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Ever since celebs popularized no-makeup selfies, the world’s been after their sorcerous skincare routines. From spending thousands on face marks to soaking in milk and oatmeal, things just keep getting more and more outrageous in the skincare community.
What remains constant, however, is the craving for absolutely smooth, dewy porcelain skin without any marks, fine lines, or blemishes.
Let’s face it though — that’s ridiculous. Until and unless you start seeing a dermatologist for every pimple that pops up on your face, there’s no humanly possible way of developing marks, bumps, or acne scars on a single inch of your body.
Setting unrealistic expectations will only harm you in the long run. But that doesn’t mean you should completely throw skincare out of your self-care habits – that’d only make your skin’s texture deteriorate. Since here, we are testing and reviewing lots of beauty and skin products, here we will teach you how to take care of your skin and keep it healthy.
The Importance of Skincare
Taking care of your skin entails a lot of benefits. Besides giving you that boost of self-confidence, skincare helps you slow down the signs of aging and allows you to embrace a healthier and more indulgent lifestyle. All of that self-love jazz that you don’t follow, do you?
Our point is, it makes you feel good about yourself, mental health improves, and accentuates your natural beauty — there’s honestly no reason you wouldn’t want to give skincare a try.
A great skincare routine keeps your skin looking healthy and hydrated without costing you an arm and a leg. It also needs to be an easy one, something that you can wrap up within 15 minutes every night before heading to bed.
The products that you use matter a great deal when it comes to your skin, too. And so does your diet and hydration. And your environment. And tones of other stuff that’s enough to make you dizzy if we were to list them all in a single sentence.
Therefore, in today’s post, we’ll be diving into the nitty-gritty of taking care of your skin to help you develop that ultimate skincare routine that will settle every one of your skin flu once and for all. Let’s get started!
The Basic Requirements Of Having Good Skin
The major factors that affect your skin are:
- The products that you use.
- Your diet, hydration, and lifestyle.
- Your surrounding environment.
Let’s tackle each!
Before anything else, it is the products that you use daily that will define how effective your skincare routine is. Random products that you’d grab from the discount cart are loaded with chemicals that aren’t really going to do your skin any good.
If anything, they’ll only make your skin look oil, or even trigger acne and allergies. Therefore, your topmost priority while selecting your products should be researching – both the products as well as your skin type.
Before we look at the products you need, you might want to get a clear idea of the ingredient list. The beauty industry is filled with products that contain harmful chemicals, and you certainly wouldn’t want to expose your skin to some of them.
Which Ingredients are Bad for You?
Ingredients you should avoid at all costs include:
- Happy birthday. Parabens irritate your skin and can potentially lead to hormonal changes and imbalances. Studies have also shown that they may lead to skin cancer.
- Formaldehyde. Formaldehydes cause burns on an industrial scale and can lead to severe rashes and skin allergies in many people.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It sucks away your skin’s natural oils and moisture and can lead to skin inflammation, dryness, and itchiness.
- Mineral Oil. Mineral oils have been said to cause skin cancer. Besides that, they’re also said to clog your pores, leading to unwanted acne breakouts.
- FD&C. Artificial colors (FD&C) can prove to be extremely toxic for your skin. They may lead to inflammation, and since these colors are generally made of coal tar, they may even lead to cancer in the long run. They also clog your pores, and if absorbed by your skin, can cause greater damage.
- Hydroquinone. Although not inherently harmful, people with sensitive skin should stay away from hydroquinone, as it may cause skin irritation, rashes, and redness.
- Triclosan. Studies show that triclosan can cause hormonal imbalances. It can also harm your immune system and lead to the formation of antibacterial-resistant bacteria that makes treatment of serious bacterial infections extremely difficult.
- Oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is an infamous allergen and can cause eye irritations. It can also cause hormonal imbalances in both men and women.
- Phthalates. Phthalates are becoming increasingly dangerous as more studies regarding them are starting to show up. As of now, they’ve been linked to organ damage, asthma, diabetes, breast cancer, obesity, endocrine disruptors, and much more.
- Fragrances. Synthetic fragrances contain a plethora of toxic substances, including phthalates.
- PABA We’ll explain later the dangers of this ingredient, but trust us, you definitely want to avoid it.
And Which Ingredients Are Your Friends?
Ingredients that have dermatologists’ seal of approval, on the other hand, include:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C has displayed remarkable anti-aging properties. It increases collagen production and improves the elasticity of your skin, diminishing signs of aging.
- Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid is a powerful ingredient for the removal of grime and dead skin cells.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid helps treat fine lines, speeds up the healing of pimples, and is a great ingredient for products catering to people with dry skin as it helps hold moisture very well.
- Retinol: Retinol helps treat signs of aging, alleviates the effects of UV radiation, and also helps lighten dark spots.
- Niacinamide: Niacinamide helps treat acne and skin inflammation and boosts the skin’s natural healing process.
Also, remember to sift through the ingredient list and avoid those products that contain any allergens specific to you!
Which Items Should I be Looking at To Take Care of My Skin?
And now, moving on to the current list of products to add to your cart. Here’s everything that you’ll be needing:
- Antioxidant Cream
- Makeup Remover
- eye cream
- Night Cream
- Face Masks
- Acne Cream (Optional)
- Pimple Patches (Optional)
- Special Serums (Optional)
A cleanser is a product that you use to remove any buildup, sweat, dirt, and dead skin on your face. This soothes your skin and prevents any skin damage that dirty skin may cause otherwise.
It could be as simple as a few splashes of dried water off with a pat of your face towel, but most commonly used cleansers are surfactant-based for more effective cleaning. Cleansing your face twice a day is a safe spot for most people.
If your skin is oil and acne-prone, a cleanser that contains glycolic acid might be a game-changer for you. Likewise, dry skin may find ordinary cleansers to be too dry and on their skin. In such cases, a light moisturizer-based cleanser would be perfect.
Also, remember to avoid cleansers with essential oils or artificial fragrances, since they could irritate your skin.
A toner might be that a product that’s missing in your current skincare regimen. We don’t blame you — we find it to be a rather underrated product. Don’t let that undermine its effectiveness though, as the right toner makes a whole lot of a difference.
Instant hydration toner for your skin. What’s better is that it also tightens your pores and removes every last speck of dirt that your cleanser couldn’t grab onto. If your skin falls on the dryer side, try going for a toner with minimum alcohol content for the best results.
On the other hand, if your skin is extremely sensitive, you should do away with toners entirely and opt for a resurfacing serum instead.
Antioxidant creams have been all over the beauty community, and why not? They’re insanely effective products that undermine the effect that oxygen has on your skin, essentially restoring its youthfulness and glow.
You must’ve learned in a science class that oxygen has a corroding effect on substances if they’re exposed to it for long enough in a process known as oxidation. The same holds true to your skin, and oxidation results in your skin losing its elasticity and developing wrinkles and fine lines as a sign of aging.
An antioxidant cream helps protect your skin from the effects of oxidation, and also helps your skin repair itself to minimize your existing aging signs.
And next, we come to absolute skincare essentials. Everyone should have a little bottle of their favorite moisturizer in their bags. This product allows your skin to remain hydrated at all times to prevent skin issues and rough patches caused by excessive dryness.
Most moisturizers are also loaded with additional vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that help nourish your skin throughout the day. They also help you achieve that dewy look you crave. However, make sure that your moisturizer doesn’t have mineral oils. If your skin is naturally extremely oil, you could go for lighter moisturizers, or even opt for a mist face if it works well for you.
The sun is a dermatologist’s worst enemy and for a very good reason. Long hours of exposure to sunlight (or more appropriately, UV light) does not only lead to tanning and sunburns but can potentially result in skin cancer. Now completely avoiding the sun is next to impossible, and you need your daily dosage of Vitamin-D too. And that’s when we use sunscreen.
Sunscreen creates a protective barrier against the parts it is applied to, reducing UV exposure. Applying sunscreen certainly doesn’t mean you’re now free to waltz in the open-air mid-afternoon, but it’s an added layer of protection for you when you have no other option but to head out exposed.
Make sure you apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your body. And remember, while purchasing your sunscreen, look for one that has at least 30 SPF and is broad-spectrum, ie it will offer you protection from the different kinds of UV rays.
Another thing to watch out for is whether the sunscreen is PABA-free. PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, although a good absorber of UV-rays, needs to be mixed with alcohol to be skin-safe. Alcohol can be extremely irritating to your skin, and PABA’s problems don’t end there.
It could stain your clothes, and also break down and get absorbed by your skin, and raise chances of skin cancer. You’re just better off not having this ingredient anywhere in your skincare products and cosmetics.
