Your best skin lies somewhere between 10 steps and skip care. Here’s how to pick the ideal skincare routine.
Firstly, your skincare should not be a source of stress. With more and more products flooding the market, and even more articles telling you how your best skin is just 10 steps away (yes us included), it’s easy to get overwhelmed. What you need to figure out is what your skin needs.
Your skin is your largest organ and one of the most resilient ones. Often the nature of your facial skin is different from that of your body. Your skin can react to moods, hormones, external pollution, the addition of a new product, and weather. The usual way to identify your type—oil, dry, dehydrated or combo is what you need to stick to. Your skin type might also change seasonally or through your menstruation cycles. I suggest downloading a free period tracking app that also keeps track of your mood and can often predict how your skin is doing—I really like CLUE (available on iOS and Android).
Most importantly please remember that your skin health is largely genetic. Your friend might get away with washing her face with soap, perhaps because she’s inherited great skincare genes from her mother. You’ve heard of grandmothers using only water to clean their face their entire lives and live to the ripe old age of 96 with perfectly glowing unblemished skin. That’s genes. Not the water.
Identify what your skin needs. Dry skin needs oil, dehydrated skin needs water, oily skin needs sebum control. And everyone needs sunscreen. Follow the easy peasy steps below consistently and your skin will thank you and you’ll love the skin you’re in.
STEP 1: Cleansing
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Use a salicylic cleanser if you have oily or spotty skin. It helps to clean the gunk out of pores. I am a huge advocate of double cleansing—using two cleansers back to back in the evening. First an oil based cleanser or a micellar water (the more product on your face, the more you require an oil cleanser). Followed by a water based gentle cleanser. The first deep cleanses, the second restores skin barrier and balance. Do remember to wash off micellar water with water. Don’t leave it on your skin. It’s a detergent, not water.
STEP 2: Heal and treat
This is when you need to ‘listen’ to your skin. Some days it’s going to be oily, other days it’s flaky, some days some parts are red, other days everything is fine. Organic Riot’s Zap works so well with acne. You can wear it under makeup and sunscreen, and let the manuka and tamanu oils work their anti-bacterial and healing magic under. Or else use Dazzle, that uses jojoba and moringa oil along with licorice extract to combat pigmentation. Also great under makeup. Sometimes you just need hydration—look for a serum with hyaluronic acid in it, like Smog Block. A moisturiser doesn’t hydrate—it just creates a barrier on your face against external aggressors like pollution. Serums, essences and toners (non alcoholic only) are the ones that sink a little deeper and do some damage control, prevention and healing. Look for centella asiatica or gotukala as an ingredient for your serums—they are wonderful healing agents for all skin types (I love the Dr Jart Cicapair line for this).
STEP 3: Moisturise
Honestly this is a step you can skip—especially if you’re in a humid climate. If your skin is dry, try oils, or even Organic Riot’s Spotlight enriched with mango butter, or Smog Block that heals and protects at the same time. Moisturisers form a good barrier between pollution and your skin—but so does SPF.
STEP 4: Sunscreen for the morning and oils or masks at night
Sunscreen isn’t just to stop tanning. It’s protecting your face against early signs of ageing—pigmentation, wrinkles, sun spots etc. In the evenings, after your serums or moisturisers, you can use an oil (like rosehip, tamanu grapefruit or jojoba—all great for problematic skin like rosacea and acne sufferers) to seal everything in. Avoid essential oils, even in a carrier oil—most skin is allergic to lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, citrus and floral perfumed oils.