Well, you’ve survived the holiday season, and now your mind may be turning to just streamlining your routine. We’ve got some tips and some ideas for bringing your skincare back to basics.
Your Essential Skin Care Routine
A healthy, essential skin care routine is part of a well-balanced lifestyle. The start of every year gets people thinking about cutting out sweets (over indulgences from the holiday season), getting back to the gym, and yes, eating and drinking more healthfully. With millions of products out on the shelves, how does anyone figure out exactly what products are a “must have” part of their skincare regime? Here are the basics:
Step One: Cleansing
Sounds pretty simple, right? Cleansing should be simple, but it is often either overlooked entirely, or made confusing by the wide array of products. You need to know your skin type, are you oily, dry, etc., and then try to guess what to use. Let’s just cut to the chase.
If your skin is “normal” (not too dry, not too sensitive, not too oily, not too aging), then CONGRATULATIONS! You are in a very small minority of skin types. You can safely use almost anything and get away with it. Case in point: My husband washes his face with shampoo when he is in the shower. Yup. Has done for years, and absolutely has zero blemishes ever. It also doesn’t seem to matter what he eats, drinks, what the weather is, or where the astrological signs line up. He simply has good skin. He is definitely the minority, though.
If your skin is on the oily side, a cleansing bar, like our Calm Facial Bar may be your new best friend in your essential skin care routine. Likewise, if you have sensitive skin, or skin prone to breakouts, this bar may be used once or twice a day, for calm, happy skin. Oily skin still requires moisture, but we’ll talk about that in a moment.
If your skin is aging, dry, weather-worn, post-menopausal, or is prone to wrinkles, you fall into the dry skin category. By the way, skin changes. I was always oily, or had oil in a “T Zone” until I was about 40 years old. Every day after that point, my skin became dryer and dryer. Your skin may have changed since having children, moving to a new climate, being indoors a lot in winter, or by being outdoors. Every person is unique, and every skin will change seasonally and with age. People with dry skin need to work twice as hard at moisturizing as a part of their essential skin care routine. They’ll also need to be careful to wash with something that is gentle. Be careful of products that contain alcohols, too many acids, and look instead for ingredients like hydrosols, aloe, glycerin, sodium lactate, and other humectants. Many people with dry skin also have sensitive skin, so choose products that have fewer ingredients for better assurance that your skin will not have a reaction. Cream cleansers or oily balm cleansers are a good choice, or skipping a morning cleaning, and simply rinsing your face in the shower.
Night time cleansing is a must for everyone. No matter your skin type, we all pick up dirt, and environmental toxins throughout the day. Those of you that wear makeup may be partially protected by your sunscreen, moisturizer or foundation, but that only means that you need to give your skin an extra careful cleaning to ensure that those are properly removed before going to bed.
Step Two: Exfoliate
We’ve talked about exfoliation in a previous post. As an essential part of any skin care routine, exfoliation clears your skin of debris and dead skin cell. Plus, it primes your skin for other products that you have spent money on. You don’t want your expensive skin serum or cream to just lay on the top of your skin. By exfoliating, you prepare the skin to absorb toners, moisturizers and oils that will feed and protect your skin. The best natural skin care routine includes exfoliation at least once or twice a week. Those of you with skin cells that turnover more quickly, may need to do it every other day.
Harsh physical exfoliants, like sugars, beads, grains etc. can damage the sensitive facial skin. If you look at those particles under a microscope, you will see objects that look like rough rocks. They can cause micro-tears in the skin and cause redness and irritation. Give yourself a treat and consider Ayr Skin Care’s Reveal Exfoliating Facial Foam. Gentle enough to use every other day, the product comes out as light, lovely foam that is massaged into the skin. Keeping the foam on the face for two minutes gently removes the dead skin cells. The product is also full of humectants, which will hydrate and refresh the face. A good exfoliation is one of your most important tools in your skin care regime.
