Skincare 101 - The Basics
We all know we should take off our makeup before bed and clean our faces each day, but not all of us really know how to do it properly or when. Here is my guide to skincare for dummies!
Before cleansing your face be sure to remove any makeup. Makeup left on the skin prior to cleansing may prevent as deep a clean as you are intending. A gentle makeup remover oil or micellar water applied to a cotton pad and spied over the face to remove makeup is a good option.
Makeup Removal Tip: 100% organic extra virgin coconut oil can be used to remove makeup from the face if you want a completely natural organic product. Cleanse properly after using to be sure not to block the pores and cause breakouts.
For those with particularly sensitive skin prone to irritation or breakouts from products, the makeup eraser cloth is a good option for you. All you need is warm water to saturate the sloth and then use gentle circular motions on the skin to remove makeup. This product even removes oil based and water proof makeup. The use of only warm water should help to prevent any reactions to makeup remover products.
There are a few different types of cleansing. Find the one that works the best for you. There are cleansing oils, milks, foams and gels. There are also cleansing brushes, cleansing pads and cleansing cloths.
I personally like foaming gel cleansers as I feel like they clean my skin better.
A note about double cleansing.
Double cleansing is the method of cleansing once with a cream or oil based cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen and dirt from the surface of the skin, so that the second cleanse (with gel, foaming or acid based cleansers) can give the skin a deep thorough clean.
The first cleanse should be gentle and mostly to remove all the makeup, to avoid drying out the skin. Oil and cream based cleansers help to break down makeup easier.
Double cleansing should be done at the end of the day only (do a gentle cleanse in the morning, as a general note, your face won't really get dirty overnight while you sleep). There are studies that show double cleansing can increase the effectiveness of some anti-acing products.
Exfoliating the face is best done once to twice a week depending on your skin type.
Exfoliation is used to remove the build up of dead skin cells on the skins surface. A build up of dead cells can leave the skin looking dull. You can exfoliate with an exfoliating cleanser (usually with small beads, sand or other grit in it to buff the dead cells away) or a normal cleanser with an exfoliating cloth or brush. The choice is entirely up to you. Try a few different things and see what suits your personal skin type best.
Toners work by closing the pores and helping remove any left over impurities after the cleansing. Spray them directly onto the face and wipe off with a cotton pad or pour onto a cotton pad and swipe over the face.
I love natural toners that tone and hydrate. There are a few choices out there but the most simple types i love are rosewater and witch hazel.
Use a rosewater toner for sensitive/dry to normal skin and a witch hazel toner for oilier skins. Chose carefully as witch hazel may dry out sensitive or dry skins.
Now that you have stripped all the makeup, dirt, impurities and oils from the face , you need to put some moisture back into the skin. If you fail this step you may end up with dry, sensitive and irritated skin.
Moisturising may help keep your skin younger and put off the wrinkles for a little bit longer.
Find a moisturiser that is suited to your skin type. Whether you have oily, sensitive, normal or ageing skin, you will need an appropriate moisturiser to best cater to it. Every skin type is different and so it might take a bit of experimenting to find something that suits you.
I personally love natural products and so I go for : trilogy cream moisturiser or botanics moisturiser.
If you want an extra treat for your skin you could use a mask once a week or monthly depending on your preferences. A mask helps to nourish and deeply hydrate your skin, leaving you with a soft, hydrated and supple complexion.
I have very sensitive skin so I don't use face mask very often. Generally I cannot use any mud masks so if I do use a mask I will use a cloth mask (very popular in asia) or a homemade one.
There are limitless masks to choose from and most places sell them. Do a spot test before trying any new store bought masks to prevent any allergic reactions. Or browse pinterest and find a recipe for a great homemade mask!
Many brands have a night treatment cream or oil. After cleansing and toning at night time you could swap your regular day cream for a night cream.
Often a heavier product a night cream is used to deeply nourish and moisturise the skin overnight. Often this product is too heavy for daytime and should just be worn at night. Use a night cream/oil to wake up with gorgeous hydrated soft skin.
Likewise a facial oil could be used at night after your regular day cream to provide a deeper hydration. I actually often use a facial old during the day after my day cream as I have dehydrated sensitive skin. I opt for a natural Rose hip oil which doesn't cause any irritation or make my skin too oily.
"How often should you wash your face?"
You should wash your face twice a day ideally, but if you can only wash it once then do it at night. Your face shouldn't pick up too much oil or dirt while you sleep so long as you change your pillowcase at least once a week!
The skin picks up a lot of dirt throughout the day, especially if you wear makeup. Washing your face at night can help to remove all the dirt and grime to prevent breakouts and a dull complexion.
"Why should I remove my makeup at the end of the day?"
Makeup left on while you sleep can clog pores and create breakouts and age skin quicker than it normally would. Removing makeup cleans away the days dirt and grime to give your skin a good clean and let it rest, repair and regenerate while you sleep!
Got any more questions about skincare? What are your favourite skincare brands? Let me know in the comment section below.