A skincare guide
Where to start and what you need in your skincare regimen
Looking after your skin can be overwhelming. There are so many products available and so many different ingredients deemed as ‘essential’ in skincare, how are you expected to know where to start when choosing a routine or revamping your bathroom cabinet supplies?
The variety offers consumers a great deal of choice and solutions for a huge amount of skin concerns, yet equally, this can be confusing. Which product do you choose for which skin concern, how many products do you actually need to use, when to use the products and how often?
Everyone has different skin, different concerns and different goals and there is no hard rule in skincare routines that fits everybody. If you are considering cosmeceuticals and medical-grade skincare, the best thing to do is to have a consultation with a qualified specialist to seek advice tailored for you. However, there are steps that can be used a guide for everyone, some skincare basics, a framework if you like to base your routine on. So, if you’re unsure of where to start with a skincare routine or you want to spring-clean your stash, start here. It is important to start with the basics and you can add to these as required.
The essential steps in your skincare routine should be:
Step 1 – Cleanse
Ideally you cleanse your face twice a day. In the morning to remove sweat and dirt from the night-time and in the evening to remove the dirt, skincare, make-up, dead skin cells and pollutants from the day. The evening cleanse should be a double cleanse if you wear substantial make up, to ensure totally clean skin. It is important not to miss cleansing in the evening. Equally be sure not to over cleanse to disrupt the skin barrier, if your skin feels tight or sensitive, you may be over cleansing.
The best cleansers for your skin type:
Normal and Sensitive skin – SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser
Rosacea – SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser
Step 2 – Hydrate
Next you need to hydrate or moisturise the skin. You should select a moisturise that is suitable for your skin type and targets your specific skin concerns. Additional ingredients can help address these, such as acne-prone skin, sun damaged skin or aging skin. Hyaluronic acid is a particularly effective ingredient in a moisturiser as it holds onto moisture in the skin, keeping it plumped and hydrated. Even if you have acne-prone skin, you still need to keep it hydrated.
The best moisturisers or hydrators for your skin type:
Rosacea – SkinCeuticals Phytocorrective Serum
Step 3 – Protect
This step is non-negotiable and absolutely vital in everybody’s skincare routine. It is singlehandedly the one step that will have the most impact on your long-term skin health. It is your defence against skin cancer, early ageing, UV induced hyperpigmentation, oxidative stress and the decline of collagen production.
We recommend that you wear a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30, ideally 50. This should be worn every day, even on cloudy days. It protects you not only from UVA and UVB rays, but also from HEV light (produced from laptops, phones and tablets). SPF should always be your final product on your skin, the last step of your skincare routine. It should also be topped up during the day on sunny days, especially if you’re sweating.
Mineral sunscreens block the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin by acting as a shield and usually include zinc oxide whereas chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays to protect the skin. Mineral sunscreens are particularly good for oilier and combination skin.
Our favourite SPF’s for your skin type:
SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF50 – Lightweight and residue-free sunscreen from SkinCeuticals is a pleasure to apply in the mornings post-regime and leaves a smooth sheer finish. Suitable for all types of skin including sensitive skin, but particularly good for oily or combination skin
SkinCeuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF50 – This lightweight and residue-free SPF promotes a brighter and more even skin tone. It has a universal tint to provide a light coverage as a great make-up base or days when you don’t want to wear make-up. Best for normal, combination or oily skin
SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF50 – This is a quick-absorbing, lightweight sunscreen that helps prevent UV-induced discolouration and helps even skin tone
ZO Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 – Lightweight and ultra-mild, providing multi-defence protection from UVA/UVB and HEV light and also replenishes lipids to support healthy skin barrier function
NEOSTRATA Defend: Sheer Physical Protection SPF50 – A mattifying sunscreen with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide
Additional steps worth considering in your regimen:
It is useful to use a toner after you cleanse to prepare the skin for the products that you’re going to apply to your skin and ensure it’s at the correct PH level. It helps the products that you are using to be absorbed more effectively and allows the products to be more efficacious.
Exfoliating our skin helps to remove dead skin cells and increase the turnover of cells. This doesn’t have to be done every day, a couple of times a week should suffice. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA’s) are chemical exfoliants, and they’re excellent for increasing cell turnover, increasing collagen production and skin brightening. Physical exfoliation includes scrubs etc, where you physically scrub off the dead skin cells.
Antioxidant serums are brilliant for helping to provide oxidative protection to your skin. They go hand-in-hand with SPF’s in protecting your skin from UV damage. They protect the skin’s surface from oxidative stress or damage caused by free radicals and environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution. Use of antioxidants can help prevent this by ‘mopping up’ the free-radicals, thus limiting the damage to the cells. The best ones to look out for in serums include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A (retinol) and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3). Antioxidants help prevent signs of ageing, prevent sun damage, help skin cells repair and help to brighten and improve skin tone, so are worth having in your kit to boost your skin health.
Retinoid (Retinol, Tretinoin) – is a great way to repair UV-induced damage, reduce hyperpigmentation and reduce fine lines. It is available I various strengths and forms. It is best to start at lower percentage and build up slowly to reduce any reaction to this.
The order of application should be followed based on manufacturers’ instructions. As a general rule the thinnest to the thickest can be used as a guide. It is important to remember that skincare improvements take time and patience and unless you are experiencing a reaction to any new products, you should give them chance to work and benefit your skin.
What’s the best skincare routine for me?
The best way to get the best and most suitable products for your skin, especially medical-grade cosmeceuticals, is to have a consultation with a qualified specialist. That way you can receive a truly tailored skincare program that suits your skin and is created to target your personal skin concerns and skincare goals. You will get the best results out of a tailored program working together towards a common goal, rather than using odd products here and there.
If you would like to discuss an appropriate skincare routine with our Aesthetic Doctors, please contact the Hedox Clinic to arrange a free remote consultation on 0208 185 7273 or email us at email@example.com