I hope you have a current skin care regimen because that is literally THE most important aspect in beauty. Without proper skin care, makeup becomes dangerous—if you don’t take off your makeup at the end of the day, premature aging, bacteria, and discoloration are just a few of a host of skin issues you will encounter.
Skin care is a complex topic, especially because it’s different for everyone based on age, skin type, and environmental factors, such as geography and season. I’ve curated a list skin care basics, the best advice from the dermatologists I’ve worked with both professionally and personally, as well as my current skin care regimen (my skin drama).
I hope you’ll find this helpful. Most importantly, when in doubt, visit a dermatologist!
I started the double-cleansing technique almost four years ago (before it became a huge trend haha) when my dermatologist told me cleansing once does not actually remove sunscreen and makeup residue completely. Because I suffer from acne, the residue can wreak havoc on my skin.
Apply an oil cleanser with dry hands on dry face and massage face thoroughly, focusing on the eye area to remove tough eye makeup. Despite popular belief, oil cleansers are totally fine to use on acne-prone/oily skin in the double-cleansing technique! I love oil cleansers because they offer a deep clean and effective makeup removal without drying out the skin. I use Elizabeth Arden Oil Cleanser, but Shumera and DHC oil cleansers are also amazing.
Wash your face with a gentle gel cleanser, like Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser. This cleanser has a light scent that I LOVE but also comes fragrance-free. More importantly, it doesn’t strip skin of its natural moisture barrier, aka no damage to the skin. The dryness and tightness are practically like little tears and damages to the skin!! And the worst cleanser of the century goes to Cetaphil—yes, it’s so gentle…that it literally removes NOTHING. There’s even been news on how Cetaphil can harm your skin.
Many people apply eye cream as the 3rd or 4th step but I think it’s important to “seal in the moisture” around your eyes immediately right after cleansing, as it is the most delicate part of your skin! Use your ring fingers and gently tap in one direction always. I use SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair, which can be a little heavy for younger folks. Kiehl’s and Clinique make great eye creams too for summer skin or younger skin. I started applying eye cream at 22 years-old and wish I started earlier!
If you have any skin issues, this is when you apply your anti-aging, hydration, acne treatments etc. for maximum absorption. Always talk to your dermatologist to learn about prescription products!
In terms of drugstore acne products, Clean & Clear Persa-Gel® is great for spot treatment. It is a benzoyl peroxide (BPO) product so it can bleach your clothes and linens—careful! BPO works by killing acne-causing bacteria, while salicylic acid works better on whiteheads and blackheads caused by clogged pores. Ultimately, the root of all acne is inflammation, making acne very difficult to treat. While there is no cure for acne, it can definitely be managed. Have hope!
Biggest skin care myth out there is oily/acne-prone skin does not need moisturization! Skin actually produces MORE oil when it is dry to overcompensate and balance, and this often leads to breakouts and enlarged pores. Finding a good moisturizer is crucial. I tend to look for oil-free moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, which is a key ingredient that hydrates skin from the inside out. Some good ones are SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator and Neutrogena Hydroboost.
5BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN
I cannot stress the importance of sunscreen, even during cloudy days and winter. Harmful UV rays pierce through clouds, rain, and snow, causing premature aging and skin cancer. Apply at least a SPF 30 every morning 30 min. before heading out the door. I know so many experts say that anything above a SPF 30 is pointless but the thought behind high SPF is that people don’t reapply throughout the day (per the label), and therefore, a high SPF would offer more protection. These days there are even sun protection products that protect against pollution and infrared rays! My go-to brands for sunscreen: Neutrogena and La-Roche Posay.
Remember to visit your dermatologist for an annual skin cancer screening. Skin color does not define skin type, and skin cancer does not discriminate.
These five steps are all about prevention and protection. We’ll cover some of these steps and product categories in more detail in future STC Beauty posts!
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