You may have wondered why we spend so much time, money, and effort obsessing over our skin. Why is it important and what is the point? Whether we like it or not, skin and skincare can feel like a reflection of you. As the largest organ of the body, don’t you want to make sure it is taken care of?
What you do and how you treat your skin now will serve as a reflection and it will contribute to your skin health now and decades down the road.
What makes a quality skincare routine?
At bare minimum, your skincare routine should include the following: a facial cleanser, toner, serum, exfoliant, moisturizer, and sunscreen. We will break down what they are, how often you should use them, what they do to your skin, and what makes them so important below!
1. Facial Cleanser
Your facial cleanser is the foundation of your skin care routine. We recommend washing your face once in the morning and twice before bed. The extra cleanse before bed may seem time consuming but you will see a difference when you incorporate it into your skincare routine.
There are a range of options for cleansers: foam, gel, scrubs with different intentions. At its core, the best facial cleansers clear the skin of dirt, oil, makeup, and other toxins that build on your skin throughout the day or overnight without stripping the skin of natural oils.
With so many options to choose from, here are our recommendations below:
- SkinMedica Facial Cleanser – a gentle foaming cleanser enriched with Botanical Extracts that thoroughly removes environmental pollutants, excess oils, and make-up, leaving the skin clean and prepared for the subsequent treatment steps.
- Obagi Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser – rids the skin of excess oil, debris, pollutants, dirt, makeup, and any other impurities to leave the skin clean and fresh.
- SkinCeuticals Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser – a creamy, non-irritating exfoliating cleansing product for daily use with all skin types prone to breakouts.
Toner should be used almost immediately after you are finished washing your face, preferably applied while your skin is still damp. Toners are used to moisturize, replenish, and return your skin to its natural pH balance following cleansing.
If your toner does not have active ingredients, some estheticians recommend spritzing your toner with a spray bottle in between each step of your skincare routine.:
- SkinMedica Rejuvenative Toner – a refreshing toner designed to remove excess oil and impurities while restoring the skin’s protective pH balance with Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Antioxidants, and Botanical Extracts.
- Obagi C-Rx C-Balancing Toner – reduces excess oil and rebalances the complexion.
- SkinCeuticals Conditioning Toner – a light exfoliating toner that refreshes, clarifies, and brightens normal to oily skin.
Serums are not a necessary step like cleansing or toning, but they are essential to the success and glow you get from your skin.
Serums are particularly important if you have targeted skincare concerns because they are made of small molecules that quickly deliver powerful, highly-concentrated formulas of active ingredients into the skin targeting your skin issues and concerns.
A few of our favorite serums are below:
- SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum – A dual-formula serum for maintaining the youthfulness of all skin types.
- SkinMedica Vitamin C Plus E Complex – Helps to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and sun spots.
- SkinMedica Lumivive – An innovative two-step radiance-boosting treatment for daytime protection and nighttime repair.
- SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum – This new skin rejuvenating formula improves the appearance of coarse wrinkles, fine lines, skin tone, and texture.
We want to note that there are two types of exfoliants, chemical and physical. The exfoliation step is absolutely necessary to remove dead skin cells from the face and to achieve brighter skin.
Physical exfoliators contain small particles that when applied, break down the top layer of the dead skin cells. If not used correctly, used too frequently, or using a subpar product, physical exfoliators can cause lasting damage. The rough particles can possibly create micro-tears in the skin which may lead to inflammation, and redness.
Over exfoliating you can also weaken the skins’ protective barrier.
Chemical exfoliators are low-percentage gentle acids that help usher dead skin cells away to make room for the new cells. The most common chemical ingredient you will find in chemical exfoliators are AHAs or BHAs. AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are a good fit for you if your skin concerns such as sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and struggle with an uneven texture. BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids are perfect if your skin concern is with blackheads and/or large pores.
To achieve the best results, we recommend exfoliating 2-3 times a week. Shop our exfoliator recommendations:
- Obagi C-Rx C-Exfoliating Day Lotion – Enjoy a more radiant complexion with this skin exfoliator. It helps to smooth, refine, and soften the skin complexion.
- SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub – A deep-cleansing gentle scrub that hydrates as it cleans and is suitable for daily use.
- SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser – This cleanser improves the appearance of skin texture, tone, and smoothness through mild exfoliation.
Moisturizing is imperative in helping balance the skin’s complexion while simultaneously preventing breakouts.
Moisturizing also helps to maintain the skin’s healthy cells, protect the skin from irritation, and it also works as a preventative measure to keep the skin from drying out, keeping the skin nourished, smooth, and exceptionally hydrated.
Below are a few moisturizer suggestions that are optimal for morning and night use:
- SkinMedica GlyPro Daily Firming Lotion – helps to improve the appearance of dimpled “orange peel” skin for a smooth, sleek look
- SkinMedica Rejuvenative Moisturizer – The perfect solution to help rejuvenate tired, stressed skin
- Obagi Hydrate Luxe – This moisture-rich cream improves skin texture radiance and overall appearance
- SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 – A deep-nourishing daily cream to repair and support the skin’s lipid barrier, especially in dry or mature skin
Regardless of your skin tone, color, or weather, sunscreen should be considered as the final step of your morning skincare routine! It is incredibly important to keep the appearance of your skin to look and feel healthy.
What is sunscreen exactly? Sunscreen is a chemical defense blend that absorbs and filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation before they inflict harmful and lasting damage to the skin acting like a window shade or a hat partially shielding the skin from the sun’s dangerous rays.
One important thing to note is you need to make sure your sunblock or sunscreen has an SPF of at least 20, protects against UVA and UVB rays, and you need to reapply every hour, or whatever instructions the product suggests.
The importance of consistent sunscreen use includes cancer prevention, premature aging prevention, hyperpigmentation protection and prevention, and prevents inflammation and sun sensitivity.
Our sunscreen suggestions can be found below:
- SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 – A light, 100% physical sunscreen with a sheer finish and broad-spectrum protection for all skin types.
- SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair SPF 34 (Tinted) – Your skin’s line of defense against harmful sun exposure while simultaneously helping to rejuvenate photodamaged skin. It is the only sunscreen with patented SOL-IR technology against infrared rays, which dives deeper into the skin while helping to reduce and correct signs of aging.
- Obagi’s SunShield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – Obagi’s strongest sunscreen lotion that provides protection against harmful UVA/UVB sun rays which will lead to issues such as skin cancer, sun spots, premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
If you have any questions, be sure to send us a message, we are happy to help! You can shop all products mentioned above directly on our website! Take proper care of your skin and it will take care of you!