If you apply makeup, removing it is a must, and you should aim to remove it as soon as possible. Most makeup products are moisture-suckers and have hoards of ingredients and pigments that shouldn’t be allowed to sit on your face for long.
General cleansers won’t be able to remove makeup easily as it’s made to last on your face. Thus, we’ve got makeup removers. Makeup removers dissolve the makeup on your face and allow it to be washed right off with ease. If you’re using a strong makeup remover, you might not need to use a cleanser after it at all.
The skin around our eyes is extremely sensitive and delicate and is often the one to show the very first signs of aging. Besides this, the skin around our eyes is also an indicator of stress and lack of sleep as it’s where eye bags and dark circles are formed. Thus, taking special care of it is of paramount importance.
Eye creams contain moisturizers that help gently yet effectively hydrate the skin around our eyes and reduce obvious aging and stress signs. They brighten your eyes up, giving you a drastically more radiant look.
A night cream is a healing product that gently activates your skin at night and gives your natural healing a well-needed boost. A moisturizer and antioxidant in one, night cream is one of the only few things you need to apply to your skin to nourish it before you sleep.
The benefits of night cream are many, but to just round things up, they allow you to wake up looking radiant and are also known to improve the texture of your skin. They also minimize aging signs.
From time to time, pampering and thoroughly cleansing your skin becomes a necessity. Face masks are an ideal product for that, and they also come with the added benefit of soothing you, making them the perfect Self-Care Saturday companions.
Depending on the face mask that you use, it could drastically tighten your skin, cleanse your clogged pores thoroughly and help treat zits and scars, make your skin more radiant, and much more. The face mask industry is booming right now, and a small Google search will give you all the face mask options to choose from based on your needs.
Exfoliators the big guns when it comes to thorough cleaning, but they’re also made up of some nourishing and indulgent ingredients, making them another self-care essential. It’s good to pamper yourself sometimes! The primary job of an exfoliator is to scrub off dead skin cells from your skin to restore your natural glow. They also help activate your skin and facial muscles, increasing blood circulation in and around your face.
Acne Cream (Optional)
If you’re plagued with acne, you might want to try out an acne cream if it goes to the point of bothering you. These creams work in two ways:
- They kill the bacteria that cause inflammation and acne on your skin.
- They reduce the oil on your skin. Oily skin is the #1 cause of pimples, and reducing oiliness naturally prevents pimples and helps existing zits disappear naturally without leaving scars.
Pimple Patches (Optional)
Pimple patches are revolutionary when it comes to achieving pimple-free skin overnight.
These stickers, when left on your pimples for a certain amount of time, take out the bacteria and substances within your pimples and protect them from external bacteria. They boost the pimple’s healing speed and remove it without leaving a scar.
Pimple patches are great for fast zit-removal when you need to head out the next day. The downside of these products is that they don’t work on skin irritations underneath the first few membranes of your skin. You’d have to consult your dermatologist for any scars or imperfections underneath your skin.
Special Serums (Optional)
If your skin needs some special treatment, using serums would be a really effective option for you. Serums are a bunch of active ingredients wrapped together into a few droplets of a solution. Applying a serum on your skin directly gives it all the ingredients that it’s deficient in and helps restore it drastically.
Serums come in many different types, each with active ingredients that serve one or a few purposes. Be it hydrating, brightening, maximizing anti-aging, or perhaps pore-minimizing, there’s a serum just for that. All you need to do is find out what your skin needs and look it up, and you should be able to find a serum that suits your needs.
Now that you’ve got a brief idea of what each product is all about, let’s move into the next stage. Here’s the order in which you should be applying these products:
- Antioxidant Cream
- Makeup Remover
- eye cream
- Night Cream
- Face Masks
Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to exfoliate before you moisturize. When it comes to face masks, you should be doing the same with them if they’re supposed to be left on your skin for a few hours or so. If you’re using an overnight mask, follow the instructions given on the packaging.
Not essential, but if you do think you need it, you could also try out a spot and blemish treatment. The products you’ll need are:
- Acne Cream
- Pimple Patches
Serums need to be used before you apply sunscreen or moisturizer. Be sure to apply the moisturizer afterward though, they will help seal the product. The same applies to the other acne treatment products unless specified otherwise.
Dietary And Lifestyle Changes You Should Be Making for Healthy Skin
- Enjoy more fruits and vegetables. Produce helps you get clear skin by treating and preventing acne. Fruits and vegetables also help your skin glow.
