Your skin is the largest organ of your body and therefore serves as your primary defense against infections and the environment. This makes it essential to care for it and keep it strong and healthy. Since everyone’s skin is different and has varying needs, I’ll be focusing on application and techniques of using the products, rather than the products themselves.
- Order matters
To achieve the best results from your skincare products, it’s important to layer them in the most effective way. The general rule is to apply light weight formulas first, so they can be easily absorbed without the barrier of heavier creams. The general order is cleansing, toning, serums, eye cream, moisturizer and face oil (add sunscreen if needed). Also, make sure to give your products time to absorb so they won’t pill (those tiny balls you get when you’ve used too much product).
- Skip muscle memory
When it comes to washing your face, you may often rely on muscle memory. This means you end up focusing on the same areas on your cheeks and T zone everytime you cleanse your face. This unconscious cleansing leaves you with areas of skin that are still dirty and may result in breakouts. So the key idea here is to focus on micro areas of the skin like the jawline, temples, the skin behind your ears, etc. Once you start paying attention to areas you would normally neglect, your skin will clear up and have lesser breakouts.
- Use your hands
Many of us use toner by applying it to a cotton pad and gently wiping it across the face. Instead pour the toner directly on to your hands and pick it up with the palms of your hands and fingertips and press it gently over the surface of your skin. This method allows the toner to penetrate deep into the skin without compromising it’s benefits and leaving you with glowy skin. You can also opt for spray toners with this approach.
- Keep your products clean
We often store our products in pretty dirty environments. I’m talking about dried product buildup on bottles (ew!). We usually neglect the fact that the bacteria being accumulated on them is transferred from our hands to our face (ew again!). Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. So even though this is something that often tends to get overlooked, clean your products!
- Dry cleansing
I personally vouch for this method. This method is essentially using the cleanser on your skin without any barrier of water. You start off by applying your cleanser to your dry skin and take about thirty seconds to massage this into your skin. You’re gonna notice this feels a little tacky. Once your cleanser turns white, it’s time to activate it. This is done by moistening your hands with some water and then massage the skin a second time. Finally, rinse any remaining cleanser off. Not only does this help you pay more attention to your cleansing process, it also deep cleanses your skin leaving it bright and clear.
In order for any of your skincare products to work their full potential, you mustn’t skip sunscreen. In some cases not using sunscreen may cause counter effects (especially if you’re using ingredients like retinols, etc.). Sunscreen is the best anti aging ingredient you can incorporate into your skincare regime. Not only does it protect your skin against UV rays cutting down the chances of skin cancer in half. It also prevents hyperpigmentation, melasma (dark splotches) and existing acne spots from getting darker. Sunscreen with SPF values between 30 and 50 offers adequate sunburn protection.
- Necks also matter
Make sure to work any and every product on your neck and chest as well. This skin is thin and gets thinner with age. This along with constant sun exposure means it’s prone to signs of aging. Trying to use anti aging skincare while forgetting your neck? Better luck necks time.
- Sleep Hygiene
It doesn’t matter how expensive your skincare products are if your pillows are dirty. Your pillowcase has a build up of dirt, oils and sweat from daily use. If you don’t change them regularly, you’ll notice your skin can’t be clear since you’re sleeping on bacteria for approximately 8 hours a night. Experts suggest washing your pillowcase every two days or so. Also, make sure to wipe your phone with some rubbing al\cohol at least once a week. It’s the least we can do to keep our skin acne free.
So, this sums up my top tips for using skincare products to their absolute maximum potential. However, consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Skincare products typically take several weeks to come into effect. When you’re consistent with your regime that’s when you start seeing results. So be patient. Set reminders and by all means take pictures to track the progress of your skin. But above all else, be consistent with your routine before making a judgment on the product’s performance.