Are You Getting The Most From Your Skincare Routine?
There’s nothing worse than spending a gazillion bucks on skincare, for it to go ahead and do zip. But if you know how your skin likes to do business and use formulations that contain researched, proven ingredients, you’re well on the way to nailing a great complexion.
We’ve all been lured by the latest gold-infused miracle skin potion that promises (but always fails to deliver) flawless, younger-looking skin in days. To be fair, wanting to believe glossy skincare commercials gets us all every now and again. But those days are over because we now know that a) skincare cannot perform miracles and b) the most important steps for achieving and maintaining fabulous skin only work if you know your skin type. Then and only then are you able to make informed decisions about which products to apply and what to realistically expect.
So, is your skincare routine working out for you? If not, think about what you could be doing wrong. Chances are, it’s one of the following…
1. Do You Know Your Skin?
Understanding your skin and knowing, not only your skin type, but how it to reacts to changes in the weather, the time of the month, even your diet goes a long way to nailing an effective skincare routine.
The best way for you to learn about your skin – right now – is to gently cleanse and dry it, then leave it for a few hours without applying any product or makeup. After this time, look at your skin in the mirror and touch it (with clean hands, of course). If it looks and feels pretty normal then, surprise surprise, you have normal skin. But if it's already shiny or greasy, you have oily skin. If it feels tight, maybe a little rough and looks flaky, you have dry skin. And if it’s a bit of both? You have combination skin.
Only by scrutinizing your skin in the moment, can you really know what’s going on with it at that particular time. Yes, you may have oily skin as a rule, but perhaps it’s currently feeling dry in certain areas thanks to a little dehydration from too many boozy nights. Or perhaps your skin is generally pretty normal, but it’s looking red and feels a tad sensitive due to your hormones or from using too many potent active ingredients.
Getting to know your skin in order to make informed tweaks to your lifestyle and skincare routine? Priceless.
2. Are You Nailing The Basics?
Eye creams, treatment serums and chemical exfoliation are all well and good, but you should never underestimate the powers of basic skincare – namely cleansing and moisturizing. The truth is, without a good cleansing and moisturizing routine, you may as well not bother with the rest.
Cleansing is the absolute foundation of great skin, helping to remove dirt, oil, makeup and bacteria from your skin that can clog your pores, cause irritation and age you up if left to sit around for too long. Good cleansing also prepares and primes your skin for the rest of your routine, allowing your products to penetrate the skin more effectively. To perfect your cleansing game, choose a kind formulation like our Daily Facial Cleanser which is ideal for most skin types and use it to wash your face twice daily – no excuses. Use your hands to gently massage it all over for one or two minutes to help boost circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage.
Another super important step in your routine is moisturizing, which should never be forgotten about. Depending on the formulation, moisturizing helps feed your skin with nutrients, but more importantly it locks in essential hydration to protect your skin’s barrier function. If you fail to moisturize morning and night after cleansing your skin will lose its strength and resiliency in no time.
3. Are You Being Consistent With Your Routine?
Making small changes to your routine is great if your skin is doing something it doesn’t normally do, but if it’s behaving as normal, a consistent routine is worth its weight in gold.
For the best results from your routine, always use your products regularly and as advised on the label. For example, potent retinols and antioxidant serums like our C-Plus Super Serum are best used just two or three times a week, whereas less powerful serums can be applied every day depending on your skin type. Of course, your skin’s tolerance may vary, but once you find your sweet spot, stick with it for at least a few weeks before upping your frequency.
4. Are You Being Realistic With Your Expectations?
Skincare that promises ‘miracle’ results overnight? All lies. While many ingredients have been clinically proven to offer awesome benefits for your skin (oh hi there retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and friends), they are never going to give you the same instantly dramatic results that you might get from Botox or fillers, for example. On the flipside, skincare costs way less and doesn’t involve needles or downtime. So, there’s that.
The main thing to remember is that yes, certain skincare products can give you instant moisturization, subtle brightening or cleansing benefits, but in order to work to their full potential, any product that works on a cellular level will need time (usually around four to six weeks) and a little bit of patience. So, don’t expect miracles. After all, those fine lines and dark spots didn’t just appear one morning; they built, grew and etched themselves into your skin over time. So, how can your skincare products possibly get rid of them overnight? Answer: they can’t.
5. Finally, Are You Overloading Your Skin?
One sure-fire way to irritate your skin and cause unwanted breakouts is to overload your face with way too many active ingredients.
You may think that bombarding your skin with countless serums containing high-performing vitamin C, glycolic acid, retinol and salicylic acid will give you a red carpet complexion much quicker than if you were to stick with one product, but oh how wrong you are. Unless these active ingredients have been carefully formulated into one treatment serum or a board-certified professional has prescribed them, cocktailing is a major no-no. Some ingredients should never be applied together, but do you know which ones they are? Thought not. So, instead, introduce serums into your routine one at a time to see how your skin tolerates it. It's also wise to patch test a new formulation before applying it to your whole face. And give it at least four weeks to take effect before dismissing it.
Or, if it's one of ours, falling in love with it;)
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.