Over a 15 month period of lockdown-induced boredom, desperate individuals have cycled through countless new hobbies to keep busy, thus starting a global surge of interest in skincare. While perfecting one’s complexion may be among the endless trends, it is clear skincare is not just another fad – it is here to stay.
Through the advice of YouTubers such as Hyram, Cassandra Bankson and James Welsh, millions have learned about both effective and inexpensive skincare routines.
With the recent social media attention comes an overwhelming number of contradictory opinions on different kinds of skincare, enough to confuse any person in search of a beneficial skincare routine. In truth, everyone’s skin is unique and will react differently to different products.
To build an effective skincare routine, one must first identify their skin type: normal, dry, oily or a combination. Normal skin is often referred to as well-balanced due to its retention of moisture without building up grease.
Dry skin produces minimal sebum, an oily substance that your glands produce, which results in a weak defense against external factors like the weather, often leaving the skin rough or dull. On the other hand, oily skin tends to overproduce sebum, causing a glossy appearance and more noticeable pores.
Lastly, “combination” skin encompasses multiple of the previous skin types. The most common form of combination skin is having dry cheeks paired with an oily nose, chin and forehead often referred to as the T-zone. Click here for more detailed information on each of the four skin types.
A facial cleanser is arguably one of the most essential steps to any skincare routine, and the right formula should purify the skin without stripping the face of its natural oils. Below are three possible cleansers depending on your skin type.
If your skin is dehydrated or on the drier side, The Ordinary’s Squalene Cleanser may be the healthy hydrating choice for you. Priced at £13.90, the cleanser contains fatty acids such as Squalene and lipophilic esters that remove the day’s grime and gently moisturize the skin.
On the other hand, the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, with a price of £15, caters to oily skin as it removes excess oil, refreshing the skin without leaving it dehydrated.
At £15, Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser is most beneficial for normal or combination skin because it has five conditioners that leave skin soft and clear. These ingredients act to improve the skin’s barrier and reduce dehydration. All of Glossier’s products are also animal cruelty-free with vegan options.
An exfoliator assists in the turnover of dead skin cells on the face and should be used no more than a couple of times per week. Be forewarned as some exfoliators can be abrasive, so it is crucial to find one that will not damage the skin.
Made specifically for oily and combination skin, the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant from Paula’s Choice uses fast-absorbing liquid to refresh the skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes. The product costs £28.
Also from Paula’s Choice, the Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant at £28 is recommended for normal and dry skin given its hydrating lotion properties.
If you have extremely dry or sensitive skin, then the Nuxe Insta-Masque Exfoliating Mask, priced at £20, may be the product for you. The product is a physical exfoliator that gently turns into an oil as you massage it into the skin, leaving the face renewed and hydrated.
A toner balances pH levels, which leaves the skin feeling calm after the use of a cleanser. Toners also prepare the skin for absorbing heavier products. Depending on your skin time, you may need a specific set of ingredients to combat your skincare concerns.
Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, priced at £29.50, is an alcohol-free, astringent toner designed for dry and sensitive skin that may react to highly acidic products. This toner will soothe inflammation.
Using antioxidant tea extract, salicin-rich bark and jasmine water, Herbivore’s Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner, priced at £35, is suggested to oily and combination skin types.
Caudalie’s Vinopure Clean Skin Purifying Toner, priced at £18, is infused with acids and essential oils that tighten pores and prevent skin imperfections, targeting combination skin. This toner will soothe the surface of the skin, prepping it for the next product in your skincare routine.
A serum is used to target a specific area of the face or particular skin concern such as aiding blemishes, irritation or dullness of the skin. These various products will help to minimize such skincare issues.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Serum, with a price of £34, is intended for normal to dry skin as it contains a five-ceramides complex designed to improve moisture retention and increase the skin’s protective barrier.
In contrast, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, priced at £8.90, uses a vitamin and mineral blemish formula to reduce skin congestion and imperfections, making it ideal for oily or combination skin types.
Using a slow-release formula, The Inkey List Retinol Serum, priced at £9.99, utilizes the ingredient retinol to make skin appear brighter and more youthful. As retinol can be drying, the product is advised for those with more oily skin.
A moisturizer is another must-have product for healthy skin as it not only hydrates the face but also prevents epidermal water loss through the outermost layers of the skin. Below are an array of soothing moisterizers suited for every skin type.
Versed’s Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream, priced at £11.99, is recommended for all skin types due to its lightweight formula and jelly-like texture. These components allow the product to absorb quickly into the skin without leaving behind a greasy residue, making it particularly beneficial to those with more oily skin. Versed is also an ethical brand that focuses on eco-friendly formulated products and packaging.
With its unique buttery texture, Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer Rich, priced at £29, contains ceramides and fatty acids that increase skin’s moisture barrier and melt into the skin should a lightweight cream not provide enough long-term hydration for drier skin types.
Dermalogica’s Active Moist, priced at £55, is effective for all skin types using a combination of Prebiotic Moisture Complex and various plant extracts that improve surface texture and skin hydration.
Using the right products for these five steps is crucial for maintaining clear and healthy skin. Knowing one’s skin type and buying the right cleanser, exfoliator, toner, serum and moisturizer will result in a more personalized skincare routine that benefits the individual’s skin.