How to: Layer Your Skincare (AKA Seven Steps to Stunning Skin!)
Wed, 19 June 2013 1:19PM
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m using about 649 different skincare products – and that’s just in the morning. Sure, I’m usually in testing mode. But even on my ‘off-duty’ days, my skincare regimen is never so routine. I’m constantly having to stop and think about what I need to use, and when.
Forget three simple steps. Skincare these days is all about layering, misting and massaging in a multitude of formulations.
And if you’re not careful, getting too complicated and confused with your routine will only lead to stressed-out skin. Which is not the point of skincare, after all.
So I’m here to get you sorted. Here’s your what, when and how of application …
I know what you’re thinking: “duh!” But this step must be included as, really, if your skin isn’t free of such gunk as makeup, oil and the other bits and pieces skin accumulates during a regular day, there’s little point putting on anything else – as your complexion won’t absorb it effectively. Also good to know: if your cleanser is active – i.e., if it promises to do anything beyond cleanse, be that soothe, de-age or exfoliate – leave it on for a few minutes so that it has time to work to full effect.
Old-school toners have been replaced by soothing face mists. Sure, they feel and smell pretty. But I bet you sometimes wonder: do they actual do anything? Well, the calming ones are a handy boost for sensitive types. But in general, mists are great because they keep skin hydrated post-cleanse. And the more hydrated your skin, the better it will receive follow-up treatment. Also, when you layer on a treatment or cream after you’ve misted, you’ll be sealing in this extra moisture, and fusing it into skin. It’s similar to how you apply a body cream after the shower, when you skin is still slightly damp, for the best hydrating effect.
Now that your skin is cleansed and prepped, it’s time to turn to your most important product of the moment – the one you’re using to correct any skin stresses. So, if you’ve broken out, on goes the spot treatment (keep it localised to avoid excessive skin dehydration). If you have rosacea, slather on a calming serum. If you’re most concerned about pigmentation, hit the skin-brightener bottle. Or if you’re tackling signs of ageing with an AHA treatment, here’s your cue.
There’s a whole world of serums out there, and they tend to fall in two camps: the givers and the fighters. The givers hydrate, nourish, plump up and generally pamper skin (think hyaluronic acid, antioxidants), while the fighters are the heavy-duty anti-agers (usually some form of vitamin A). You can use more than one serum at a time, and a general rule of thumb to remember is that the lighter, more watery formulations go on first. A word to the wise about retinol: it should only be slathered on at night, and on completely dry skin, which helps minimise the irritation factor.
If you’re a facial oil fan, now’s your time to go for it, massaging your favourite blend all over. Or, you can always add a few drops to lush up your favourite moisturiser. Speaking of which …
Perhaps your facial oil has left you feeling adequately plumped up. If not – or if you’re not an oil lover – move onto moisturiser, which will not only drench skin with hydration and seal all previous treatments in – it will help keep the skin’s barrier function strong and in tact.
Yep, Primpers, even in winter! Use a high-SPF broad-spectrum formulation all year round in order to fend off the UV rays that make us look older than our years. Of course, sunscreen gets the night off. And at this time, consider swapping your usual cream for a P.M version – the extra nutrients are in night cream to make the most of the fact that skin goes into regenerative mode when we sleep.
Tell me, Primpers, has that sorted things out for you?
How many skincare products are you using at the moment?