No matter how much makeup you wear, nothing can compare to the beauty of healthy and radiant skin. A simplified and diligently-practiced skin care routine is the absolute first step to achieving that coveted natural glow.
You don't need a ton of different products to obtain the benefits of a daily skin care routine. A few products used consistently are key to seeing positive results in your complexion. The following steps include the best skin care products that you should use in the morning and at night. (Note:they are quite different!)
Morning Skincare Routine
If your skin could speak what would it say? Chances are good it would be screaming "feed me!" Just as you're ready to start your day, your skin is getting ready too. The skin has very different needs during waking hours than it does while in a regenerative state. Just think how hard your complexion works during the day.
From wearing cosmetics to fighting off bacteria, pollutants, and ultraviolet rays, your skin needs preparation and hydration before you start applying your blush or head out the door. Practice each of the following steps daily for maximum results and it will be time well spent every day.
Step One: Even if you went to sleep with a thoroughly cleansed complexion, you still need to wash your face in the morning to remove any sebum released on your skin overnight, as well as any dead skin cells which can dull your glow. Cleanse your skin thoroughly with a sulfate-free facial cleanser. You can use either a gel or a cream cleanser. Try to avoid using bar soaps because they are generally more stripping and are very drying to the skin. If you really want to achieve a deep down clean, a facial cleansing brush can work wonders while imparting a dewy glow. And they feel wonderful too!
Step Two: Using a cotton ball or pad, apply an alcohol-free toner all over your face to remove any leftover cleanser and to hydrate your thirsty skin cells. While some people opt for cosmetic or skin care brand toners, others use natural astringents such as Witch Hazel. Both will do their job while providing similar results.
Step Three: Apply an antioxidant-rich facial serum such as a Vitamin C or Retinol treatment to restore moisture and improve the overall elasticity of your skin. Vitamin C will also reduce the instances of hyperpigmentation.
Step Four: Apply a hydrating SPF 30 sunscreen to your face and neck. Not only will sunscreen help prevent skin cancer while reducing the signs of aging, it will also decrease hyperpigmentation. If you are prone to discoloration due to pregnancy or hormonal imbalances, sunscreen will help slow its progression.
Step Five: If your eyes are puffy in the morning, apply a cooling eye treatment to help reduce swelling.
Step Six: Apply cosmetics. Regardless of your makeup routine, always make sure you are using products that aren't past their expiration date. Once opened, a mascara lasts for four months at best. Toss your blush and powders after two to three years, and your foundations and cream based products after one year. By pitching all of your old makeup, you're getting rid of bacteria-ridden products that create a wealth of skin care problems such as breakouts and irritations.
Step Seven: Apply non-clogging, oil-free, or mineral-based cosmetics for best results.
Nighttime Skincare Routine
The nighttime is the perfect time to help your skin combat the effects of aging. Our skin cells rejuvenate overnight while we're resting. Any help you can offer your complexion will boost its ability to repair and restore your skin to a radiant state.
Practice each of the following steps daily for optimal results.
Step One: Cleanse! You've probably heard it a million times, and likely even been guilty on occasion, but never, ever, ever go to sleep with your makeup on. This includes eye makeup and even mascara. Why? Because it clogs your pores and can cause breakouts and a poor complexion. Eye makeup left on overnight can cause irritation, and will break your lashes while they're resting against your pillow.
Step Two: Use a toner! Apply an alcohol-free toner all over your face daily right before bedtime to ensure you've removed any remaining makeup from your skin. Leftover product will clog pores and cause breakouts, so it's vital that you ensure there's not a trace left on your face.
Step Three: Apply a serum of your choice that provides restorative and repairing benefits. Now is not the time to go lightly on your product. Your skin needs lots of moisture to repair it from the effects of the day. Apply the serum to your neck, decolletage and face generously.
Step Four: If desired, you can apply a heavy night cream daily. For some, a serum might offer enough moisture; however, if your skin is especially dry or dehydrated, a rich, emollient cream is recommended.
Step Five: To prevent wrinkles and reduce the visible effects of aging, apply an eye cream every evening before bed.
Step Six: Apply a lip moisturizer to hydrate your lips and keep them healthy, especially during the winter months when parched skin and chapped lips are common.
Optional Skin Care Products
In addition to your daily morning and evening skin care routine, you can add a few other products to your regime as needed.
Exfoliants: Exfoliants work to remove dead skin cells by sloughing off the outer layer of the skin. Walnut shells, sugar, and even glycolic acids can be used to exfoliate the skin. You can also use an exfoliating sponge, as long as you are gentle while using it.
Masks: There are many sorts of facial masks depending on your personal skin care needs. From clay masks that remove deeply-embedded impurities to soothing and re-hydrating masks that quench dry and lifeless skin, opt for using a mask once a week to boost your morning and evening skin care routine.
Additional Tips for Beautiful Skin
It's not just what we do on the outside that affects our skin. Bad habits can wear your body and your skin down fast. From ditching the junk food, to getting proper sleep and exercise, the following additional beauty tips are positive lifestyle changes you can make that will significantly improve your complexion when practiced daily. Take a look at the list. What more can you do to improve your benefits by incorporating these healthy living suggestions?
- Drink Water: Your skin is very thirsty. Drink the bare minimum of eight eight-ounce glasses of water to hydrate and improve skin's elasticity and to impart a healthy and youthful glow.
- Don't Smoke: Smoking will quickly age your complexion and will cause fine lines and wrinkles, and a dull, ashen appearance.
- Protect Your Skin From the Sun: Limit your sun exposure to prevent fine lines, wrinkles, cancer risk, and hyperpigmentation.
- Use Oils: While many people, especially those with oily skin, would never dream of adding more oil to their complexions, this is actually one of the best things you can do. Rose hip oil, Jojoba oil, and coconut oil can safely be added to your regular moisturizer in the daytime and evening to boost its effectiveness and increase hydration.
- Exercise: Exercising will kick all of your beauty efforts into high gear thanks to the benefit of increased circulation. Head to the gym or go for a daily walk to improve your complexion's appearance.
- Relax and Meditate: Don't let stress take its toll on your skin. Practice daily mindful meditation to help focus and balance your mind and body. Once your body is in a relaxed and not agitated state, it can focus on repairing your complexion.
- Exfoliate: In addition to your regular weekly exfoliation routine, keep your hands looking their best by exfoliating them once per week. Hands will always reveal your age. If you're already committed to a skin care routine, why not extend the benefits from head to toe? Hand creams and a regular manicure will help your hands look their best.
Skin is our largest body organ. It serves to protect us, but are you protecting your skin? Exposure to environmental stressors can cause wrinkles, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, decreased elasticity, and even breakouts.
Whenever you begin a new skin care routine it's often difficult to commit if you're not seeing results. Remember that skin care systems work together over time to offer results. Be patient and continuous in your regime if you want to reap the benefits. On the other hand, if you're experiencing irritation or other skin care issues since starting, it might be time to switch products, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to what the skin needs.
Treat your skin with care and give it the nourishment and hydration it needs, both morning and night. You'll be happily rewarded with a healthy and vivacious complexion with very little investment other than skin care products, and some relaxing pampering time (and we all deserve that)!