How are you all faring in this pandemic? I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during these tough times and remaining hopeful that this uncertainty will end soon.
I’m here to lighten our moods by sharing how we can keep our skin healthy and flawless during this period so that when we are out after the pandemic, people will notice how gorgeous our skin is with or without makeup. As a makeup artist, I can tell you that healthy skin is essential in achieving a flawless look as it makes makeup application seamless.
Who is ready to get healthy skin? If you are, please know that achieving healthy skin requires a HUGE amount of commitment. So, get ready!
Determine your skin type.
There are four main types of skin: dry, normal – combination, oily, and sensitive. Finding out your skin type can be done at home through the following steps:
1. Wash and rinse your face with lukewarm water
2. Without applying any product, wait for one hour.
If at the end of the hour
• Your skin feels dry and itchy (it’s itching for hydration), then your skin type is DRY.
• There’s no itch, dryness, or redness, you have a NORMAL skin type.
• There is oil around your t-zones—the sides of your nose, forehead, and chin—but your cheeks and temples are dry, you have a COMBINATION type of skin.
• Your skin is greasy, shiny, and oily, then you know what time it is lol—you’ve got OILY skin, my friend.
• Your skin is dry, itchy, and appears red, then you’ve got SENSITIVE skin.
Basic skincare steps
1. Cleansing (daily—morning and night)
This involves washing your face with soap and water but also using gentle hydrating cleansers that wouldn’t strip your face of its natural moisture. If you have oily/combination/acne-prone skin, you will need to use a cleanser with salicylic acid as a primary ingredient as it helps to unclog your pores and reduce oil production, thereby reducing the appearance of acne.
A good face cleansing tip is to wash your face for 1 minute; this helps to really break down all the dirt and debris. Examples of some good face cleansers are made by Cosrx, The Inkey List and Krave Beauty.
2. Exfoliating (weekly—once/twice a week)
Firstly, we need to do away with scrubs. This is because we have to be gentle on our skin, and scrubs can cause abrasions as they do not really penetrate the pores. Meanwhile, exfoliation brings newer healthier skin cells (which hold water better) to the surface.
Exfoliation also allows moisturisers to penetrate easily by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells. It makes skin look and feel better and alleviates some skin conditions by improving skin texture, hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone (due to sun damage, for example). The skin naturally sheds this top layer about every 30 days; exfoliation simply accelerates what the skin does on its own. You can exfoliate once or twice a week, but do it gently and moisturise afterwards.
Some good exfoliating products include:
Dermalogica daily microfoliant
The ordinary AHA+BHA peeling solution
TLC Sukari Babyfacial by Drunk Elephant
JUARA Radiance enzyme scrub (for sensitive skin)
3. Toning (daily—morning and night)
This comes right after washing your face every day except on days when you exfoliate, in which case, it comes after exfoliation.
A face toner is a quick, absorbing liquid that helps to remove excess dirt, traces of oil, and makeup, and balances the pH of your skin. It improves the absorption of serums and moisturisers and helps control acne. It is essential to always use an alcohol-free face toner because alcohol dries out your skin. And hydration is critical!
To tone, wipe your entire face and neck with a cotton pad soaked with toner. Alternatively, put a few drops of toner onto your palms and then press them into your face.
4. Hydrating with serums (daily—morning and night)
Face serums are used before moisturising with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly onto the skin. Serums are particularly suited for this because they are made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients. This makes them an excellent tool for targeting specific skincare concerns. Their moisturising effect is minimal, so it is vital to use them alongside heavier moisturisers.
Serums are simply an added step for those that are looking to go the extra mile in their daily routines. You can start off with a humectant, like hyaluronic acid, which replenishes moisture and revitalises the skin’s outer surface layers, so that the skin is softer, smoother, and radiantly hydrated. This instantly improves the appearance of fine lines, and it is fantastic on all skin types.
5. Moisturise (daily—morning and night)
A daily moisturiser is necessary to maintain your skin’s moisture barrier and to prevent environmental damage to your skin. Moisturizing reduces your chances of any skin problems arising, i.e. extreme dryness or oiliness, and helps to seal all that you’ve applied on your face as some moisturisers have oil in them.
Some good moisturisers include:
Garnier moisture bomb
Neutrogena hydro boost
Stratia liquid gold
6. Sunscreen (daily—morning/afternoon)
It is of utmost importance to wear sunscreen during the day right after your moisturiser and wait at least 10 minutes before you step out. Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays which come in two forms—UVA and UVB. UVA rays are most commonly associated with skin ageing; these beams cause fine lines, sunburns, wrinkles, and age spots that make skin look prematurely older.
It is also advised that you wear sunscreen even if you’re indoors as UVA rays can pass through glass and can affect your skin while driving, standing, or sitting in front of bare windows. UVB rays are most commonly associated with sunburns.
Both UVA and UVB rays are carcinogenic (potentially cancer-causing); you should invest in a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against both types. Even if you have darker skin or a tan rather than a burn, skin cancer is non-discriminatory and can affect people of all ages, genders, and skin types.
Basically, without sunscreen, all your efforts—from cleansing to moisturising—are in vain. Examples of some good sunscreens are made by Biore, EltaMD, Neutrogena, and Urban Skin Rx.
7. Know your ingredients.
If you have acne-prone skin, use products that contain:
– Vitamin C: this increases collagen production, enhances skin’s repair process and reduces inflammation.
– Retinol: also an antioxidant, reduces inflammation.
– Niacinamide: improves skin elasticity, increases ceramide levels in the skin, helps to reduce oil production.
– Zinc: soothes irritation, regulates oil production.
– Salicylic acid: unclogs pores.
If you have dry skin, use products that contain:
– Vitamin E: an antioxidant, protects cells from oxidative damage.
– Niacinamide: improves skin elasticity, increases ceramide levels in the skin
– Glycolic acid: gently exfoliates and lightens discolouration.
– Hyaluronic acid: helps retains moisture.
If you have dull-looking skin, use antioxidants:
– Green tea extract, resveratrol, ferulic acid: these combat free radicals, increase the effectiveness of sunscreen during the day, and promote cellular repair and healing at night
And that’s all folks — all you need to begin your journey to getting beautiful, healthy skin.
I genuinely hope you find this helpful. Also please stay consistent and drink lots of water!
See you next time!