To be perfectly honest, the title is a little misleading. Yes, we have gathered information from a top beauty expert, but no, there will never be a one size fits all skincare routine. It just is not possible. Everyone’s skin is different. There is no cure all for every problem, but there can be guidelines put in place that create elements every person should consider when settling on a skincare routine. And that is exactly what this is.
With the changes of the seasons, our skin can really feel like it is going through it. The dry weather, the heat, the cold, and the in between, it all complicates your routine, or should it? In actuality, the routine, itself, should not change, the only thing that should have variation is the types of products you use within the regimen. So what is the perfect routine? One beauty expert, Newby Hands, who is also the Global Beauty Director for Porter & Net-A-Porter, weighs in with her best recommendations.
In the AM
The mornings set the tone for the day. For Hands, this now includes a peel, twice a week. It is the first thing she does to take out all the impurities and things that are clogging her pores, plus it provides a flawless finish for makeup. She first got the idea when she realized a lot of makeup artists began their sessions with a peel. She also says that doing a mask in the morning might be a little more logical, since it gives your skin that glow. Why not have glowing skin throughout the day, instead of at night while you sleep?
This next step involves using vitamin C. Dermatologists recommend this as a key ingredient in boosting collagen levels, which help create healthy skin. It’s a great component for every skincare routine.
Hands recommends ignoring the title of this product or that, it does not matter if it says “night” cream or “morning” serum, the ingredients are most important. The next step after vitamin C is to find a product that will allow your skin to build up the necessary defenses it needs to deflect stresses — like pollution, sun, and outward elements. You need to take notice of antioxidants. For her, she uses a night repair advanced cream by Estée Lauder. It is her go-to and is an absolute no brainer each and every morning. She leans on it because it has anti-inflammatory properties as well as immensely hydrating qualities along with its antioxidants. You don’t have to use a cream by the same brand, but look for one that combines all three characteristics.
Hands suggests that hydration should be the next key. Hydration has to do with water. Every skin type needs water, even oily ones. It is the most prevalent element in our bodies and must be replenished daily, especially in our tissue cells. It creates plump, glowing skin that appears to have less lines. It is the essential ingredient to having skin that is healthy and exuberant.
Protection is the next step. In this portion of the routine, make certain to put something on your face to help protect your skin from the elements. In fact, even makeup is a good protectant because it can create a barrier between your skin and pollution, harmful sunlight and more. Another way to add a layer of protectant is through a simple sunscreen. Find something that works for you. Sunscreen can sometimes be too thick, but in this case, if you find the right one, you can create the finish you want, while also having the protection you need.
In the PM
The evening routine is a little different than the AM one, simply because you are less exposed to any outside factors like pollution and sunlight, and have the freedom to rejuvenate your skin as needed, since you will mostly be at rest.
According to experts, probably the most important aspect of the PM skincare routine is the cleanser. Because there are so many factors that react with our skin throughout the day, it is important to clear out any elements from our pores to allow them to reset before exposure to additional elements the next day. Without a good cleansing routine, your skin could continue to layer on leftover buildup from previous days and keep your pores clogged. To prevent this, dermatologists suggest getting a deep cleanser to wipe away all the debris from the skin. Instead of foam cleansers, experts are leaning more towards thicker creamier blends that can be worked deep within the skin’s pores.
This is when experts suggest including retinol in your routine. Now this step is not a one size fits all process. Dermatologists say that having some type of retinol treatment is good to utilize once a week, but to make certain not to overuse this type of skin therapy. Retinol can dry out your skin and irritate it as it is working. Some experts have decided to add a cream as a top layer to help mitigate any redness or reactions your skin may have with the vitamin A compound.
What are the benefits, you may ask? Well, according to Harvard Medical School,
“retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin. However, it takes three to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles are apparent—and the best results take six to 12 months.”
So take note of these facts while you are utilizing this step in your skincare routine.
Lastly, and maybe another of the most important steps in everyone’s skincare routine, is the element of sleep. One of the most crucial parts of repair in all humans happens during a good night’s rest. Our cells repair themselves during this resting period and anything we can do to help put our bodies in this mode is essential to our rejuvenation, if that is important to you. Self-care has been an upwardly trending part of a healthy lifestyle and utilizing things like baths, body oils, aromatherapy, chamomile tea and more are all ways to help turn off our stress and turn on the relaxation. Hands says her routine for shutting down her mind and muscles has been fine tuned over the last few decades.
“After years of personal research, my ‘prescription’ for how to sleep better, is this: add Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil to a bath. Post-bath, massage in This Works Deep Sleep Night Oil all over your body, turn off any screens in the room, put on a Slip silk eye mask and, finally, take a magnesium supplement – it’s my mind and muscle relaxation kit.”
Remember, this skincare routine is to pose as a guideline in building out your own daily AM and PM regiment. Take notice of the things that work for you and those that do not. It will be a trial and error process, but one that will have tons of benefits once you find the routine that works best for you!