With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is most definitely in the air. But before all of you non-Valentiners go rolling your eyes and running for the hills, don’t worry—the only thing we’re going gaga over this February 14th is healthy-looking, beautiful skin.
Of course, the best way to show your skin some love is through a good skin care regimen.
When it comes to developing a skin care routine that truly maximizes the visible health of your skin, there are several things to consider; and given that we all have different needs, identifying which products are right for you is never an easy task.
Identifying Your Skin Type
They say the first step is often the hardest, but fear not because we’re here to make things easier–not further complicate the oftentimes confusing world of skin care.
Take a look at your skin in the mirror. Would you say it’s dry or oily, light or dark, wrinkled or smooth, or somewhere in between? The ingredients in each skin care product you choose should be tailored to meet the needs of your skin type: dry, oily, and combination/normal.
While your skin type is dependent on the amount of oil your skin produces, the basic components of a good skin care routine remain the same:
No matter your skin type, you’ll likely only need to wash your face in the morning and before bed. Since your skin can lose its natural lubrication when over-washed, your best bet is to keep any extra washing to a minimum.
That leads us to the first piece of the skin care puzzle…
When it comes to cleansing your face, not just any product will do—bar soap can be harsh and drying, so opt for a cleanser specifically formulated for the face. Look for products designed for your skin type and then experiment to find the one that works best for you (pro tip: oftentimes, products will be labeled according to the special skin type or concern it addresses).
For those of you with dry skin, make sure you’re not using too harsh of a cleanser; dry skin needs gentle cleansing. Try beauty bars—which are “superfatted” and contain emollients like olive oil or lanolin—to help make skin feel softer, or reach for non-drying products such as our Nutritive Cleanser.
On the other end of the spectrum, those with oily skin should avoid any “superfatted” soaps or creamy cleansers since these will only increase oil. Instead, choose products designed specifically for oily skin (seems obvious, right?) like our Citrus Facial Wash.
More importantly, though, fight the temptation to wash your face every time it feels greasy—this will only kick your sebaceous gland’s oil production into overdrive as skin tries to replace the lubrication it loses when washed.
For combination/normal skin, there’s a good chance you’ll need to do a little experimenting to find the best cleanser for you. The right product will be one that doesn’t over-dry skin, but still does a good job of cleaning away dirt and oil. Think of it as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” but for your skin—too dry, too oily, just right.
After cleansing, your skin care routine should tailor to the specific skin conditions that affect you.
To address the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin, look for products that contain antioxidants and DMAE; antioxidants help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, while DMAE can help make skin appear firmer and tighter.
For red or irritated skin, products containing Vitamin C Ester can help soothe skin and reduce the visible signs of irritation.
For acne-prone skin, there are plenty of products to choose from; you may have to test out a few different products to figure out the adult acne treatment that works for you, but many cleansers contain acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. What’s most important to remember is that the ideal acne treatment reduces breakouts without over-drying the skin.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to this: take the time to experiment. Finding a product that’s tailored to your skincare concerns can greatly improve the appearance of your skin, but there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution for everyone.
This likely comes as no surprise, but moisturizing is a must for dry skin; the drier the skin, the more moisturizing ingredients your product of choice should contain. Look for these ingredients:
- Hyaluronic acid
Oily skin typically doesn’t tend to need extra moisture, but that doesn’t mean you’re without options should you choose to use one. Look for “non-comedogenic” products that won’t clog pores, and find ones with humectants—such as glycerin—to help lock in moisture by attracting and retaining water.
For combination/normal skin, use moisturizer in the places where you feel your skin needs it, but don’t apply it everywhere if you have certain areas on your face that are oilier than others (the driest areas tend to be on the cheeks). If your undereye area is a little on the dry side, you’ll want to use a cream designed specifically for use around the eyes since skin tends to be more delicate here than on the rest of your face.
And if you want to indulge your skin in a little extra TLC this Valentine’s Day, we say go for it. Our Cocoa Moisture Mask is the perfect solution for giving skin an intense boost of hydration where it needs it the most.
Here’s the deal—a good skincare routine isn’t just about looking good for the day; it’s also about setting yourself up for beautiful, healthy-looking skin for life. That’s why taking the proper steps to promote both short and long-term skin health is just as important as washing your face.
So what can you do to help maintain the youthful-looking, healthy appearance of your skin for years to come?
Sunscreen is an important product for everyone to include in their skincare regimens. To streamline your daily routine, look for moisturizers or products that also contain SPF 15 or higher such as Photo Plasma (if you’re planning on being outdoors for an extended period of time, opt for products with higher levels of SPF protection). Without the right protection, damage from years of unprotected sun exposure can eventually show up in the form of wrinkles, sun spots, and uneven pigmentation. Basically, wave hello to visibly aging skin.
Oh, and then there are these things called antioxidants—you might have heard us mention these before. Using products that contain antioxidants is an easy way to help promote healthy-looking skin by combating the visible signs of aging.
No time to apply a million different products? No problem. There are plenty of multi-benefit products out there that address more concerns than you’d expect; for example, many moisturizers already contain SPF, and lots of treatment products contain the same ingredients that can help prevent future skin problems. Figuring out how many aspects of your skincare routine you can address with each product is easy—just take a look at the label.
But even if you’re able to combine parts of your routine into one step, make sure you’re getting the best possible products for your individual concerns—your skin will thank you. After all, this Valentine’s Day is all about loving the skin you’re in.