Products: but what do you REALLY need...?
Have you ever looked at an older relative's skin and thought how great it looks? Chances are they never used even half as many products as advertised to us these days. How many products do you have in your bathroom right now, just for your face? The average woman will have 6 to 7 products and will spend approx $600 per year! But, how many products do you REALLY need? I've been lucky enough to work with beauty brands as well as having beauty specialists as colleagues, so I've amassed some pretty great tips.
Below, I've outlined the essentials, optional extras and non essential money wasters.
THE BASIC FORMULA:
Your morning routine should be focused on protection and prevention. Night time should be focused on cleansing and repair.
1. Cleanser: a simple, non soap, alcohol and fragrance free cleanser will clean dirt, makeup and pollutants from your skin without being harsh. It can be oil or water based. It should not leave your skin feeling dry, tight or red. One of the best cleansers is oil. I use coconut oil or my Supernatural Oil to remove make up then wash a few times with warm water and a soft face cloth. In the morning, I wash with hot water and a facial cloth.
2. Moisturizer: this can be in the form of an oil, cream or lotion. A moisturizer will trap hydration in your skin and form a protective barrier for the day. If you want to you can mix an oil into a cream for extra hydration.
3. SPF: minimum 30SPF Broad Spectrum. Sun protection is essential to keep skin healthy and to prevent skin cancer.
4. Acid based exfoliator: exfoliants have come a long way since St Ives walnut scrub. Never use gritty exfoliants on the face - they are too harsh and leave micro tears in the skin. The best exfoliators on the market today are acid based. It sounds scary but they are much more gentle by melting the 'glue' between your old dead skin cells leaving fresh skin untouched.
1. Face mask: sheet masks are nice to have to feel pampered. Yes, some can help with moisture retention but many have synthetic fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin.
2. Eye cream: you can use your regular moisturizer... However, be extra careful around the eyes as the skin is super thin.
3. Serum: it's nice to have but most are expensive and do not contain enough active ingredients to really do anything. It can however be another layer of hydration protection if you have super dry skin.
DO NOT NEED:
1. Toner: yes, you have been told to cleanse, tone and moisturize. But what is toner and what is it supposed to do? Usually it's full of alcohol and astringent which will dry your skin causing even more sebum production. Most people use a cotton pad to wipe the toner onto the skin which is basically another cleansing step. If you can't stay away from toner, then look out for hydrating ones and do not wipe with a cotton pad - instead, pat the toner into the skin with your hands.
2. Lip cream: special creams for the skin around the lips? Just use your regular moisturizer!
3. Essences: it's another word for toner but a lot more moisturizing than regular toner. Calling something as essence means the brand can increase the price...
4. Mists: toner but in a different kind of bottle...
5. Neck cream: just use your moisturizer...
Thanks for reading!