We all desire youthful, healthy skin. This begins with a good face wash regimen. To prevent aging, acne, dryness and any other skin blemishes, the first step in any routine should be to wash your face. What kinds of cleaners and other steps depends on your skin type- dry, oily, combination, sensitive- but basically, a routine of washing, toning and moisturizing will keep your skin feeling fresh and hydrated.
1) Wash: Good cleansers need to be formulated for your skin type and made with natural, organic ingredients. Too many alcohols will strip the skin, so look for ingredients like milk, honey, coconut oil and other organics. Choose creamier cleansers for dry skin and clearer ones for oily skin. Wash morning and night, but be careful not to over-cleanse. Washing your face too often can result in drying out your skin and losing natural oils. If you notice washing both morning and night drys out or irritates your skin, try only washing at night and using just a splash of lukewarm water to wash out your face in the morning.
2) Tone: Toners help restore the natural pH levels of the skin and clean out pores. They also help make skin resistant to microorganisms and bacteria. Stay away from toners with alcohol, as these can be irritating. Those with oily skin types may want some astringent in their toner to fight excess oils, but in general toners that are aloe or other natural ingredient based will do the job without drying out skin. Apply toner after washing your face and removing all makeup. Do not rinse it off- it’s meant to be left on.
3) Moisturize: After your toner has soaked into your skin, it’s time to moisturize. Find a face moisturizer specially formulated for your skin type- a little research and a trip around the store will help you figure this out. Even with oily skin, this step should always be in your routine. Oil and hydration are two different things, and your skin needs to be hydrated. Apply moisturizer all over your face until it feels soft and moisturized- if you apply too much, simply blot excess off with a towel.
4) Use Sunscreen: All skin types need protection of the sun. It’s recommended you use at least a 30 SPF sunscreen on your face every day, every season. Many moisturizers have sunscreen in them, so these are good to look for. Sun damage is the number one cause of wrinkles, so sunscreen is a necessary step for all skin types. For oily skin that can get worse when applying sunscreen, look for oil-free products or sunscreen powders.
5) Exfoliate: Once or twice a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is, be sure to exfoliate in place of regular washing, before toning. Exfoliating your skin helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. It’s essential to a routine, but shouldn’t harm your skin- if it feels like sandpaper, get a different product. Especially if you have dry skin, you’ll want to look for a very gentle product. Remove your makeup first and massage the exfoliant all over your face, then rinse with lukewarm water. Be sure to focus on areas you frequently see blackheads or acne.
These are the basics of good facial skin care. By establishing a routine and sticking to it, you can prevent wrinkles and other scarring of the face, as well as fight signs of aging. Be careful- skipping your routine even for a night or sleeping in makeup can cause immediate breakouts and blemishes.