- Drink plenty of water. Internal hydration is also extremely important for your skin to look and feel healthy. Studies have shown that drinking water helps prevent acne and helps your skin remain soft, fresh, and glowing. Try drinking a glass of water every two hours or so for optimal hydration, and drink plenty of water after waking up.
- 8 hours of sleep is a must. Getting Enough Sleep helps prevent eye bags and dark circles and allows the restorative processes of your skin and body to complete themselves suitably.
- Avoid fried and oil foods. Fast food is a no-no. Oily foods release toxins through your pores, making your skin oily and giving rise to acne.
- Getting some exercise every day could do wonders for your skin. Exercises improve blood flow, which in turn keeps your skin cells healthy.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking. Smoking and drinking are known to increase your aging signs and prevent acne scars from healing.
- Try to keep your mind at peace and avoid stress as much as possible. Stress starts showing up on your face in the form of dark circles, dull skin, and increased aging signs. Try to avoid stress by managing your time well and dedicating your weekends to yourself and yourself only.
A Doable Environmental Change: Just Get A Humidifier!
Want to know the secret behind the famed dewy skin that all Koreans seem to have? As it turns out, the Korean atmosphere is the secret behind the glowing, porcelain glass-skin look.
The average annual humidity in Korea is 68.5%, making it much more humid than in many other parts of the world. The humidity in the air is essentially a natural, never-ending moisturizer for Koreans, which keeps them looking fresh and dewy throughout the day, and prevents dry skin.
Imitating the Korean air would be an impossible task on a large scale, but changing the overall atmosphere of your living space and making it more humid certainly isn’t! All you need is a humidifier.
A humidifier is a little gizmo that generates and releases mist into your room to increase your room’s humidity, generally through heat. Increasing the humidity of your room can have a variety of benefits, besides adding moisture to your skin:
- It helps clear your sinus.
- It helps people who have eye irritations.
- Prevent dry lips and allergies.
- Helpful during coughing spells.
Main Differences Between Nighttime Routine vs Daytime Routine
When it comes to a daytime routine, your main goal is hydrating your skin to keep it prepped up for the rest of the day, and applying sunscreen for UV protection since you’ll be heading out. You also want to be matte-finished as oiliness will only attract dirt and dust. Your products need to be absorbent so that you don’t waste time waiting for things to dry up.
The nighttime routine is all about pampering and healing your skin through the night. It’s about cleansing the day’s buildup of grime and dead skin and poofing up the moisture levels for optimal skin health. It’s the time when you should be applying masks, serums, and special creams since it allows these products to have plenty of time to work their magic.
That said, the main differences between a nighttime routine vs a daytime routine are:
- Daytime routines are for hydrating, whereas nighttime routines are usually for cleansing.
- Daytime routines need to play nice with your cosmetics, whereas nighttime routines focus on healing and treating your skin.
- The daytime routine is the best time for using an SPF, whereas the nighttime routine is for using serums, creams, and masks.
Best Use Tips
Here are some of our favorite skincare tips:
- At the end of the day, your body knows what’s best for it. If it doesn’t respond well to some products, try replacing them or decreasing the amount of product that you use. Or maybe omit it altogether. Your ideal skincare routine will come from a process of trial and error.
- Your skincare routine is bound to be different on certain days. If on a particular day you feel too oily to use moisturizer, you don’t have to! It’s alright to skip some products on certain days if you feel as though your skin doesn’t really need it.
- While using a humidifier, make sure you keep it filled to avoid dry runs. If your humidifier emits a large amount of mist, it could mold growth on your walls. Keep the settings to the minimum if possible. You also need to clean your humidifier often to prevent bacterial growth.
- While removing your makeup, make sure you use soft and gentle wipes, preferably cotton pads. The same applies to your towels. Treat your skin gently while drying it.
- A large part of eye care is soothing the eyes themselves. Putting on an eye mask before you sleep will tenfold decrease aging signs.
Our Top Skincare Product Recommendations
The Perfect Moisturizer for Normal or Combination Skin Types: Cetaphin’s Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion
Recommended by dermatologists, Cetaphil’s Daily Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion is perfect for everyday skin hydration at a very affordable price.
