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Monday, 25 May 2015

Step-by-Step Skin Care

On a day to day basis I get asked when do you apply serum?/ How often should I exfoliate?/ Do I really need an eye cream? Among many, many other questions.

To me it can sometimes be frustrating, but I need to remember not everyone knows how to use products correctly, when in their routine they should be using them, how often, how much to use- the list goes on!

So I thought I would create a basic structure of a skin care routine to help enlighten people who may not be in the know.


Lets start at the beginning, which is also my favourite step #CleanserObsessive

Cleansers
Amount to use: grape size/ 10p piece/ Thumb nail

You should be cleansing twice a day, once when you wake up, and once at the earliest convenience when you get home.

For me it's practically as soon as I walk through the door. I cannot wait to take my makeup off. plus it gives my skin a good four extra hours to absorb all the goodness from my night oil than it would if I took it off right before bed. PLUS the nearer to bedtime it is, the less I can be arsed to clean my face, so it improves my chances of taking the day off my face too!

In the evenings wash your face twice too; The first cleanse is to remove the makeup/ pollution/ grime/ off your face, the second is to clean your skin. As a rule of thumb, use a basic/ cheaper cleanser to remove makeup, and the more $$ one with do-good ingredients second.

Oh, and use a damp hand-hot flannel or muslin cloth to remove your cleanser. A fresh one daily. You'll thank me later.



Toners
Amount to use: 50% of cotton pad soaked. Also see variation.

I only use toners that do something i.e exfoliate/ hydrate/ anti blemish.

They are not used to remove excess cleanser any more, especially if you take me up on the flannel/ muslin cloth note.

If you want to use one for a purpose, now would be when. Most you apply to a cotton pad and sweep over the face. I would encourage gentle 'buffing' (especially a salicylic toner on blemishes) to get the most out of your product. Also flip your cotton pad over and repeat.

Variation: Some toners are spritzed or sprayed on in bottles or aerosol cans. Don't spray too liberally.

Wait for product to dry 30 secs - 1 min. Then on to the next step.



Exfoliation
Amount to use: pea size/ half soaked cotton pad (dependant on type) 1-2x a week.

With scrubs, use one with fine exfoliating granules. Favour sugar/salt crystals if you environmentally protest man made micro beads.

DO NOT use apricot kernels/ ground nuts. Just don't.

For liquid exfoliators follow steps for toner.

If you don't exfoliate, don't come to me asking for a richer moisturiser for your dryness, when removing the dead skin from your face will improve the flakiness aka dead skin ten fold, and your moisturiser will be moisturising your face, not DEAD SKIN. *and breath*.

On a side note, 'exfoliating washes' are more of a 'maintenance' than a weekly treatment, so still use a exfoliator once or twice a week. And ditch that scrub wash thing for a proper cleanser.



Serums
Amount to use: normally one pump is one usage. But if it's taking ages to sink in, try half a pump

Serums are different to moisturisers in that they penetrate much deeper into the skin. They're able to do this because they are finer in texture, and have concentrated ingredients.

They come in varying textures from runny almost like water, to much creamier like a moisturiser. So it's understandable that people confuse the two.

You should use them to target a skin concern, be it hydration/ acne/ fine lines.

Yes you DO need to also use a moisturiser. No either/or option.



Moisturisers
Amount to use: Chick pea/ 5p piece/ the size you want that diamond to be

Think of moisturisers as your skins protection for the day, like a bike helmet; Everyone should wear one, some people don't. Those people are idiots. Ignorant idiots.

I hate to break it to you but they don't offer miracle cures.

You need a moisturiser that offers enough hydration/ moisturisation to get you through the day without your skin feeling that you need more.

If you want to splash out on a product, make it a serum, not a moisturiser.



Night Creams
Amount to use: same as moisturiser.

Night creams do tend to have a bit more oomph than day creams, but still proceed with precaution.

You also don't need to use the same brand/ range day and night moisturiser. Despite what the sales consultant tells you... Funny that.



Oils
Amount to use: 2-4 drops/ 5p piece

Like serums, they are full of skin-loving ingredients and will give you that little boost.

Some can be used on their own, others in conjunction with a night cream in lieu of a serum.

Don't be afraid of putting oil on a 'oily' skin. Plant oils are great at rebalancing an oilier skin as they trick your over active sebaceous glands from producing excessive oils.



Masks
Amount to use: Layer all over your face and neck. So you can't see your skin, but not so much you're wasting product.

Masks are great at for stepping up your skin came game. Like serums they'll be targeted to treat something.

Use after your weekly exfoliation is best as you have removed all the dead skin so your skin will receive optimum results.



I hope I have covered and clarified how/ when/ why to use products (and thats it's coherent!)
There are specialised products which I haven't explained as they are not general enough, and it's a whole different kettle of fish!

If you have any questions please comment below, I'd be happy to answer any queries.