How to Layer your Skin Care Products

The skincare aisle offers endless options which is excellent for all the different types of skin.   However, the over abundance of choices can also be overwhelming.

There is a basic roadmap to follow when choosing a line.

Know Your Skin

Is my skin type oily, dry or combination (oily and dry patches)?  Does my skin have any special issues like reddened blemishes or irritation, uneven skin tone, dark circles, under eye bags or active acne?  Knowing your skin will help guide you toward choosing a line of products best suited for your skin.  Be sure to research products before trying them out.  Searching out products best used for your skin type is a good place to start.  Check out the active ingredients and customer reviews.

There are a few basic products that you should use consistently regardless of skin type.

Cleanser should begin your morning routine.  I use a gentle cleanser most of the time and an acne cleanser when my skin is acting up.  I don’t splurge on cleansers, I use drugstore brands and often, I go with what’s on sale.  Though I bounce around, I remain consistent with the ingredients.

Toner follows your cleanser and restores the skin’s pH level after the alkaline soap disturbs its normal pH level.  Restoring the pH after cleansing is necessary because the skin works over time to restore normal levels and this can result in excess oil and blemishes.  Toner also helps to close your pores to prevent clogging from dirt and makeup throughout the day.  I use L’Oréal Hydrafresh, $5.52.

Serum after toner.  I like to go with a vitamin C serum.  Vitamin C reduces redness, brightens skin, boosts collagen production, and helps prevent skin cell damage caused by the sun.  While Vitamin C protects your skin’s DNA from the sun, it does not replace sunscreen.  Splurge serum: SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel, $163, Steal: Lumene Bright Vitamin C Serum, $24

Moisturizing sunscreen or moisturizer is the next step in your routine.  Sunscreens containing greater than SPF 50 have not been researched by the FDA for efficacy.  Basically, there is no research to show that using SPF 70 is any better than SPF 50 because the studies cease at 50.  It’s also noteworthy that when sunscreens are tested and SPF is proven affective for the times listed on the bottles, it is slathered on in a thick coating leaving behind a white layer on the skin.  Most of us rub sunscreen on in much smaller doses than that, so be sure you’re applying frequently enough.  Ok, stepping off the soap box…

My face is very sensitive to sunscreen, so I either use Dior Snow BB Cream, $55 in place of foundation, moisturizer and SPF 50 sunblock because it has all of those in one, or I use the ultra gentle Chanel Sunscreen (SPF 50), $55, with a Embryolisse Moisturizer, $16 (that doubles as a makeup primer) and a light weight foundation.

This may sound like a lot of moisture/product to add to your skin under makeup.  Remember not to use too much product.  By using less of each product, you’ll find that you’re not actually spending that much on products.  Remember that expensive doesn’t always mean better.

That does it for the morning routine.  At night, I use gentle cleansing cloths just to remove makeup.  Follow the cleanser with, you guessed it, toner (same as morning).  For my night time serum, I choose a humectant serum, Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid, $39 which binds moisture in the skin.  The next product is, of course moisturizer, Aqua Bomb by belif, $38, and an eye cream.  Choose your eye cream based on wrinkles (even if your just trying to prevent them, which should start in your 20’s), dark circles or bags or all of the above.

Don’t hesitate to ask a dermatologist for help if you have ongoing issues with your skin.

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Kate Thakkar

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