Skincare products on circular racks

Skincare Basics – Stop Messing With Your Face

People, please stop doing weird shit to your face.

I don’t have flawless skin (I don’t think anyone can), but having had skin issues growing up, I am very grateful for the way my skin is. Do I get breakouts from time to time? Yes. I have stress, eat different foods, and live in a city where the weather keeps changing despite its constant humidity. Do I want it to be better? Of course. It looks dull and there are pores which I wished was way smaller. I’m also slightly annoyed that with age it doesn’t quite ‘bounce back’ the way it did when I was younger.

I have a routine that works for me and, to be honest, I don’t give it much thought until something goes wrong, a new product catches my attention, or someone starts talking about it. When we do talk about it, this is the first thing that I share: I don’t usually bother with foundation, and I think that’s the key to healthier skin.

It’s not that I don’t actually give any thought to my skin, I just have a routine that works and doesn’t require extra attention from me. I have friends who don’t bother taking off their makeup at night, to celebrities who need to be thinking about makeup and skin care treatments all the time. From talking to them, I realized there are a few things I’d like to share with everyone. These are some ‘skincare principles’ I learned while growing up, which I think could benefit anyone that’s interested. I would also love to hear your feedback and learn a thing or two from you!

Stop touching your face.

I’m guilty of this, too. I get stressed and rub my face and I like to poke at my blemishes. Apart from bringing all the bacteria from your fingers to your face, I find that touching my face encourages me to find things to pick at. Sometimes, the mere fact that I’ve been touching my face brings about a dump or itchy spot just because I irritated it. It’s really not worth it.

Drink lots of water. 

No, soft drinks, coffee, and tea don’t count. Beer doesn’t count. Wine doesn’t count. Drink good old fashioned water. Warm, preferably. If you’re not sure why you need to drink water, you’re either lying or should really google it. The nutshell version is – a good portion of your body is made up of water and you need it to keep your skin ~supple~. If your skin is too dry, your miraculously made body produces more oil to keep it from drying and flaking off like the way Voldemort died and dissolved into the wind.

Hint: if you have an oily complexion, investigate whether it’s because it’s too dry.

Do the three basic steps.

Cleanse, toner, moisturize.

  1. Cleanse – because duh, dirt and grease buildups clog your pores, and… dirt, ew.
  2. Toner – I find a lot of people don’t really understand what this is for. Toner helps restore your skin’s ph levels (‘recover’ from the alkaline in the face wash we use), and tighten your pores. As you find toners to be much lighter than moisturizers, your skin will be able to absorb its moisturizing magic much better due to its small particles.
  3. Moisturize – While toner is a must, we still need moisturizers because your skin takes in the toner, and the air around us pretty much sucks moisture from our skin. You’ll find your skin quite taunt after only a minute or two if you use just a toner after washing your face, so don’t forget to moisturize! If you don’t like the stickiness of a moisturizer, use one that has a gel consistency. When I was a teenager I used Biotherm’s AQUASOURCE Hydrating Gel which kept my skin moisturized without the greasiness.

Now, between toner and moisturizer, if you can only use one, definitely go for toner. Toner is step 2, which means it preps your skin for the moisturizer. It’s not ideal for your skin which is much drier than usual after a wash to have moisturizer slathered on it. It’s just too rich to be properly absorbed into your dry skin. Why would anyone have to choose between toner and moisturizer, you ask? Because I’m lazy AF and when I go to the gym, I only want to bring one tiny bottle of toner with me to put on my face after washing it with water, before going home to properly do the 123.

I’m sure some of you will disagree about the toner/moisturizer – please share your experience with me! I’m not shut off to the idea that I feel super uncomfortable skipping the toner just because I was told what I just shared growing up. I’m sure people with different skin types also feel differently.

I lied, do the fourth thing which is super important.

Wear sunscreen, guys! If you’re lazy, use a moisturizer that has SPF like I do. I love Natio’s Daily Protection Face Moisturiser SPF 15. It’s definitely heavier than the gel moisturizers I usually prefer, but considering it’s also a sunscreen, I don’t find it to be too oily. (Disclaimer: I haven’t used it in the summer yet!)

I love a good tan, but sunscreen is not there to help you find your favorite skin tone, it’s there to protect you. The sun doesn’t only darken pigmentation, it dries your skin out and causes all the greasiness (remember how your body produces oil to compensate for dry skin?). When your skin is dry, wrinkles make their appearance earlier than you’d expect, too. No good. Nada. No thank you.

Remove ALL of your make up when you go to bed get home.

Makeup is not meant to stay on your face forever. Makeup is literally used to cover up your own skin. It can’t breathe through that stuff. Your pores get clogged, inflamed, and next thing you know, you’re breaking out.

There’s no way around it, remove all of your make up before going to bed. Do it as soon as you can, like when you get home, but sleeping with it on is horrible because your makeup rubs off onto your pillowcase and is still there when you go smush your face all over it the next night. I’m super lazy so I don’t even wear foundation unless I’m attending an event (depending on what it is, chances are I still won’t be wearing it). Not only is it time-consuming to remove, it’s not clogging your pores the whole time it’s on your face! I know a lot of people wear it to cover up their blemishes, but I highly recommend trying to give up foundation to give your skin the chance to rest, breathe, and recover.

For makeup remover, I use Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O with facial rounds. It’s great because you can clean your face until there’s no more makeup left on the cotton. The downside is that it does tug at your skin a bit, which makes it easier for wrinkles to appear. I used oil-based makeup removers in the past, but they end up in my eye and I find it a little too much work to get the grease off my face. What about you? What is your favorite makeup remover?

One more thing, it’s super important to keep your pillow cases clean. That means you have to wash your hair before going to bed if you’re wearing hair products or live in a polluted city. If you have pets, you want to do what you can to make sure your pillows are off limits to paws! I have two cats, so I completely understand that if they fancy walking all over your pillows with their cat-litter-clad paws, there’s only so much you can do. Alexis has come by in the middle of the night and put her smelly paw on my lips, and the other night, she RESTED HER PAW ON MY EYELID, WHAT. (She literally came over to sit on my arm as I wrote about her).

Sleep.

All I can say is we all know this is crucial because of all the scientific whatever and nagging from our parents. I don’t have much to share on this because I suck at getting enough sleep. Let’s be honest though, we bitch about how dull our skin look or how we have dark circles under our eyes, but come on, we all know it’s all the late nights we’ve stayed up watching crappy tv and scrolling through Instagram. (On that note, follow me @rachiepn!)

Keep it simple.

It’s fun to discover and try new products, but I think it’s underrated just how important it is to know when to stop and not go overboard. I personally like to keep my skincare routine simple, because the more things you do to your face (when it’s already fine) the more likely it is for your skin to react badly – agitation and probability! My guess is, our skin doesn’t actually need all these products.

Be honest and ask yourself if this is a new product or tool you’ll actually keep using. We love new toy but you might as well save some money if you’re just paying for clutter.

So those are the basics from me, what about you? What are your must-do’s?

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