RULES FOR SKINCARE SUCCESS
One of the most important ways to achieve the best skin of your life is to follow the fundamental rules of great skincare.
RULES FOR SKINCARE SUCCESS
Be consistent. For best results, a great skincare routine should be carried out regularly.
Some products you’ll use once or twice daily, others every other day, or once a week, but consistency is the key. It’s also important to use products in the right order. For example, sunscreen should be the last skincare product you apply before makeup so as not to dilute it with other skincare products, we will explain this more in Sun Damage and Sunscreen Questions Answered.
Don’t expect instant results. Although there are products that can have dramatic, overnight results, they are the exception; it takes time for most products to really make a diﬀerence. Even more important, continued use is necessary to maintain the results. For example, products for skin discolorations take at least three to six weeks to begin showing results assuming, of course, that the product is well-formulated and that you’re using a sunscreen every day. Because sunscreen protects skin every day and prevents damage, you won’t see a dramatic diﬀerence in skin discolorations if you don’t apply it
daily. Many skincare products are about long-terms benefits and preventing what would happen if you didn’t use the products.
Your skin must be “fed” daily. As you age, and mostly because of sun damage, your skin can’t naturally replenish the substances it needs to be healthy.
Great skincare products give those substances back to skin, but they get used up quickly and must be replenished on a constant, daily basis. Don’t cheat your skin by not giving it the ingredients it needs to maintain a beautiful, healthy appearance, now and years from now.
Skin doesn’t repair itself only at night. We hear this repeatedly—“that skin repairs itself only at night”—we discuss it here because it is sheer nonsense! All of our skincare woes are happening all day long, whether from the environment, sunlight, aging, health, or endlessly ﬂuctuating hormones. Skin needs help, day and night, to repair and soothe this damage for it to be healthy and to prevent more damage from taking place. Your skin needs brilliantly formulated products day and night, with the only diﬀerence being that for daytime one of those products must be a well-formulated sunscreen with SPF
30 or higher.
One product can’t do it all. All skin types (especially if you have multiple concerns) require a variety of products to give you the best skin of your life.
Aside from the basics (such as a cleanser, toner, exfoliant, sunscreen, and moisturizer), if you have breakouts, rosacea, very dry skin, extremely sun-damaged skin, combination skin, skin discolorations, or other concerns, you will need to address those with treatment products designed for that specific problem.
Don’t skip using a leave-on exfoliant. We will explain this more later, Which Skincare Products You Need and Which Ones to Avoid, but the gist of it is that the beneft to your skin can be astounding.
A leave-on exfoliant is one of the few products that can produce dramatic results overnight, and every night of your life, for that matter. Helping skin shed the excess buildup of accumulated skin cells, caused mostly from sun damage or having oily/combination or breakout-prone skin, can make all the diﬀerence in the world. It isn’t a cure; think of it as maintenance that you perform consistently to take excellent care
of your skin.
Do consider a retinol product. There are so many reasons to apply a well-formulated retinol product it’s hard to know where to begin.
We will discuss how retinol relates to specific skin types and concerns in other post , but for now, just know that this cell-communicating ingredient helps all skin types generate healthy cells, unclog pores, smooth skin, and reduce wrinkles and breakouts. If there were a single, “miracle” ingredient in skincare, this would be at or near the top of the list. Just to be clear, retinol is not the only ingredient skin needs, but it is one of those ingredients with special properties that work for everyone, and the results can be fairly immediate.
Pay attention when your skin changes. There are all sorts of things that can cause your skin to change seemingly overnight. Many women know what can happen to their skin when they get their period. For others they experience skin changes during perimenopause or menopause. For both genders, seasonal weather shifts, traveling to a diﬀerent climate, and extreme stress can all change what is happening to your skin. Given that your skin is changing, you may need to adapt your skincare routine accordingly. For example, even though you may never have had a breakout growing up or experienced oily
skin, random hormonal changes between the ages of 30 and 60 can change all that and you’ll need to consider diﬀerent skincare products—even if your skin is also showing signs of aging.
Everyone needs the same basic ingredients to obtain healthy, younger, smoother, and breakout-free skin. We can’t stress this enough. We mean ALL skin types—need the same vitally important skincare ingredients, which include antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients (sometimes called barrier-repair ingredients or skin-identical ingredients), and cell-communicating ingredients. Each of these is mandatory, and we mean imperative, if you are to obtain the best skin of your life, and that goes for everyone on the face of the earth.
RULES FOR SKINCARE SUCCESS
Knowing how to balance the needs of your skin type with the needs of your skin concerns is how you create the best skincare routine possible. Identifying skin type is the frst part of putting together a great skincare routine because your skin type determines the kinds of product textures you should be using for your core skincare routine. Cleanser, toner, exfoliant, moisturizer, and sunscreen are the core skincare products everyone needs with the basic ingredients we mentioned above, but depending on your skin type they will have diﬀerent textures (which we explain in the next rule).
Once you understand that aspect of skincare, the next step is to determine what skin concerns you have, which can be one or a combination of problems such as skin discolorations, breakouts, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, very dry skin, very oily skin, acne, blackheads, sun damage, and so on. These concerns will determine what additional treatment products you may need. Balancing the core products you need for your skin type with the treatment products you need for your skin concerns are the pieces of the puzzle whose answers will enable you to create the best skincare routine for you.
Product texture is everything. Now that you know everyone needs the same fundamental, crucial ingredients for their skin (antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, and cell-communicating ingredients) the next step is to understand how skin type determines the texture of the products you need to deliver those ingredients to your skin.
In short, as mentioned above, the texture of a product is determined by your skin type. That means if you have normal to dry skin, you should generally be using lotion- to cream-textured products. If you have very dry skin, you should be using very emollient, richly textured products. If you have normal to oily/combination skin, you should be using only gels, liquids, lightweight serums, or thin-textured lotions. If you have very oily skin all over, liquids and gels will probably feel the best. The same vital ingredients should be present, but the products should have diﬀerent textures based on skin type.
Treatment products that address your skin concerns should have lighterweight textures because they are inserted into your core skincare routine.
Layering products can make all the diﬀerence. It is possible to maintain and achieve great skin with a relatively simple skincare routine, but that’s true only if you have few or no skincare problems or concerns. If you are not one of those lucky few, than layering skincare products can make all the diﬀerence in the world. We describe layering more in later posts, but for now just be aware that specialty treatment products for advanced sun damage, oily areas, rosacea, extremely dry skin, breakout-prone skin, blackheads, and many other problems will require a more advanced skincare routine.
Diet plays a role. It’s hard to have the best skin of your life without paying attention to your diet.
Ample research shows how an unhealthy diet loaded with sugars, processed foods, saturated animal fats, and too much alcohol are all pro-aging for your body and for your skin. A poor diet can even make acne-prone skin worse, because so many foods that aren’t good for us cause inﬂammation. When it comes to skin aging, the damage may not show up when you’re young, but the calamity for skin is certain if you keep eating an
unhealthy diet—in the long run your skin will pay for it. On the other hand, a diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, whole grains, and many other healthy food groups, can be anti-aging and anti-acne. Without question your skin, heart, and your entire body will thank you for it.
Sunscreen. By the end of this post you will surely be tired of hearing this, but nothing is as vital as sun protection.
Despite the abundant research showing how damaging unprotected sun exposure is and how tanning causes irreparable harm to skin, less than 20% of the population wears sunscreen on a regular basis (which just causes our jaws to hit the ﬂoor). That’s why we keep repeating this: Sunscreen is a cornerstone of getting the best skin of your life now and forever!