The thing with skin care is that it matters more than you think and it can easily get away from you as you age. Think about what we do to our skin daily – hopefully it’s getting washed, moisturised and sunscreened at a bare minimum, but we also expose it to fragrances, make-up and the pollution and toxins that surround us on a daily basis. If you are going to bed with only a morning routine, then you are condeming your skin to hours of pore-clogging, polluting chemicals either sitting on or soaking into the surface!
At a minimum, our skin – particularly the regularly exposed areas should be – cleaned morning and night, treated with hydration morning and night, protected with moisturiser morning and night, and protected with sunscreen in the morning (and repeatedly through the day). Internally, we should be adding healthy collagen, Vitamin C and antioxidant promoting foods to enrich the cells that replenish our skin daily. The consequences of not doing these things really start to become apparent when you hit your 40s.
To make it more complicated, it matters what chemicals we use on our skin and it matters the order that we use them. Not all chemicals play well together. Good quality chemical treatments need to be introduced slowly – your skin needs time to get to know them, develop a relationship and build resilience. If a skin treatment does not advise you to introduce it slowly, you should wondering about the efficacy of the product and whether it is worth your money.
Admittedly, it took me a while to learn all of this – and as previous posts have mentioned, I have spent quite a lot of time trying to rectify the damage of skincare ignorance, but I am happy to say that I have it well in hand now!
The trick is to think about your skincare in terms of layering – also think about it as time investing in yourself (just 5 minutes twice a day).
- Clean off the past 12 hours – use a cleanser that will cut through any grease, make-up or pollutants.
- Tone and hydrate – a toner helps to return the pH balance and a hydrating serum will replenish moisture.
- Lock in the hydration with a moisturiser.
- In the morning – add a broad spectrum sunscreen – if possible a mineral based one to reflect UVA and UVB.
Now I fully admit that I am biased here, but this need of the correct relationship between products and the correct order in the routine, is one of the reasons I switched to Rodan & Fields two years ago this month – because they have regimens that are put in order for you – you just simply follow the numbers – and when ready, add a serum between steps 2 and 3 – done!
One other thing – be really careful with products around your eyes. There is a reason eye-creams exist and it is to do with the chemicals in them and the risks posed to the actual eye from some chemicals found in treatments for the face. Many chemicals in make-up and moisturisers damage the eye causing irritation and other more serious conditions. Some of these chemicals are cumulative – they are fine for a while but build up toxicity and then wham – pack a serious punch!
So the message in all this is, look after your skin by understanding what you are doing to it. Be aware that the effects of time are cumulative and the more damage caused in the years of ignorance (let’s call them your pre-40s), the more time, effort and money it takes to repair them when you actually start to notice it in the years of awakening (let’s call them 40+)! Be good to your skin and it will last a long, adventurous lifetime.