Skincare regimens have been a part of women’s lives since the days when Cleopatra and her peers exfoliated with dead sea salts, cleansed with a mixture of clay and olive oil, and moisturized with castor, sesame, or moringa oils. And all of that was after bathing in a skin-nourishing blend of warm milk and honey.
Since ancient times, women have cared about preserving the health and beauty of their skin. In today’s world, the competing brands have marketed so many skincare products—with new, revolutionary skincare miracles being touted every month—that it can be confusing to understand just what our skin needs to look and feel its best, and how many steps that involves.
According to skincare experts, the best skincare regimen of today involves five steps.
Step 1: Cleanse
Before any other step in a good skincare regimen, it’s essential to thoroughly cleanse your face. Your skin needs to be clear of makeup, dirt, dust, grime, and excess oils in order for your pores to freely accept any other beneficial products you wish to add to your skin.
Today we know that we can be kinder to the fragile skin of our faces than simply scrubbing it clean with harsh soap and water. Instead, the first step towards good skin involves choosing a facial cleanser that’s beneficial for your skin type. This means you must identify if your skin is dry, oily, combination, or aging. Do you struggle with acne? Do you worry about fine lines? The answers to those questions should determine what type of facial cleanser you use.
There are many good cleansers for acne-prone skin, including cleansers that hydrate and moisturize without the use of oils. If you need more serious help for acne breakouts, there are also medicated cleansers to balance acne prone skin with ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
If your skin is oily, it will benefit from a cleanser for oily skin, many of which contain ingredients like glycolic acid to clear excess oil from pores.
Dry skin may require a non-foaming cleanser with essential moisturizers, and aging skin will benefit from facial cleansers with ingredients to hydrate skin and not strip it free of essential moisture.
While cleansing, a mild exfoliation method should be used weekly to remove any buildup of dead skin cells which can dull the surface of the skin.
Today’s men are also turning away from harsh soaps and choosing face wash products to cleanse their skin and address their specific skin issues.
Once you’ve cleansed your face with a good cleanser that’s ideally suited for your skin type, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Step 2: Tone
After you’ve cleansed your skin, you can give your skin an advantage by helping it to be ready for moisturizing by using a good toner. A skin toner is a product that’s either sprayed onto the face or dabbed on with a cotton round or cotton ball. Toners help to minimize the appearance of pores by removing oil buildup. Toners also help to level out the skin’s pH, which is important after cleansing, because even the best facial cleansers can disrupt natural pH balance. A toner quickly restores proper balance to your skin.
Toners for oily or acne-prone skin may contain ingredients to prevent breakouts and reduce oil, while toners for ageing skin may contain antioxidant ingredients such as vitamin C, green tea, or rose water to help combat the signs of aging.
Step 3: Serum
After toning, balance has been restored to your face and your pores are primed to be their most accepting and welcoming to other nourishing products. This is the time to add a drop of serum. Serums, like other skincare products are skin-type specific. A serum is a liquid or gel that typically comes with a dropper. Serums are highly concentrated products with ingredients to nourish skin cells by being quickly absorbed below the skin’s surface, rather than sitting on top. There are serums to help balance oily or acne-stressed skin by soothing inflammation, and serums containing components that are highly beneficial for restoring aging skin. Some common ingredients found in serums are vitamin C, antioxidants, retinoids, and hyaluronic acid; all of which help rebuild collagen production, fight aging free-radicals, and add hydration with water, rather than creams and oils. This results in deep penetration and nourishment on a molecular level.
Step 4: Moisturizer
Even the ancient Egyptians understood that moisturizing is essential to maintain healthy skin by protecting it from harsh weather conditions and restoring the essential moisture that lessens as we age. Moisturizing is a critical step for maintaining the beauty and integrity of healthy skin.
After your skin has been cleansed and toned, and you’ve given your cells a boost of good serum to target any concerning skin issues such as aging or sun damage, it’s time to seal in those nourishing benefits with a good moisturizer.
A moisturizer is intended to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier by using beneficial oils or emollients to close the microscopic gaps between skin cells that would otherwise allow hydration to escape and result in drier, less elastic skin. Our skin’s own oils provide this barrier, but may lessen and become less effective as we age. The best anti-aging creams are intended to both moisturize and add key ingredients like antioxidants, retinol, and hyaluronic acid to correct fine lines, promote cell regeneration, and boost collagen production.
Even young, moist skin can benefit from an oil-free moisturizer. If the skin’s barrier is protected, the skin will not have to go into overdrive, producing copious amounts of oil to seal in moisture.
Moisturizer is also necessary in the morning before applying makeup. A morning moisturizer acts as a protective barrier between the skin and our makeup, and also should contain a broad spectrum sunscreen to combat the aging and discoloration associated with sun exposure.
Moisturizing with a good moisturizer with sunscreen should also be included in skincare regimens for men.
Step 5: Eye Cream
After moisturizing, the more delicate skin around our eyes deserves an extra boost of care. The skin around the eyes is thinner than on the rest of the face, produces less oil, and is prone to puffiness and under-eye circles. The best anti-aging eye creams contain thicker, more hydrating oils, emollients, and humectants to treat the delicate skin around the eyes. Some eye creams target fine lines and wrinkles, and others contain ingredients such as caffeine and green tea to fade dark circles and reduce puffiness.
Men have also discovered the benefits of a good eye cream to reduce puffiness and under-eye circles to give them a younger, more vigorous and healthy look. There are many new eye cream products that target men’s skin problems.
While this may seem like a lot of steps to have to include in a skincare regimen, the truth is that reading this article will have taken you far more time than it does to perform this simple five step routine. And your young-looking, healthy skin will thank you for it!