With so many skincare products on the market, it might seem complicated to set up a routine that actually supports your skin’s health. However, basic daily cleansing, simplifying morning and evening routines to put on moisturizer and remove makeup, using sunscreen daily, and eating a balanced diet are all ways to support your skin’s health.
You can also add routines every few days, weeks, or months, like dermal fillers, sheet masks, and microdermabrasion, to keep your skin glowing and healthy.
Why Is a Skincare Routine So Important?
Everyone has a different idea about skincare, but the basic concept of skincare is a routine you practice to keep your skin clean and healthy. There are as many approaches to skincare as there are types of skin, which means that you can customize your routine to suit your needs.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, protecting the rest of your body from external ravages. This means your skin reacts to both internal and external changes, from cold to nutrient deficiencies to dry weather to illness.
Your skin may show health problems before you have other symptoms, or it can reflect your active, rough lifestyle. Taking care of your skin can help you look and feel your best, and it can even improve your overall health.
A good skincare routine starts with keeping your skin clean, but it should include different approaches to keeping it clean, along with stimulating blood flow, boosting your immune system, improving nutrition and hydration, and protecting it from external damage from sun or wind.
We’ve outlined some of the most important steps to consider in your skincare routine.
Cleaning Your Skin
Step one of any skincare routine is to keep your skin clean. What does this mean?
Taking a bath or a shower once per day, on average, removes dirt, sweat, and microorganisms from your skin that may cause damage. If you wear moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup, or other products on your face or body, showering at night to remove these will help keep your skin free of clogged pores and breakouts.
The type of facial cleanser or soap you use matters quite a bit. There are several different soaps and cleansers available based on your type of skin.
For example, if you have dry skin, you should avoid harsh cleansers and focus on treatments with more hydration. In general, though, dermatologists recommend using gentle cleansers and soaps, regardless of your skin type. Avoid perfumed or strongly scented products, as these can irritate your skin and eyes.
If you tend to develop blackheads, whiteheads, or other clogged pores from a buildup of dead skin, consider using an exfoliating facial scrub a few times per week. This can help remove these epidermal layers to keep your skin brighter and clearer. Some popular exfoliating trends include soaps with active charcoal, which can kill harmful bacteria as they scrub.
If you struggle with acne, a gentle acne-fighting face wash with a skin cleanser using tea tree oil or witch hazel can clean your skin more deeply and fight acne-causing bacteria. Some facial cleansers and toners use salicylic acid to reduce acne breakouts and help your skin heal faster.
It is important to use these as directed on the packaging or by your dermatologist and only during breakouts. If you use these every day, including when your skin is clear, you can do more harm than good.
Reduce Sun Exposure
Reducing sun exposure on your skin reduces your risk of skin cancer, supports healthy skin, and prevents fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and other skin damage. You can also prevent sunburns, which can cause your skin to dry out in the short term and reduce collagen production in the long term.
You can use a simple sunscreen on your face and body, of at least SPF 50, for an average day regardless of whether there are clouds or sunshine. Many moisturizers, foundations, makeup, and serums also have built-in sunscreen to prevent sun damage to your skin. Depending on what you wear the most, consider whether you want a basic sunscreen or built-in sun protection combined with other daily products.
Diet Do’s & Don’ts
You may have noticed some fad diets that claim to radically improve the health of your skin.
Although there are some foods that can harm your skin, contribute to acne breakouts, or increase stress (which can increase lines and wrinkles), you should typically avoid diet fads. These can harm your body overall as they eliminate healthy foods while forcing you to eat only certain types of food. This can cause nutrient imbalances that might do more harm to your skin in the long term.
Eating a balanced healthy diet with lean protein, lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and reduced fat, sugar, and salt will keep your whole body healthy, including your skin. Drink enough water every day and reduce or avoid candy, chocolates, salty snacks, fatty food, fast food, and alcohol. You may also consider reducing your dairy intake, as dairy can cause breakouts in some people.
There are different types of acne that can plague you for many years. From infections to skin sensitivity, acne can cause serious problems with your skin.
Visit a dermatologist for a medical examination of your skin, especially the acne-prone areas, and get treatment recommendations. These may range from daily cleansers to annual dermabrasions and laser treatment.
If you have regular acne outbreaks, one of the better ways to support your skin’s health, especially between dermatologist appointments, is to gently clean your skin every day. You may wish to avoid moisturizers, serums, lotions, sunscreens, makeup, and other products that use perfume or a lot of dye, as this can clog your pores and irritate your skin more.
Do not over-scrub your skin, use harsh exfoliants, visit tanning beds, or use abrasive washcloths or loofahs on your skin. These can all irritate your skin, cause breaks, and lead to infection.
Acne scars can benefit from a visit to a medical spa like Cosmetica, where we can examine your face and recommend aesthetic treatments to reduce the appearance of these scars.
Creating a Skincare Routine
There are two times of day you should consider for skincare: in the morning when you get up and at night before you go to sleep.
A morning skincare routine should include these elements:
- Gentle cleanser to remove dirt and oil from the surface of the skin
- Moisturizer or serum to improve skin tone
- Quick acne treatment or covering, especially if you wear makeup
A nighttime skincare routine may include the following:
- Washing your face with special cleanser
- Adding an under eye cream to reduce puffiness
- Using a toner or blackhead remover to deeply clean your skin if you wear makeup
- Adding a moisturizer or serum to tone your skin after the ravages of the day
- Managing new small blemishes with acne spot treatment
Consider which gentle moisturizers, serums, or even face oils can improve your skin’s healthy glow and which are safe to sleep in.
As you set up your skincare routine, dermatologists recommend keeping each step simple. While there are many products on the market, the most important point is that your skin is clean and moisturized.
Your skin will also change over time, so check your skin every once in a while, and set up a visit with a dermatologist to discuss concerns about your skin health. This can help you improve your skincare routine as you age.
Daily skincare keeps your skin healthy and radiant, but there are other routines you can add on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual basis. For example:
- Use a sheet mask to deeply clean and moisturize your face between one and three times per week.
- Consider a deep cleaning treatment like microdermabrasion or hydrodermabrasion every one to two months, especially if you are prone to dead skin cells, have acne scars, or need deeper treatments.
- For wrinkle and fine line treatment, consider a quick boost from a dermal filler one to two times per year, to improve collagen production and skin moisture.
At Cosmetica Med Spa, we offer treatments that benefit the long-term health of your skin and face. We strongly support a good daily skincare routine, but we also understand that these routines alone may not be enough to keep your skin healthy and clean. Contact us for a consultation so we can examine your skin and discuss treatments to boost your healthy glow.
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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Skin Care. (August 2021). Allure.
Eating For Beauty: The Best Diet for Healthy, Clear Skin. (September 2014). Forbes.
Acne: Tips for Managing. American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD).Do You Really Need a Skin Care Routine? Northwestern Medicine.