The most basic skincare routine includes very minimal products, as low as five on an everyday basis; these include – Cleansers, Exfoliators, Retinoids, Moisturisers, and sunscreen. Using these every day can give you clean and healthy-looking skin. The products also matter, so make sure to visit your dermatologist for good insight into your skin type. Since everybody has a different skin type, I’m not going to mention products you should be using. That is undoubtedly up to you. Let’s start with cleansers. 

Cleansers: A facial cleanser is a skincare product used to remove make-up, dead cells, oil, dirt, and other types of pollutants from the skin, helping to keep pores clear, akin clear and prevent common skin conditions like acne. The normal pH of the skin is between 4.5 and 6.5. When you use a cleanser on your skin, an interaction occurs between the cleanser, the skin’s moisture barrier, and the skin’s pH. Soaps contain harsh surfactants that can alter the skin barrier and increase skin pH, increasing the chances of dryness and irritation. Soap-free gel, cream, and foam cleansers are also as effective but gentler, causing minor damage to the skin barrier and minimal change to skin pH.

What’s the significant difference between cleaners and facewash? 

Face washes are water-based products (often gel, foam, bar, or powder formulations) that get very sudsy when massaged onto your skin. They also often contain more astringent ingredients to help combat oil production. The foaming qualities of a face wash mean that it gets there to clean pores and sweep away oil. For people with oily skin, this can be very helpful. But, people with dry, sensitive, combination, or typical skin types can find that face washes can be a bit too harsh for their skin complexion. If you remove too much oil from your skin, it can result in a very tight, dry, or uncomfortable feeling. 

How many times do you have to wash your face daily? 

This debate is never-ending. Everybody has different answers as to how many times you have to wash your face, but to make a lengthy reply much shorter, try to stick with once or twice daily, making sure you’re at least washing or cleansing every night. If it seems like your skin needs less, skip doing it in the morning and rinse with water or use micellar water instead. That is also good for your skin. 

Exfoliants: Some popular natural exfoliants include:

1) baking soda

2) fine sugar

3) coffee granules

4) ground almonds

5) oatmeal

6) sea salt

7) cinnamon powder

Exfoliants used on the face should be very fine-grained with small, even particles. Because your facial skin is more delicate than most other areas of your body, coarser exfoliants, like sea salt, sugar, or coffee, aren’t a good option.

It’s also important not to over-exfoliate your face. Exfoliating too often can strip the skin on your face from its natural oils and can often lead to breakouts. Too much scrubbing of the skin while exfoliating may also cause your skin to become irritated. 

Retinoids: Retinol is a specific form of vitamin A available in many relatively affordable over-the-counter skincare products. When applied to the skin, the enzymes convert the retinol to retinaldehyde and then to retinoic acid, the active factor for skin renewal. Because this is a two-step process, the effects of retinol are pretty gentle and can take weeks or even months to manifest. They’re a more substantial variety of vitamin A that are typically only available by prescription, the most well-known of which is Retin-A and is used widely. Retinoids do not require the same lengthy conversion process explained above when applied to the skin, which is why retinoids are so much more potent. And because retinoids also reduce oil production, retinoids are sometimes used to help patients control skin issues, like excess oil and acne.

Apply retinoids in the evening: 

That’s mostly to avoid the sun sensitivity side effect. Retinoids are best applied at nighttime since sunlight can inactivate, making them ineffective.

Don’t use before wax and laser procedures: 

Planning to wax or get laser hair removal on your eyebrows or upper lip? Both procedures target the top layer of skin cells, which is super fragile because retinoids encourage cell turnover. The result could be burns and irritation. So it’s better to be safe than sorry. The fix is simple: take a break from products before the treatment. Your dermatologist will advise you to stop using your retinoid before waxing or laser procedures. 

Stop using during pregnancy: 

If you’re planning to get pregnant or are already expecting, your derm will advise you not to use retinoids because they are unsafe during pregnancy. 

Moisturizers: Moisturizers should be applied to clean skin after you cleanse your face, preventing skin from drying out post-wash. They’re also most effective when applied to slightly damp skin, as they seal in moisture. To moisturize without using any products- you can do that as well. 

1) Frequent exercising 

2) Reducing alcohol consumption

3) Limit salt intake

4) Eating foods high in water content, like lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes

5) Maintaining relaxing habits that help reduce stress. 

When the skin doesn’t retain adequate moisture, it can become dry or rough. This occurs because of environmental influences, frequent cleansing or bathing, or medical conditions.

Moisturizing your face helps to protect the skin’s barrier from irritation. It also helps to reduce the development of dryness or allows you to revive your skin from dryness. The moisturizer also creates a barrier between your skin and the climate, including cold, dry air that can further dry out the skin. Moisturizing can also help to rehydrate and enhance the capacity of the skin to hold water. This is done by using products designed to rehydrate the outermost layer of the skin, seal in moisture, and protect the skin against external factors. But if you have any skin conditions like acne or dermatitis or any such skin conditions, visit a dermatologist and get the skin treated. The most critical times to use moisturizer are after a bath, shave, or exfoliation. For some people, this might be twice a day. Moisturizing after a shower is significant because the hot water you use to shower mainly strips all the moisture and oils out of your skin, leaving it with dehydrated skin. While hot water may be relaxing, it also harms your skin. So never skip the moisturizer as it is one of the most critical steps of a skincare routine. Pat dry, don’t rub-dry.

After a shower, gently pats your skin dry instead of rubbing your skin dry. By patting dry, your skin will retain more moisture you will seal in when you moisturize.

Drink more water – the moisture your skin receives also comes from your body. Make sure to drink at least 8 cups of water every day!

Use mild soaps and detergents – soap and shampoos containing alcohol strip natural oils from your skin. 

Look for a mild, fragrance-free cleanser that has aloe minerals and vitamins.

Use a humidifier: A humidifier can add much-needed moisture to the air if needed.

Give extra attention to your hands – hands show the effects of a dry environment more than any other part of the body. Apply hand cream after each hand washing. Many such hand creams are available in the market, and some have outstanding fragrances. 

Sunscreen: Not all sunscreens are broad-spectrum, so it is vital to look for them on the label. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. You need to protect yourself from two types of UV radiation – UVA and UVB. Broad-spectrum protects against both by providing a chemical barrier that absorbs or reflects UV radiation before it can damage the skin. The SPF value indicates the level of sunburn protection provided by the sunscreen product. All sunscreens are tested to measure the amount of UV radiation exposure it takes to cause sunburn when using a sunscreen compared to how much UV exposure it takes to drive a sunburn when not using sunscreen. The product is then labeled with the appropriate SPF value. Higher SPF values (up to 50) provide more excellent sunburn protection because SPF values are determined from a test that measures protection against sunburn caused by UVB radiation. 

SPF values only indicate a sunscreen’s UVB protection.

1) Always apply 15 minutes before you go outside. 

2) This allows the sunscreen (of SPF 15 or higher) to have enough time to provide the maximum benefit.

3) Use enough to cover your entire face and body (avoiding the eyes and mouth).  

4) An average-sized adult or child needs at least one ounce of sunscreen to cover the body from head to toe evenly.

It’s better to know your skin. Fair-skinned people are likely to absorb more solar energy than dark-skinned people under the same conditions.

And don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours, and more often if you’re swimming or sweating.

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