Updated: Feb 13, 2022
The must-have skincare products for optimal skin health
You've heard of 10-step, 12-step and even "minimalist" skincare routines, but the best routine is the one that optimizes your skin's ability to repair and renew itself - allowing your skin to stay healthy, happy, and resilient.
Bonus: when paired with a balanced lifestyle, the following skincare routine will help prevent (and even reduce the appearance of!) fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, breakouts, and more!
Cleanser - use 1-2x daily Cleansing removes makeup, oil, dirt, environmental pollutants, dead skin cells, and other debris. Not cleansing can lead to a buildup on the skin, which reduces your skin’s ability to renew itself overnight while creating clogged pores, textural issues, breakouts, dryness, irritation and dull skin. Use a cleanser formulated specifically for use on the face.
Antioxidant Serum - use every AM. Antioxidants protect the skin by neutralizing free radicals, which are molecules caused by pollution/environmental stressors. Free radicals damage the skin, leading to fine lines. Daily use of antioxidants can prevent this damage and minimize hyperpigmentation, soften fine lines/wrinkles, reduce inflammation and allow the skin to repair itself. Look for: Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Niacinamide, or Resveratrol. Antioxidants break down when exposed to light and air, so make sure products are packaged in airtight containers - no jar packaging. Store in cool, dark places.
Exfoliant - use 2-3x a week Skin’s ability to exfoliate, or shed the buildup of dead skin cells, slows down as we age. Regular exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells, uncovering healthy cells below. This allows your products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, making them more effective. A regular exfoliating routine will keep your skin fresh, healthy and glowing. Leave-on exfoliants are less abrasive and more efficient than scrubs, offering additional benefits such as smoother, brighter skin with less visible and less clogged pores. Look for leave-on exfoliants, either AHA or BHA. AHA - most common being glycolic, lactic, or mandelic - are best for normal to dry skin types with advanced signs of aging. They dissolve dead skin cells while hydrating and smoothing fine lines/wrinkles. BHA - most commonly salicylic - are best for sensitive, oily or breakout prone skin. Salicylic dissolves oil in the pores, helping to reduce and prevent breakouts, clear blackheads, and shrink the appearance of pore size. It’s also very gentle - making it suitable for those with sensitive skin or rosacea.
Moisturizer - Use daily Our skin’s natural oil production decreases as we age, making our cells more susceptible to dehydration, irritation, and visible signs of aging. Facial moisturizers help to prevent these while also preventing breakouts and maintaining elasticity and cellular strength. Acneic or oily skin types get dehydrated, too! If you have oily skin, look for a lightweight moisturizer to keep oil production balanced and provide the hydration needed to heal existing blemishes.
Sunscreen - use every AM Sunscreen blocks UV rays, greatly reducing the likelihood of sunburns, skin cancer, and signs of premature aging. UVA rays damage the skin, breaking down supportive structures, like collagen, that skin needs to look young and healthy. This weakening of the skin leads to sagging, fine lines/wrinkles, discoloration and dark spots. UVB rays can cause sunburns and skin cancers. There is no safe amount of unprotected UV exposure. To protect your skin from UV damage and prevent premature signs of aging, liberally apply broad-spectrum SPF 30+ every morning as the last step of your skincare routine. Whether mineral or chemical, the best sunscreen is the one you will wear every day.
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