Step Three: Moisturize
Our skin faces the cold and heat of the seasons, indoor heating systems, pollution and hormonal imbalances. All of these work to create an environment for dry skin, which is why everyone needs a moisturizer as part of their essential skin care routine. Whether you require something lighter, or heavier, is entirely up to you. Whether your skin requires moisturizing after washing both morning and night, or only once a day is up to you. A good moisturizer should have some ingredients that sink into the skin and feed and add moisture to it.
A good moisturizer also forms an occlusive layer on the skin, which protects the skin and keeps it from experiencing TEWL, or transepidermal water loss. TEWL is best described as “losing moisture”. Whatever moisture you put onto your skin, like water, can evaporate right back out into the air without a good layer to lock it in. In most moisturizers, that layer is comprised of oils or butters or a combination of both. Drier skin can easily absorb products with shea butter in them, but that might be too rich for someone that is younger or has very oily skin. Oily skin tends to want something that is lighter, and uses ingredients like caprylic/capric triglycerides, which is a lighter coconut oil, or esters, which are lab created to moisturize without an oily feel.
Extra Food for the Skin
People with certain skin types need more help than just daily cleansing and moisturizing as essential parts of their skin care routine. Consider doing a Sunday “at-home facial”, with exfoliating, steaming, and following it up with a clay mask to draw out impurities, or a homemade moisture mask of avocado, or just straight honey. Honey and clays are used by all skin types, although dryer skin responds best to lighter clays like white kaolin. Keep the mask on for about fifteen minutes, and follow it with a rinse and a moisturizer.
Mature skin needs something extra in the evenings. Consider using an oil like Ayr Skin Care’s Virgin Marula Oil, just a few drops will make a huge difference to the softness of the facial skin. If you are extra dry, follow the oils with a night cream. Good night creams should have vitamins to feed the skin, and be packed with ingredients like collagen, peptides, and extracts.
Don’t forget your Eyes!
Your eyes are the windows to your soul, but they sure take a beating during the day. Give them the hydration and refreshment that they need to stay looking awake and refreshed with Ayr Skin Care’s Awaken Eye Serum. A small amount, the size of a grain of rice, under each eye day and night, and your eyes will thank you for it!
Whatever your choices for products, make sure you find something that is free of petrolatum and other petroleum products, as well as other ingredients that may be harmful. Ayr Skin Care wants you to enjoy caring for your skin, and to find products that not only make you look good, but are good for you.
My essential skin care routine consists of:
Morning – Cleanse face in shower with water, or with Calm Facial bar. Every other day, I use Reveal Exfoliating Foam to replace cleansing step, and exfoliate gently. I follow this up with my eye serum and my Pure Moisture face cream. I love knowing that I am putting hyaluronic acid and other nutrients back into my skin, and then having a finish that is soft, but also ready for makeup, just in case I am wearing it.
Evening – I remove my makeup and wash my face well. I am currently using a prototype balm cleanser that I will be bringing to you all later in the year. I actually look forward to washing my face; it smells and feels so good! Afterwards, I apply a hot, steamy towel, and wipe off my eye makeup. I follow this with a couple of drops of Marula Oil, usually in the forehead area, which is my driest part of my face. I Add my eye serum, and put on either another layer of the Pure Moisture, or a prototype night cream that I am also testing for production. My skin is older now, and I need these other layers.
Sunday – Sunday is my day to treat myself to an at home facial. I use a dry clay (sea clay) that I sprinkle on top of the foam from my Reveal. This is a cool tip. If you take your three squirts of Reveal foam in your hand, and add a teaspoon of clay, mix it with your fingers or a cosmetic brush, and apply to the face, you can leave the Reveal on for about five minutes…longer than usual, but just once a week. It feels fantastic afterwards. I then put a thick layer of Manuka honey on my face, or just some Marula Oil if I am feeling lazy. I follow it up with moisturizer and eye serum and feel like a million bucks!
Take this month to look over your current regime and consider a more soothing natural skin care routine. Are you feeding your skin good products? Has your skin changed seasonally, or with hormones/age/illness? Take care of yourself, and let us know if we can help in any way.
Bye for now!