How to create a daily skincare routine that's perfect for your skin type
Having a skincare routine is essential for optimal skin health and the perfect application of make-up. We asked experts which skincare steps you can skip, and which are essential if you'd like a glowing complexion
When it comes to skincare, everyone's approach is different. Some follow a 10-step regime in search of complexion perfection, while others follow a more streamlined routine of cleanse, tone, moisturise, or even just soap (no judgement).
Whether you choose to be a maximalist or minimalist with your skincare, having a routine is essential for optimal skin health and perfect application of makeup.
Roberta Donovan, Global Skincare Marketing Manager at Ascendis Health explains: "The skin is your largest organ, therefore just as you take care of your heart, liver and lungs you should also be taking care of your skin. It is a long-term investment in lifelong skin health. When you're young, it's easy to get away with not caring for your skin or looking after it properly, but at some point it catches up with you as your skin's ageing process starts."
So where do you start to build your routine in a world that has a new skincare innovation every day? First, figure out what your skin type is.
HOW TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR SKIN TYPE IS
It is advisable to seek the assistance of a dermatologist to receive an accurate diagnosis, but there is a simple rule of thumb:
- If your skin tends to produce a lot of shine all over and you're prone to acne, then you may have oily skin.
- If your skin appears dull, feels immediately tight after cleansing and sometimes flakes, you may have dry skin.
- If you have some dry areas around the face but your T-zone (nose, forehead and chin) gets oily, then you're most likely a combination skin type.
Avoid products that have alcohol or fragrances that can
irritate the skin or cause redness. Use calming water-based cleansers or sensitive skin-specific skincare ranges,
containing soothing ingredients such as aloe vera.
Once your skin type has been established, you can choose your ideal type of cleanser and moisturiser. "Always cleanse the skin, never skip this step," says Donovan, "Apply a complementary day and night cream, exfoliate two to three times a week and always use an SPF, especially in SA's sunny yet harsh climate."
Dry skin types should go for cream cleansers or cleansing oils that will add hydration to the skin as they remove dirt. Oily skin types should cleanse with gel or clay cleansers that will not add oil to the skin, and combination skins can use a mixture of the two or combination-specific cleansers.
As the seasons change, so should your routine. In winter your cleanser should be richer and creamier to provide more hydration. It is also advisable to incorporate a barrier protector.
Though we all wish it was as easy as oily, dry and combination, all skin needs are different and made so by various factors: climate, pollution, genes, age and our own aesthetic preferences.
So apart from ensuring that skin is adequately cleansed and moisturised, treating the skin for specific concerns also goes a long way in achieving the best skin of your life.
"Professional treatments are one of the most important steps to improve and maintain a healthy skin," according to Roberta Donovan, "They usually incorporate more active treatments and ingredients to assist with environmental and lifestyle changes, and boost the skin's resistance and general skin health. Most importantly, they will also assist in delaying the signs of ageing. Nutritional supplements should also be incorporated according to lifestyle needs as these can contribute to a healthier skin.
"The three most important professional treatments people should invest in are anti-ageing treatments incorporating certain actives and acids, micro-needling treatments and barrier-repair treatments."
Apart from professional treatments done by dermatologists, at-home treatments such as masks, skin-resurfacing products, serums and skin boosters are essential to your regime, especially in winter when your skin is more prone to acting up.
These products usually contain active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C or vitamin A that can intensely treat issues such as pigmentation, dull texture, pore congestion, the signs of ageing, dehydration and sensitivity.
Dr Judey Pretorius, co-founder and product developer of Biomedical Emporium, advises: "People should go for professional treatments at least once a month, and for homework, use a proper chemical exfoliating cleanser twice daily, a collagen serum in the morning with an appropriate SPF and then a retinol-containing serum at night with a rich hyaluronic and peptide-containing moisturiser on top of that."