Skincare 101: The Basics to Skincare
From oil or water-based face cleansers, to toners and serums, picking out the right skincare products can feel pretty overwhelming – especially if you’re not entirely sure what most of these products do. The first step in achieving better skin health is to get familiar with the basics of skincare so you can create a custom skincare routine that works best for your skin.
Instead of making things overly complicated, you need to understand your skin, implement a basic skincare routine, and incorporate the right products and treatments to address your specific skin concerns. Here’s a skincare glossary to help you understand the most essential steps in basic skincare!
Ever wonder if soap and water is the same as using a face cleanser? It’s not. A good face cleanser removes makeup and clears away dirt, oil, and dead skin cells – without stripping it of the moisture and vital substances that it needs for healthy skin function. A deep, thorough cleanse washes away any pollutants that the skin is exposed to and it clears out the pores, which makes it easier for skincare products to penetrate skin.
The correct way to cleanse your face? Give your face a thorough cleanse by gently washing your face in circular motions for 60 seconds. Sticking to the 60-second rule works wonders for improving the overall texture and condition of skin by effectively dissolving sebum and softening skin.
Over the years, double cleansing has also become an essential step in the cleansing ritual for skincare enthusiasts. It involves removing makeup and other impurities with an oil-based cleanser before going in with a water-based cleanse.
If you were a 90’s girl, then you probably don’t get good vibes from hearing the word “toner.” But what was once an alcohol-based astringent (meant for those with oily or acne-prone skin types) has transformed into a complete staple item - for all skin types. When it comes to spending less $$ on skincare products, you definitely don’t want to skimp on the toner because it’s soo much more important than you think!
Some of the best toners are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a thin consistency that’s similar to water but it works great for giving skin a boost of hydration and other important skin-supporting ingredients. It’s an essential step for clearing impurities and adding moisture to prep the skin and facilitate better absorption. Simply put, toner sets up the perfect foundation for all your other products to perform at an optimal level. Go with a gentle cleanser and toner that can help your skin maintain its pH balance. Your skin suffers from all types of problems like sensitivity, inflammation, and wrinkles when its pH balance is off.
It’s best to apply serum after cleansing and toning your face. Serums contain high concentrations of active ingredients to give your skin a boost of whatever it needs! They’re lightweight and they absorb into the skin fairly quickly so there isn’t that greasy feeling that you get with facial oils. However, this also means that it definitely shouldn’t be incorporated into your routine as a replacement for your moisturizer.
Serums are most effective for treating and correcting skin at home. Depending on the product, serums can come with a heftier price tag, but they’re a great investment if you want to see results. We recommend that you never stick to only one serum. Keep your skin guessing by changing up your serums to address different skin concerns, and use them as directed. By stretching out your bottle to save money, you really won’t get the results that you’re looking for. For instance, the serums from Laboratoire Dr. Renaud are meant to be used as only 30-day treatments.
Moisturizers are known for their ability to replenish moisture and soothe dry skin. They usually contain ultra-nourishing ingredients to help repair skin, along with anti-aging benefits like giving skin a more youthful and radiant appearance.
Applying moisturizer to skin at the end of your routine also forms a barrier to lock in all the good stuff! But keep in mind that you still have to make sure you’re going the extra mile to cleanse and tone your skin. Ultimately, if there’s still dirt, makeup, or other impurities lingering on skin, it will keep that in too... which contributes to clogged pores and breakouts.
Also, not all moisturizers contain oils. Dehydration and dryness are two very different things. When the skin is dry, it lacks oil and you’ll need to replenish your skin with a rich oil-based moisturizer. Dehydrated skin simply means that it lacks water.
To choose the right moisturizer for your skin, you need to listen to your skin so you can figure out what it really needs.
Exfoliation is a complete game changer.
Think of it this way, if you wanted to start planting a garden… would you plant it in dry, hardened soil? No, you’d probably work on creating the perfect environment with the best fertilizers to make sure your plants thrive!
As we grow older, it takes longer for dead skin cells to shed from the surface of skin, which leads to flaky patches, dullness, or clogged pores. Regular exfoliation clears the accumulation of dead skin cells, dirt, and sebum from pores so your skincare products can penetrate deeper into skin. It also encourages cell turnover, which works great for brightening up your complexion and improving uneven skin tone.
How to choose the best exfoliant? It all depends on your skin type, personal preference, and which issues you want to address. There are two types of exfoliants: Chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliants contain acids or enzymes, which can effectively dissolve buildup of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt. Physical exfoliants contain tiny particles or grains, which can be more abrasive on skin.
Chemical exfoliants (or peels) often take longer to do the job, but I LOVE the benefits of chemical exfoliants. I usually apply them and then go have a bath or make coffee to kill the time. In a pinch, a physical exfoliant will also get the job done beautifully.
Start off fresh with your skincare journey!
It may seem like there are just way too many products to choose from and you probably don’t need them all… but trust me, you do. Each product plays a key role in maintaining your skin - like a little skincare dream team!
Prevention is always cheaper than correction. Taking better care of your skin is the easiest (and most cost-effective) way to achieve that highly coveted glow from within. And of course, it’s better to get started right now with a basic skincare routine than to deal with more issues in the future. Just keep in mind that there’s usually an adjustment period when you start using a new product. This means that your skin may start doing funny things that you’re not used to, like breaking out or even becoming super dry or oily… but don’t give up. Let it run its course for 3-4 weeks so you can get a better picture of what this product can do for you.
Ultimately, the first thing on your checklist is to get clear on your skin. Figure out what it needs and what it is exactly that all the products you’re thinking about investing in can actually do for your skin. With skincare, you should never approach it with an all or nothing mentality. If you’re not doing much for your skin right now, start off with a great cleanser as you gradually introduce other products into your routine, like an exfoliator the next month, then moisturizer, toner, and serum.
For a convenient and luxurious way to start off fresh with your skincare journey, check out the Luxury Facial box or The Spa Day Box to receive a personalized set of professional products. Based on your skin’s needs, you’ll receive the best step-by-step spa treatments for an at-home spa sesh! With up to two spa treatments (and just about anything else you might need), It’s never been easier to treat yourself to some serious spa love.
Got any questions about how to care for your skin or about our at-home spa kits?
Catch us over on Instagram and ask away!