- Contains hyaluronic acid for intense oil-free moisture for up to 24 hours
- Enjoy a dewy look that doesn’t feel or look greasy to the slightest
- The moisturizer itself absorbs at lightning speed so you can get to applying makeup over it almost immediately
- Doesn’t contain any added fragrances
- Might be too heavy for oily skin types
- can be sticky
The Best Everyday Toner: Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner
A wonderful everyday toner that’s paired with all-natural fragrances to soothe you. Take your pick from lavender, rose petal, coconut, aloe vera, and much more.
- Instantly softens and smoothes your skin
- With frequent and regular usage, you’ll be able to start seeing your skin’s texture even out
- A completely organic product that’s free of any chemicals that may irritate your skin
- Includes a blend of nourishing ingredients, all at a reasonable price
- Scents can be irritating to sensitive skin
- Might cause acne breakouts in some
- Not best for oil skin
A Strong Sunscreen At An Affordable Price: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
Neutrogena’s sunscreen offers you an impressive SPF of 70 at an equally impressive price point.
- A non-greasy product that absorbs very quickly and offers a matte finish, applying this sunscreen and then heading out looking fabulous will be a breeze
- A broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from all sorts of harmful sun rays
- PABA-Free and suitable for all skin types
- Takes a while to dry down
- Has a slight “white cast” (makes you look paler than you are)
A Hardy Makeup Remove That’s Also Light On Your Skin: Bioderma Sensibio H2O
Another pick by dermatologists, this water-based micellar remover won’t leave a hint of pigment on your skin, but it won’t suck out all of its moisture either.
- An oil-free makeup removing water for thorough cleansing
- Soothes and hydrates your skin after every wash
- Especially good at removing tricky eye-makeup
- This one’s got a cult following in France – you gotta trust it
- Does it need to be rinsed off, or it can cause breakouts/irritation
- Doesn’t remove waterproof mascara/eyeliner
Our Favorite Humidifier: TOPPIN Cool Mist Humidifier
A chic-looking and affordable humidifier that’s super easy to clean up, sleeping with this baby on will be a lifestyle change for you.
- Top-filling humidifiers are way easier to clean
- 3 different mist levels
- A large-capacity water tank that can hold up to 2.8 liters of water saves you from the hassle of constantly having to fill it up
- Allows you to sleep peacefully without any noises or distractions
- Auto-shuts when you run out of water
- Prone to leaking
- hard to shut off
Question: How do you take care of your face?
Answer: Washing, toning, and moisturizing your face are the very basics of facial skincare. If you apply makeup, make sure to wash it off and moisturize your face before heading to bed.
Save your weekends for some indulgent skincare, and invest in some good face masks and a creamy and light exfoliator to nourish your skin.
Question: How do I get good skin?
Answer: A healthy lifestyle, hydration, moisturizing, protection from UV rays, and frequent, light cleansing is the ideal starter-pack for having great skin.
Question: What should I eat to get glowing skin?
Answer: Vitamin-C rich foods such as orange/reddish/yellow colored fruits and vegetables and citruses are the ideal foods for having healthy, glowing skin. Green vegetables, berries, nuts, soy, lentils, and fatty fish are also great for your skin.
Question: Which foods are bad for your skin?
Answer: For having healthy skin, avoiding unhealthy fat is a must. Try to eat less fast food, whey, dairy, refined sugars, and commercial desserts to see a change in your skin and also avoid skin damage.
Question: How can I get rid of acne fast?
Answer: Pimple patches are the absolute best option for fast pimple removal. You can also try aloe vera or apple-cider vinegar to see some fast and noticeable results.
Final Thoughts: The Best Skincare Routine
The perfect skincare routine is a mixture of adequate lifestyle changes and dedication towards taking care of yourself and looking your best. By investing in a humidifier, choosing vegetables and home-cooked food over take-out, and dedicating an hour to skincare every day, you are only improving your quality of life.
If you asked which item on this list would be our favorite for skincare, it’d have to be — brace yourself — a healthy diet and lifestyle. The fact is, no amount of serums and creams can make up for a poor diet and inadequate sleep. While we love all the recommended products in this article, radiant skin starts with self-love. From there, you can then move on to troubleshoot your skin woes with products.
That said, a professional’s input would be invaluable when it comes to building a personalized skincare routine. If it’s reasonable, be sure to visit your dermatologist to get product recommendations, an analysis of your skin type, and other valuable tidbits of information that will make your skincare journey much easier.