One of the questions that we often get when someone asks about improving their skin health is, “where do I even start?” This is a totally fair question, after all we are constantly bombarded with information through social media about the latest treatment trends and with so many exciting products to try it can all get just too hard. So, if you’ve tried things because they worked well for your best friend, or you bought products that promised the world but didn’t deliver and you’re left wondering why, let us enlighten you.
The truth is that what works for your friend is unlikely to work for you. If you think a hefty price tag means it must be good, think again. To get the results you desire, skincare; both home care and treatments, need to be right for your skin and the best way to ensure that is follow what is prescribed just for you by your skin therapist.
If you are starting out with a limited budget, then the very first thing to do is get your home care routine sorted out because what you do every day is key to achieving long term results. To cut to the chase, we always recommend starting with the Core Four. This set of products allow you to build a solid foundation for healthy skin. Once you see and feel the difference in your skin and feel confident and comfortable with your core products, you’re able to expand from there.
The Core Four includes a cleanser, an exfoliant, a moisturiser, and an SPF.
Cleansing is the most basic aspect of skincare; everyone should do it daily … everyone! Dirt, bacteria, pollution, and sweat are all looking to creep into your pores, so it’s really important to wash daily. Clean your teeth, clean your skin … same thing. I mean, can you imagine going two or three days without bothering to clean your teeth? Didn’t think so …
When you read the instructions on the back of most products, you’ll notice that almost all of them specifically say apply to cleansed skin. This is because without a clean base, you’re just adding product on top of the grime. A big no-no, and honestly, a waste of money! With cleansing you should really be getting in there. (Not something equivalent to running the toothbrush under the water) Try to cleanse for a minute. Once you get into the habit it will become second nature and your skin will love you for it.
Exfoliation is super important to your routine because it helps get rid of those dead skin cells holding on by a thread. When you exfoliate, you help bring fresh, new skin cells to the surface … Who doesn’t want that?! Everyone will benefit from the right amount of exfoliation, whether it’s manual or chemical. Which type of exfoliation you go with is best determined by your Skin Therapist, as your skin type and the current condition of your skin (stress level, hormones, diet, lifestyle) will influence this. They can also recommend how often you should be doing this step, as exfoliating is the one Core Four step that isn’t a daily thing. (Don’t over-exfoliate!)
Moisturiser though, is daily. Cleansers and exfoliants can remove some of our natural oils from our skin in the process of getting a really good clean, so this step brings back the balance. The skin doesn’t make its own water (just oil), so moisturising adds that hydrating drink that keeps skin plump and healthy. There are many different formulas available in moisturisers and your skin therapist can prescribe the right one, depending on your skin type and current condition. Even if your skin is oily you should be using a moisturiser, as the right formula will aid in oil control. Doing your basic routine at night is important as this is when your skin is healing, restoring and repairing itself, and moisturiser aids this process.
And last (but definitely not least) is SPF! Our #1 product to fight premature aging and pigmentation, not to mention protecting all the work you put into your skin’s general preservation. Sun exposure and the damage it causes is cumulative. Most of us say we don’t see much of the sun but think about that time you’re running to grab lunch or those happy hour drinks on the rooftop — it all adds up! The sun is serious stuff. SPF will protect your skin from harmful rays which cause aging (UVA rays; think “A” for aging) and burning (UVB rays; think “B” for burning).
When you have a Core Four routine, you are completing the foundational principles of skincare. When someone isn’t washing their face, exfoliating or moisturizing it’s easy to tell by the dehydration and lack of radiance. Someone who isn’t exfoliating will often feel as though the moisturiser/oils/masks they use never leave them feeling hydrated enough. If you’re not exfoliating off that top layer of dead skin even the most expensive products are not going to penetrate; you’re basically just wetting the dead skin cells. Some of the most frustrating skin concerns clients have experienced can be resolved with just a basic, consistent routine.
Once you start really taking care of your skin, you will feel the difference almost straight away and see a more supple and hydrated skin. Makeup goes on easy and that “glow” happens.
With the Core Four you are basically doing the same routine morning and night for cleansing and moisturising and, of course, SPF only needs to be applied in the morning. Exfoliation happens every second or third day, depending on what’s going on with your skin.
Once you have established that good foundation for healthy skin you can then begin to add more powerful, potent ingredients, such as serums and masks. A consistent skincare routine can improve your skin’s condition, maintain a healthy skin and futureproof your skin from premature ageing.
It would have to be a cleanser and a moisturiser. The priority is getting the cleansing basics down and routine – taking your make up off and cleansing your face at night (bye bye makeup and city grime) and then learning how much moisturiser your skin needs. As you progress the next product would be the SPF, followed by the exfoliant.
The message is to start off simple. You don’t need to spend a small fortune or stand in front of the mirror with a turban on your head for an hour while you perform a 20-step regime to achieve great skin health. As long as you have the right products for you with high quality active ingredients that unlock the best in your skin, you should be set. Your skin will love the consistency!