What is the correct order for applying skincare at home?
The basic principles of our skin care routine are relatively simple. However, there are many extra little tips and techniques we can use to enhance and improve any existing routine. But let’s start with the core steps and make sure we understand and are happy with these first.
We always begin with cleansing, remember for the eyes to always use one specially designed for the delicate area. For the face, neck and decollete we usually select based on our skin type, which kind of cleansing method we enjoy, and the finish we are looking to see and feel once removed. Cleansing should be performed twice, firstly to remove make up, dirt and debris accumulated throughout the day, then again with much deeper more thorough lifting, circular movements to get active ingredients working and stimulate circulation.
Once the cleanser is removed either with damp cotton wool, muslin cloth or lukewarm water, we can wipe over gently with a toner to remove any excess oil and tighten pores. It’s then time to apply our treatment serum, the most active and results driven step in our routine. Choose this based on specific skin conditions and concerns, however an antioxidant serum is great for the day, with a more repairing formula more suitable for the night.
Once our serum is sufficiently absorbed it’s time to moisturise, apply enough for the skin to feel smooth, supple and comfortable and gently massage in until none is left on the skins surface.
Finally, our last basic step is our skin protection, SPF’s should be warmed in the hands and then gently pressed on all over the face, neck and decollete until the white effect turns clear, do not rub into the skin as this will reduce the effect.
So now we have the basic routine in place, what else can we do to enhance our results, and at which stages should we add them in?
Well the easiest and most simple addition we can make but one that is of vital importance is an exfoliation. There are two types of exfoliation, chemical and physical and there’s no reason why we can’t use both. Chemical involves the use of AHA’s like Glycolic and Lactic and is completely non- abrasive. These ingredients are gentle enough to use daily and can be found in some cleansers, they break down excess dead skin cells and remove in layers to reveal brighter, smoother younger skin underneath. They are at their most effective though when combined with granules in a physical exfoliator, bamboo granules for example works fantastic, the combination of the two giving maximum ‘damage’ removal and anti- ageing benefits. I’d recommend this twice per week gentle massaged all over the skin for a good 2-3 minutes before removal. It’s a great step to slot in after our second cleanse.
A lovely way to follow this is with a treatment mask. These come with a great multitude of ingredients and benefits so look for one specific for the concerns you have, but one of my favourites is an intensive hydration mask, ideally with Proteoglycans, a powerful regenerator ingredient.
Along with exfoliation, hydration is very much the key to a youthful, glowing and healthy skin as it improves the overall cell function and regeneration. Apply a nice liberal layer and allow to absorb for a good 10- 15 minutes. Some are designed so that you can work the excess into the skin and leave them on as an intensive night treatment, but if not, remove with damp cotton wool, muslin or just warm water, (damp muslin is my favourite), then tone and continue with the rest of your routine as normal.
Another tip I have always passed along is the benefit of giving our face a little massage during the application of the serum step in our routine. If you have a look on line there are plenty of massage routines you can easily follow that will take no more that a minute or two, and there are different options for different concerns. Pressure point is great for stimulate waste removal so excellent for a congested or sensitised skin, while lifting firming routines can be found for those more concerned with the signs of ageing. These routines will work with the ingredients in your treatment serum and enhance the results you will achieve.
Perhaps try adding the exfoliation, mask and massage during serum application on the same day, a few times a week, creating a lovely home facial that you can perform easily in front of the mirror.