With all the products, scams, and hype out there today, it’s easy to lose track of the basics of a good skin care routine. How do you know if you’re using the right products or even getting the right results? The truth is, without a solid skin care routine, realistic expectations plus continued use of an excellent skin care routine is just the way to get the most out of skin care products. So, how can you know you’re receiving the optimum results possible from all your skin care products? The following and the accompanying table are what many use as a guide to pinpoint success in their skin care practices.
The first element in any skin care routine should be a sunscreen. There are several types of sunscreen, with the key ingredients varying by formula. Some will provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, while others will provide protection from UVA and UVB rays that can cause damage to the skin.
The next item in any skin care routine should be a moisturizer. In addition to moisture, some formulas will add additional emollients to lock in moisture and help fight aging spots and signs of aging. These items are usually labeled “non-acnegenic” in order to satisfy the standards set by the American Academy of Dermatology. However, some dermatologists recommend that you avoid any product that doesn’t include an acne control ingredient in the formula, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
The final basic in a skin care routine needs to be a toner. A toner will remove excess oil, dirt, and make-up from your skin. Many toners contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids to help exfoliate the skin and remove old layers. Most toners also have a moisturizing component to help seal in moisture once the cleanser is used.
Now that you know what each of these basic skin care products do, it’s time to move on to moisturizers. Lotions and moisturizers can be really effective if they’re applied at the right time. You’ll want to apply your lotion or moisturizer just after washing your face so that it has time to absorb into the skin. To get the best results, use a light, oil-free, and non-comodogenic lotion.
The last, but certainly not the least important, ingredient in your skin care routine is SPF. SPF protects against the sun’s damaging UV rays. It’s really hard to over-do it with SPF, which means that you’ll want to pick a brand that is both effective and safe for you to use. The most effective ingredients include oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. To get really great, lasting results, use sunscreen whenever you plan to be outdoors for an extended period. You can also choose to use sunscreen with a high SPF since your body will be absorbing the sun’s rays on its own anyway.