin. That’s because oil attracts oil, meaning the cleanser will whisk away any surface oils but leave the skin hydrated and nourished.
Sometimes fine lines, dull looking skin and dark circles can be caused by dehydration, rather than genuinely dry skin, which is caused by lack of oil glands. For your skin as well as your overall health, drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Eat Your Water
Another way to sneak more water in your diet is to eat. Reach for water-packed foods such as cucumbers, melon and berries to up your water intake.
Store Your Eye Cream in the Fridge
If you have puffy eyes, store your eye cream in the fridge. The chilled cream will feel soothing when it’s applied to the skin, and doubly so if you’re using a product with a metal tip. In the summer, consider storing products like facial sprays and sheet masks in the fridge too for extra cooling.
Break A Sweat
One of the best ways to get healthy, glowing looking skin is to break a sweat. Exercising boosts blood flow and circulation to the face – and of course it’s good for you too.
While there is no such thing as a magic ingredient, one that comes pretty close is retinol. Derived from vitamin A, retinols boost cell turnover, which means they help improve the skin’s texture as well as fine lines and dark spots. Retinols can cause irritation so always start off slowly and see how your skin tolerates it before building up frequency of use.
Rethink Facial Wipes
Many people use a facial wipe in lieu of washing their face with a cleanser and water. While wipes are certainly convenient, they just don’t have the same cleansing power as specially formulated product for the face, especially if you use long-wear makeup. Save the cleansing cloths for camping or a quick post-gym cleanse.
Quit smoking for your health- as well as your skin. Smoking accelerates the aging process as it restricts the flow of oxygen and causes premature wrinkling as well as sagging. Quit today.
Switch Up Your Sleep Position
If you always sleep on one side of your face, you may have more wrinkles there as sleep creases can morph into wrinkles from the repeated pressure. Try to sleep on your back or use silk pillow for less creasing.
Exfoliate For Longer- Not Harder
We know it can feel gratifying to give your skin a good scrub but skin is delicate, and you don’t want to over do it. If you like the feel of a physical scrub, try a gentle rice enzyme based powder and exfoliate for longer rather than harder. Take your time to do it thoroughly but gently, and aim for a 60 second scrub.
Don’t Neglect Your Neck
Although many of us pamper and protect our faces, don’t forget about your neck. The skin on the neck is delicate and show signs of aging before they show up on the face. Protect and prevent with plenty of moisturizer, exfoliation, sunscreen and even a scarf on sunny days.
Don’t Pop a Pimple
We know it’s tempting, but try to resist popping a pimple. If you do pop it, it can lead to scarring and infection. Instead try a hot compress or apply a drying lotion that is packed with salicylic acid and calming calamine.
Save Your Times- And Money- On Your Evening Routine
During the day, the beauty rule of thumb is to protect and nourish the skin. But the heavy lifting and workhorses of a skincare routine come out at night. Save your budget, as well as your time, and invest in your night time routine. You want to prep your skin with the right products before hitting the pillow, as our bodies switch into repair mode when we sleep. Help it along with a thorough cleanse, exfoliation, a balancing toner, a retinol based product and a rich night time cream and wake up to your best looking skin.
Get Your Vitamin C
Even if you have a pared down, minimalist routine, adding vitamin C should be part of your skincare regimen. The powerhouse antioxidant helps to brighten skin and give the complexion an extra glow- not to mention help fade dark spots and scars.
Moisturize Hands and Feet
Our hands and feet can take a beating, especially during the dry, cold winter when they become dry, chapped and ashy looking. Treat them to a little TLC by slathering on a rich cream and going to bed in socks – and moisture mitts. Or borrow a tip from your local nail salon and coat heels in oil and cream before wrapping them in plastic wrap to seal in moisture for a mini mask.
Try These Products
The simplest and most effective skincare routine essentially comes down to moisturizing, cleansing and protecting the skin. One brand that makes this easy is Formulyst. The brand’s philosophy is to help its customers achieve their best looking skin, and that often starts with clean skin. The ideal cleanser should give skin a deep clean without stripping it of too much moisture, which means your face will be squeaky clean without feeling tight and dry. Formulyst’s Gentle Foaming Cleanser whisks away dirt, sweat and makeup but won’t over dry the skin. Skin is left clean and feeling soft and supple thanks to nourishing rosehip seed oil as well as vitamins A, C and E.
Formulyst Active Serum is packed with good for you ingredients, such as nourishing vitamins B and E, and skin brightening vitamin C. Rounding out the all-star list are ferulic acid and niacinamide. The antioxidant ferulic acid fights helps prevent free radical damage and works to stabilize vitamins C and E, and boosts their potency.
To keep skin plumped, hydrated and dewy looking, one of the most effective ingredients is hyaluronic acid. It occurs naturally in the body (including eyeballs and skin), and it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturize is an oil free formula packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.