Essential as a skincare routine is, the prospect of starting (or maintaining) one can be pretty daunting. To help remedy that, I outlined the three parts of an effective routine in my last blog post. You can leave it at that and feel confident that you’re properly nurturing and protecting your skin. Or you can use it as a foundation and add a couple more steps that address your specific needs. I’ll get into how to go about doing that here.
Exfoliation is a good place to start. Consider adding it in as an additional step once or twice a week using alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), which work in different ways to shed excess buildup on the skin’s surface.
There are two different methods of exfoliation, physical and chemical. AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants, and they’re particularly effective at inducing cell turnover, increasing collagen formation, and improving dullness. Physical exfoliation is what it sounds like: manually sloughing away dead skin cells, excess oil, and buildup through a face scrub.
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to stick with chemical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants can irritate the skin and induce broken blood vessels.
Facial serums are potent, lightweight topicals that are formulated with a higher concentration of active ingredients, like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, to target more specific skin concerns.
As a rule of thumb, apply products with a thinner consistency underneath thicker ones. For example, layer a serum underneath your moisturizer. That will ensure you get the most out of each.
Tips for winning at skincare.
If you choose to develop your skincare routine, now or down the road, try to remember this: Less is more. It’s fine to experiment, but stick with products that have few ingredients. And make those active ingredients count.
When you experiment, try new products one by one so that you can see how your skin reacts. And be patient. Your skin needs at least two to three months to acclimate to a new product or active ingredient. The exception to that rule would be if a skincare product triggers any sort of reaction or allergic reaction. In that case, stop using it immediately.
Finally, and most importantly, stay consistent with your routine. Following the same steps day in and day out is critical to producing and maintaining real results.