5 Essential Steps That Form The Core of Every Skincare Routine

You don’t want to be missing out on any of these.

Photo by fleur kaan on Unsplash

Who doesn’t want flawless, glowing, and clear looking skin?

This is all the rage these days.

Globally, consumers spend around $382 billion on beauty products each year.

The first thing people look at when they see someone is the face. It’s no wonder why people are always trying to improve their complexion and to get better looking skin.

Even though there are countless number of products out there to improve one’s skin, this story will mainly focus on the 5 essential steps of every skincare routine.

No matter what your skincare routine is or what products you use, these 5 steps form the core of every skincare routine.

These essential steps are:

  1. Always moisturize after washing your face
  2. Exfoliate regularly
  3. Use sunscreen during the day
  4. Apply a face serum
  5. Use a toner after cleansing

Always moisturize after washing your face

This is something that every single person on this planet should be doing after washing your face.

Harsh facial cleansers can strip away the natural lipid barrier on our skin and it is this lipid barrier that protects and prevents water loss. By regularly moisturizing your face after cleansing, you properly supply hydration to your skin cells and keep them from getting dehydrated.

As we naturally age, wrinkles and fine lines start to become more prominent. The reason is because the skin gets thinner and less elastic as we age. Collagen production also starts to decline at around age 25 and this is significant because collagen makes up around 75–80% of our skin.

Our skin is made of cells and water is an essential component of cells. When our skin is dry and dehydrated, our skin cells start to break down which can cause wrinkles and a dull complexion.

Taking preventive steps early on can help diminish and reduce the appearance of these wrinkles later on.

One of these preventive steps is moisturizing your face. Moisturizing also becomes necessary during both summer and winter. During summer, our skin can get excessively dry due to sun exposure. During winter, humidity levels drop which causes more moisture loss from the body thus leading to dry skin and chapped lips.

Regularly moisturizing your face can keep your skin hydrated and protected.

Exfoliate regularly

This is something that not a lot of people do.

The purpose of exfoliation is to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Our skin naturally sheds dead skin cells to make room for new skin cells to grow.

As we age, cell regeneration tends to slow down which causes dead skin cells to remain on the surface of our skin for prolonged periods of time. This can cause these cells to pile up which can leave the skin looking dull and dry.

There are two types of exfoliators: Physical & Chemical.

Physical exfoliators are products that contain small, gritty particles that physically slough off dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliators use acids or enzymes to gently loosen and break the bonds between skin cells which are then washed away.

While both types of exfoliation are fine, chemical exfoliators are thought to be better since they do not physically involve rubbing the skin and instead gently loosen the bonds between the cells.

Regularly exfoliating helps boost the process of cell regeneration while also keeping the skin fresh and young. It also helps unclog pores which helps your other skincare products deeply penetrate into your skin.

You should aim to exfoliate at least once a week. You can do more but make sure your skin can handle it.

Use sunscreen during the day

Excessive sun exposure is one of the worst things you can be doing to your skin. Too much sun has been shown to accelerate aging, DNA damage, sunburns, wrinkles, etc. It can cause hyperpigmentation and dull-looking skin.

By using sunscreen, you protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreen is especially important for the face as too much sun exposure can literally ruin your complexion. It can result in dark spots and fine lines.

Sunscreen helps keep skin tone and complexion even while also protecting against premature aging and reducing the risk of cancer.

There are thousands of sunscreens out there and deciding which one is best for you can get quite hard.

Each sunscreen has an SPF number on it which refers to Sun Protection Factor.

This is a measure of how well a sunscreen protects the skin against UVB rays. There are many different SPF such as SPF 15, SPF 30, SPF 75, SPF 100, etc.

If your skin normally burns after 15 minutes in the sun, applying an SPF 30 sunscreen would extend the time it takes for your skin to burn to 450 minutes which is a factor of 30.

SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB rays while SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays.

After SPF 30, the increase in protection level is minuscule and so the general recommendation is to apply sunscreen that is SPF 30.

Another reason is that as SPF goes up, the ability of the sunscreen to protect against UVA rays goes down. The best balance is achieved around SPF 30.

Even if you stay inside and don’t plan on going into the sun, don’t skip on sunscreen. The sun’s rays can penetrate through windows and cause harmful effects.

Apply a face serum

Face serums are so popular nowadays and for good reason. These products have high concentrations of active ingredients that can deeply and effectively penetrate into the skin.

Serums are made of very small molecules that can easily penetrate through your skin and coupled with them containing super concentrated active ingredients, you can see why they are so beneficial for the skin.

Some of the most popular serums are vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, etc. Many serums contain a combination of ingredients but most usually highlight one ingredient that is present the most in that serum.

Face serums absorb quickly into the skin, protect your skin from free radicals, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, produce more visible results, etc.

Serums are able to produce more visible results because as said before, they contain super concentrated formulas of active ingredients and they can easily and deeply penetrate the skin to deliver maximum benefit.

Applying a face serum followed by a moisturizer is an excellent way to ensure that all the ingredients stay in your skin while also preventing moisture loss.

Some people use serums twice a day with one serum in the morning and another at night. Some serums have specifically been formulated to work only at night and not during the day so make sure to read the label to see if it is a morning or night serum.

Retinol serum can’t be used during the day because retinol is sensitive to sunlight so it can only be used at night.

Use a toner after cleansing

This is a step that so many people skip out on after cleansing. Some people don’t even know what a toner does.

A facial toner helps balance your skin’s pH level, removes any microscopic dirt and grime particles stuck in your pores, and closes your pores.

After cleansing, the skin’s pH level sometimes goes off balance. The skin is naturally slightly acidic and if the pH goes too alkaline or too acidic, then the skin starts looking red and inflamed.

Toners have acids in them and so by using a toner, you can bring back the pH to its natural level.

Toners can clean and wash away any traces of dirt and impurities left behind since cleansing doesn’t fully clean the face. By removing these particles, your skin is left with a clean slate and is ready to absorb any skincare products.

By also shrinking pores, toners reduce the chance that any dirt or impurities in the air can enter into your skin.

This has the overall effect of getting your skin ready for its workout which is the application of skincare products. Since any last bit of dirt particles have been removed and the skin has been left clean, the skin can easily and effectively absorb the serum, moisturizer, etc.

Final Note

These are the 5 essential steps of any skincare routine and there are certainly more such as applying under-eye cream, face masks, face oils, etc.

But for the majority of people out there, making sure that these steps get regularly included into your skincare routine goes a long way in ensuring that your skin gets the proper care and attention it needs and deserves.

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