I know what you're looking for, and I'm looking for it too--the best skin care routine. If you’re anything like me, you love to experiment with different skincare products to curate the perfect skin care routine for you. Now, as someone with sensitive skin, this is not always an easy task. I’ve spent hours perusing the web and reading reviews on products that I can only hope will solve my skincare quandaries. I've also spent hours trying to soothe my inflamed skin after testing out a new product that inevitably betrayed me. And while reading reviews can be incredibly helpful, actually understanding the products and their purposes has been the greatest help on my journey to #skingoals.
The Key to Creating the Best Skin Care Routine
But how do you even begin to find the best skin care routine if everyone's skin is different? The quickest way to see if a product is worth a shot is to read the ingredients. I've got a list of ingredients to look for in the products you're adding to your wish lists. But not only do I have the list of the ingredients you need to watch out for, I also know what they do and what problems they target. Blindly using moisturizers and serums with gibberish for ingredients is like someone on a paleo diet drinking Mountain Dew on the daily. It just doesn’t add up. If you’re working towards nailing down your perfect skin care routine, the key is to know what ingredients are best for skin. Let's stop wasting money on products that won't help you.
In order to get familiar with ingredients, you’ll need to decode what each is and its benefit. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for the nasty ingredients, like parabens, synthetic color, and fragrances, which can leave your skin irritated and lead to breakouts and clogged pores.
Instead, invest in researching products with ingredients right for your skin type and beauty goals. Are you interested in anti-aging products? Look for moisturizing creams that include fatty acids and lipids. If you’re skin is on the oilier side, you may want to look for products that clear clogged pores and defend your skin against whiteheads.
The best thing you can do to create the best skin care routine is to get educated on what you’re putting in (and on) it. Below you’ll find a breakdown of some of the most important and beneficial skincare ingredients and their uses.
Problem: Need Protection from Harmful UV Rays
PSA: everyone needs to wear sunscreen, and they need to wear it every day. UV rays are very harmful to your skin's health as well as your general health. UV rays are one of the main perpetrators for the dissipation of your skin's youthful and supple appearance. I know two all-natural ingredients to look for in your skin care products that will discreetly protect your skin.
Titatnium Dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral used in some sunscreens. This ingredient is especially successful for those with sensitive skin and is a great option to protect skin from harming rays.
Two are better than one. Zinc usually works hand-in-hand with titanium dioxide as a natural sunscreen and protector against UVA and UVB rays.
Problem: BreakoutsWhenever I get a breakout, I immediately feel self-conscious. I feel like everyone is looking at my acne and thinking about how disgusting it looks. In all reality, people hardly ever notice when I do breakout. But that doesn't mean I don't want to try prevent breakouts with all of my being. Those suckers can really hurt sometimes! Luckily, there are multitudes of natural ingredients that I use every day to combat and prevent breakouts.
This ingredient is heavily prevalent in my skin care routine. I am a full believer in the power of this ingredient! Salicylic acid is found in many cleansers, toners, and spot treatments. It helps break down the skin debris that oftentimes clogs pores and causes those dreaded blackheads and whiteheads. Not only that, but it can help regulate skin cell growth, helping acne-prone skin heal.
While it’s true that sulfur is known for it’s less-than-pleasant smell, it’s actually a great option for those looking to fight breakouts fast. This active ingredient has anti-bacterial properties, drawing impurities out of the skin and leaving it shiny and fresh. You’ll find sulfur in masks and drying agents. Just make sure you don't use it too often and to properly moisturize after treatments.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
One of the few synthetic ingredients on this list, HA is re-created to match a naturally occurring component of skin that restores, hydrates and protects skin against daily stressors. This ingredient works on all skin types and is often found in moisture-locking serums.
Not just found in your morning orange juice! Vitamin C acts as a protectant for your skin, shielding it from pollution and keeping it hydrated. Vitamin C is also great for evening and brightening skin and can be a great addition to any daily routine.
Rose Hip Seed
Harvested from the seeds of rose bushes, this ingredient is full of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, and is shown to be a powerhouse for skincare. Not only does it brighten and even-out skin, but has shown to reduce the signs of wrinkles and leave your face feeling moisturized.
The Must-Have Products for Your Skin Care Routine
Now that you know what ingredients you need in our routine, what products do you need as well? Luckily, I am a skin care fanatic who follows a religious skin care routine. I got you, boo. Like I said earlier, I've spent hours scouring the internet for the best skin care products and ingredients. Listed below are some of the basic products your skin care routine simply cannot go without and suggestions for your best skin care routine.
Step 1: Use a cleanser
This is not an optional product. You simply must cleanse your face at least twice a day. Did she just say at least twice a day? Yes, I did. Your pores act like little vacuums that suck up dirt, pollution, dead skin cells, makeup, and more all day and all night. They fill up fast, and if they aren't cleaned regularly, those pores form blackheads, whiteheads, and blemishes. A good cleanser has ingredients that dig deep down into your skin and clean those pores out!
Good: Find a natural cleanser that has salicylic acid or rose extract listed in the ingredients. Wash your face at morning and at night with this cleanser.
Better: Find two natural cleansers. One with exfoliating ingredients, like salicylic acid or charcoal, and one with soothing ingredients, like rose extract or peach. Wash your face with the exfoliating cleanser at night and the soothing cleanser in the morning.
Best: Do the exact same as the "better" recommendation, but cleanse your face twice in the morning and twice at night.
Step 2: Tone your face
This product is a must for blemish-prone and combination skin. Toners are often made with salicylic acid or glycolic acid because these natural ingredients best exfoliate your skin. They are meant to squash blemishes that already exist and help prevent future blemishes from showing up. Toners also help minimize the size of pores and leave your skin soft and glowing. Have sensitive skin? I would suggest finding a toner that has less exfoliating properties and more soothing ingredients. There are great rose toners out there that are meant to soothe sensitive skin!
Recommendation: Find a toner that works best for your skin (use suggestions above). Apply the toner after you cleanse at least twice a week.
Step 3: Moisturize
Moisturizing is not an optional product either! Your skin absolutely needs moisturizing. Moisturizing keeps your skin supple, youthful, and glowing. There are tons of great, natural ingredients to choose from. You can choose from oil-based or water-based moisturizers based on your skin type, although I think it is a good idea to use both.
Good: Find a water-based or oil-based moisturizer based on your skin type (if you have oily skin, it is natural to gravitate towards a water-based moisturizer, although some oil-based moisturizers do not cause breakouts). Use this moisturizer after toning or cleansing once a day.
Better: Do the same as the "good" recommendation but use this moisturizer once in the morning and once at night.
Best: Find a water-based and oil-based moisturizer that both work for you skin. Use the water-based moisturizer alone in the mornings. Apply the water-based moisturizer first at night, then apply the oil-based moisturizer second after letting the first application sink in for about 5 minutes.
So next time you go on a skincare shopping spree (like, tonight, right?), make sure you’re reviewing the ingredients of each product and confirming their properties agree with your skin #goals. And while it’s true that it can take time to perfect your skin care routine, understanding what you’re putting on your face is a great step to finding the right balance for your needs.
Before you know it, you’ll be hashtagging #nomakeup on Instagram.