Do you believe something like this exists? A simple yet effective skincare routine?
Remember when skincare was easy? Three steps, right? Cleanse, tone, moisturize. Now there are serums. And oils. Essences. Sheet masks. Sleeping masks. Exfoliants. Peels. Acids. We’re not even halfway down the beauty aisle yet.
I believe skincare can be simple. Five steps: cleanse, tone, moisturize, SPF - are still the holy grail of skincare. If you want to get back to basics - or if you just need to get to basics - those three steps need to be the foundation of your skincare routine. And if you have three / four good products in your bathroom cabinet - they can help you to have healthy and radiant skin for a long time. You only need to learn what to look out for in the list of ingredients.
Cleansing is the first step in everyone’s skincare routine, it’s so important! It removes dirt, pollutants, makeup, and excess sebum- to name just a few of the gross things the biggest organ of your body collects. It is also a meditative step as it washes away the day - the bad, the good, the average. It is the moment, to allow yourself to take the time for yourself. And afterwords your skin can finally breath again - not figuratively - but literally. As your skin can soak up more oxygen when it’s clean.
The other benefit of cleansing is that, when your skin is clean during relaxation and rejuvenation (which for most of us is only available at night), it can absorb 40 to 60 percent more nutrients from products like serums and moisturisers. This is why I recommend thoroughly cleansing at night, removing makeup before bed is not optional!!! Then you don’t have to cleanse in the morning if you don’t want to - just rinse your skin with cold or lukewarm water.
Toning / Essence
Some people think it’s a waste of money. Some people think it’s a waste of time. And some people think it actually dehydrates your skin.
Let me tell you. They’re all wrong.
The first step
The first step after the cleansing step is actually a crucial step in your skincare routine. We know cleansing your skin clears away the environmental debris and makeup of the day, but this also disrupt the microbiome of the skin. Toning after cleansing restores the skin to a state where your moisturiser (and serums) can be efficiently absorbed. Toner helps skin look fresher, smoother and more hydrated. There are now plenty of targeted toners on the market that address different skin concerns - brightening toners for pigmentation, or calming toners for redness and sensitivity. High quality toners act as carriers for the water and active ingredients in your final step.
The final step in your simple skincare regime is moisturisers. This is where you lock in all that fresh, dewy skin - and keep it that way all day. Moisturisers lock in water (in other words, hydrate the skin) using a few different ingredients - occlusives (which prevent water loss), humectants (which attract water to cells) and emollients (which smooth skin cells and allow water to penetrate). When skin cells are hydrated, they are able to repair themselves and turn over with greater frequency. This, in turn, can reduce or even prevent hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
Wear an SPF daily. Some moisturisers have SPF built in, and that’s great, but if yours doesn’t, apply factor 30-50 after your moisturiser or during the warmer months, even after a serum or toner / essence. SPF's are getting increasingly better and have many additional anti-ageing actives.
What about serums you ask? If you don’t have any skin concerns (usually applies to younger skins below 28-29), you probably don’t need a serum. So, like all things in life, things get more complicated from the age of 30 and you need to start to work preventatively. But more about this in another article!