Are you familiar with the saying, “it all starts from the inside-out”? Well it’s definitely true when it comes to beauty!
The health, appearance and performance of your hair, skin and nails all directly relates to the health of your body and how well you take care of it. That’s why a proper skincare routine that is personally designed for you and your needs is SO important. If you nourish your body and fill your skin up with all of the good things it needs so badly then anything you put on top with flourish and perform beautifully.
I always like to explain the sponge theory to anyone who asks me about skincare. It’s a very simple theory that seems to help make the idea of skincare versus makeup a bit easier to swallow.
The Sponge Theory
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, it is very diverse with some areas that are very sensitive and delicate and others that are hearty and strong. The skin on your face lies on the more sensitive end of the spectrum and is easily affected by what it comes in contact with. Therefore, think of your skin like a kitchen sponge or a beauty sponge if you prefer. When you wet a sponge it quickly soaks up whatever you wet it with and grows in size as you continue to fill up each individual pore until it can’t grow any further. This is exactly what happens to your skin when you apply something to it – whether it’s skincare or makeup. Your skin is similar to a sponge in the way that it absorbs whatever it comes in contact with so if you apply something that is not good for your skin directly to it, it will absorb that product and it will end up clogging up your pores or causing irritation. So you want to fill up your sponge (skin) with all sorts of goodness (skincare) first so it is full and ready to work with makeup but not absorb it.
With that theory at the forefront of your mind, let’s dive into skincare itself – the how, the when and the why. I’m going to save my in-depth routine for another post but I wanted to share my tips and tricks on how to not only better understand skincare but how to use it to get the best skin of your life.
The first thing to remember with skincare is that everyone starts at a different place and everyone’s skin needs something different. Start at your own pace, whether that is with one product or five. Focus on completing some sort of care twice a day and take it from there – one step at a time.
Once you are ready to expand into a multiple step routine, there is a specific order in which products should be applied. Products interact with each other and mix as they lay on the skin so it is very important to apply them in an order of what your skin needs to absorb the most. This order will impact the way your skin look and feels as well as how your makeup will apply and wear. You always want to work from the lightest products to the heaviest.
10 Steps to Good Skin
When you are ready to start an in-depth skincare routine, there are 10 steps that I think are vital to good skin. All together these steps create an advanced routine but you can absolutely add or remove steps as you find out what works best for you.
1. Remove Your Makeup – pick your method (wipes/oil/balm/micellar water) and remove as much makeup as you possibly can. Your skin may seem clean after this but it is not. (PM)
2. Cleanse – wash your face with a mild cleanser and warm water. Cleansing thoroughly after removing your makeup is considered a Double Cleanse, which is the most effective way of fully cleaning your skin. If you don’t cleanse properly, makeup and dirt will get trapped, clog your pores and prevent your other products from penetrating the skin effectively. (AM & PM)
3. Exfoliate – SO important – can be physical or chemical depending on the product, physical is harsher on the skin. Depending on skin sensitivity you can do it daily or 2-3 times a week, either way, it’s important to keep it consistent. Removes dry flaky skin but also refreshes the skin allowing treatments to absorb better and penetrate deeper. (PM only)
4. Tone – a step that some push to the side but I believe it is essential. You can use any product labeled as a water/essence/toner/spray for this step. They will remove any excess oil, dirt or makeup that you may have missed and also will bring the PH balance of your skin back to normal before you move on with treatments. (AM & PM)
5. Mask – an optional step but a vital one. Apply a mask (sheet or pot style) 1-2 times a week and apply them at night to allow for longer application and better absorption. (PM)
6. Treatment/Serum – customize for your personal concerns (acne/aging/dryness etc). This is when you apply any retinoids, topical acne creams, clarifying products or serums. This is probably the most important step in your routine where you need to address your skin’s biggest issues. (AM & PM)
7. Eye Cream – a very important, often overlooked step. The skin around your eyes is the most delicate, fragile skin on your body so use gentle motions (your ring finger is best!). Look for one that hydrates, firms and reduces puffiness, apply in the morning and at night. (AM & PM)
8. Moisturize – liquid/gel/cream/balm – the form of your moisturizer might be different from morning to night and depends completely on your skin type. (AM & PM)
One that I have been testing out over the past couple of months and have really been enjoying is the new Olay Luminous Whip ($40 CAD/$30 USD). Part of the Whips trio that features a new weightless moisturizer for 3 of Olay’s classic ranges – Regenerist (for anti-aging), Luminous (for brightness) and Total Effects (7 skin benefits).
The new Whips range is a fresh take on moisturizer that hydrates deep down but doesn’t weigh down the skin with its cake frosting-esque whipped texture that melts into the skin thanks to Active Rush Technology that transforms it from a thick cream to a liquid on impact for instant absorption. It has a true light as air texture and a breathable feel that is truly refreshing. The Luminous formula brightens, evens skin tone and minimizes pores all while leaving a smooth, shine-free, soft matte finish that lays beautifully under makeup.
9. Oil – a more advanced step that everyone should try at least once, even those with oily skin. Choose a hydrating or repairing oil and press into the skin for maximum absorbency. (PM)
10. Lip Treatment – whether you have consistently dry lips or not, it is so important to hydrate them. A scrub will exfoliate dead skin and a balm or lip mask will keep lips hydrated and smoothed to prevent further flaking. (PM)
There you have it, 10 steps that will lead you the best skin of your life. You can customize these steps to fit into your life and your needs but all ten steps are incredibly important and have an individual purpose.
What does your current skincare routine look like and what steps do you want to start incorporating?