It is surprising that very few people follow a good routine for their skin. People tend to buy products based on recommendations and then most of the products either lie unused or are used in the wrong sequence or the wrong time of the day. Here we attempt to give a skincare routine for dummies. We hope the routine is simple to follow and will keep it as basic as possible..
Know your Skintype
A skincare routine should start with knowing your skintype. There is a very simple way for you to assess your skintype at home. It does not require any fancy gadgets. You can go to bed without applying any products on the face. Look at your face in the mirror when you wake up.
- Areas of the skin which are oily look shiny. If the entire face is shiny, you have oily skin
- Areas of the face which are normal look just right. Like a matte effect, neither dry nor shiny. If the entire face looks just right, then you have normal skin
- Areas of the face which are dry look flaky and the skin feels stretched. If the entire face feels like that, then you have dry skin
- Many people have combination skin. The nose and forehead look shiny whilst the rest of the face looks just fine.
Get your basic skin products
A basic skincare routine comprises of cleansing, toning, moisturising and using a sunblock. Now that you know your skintype, you can choose your products according to your skintype.
- Cleansing: If your skin is dry or normal, use a gentle pH balanced facewash to avoid stripping the skin of the protective acid mantle. If your skin is oily and you are prone to pimples, you can use a facewash containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid which will help in oil balance. If your skin is dry, then you need to use a very mild facewash which is pH balanced and use only warm or cold water for washing the face. If you have used any make-up at all, it is mandatory to take off all traces of make-up with a cleansing milk or cleansing wipe and then use a second layer of cleansing.
- Toner: If your skin is dry or normal, you may skip a toner completely. If your skin is combination type, then you may use a toner only on the nose and forehead. Toner is great for people with oily skin. You may use it only during the night or two times a day depending upon how oily your skin is.
- Moisturiser: Everybody needs a moisturiser. Even people with oily skin need a moisturiser. If your skin is oily, use a light lotion or gel based moisturiser. If your skin is dry, you may need a cream based moisturiser or a skin butter for better hydration. There is no single moisturiser that works for everybody. When you moisturise the skin, it should feel just right. It should neither feel stretched nor should it feel greasy. A moisturiser should ideally be used twice a day.
- Sunscreen: This is a very important part of your skincare routine and one that is often neglected. A sunscreen of spf 30 or more with a PA++ or more should be used. A generous layer of the sunscreen should be applied 15 mins before stepping out of the house and it should be re-applied every 2 hours when one is outdoors. The sunscreen needs to be used 365 days a year regardless of the weather. It would also be a good idea to keep a watch on the UV index which is easily available on all smartphone weather apps. You can decide whether or not to use a sunscreen based on the UV index.
Products for your specific problem/need
The basic skincare is to be followed by everyone. In addition to this, some people need products based on their need. If you have pimples, you may add tretinoin or adapalene at night. For anti-ageing, one can use retinol or glycolic acid. It is advisable that most of these products should be used following specialist recommendation.
This was a very general skincare routine for dummies. We hope it is basic enough for you to atleast start a routine if you don’t have a routine at present.