The coronavirus brought upon a lot of worldwide trends and habits. We’ve seen people get hooked on making banana bread, sourdough, and garden focaccia, find new and creative ways to participate in “zoom happy hours,” lots of workout from home routines, and new ways to take care of yourself right from home. A big thing this summer seems to be at-home skin care (since all of the salons were closed for months) and I have to admit, I’ve hopped on the bandwagon!
Not that skincare is a bad bandwagon to be on. In fact, if there’s any habit that you’re going to pick up during quarantine why not let it be one that makes you look and feel more beautiful?
The tricky thing about skincare, though, is that it’s definitely not One Size Fits All. One person’s skin care routine might wreak absolute havoc on another person’s face! That’s why it’s important to know your skin on the inside and out so that you can make well-informed decisions as to which products you’re going to use and which you’ll want to avoid.
I’ve complied lots of my research into this complete guide to taking care of your skin at home so get ready to be rocking a youthful and glowing face with these tips!
- Know your skin type
The very first (and possibly most important) step to taking care of your skin at home is knowing what your skin type is. It might come as a surprise to know that there are 7 different types of skin! Read on to determine what yours is.
You’ll know that you have normal skin if you don’t get breakouts very often and the condition of your skin doesn’t fluctuate too much with the weather. Normal skin is pretty self-regulating so it’s typically neither too dry nor too oily. To be honest, if you have normal skin, you’re one of the lucky ones!
If you have oily skin, it might feel like you’re always glowing and dewy. While that look is totally in right now, it can be a bit frustrating if you aren’t into it and don’t know how to manage it. People with oily skin tend to have issues with getting makeup to stay put and may be prone to breakouts.
- Avoid products that contain mineral oil, petroleum, and alcohol
- Check for “non-comedogenic” on the label – these products won’t clog pores
- Use oil-free moisturizers
Skin that is prone to dryness is typically flaky, ashy, itchy, or super sensitive. While some people have naturally dry skin, it’s usually the result of something environmental like hot and dry air, the type of water at your house, or the makeup and cleansers that you use.
Also, your skin could be dehydrated which means it’s not retaining the moisturizers that you’re putting on it. Dehydrated skin feels tight, looks sort of like paper, and holds fine lines when pinched.
- Use a rich moisturizer several times a day
- Massage your face with serum while using a facial humidifier
- Avoid products with fragrance and citrus
Did you guess that combination skin is oily in some places and dry in others? You’re right! People with combination skin usually have oily T-zones (forehead and nose) while the rest of their face is dry.
- Avoid alcohol-based products
- Don’t wash your face too often
- Use moisturizer and toner for spot treatments
Does your skin seem to break out no matter what you do? Or you just can’t ever seem to get rid of pimples? Your pores probably clog really easily and that’s why you’re prone to acne! Although it may feel like all hope is lost because you’ve had problems for so long, you just have met the right products yet. We’ll get to them soon!
- Exfoliate regularly to clear your pores
- Look for products with salicylic acid, clay, benzoyl peroxide or retinol (acne-fighting ingredients)
- Keep your skin moisturized to balance sebum (skin oil) production
You’ll know if you have sensitive skin if you’re prone to irritation, rashes, and stinging when you apply products. There are all sorts of reasons for skin to be sensitive and it might be genetics, environmental factors, or unknown allergies. Luckily, there are tons of products available for people with even the most sensitive skin!
- Seek out all-natural products with minimal ingredients
- Avoid fragrances, exfoliants, and artificial coloring
- Look for products that are labeled as calming, anti-inflammatory, and healing
Mature skin doesn’t necessarily mean “old skin.” Everyone’s skin shows signs of aging at different points in life! Mature skin just means that your skin is starting to show those signs. Commons ones are dark spots, wrinkles, sagging, dullness, dryness, and dehydration.
- Use products specifically formulated for mature skin that contain collagen and promote cell reproduction
- Build a skincare routine
Once you know what your skin type is, you can start to shop around for the best products for your skin. This might take some trial and error until you find the combination of products that is perfect for you!
Here is a basic skincare routine and some tips for choosing the right products for your skin:
- Start with a cleanser. You’ll want to first get your skin free from any dirt, dead skin cells, and makeup. You should wash your face at least once a day, but no more than twice! Never wash your face until it feels “squeaky clean” and tight because that means you’ve washed all of your naturally moisturizing oils down the drain.
- Apply a serum. If you do your skincare routine in the morning, apply a serum with vitamin C or peptides. At night, you’ll want to opt for a serum with retinol.
- This might be the most important part of your skincare routine. Well-moisturized skin helps prevents early signs of aging and balances sebum production! Grab a moisturizer that is lightweight and non-comedogenic so that it doesn’t clog your pores. If you have dry and/or dehydrated skin, you will probably benefit from a heavier, cream-based moisturizer.
- Apply SPF. No matter what skin type you have, where you live, or what time of year it is, you should ALWAYS apply SPF (of at least 30) to your face. The sun is really damaging to your skin and cells and SPF helps to ward off those harmful UV rays. If you’re planning on wearing makeup, seek out a moisturizer, primer, or foundation that contains SPF.
- Know the skincare dos…
There are certain guidelines that should be followed by people with any and all skin types:
- Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase to prevent skin wrinkles.
- Change/wash your pillowcases weekly.
- Drink more water!
- Wash your makeup brushes at least once a week.
- Use warm water to wash your face instead of hot. Hot water can strip your skin of sebum which helps to keep it moisturized.
- Manage your stress.
- Remove your makeup before bed.
- …and don’ts
- Spend too much time in the sun. When you do go outside, remember your SPF, sunglasses, and a large hat.
- Consume too much sugar. When sugar is metabolized into insulin, it can actually start to break down the collagen in your skin.
- Touch or pick at your face! I know this can be a hard habit to break, but it’s really important for both appearance and hygiene.
- Smoke cigarettes or be in the presence of cigarette smoke.
- Put lemon juice, toothpaste, baking soda, garlic, sugar, or vitamin E oil directly on your skin. There are many skin “hacks” that will tell you these products are good for your skin, but they can do way more harm than good!
- See a dermatologist if problems persist
If you have followed this guide to the T and you aren’t seeing the results that you want, you might want to consider seeking professional assistance! It’s possible that you have a skin condition that just can’t be helped with any over-the-counter products. For example, if you have a skin infection, you may need oral or topical antibiotics to clear your skin and prevent scarring.
There are some skin issues that can be solved by seeing your general practitioner, too. Acne is sometimes the result of a hormone imbalance and you might easily be able to clear it up with a birth control prescription or a recommended supplement.
Now that you know the basics of skincare, you can go out into the world and put your best face forward! Practicing a skincare routine helps to keep your face glowing and youthful for years to come. With this complete guide, you skin will never reveal your age.