Great skin is not simply a matter of DNA — your daily habits have a big impact on what you see in the mirror. But depending on which product reviews you read, or doctors you consult, there is a dizzying number of opinions on everything, from how to moisturise to how to protect yourself from UV rays. However, ultimately, caring for your skin is personal. We’re going to be starting with the basics to help you create a simple and easy skincare routine.

Tip: These are the three main steps of a skincare routine:  

  • Cleansing — Washing your face.  
  • Toning — Balancing the skin. 
  • Moisturising — Hydrating and softening the skin. 

As your skin requirements shift with age, so will your products. It is not about creating perfection. It is about learning your skin and figuring out what works for you.

Tip: With any skin-care product, apply in order of consistency — from thinnest to thickest.

For example, cleanser, toner, serum, and then moisturiser.

Tip: Experts typically advise to use sunscreens that contain a combination of physical and chemical blocking components. This will provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and typically do not create any visible residue.  

These are a few easy-to-follow steps to help you create a skincare routine that works for your skin type.  

Understanding and buying skincare products can be overwhelming and expensive but it doesn’t’t have to be that way. Once you know what you’re looking out for you can walk into any pharmacy or drugstore and pick up inexpensive products that work really well. 

Make sure to take it easy and introduce each new product slowly so that you don’t experience a reaction from it. 

The science behind skin-care products has come a long way but there’s still no such thing as an instant fix — you need time to reap the benefits. Results are only seen through consistent use. Generally, aim to use a product over at least six weeks, once or twice daily, to notice a difference.

Find Your Facial Cleanser 

The right formula cleanses your skin without stripping essential and healthy oils. Take it easy with exfoliating scrubs (use only once a week) and avoid those with crushed walnut shells or abrasive ingredients.

Skin TypeCleanser TypeWhat It Does
Oily or acne-proneFoaming liquidWhen activated with water or pumped into your palm, this cleanser morphs into an airy foam that helps break down dirt and excess sebum from pores.
Dry, red and/or eczema-proneCream or lotionThese cleansers are formulated with emollients such as glycerine or shea butter, which wipe away impurities while also hydrating skin.
SensitiveOilWhile putting oil on your face might not feel cleansing, it actually is. (Just think: oil absorbs oil.) One like argan oil is non-comedogenic, lightweight, moisturising and well tolerated.
Mature SkinMelting balmThis rich, butter-like slave transforms or “melts” into a liquid when rubbed onto your skin. It can be used without water to dissolve heavy makeup and tends to be soothing.

For everyday cleansing, here’s what to look for:

Moisturiser 

The most basic function of a moisturiser is to hydrate and soften the skin.

Everyone needs moisture, but the texture of your moisturiser will differ depending on your skin type.

This will help you understand the different types of moisturisers.

Skin TypeCleanser TypeWhat It Does
OilyGel moisturizerThis is a mostly water-based option that’s lightweight and absorbs quickly.
Normal or combinationLotionThis is your classic moisturiser level; it feels more moisturising than gel but generally absorbs well.
DryCream and soft creamIt’s more oil-based and heavier than a lotion.
Inflamed and sensitive skin (but not acne-prone)BalmMuch like a cream, a balm is good for extremely dry skin types, but it’s got a heavier texture.
Sun protection – SPF

First and foremost sunscreen should be used every day and not just the days you’ll be out in the sun. All of the experts I’ve consulted, unanimously agree on one thing: that sunscreen is, hands down, the most crucial skin-care product.  

Daily and consistent sunscreen use helps to prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles, textural imperfections, and changes in the appearance of pores over time. To make it easy to remember, experts recommend using a daily moisturiser with a built-in broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30.

Sunscreen Formulas 

There’s a lot of debate over which sunscreens are best and safest for your complexion.

There are two types of ingredients in formulas:

Chemical Ingredients

Such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are absorbed into your skin to counteract the damage from ultraviolet light.

Pros: Lightweight, easy to apply and transparent on the skin.

Cons: Can irritate and cause reaction in those with sensitive skin.

Physical Ingredients

Such as titanium dioxide, that sit on top of your skin to deflect or prevent the UV rays from entering your body.

Pros: Very little risk of irritation or health concerns.

Cons: Often leave a white or greyish tint on the skin, particularly in those with darker skin tones.

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