Here’s to putting your best face forward
Words: Leila Petersen | Images: Supplied
We get it. When it comes to skincare, beauty routines are often anything but basic. With a myriad of cleansers, serums, exfoliants and emulsions out there, choosing the products that work for your skin can be completely overwhelming, not to mention confusing. And during winter, our skin needs even more protection from harsh elements such as biting cold winds,dry air and indoor heating.
Whether your beauty approach is less is more or resembles that of the Kardashian clan and you just can't keep up, there are basics that even the most stripped-back skincare routine needs, regardless of your skin type. Your routine doesn't need to be complicated to work wonders, either. To help you navigate the world of skincare, here are the seven effective products your core regimen needs for healthy, happy, radiant skin.
Good skin starts with a great cleanser, so it’s a non-negotiable in your routine. As necessary in the morning as it is at night, cleansing your skin removes oil, dirt and grime and it also makes skin more receptive to the products you apply next. The right cleanser, of course, is key. Oily and combination skin will benefit from mild exfoliating cleansers. If your skin is acne prone, formulas containing salicylic are great. And for those with drier skin, especially in winter, a hydrating or cream cleanser is best. All good regimes start here.
One of the most important yet overlooked steps in a skincare routine is exfoliation. Aside from replenishing skin by clearing away dry and dead cells so that newer, healthier cells underneath can radiate, regular exfoliation also unclogs pores. This allows the rich, nourishing ingredients from your skincare to penetrate deeper and work more effectively, leaving skin radiant. That said, you don't want to overdo it in the exfoliation department either. During winter, skin is extra sensitive, so rather dial back the number of times you exfoliate to once a week and opt for gentle, nourishing, chemical exfoliators such as alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids that are not too abrasive.
Just as important as cleansing your skin, toning shrinks pores, balances PH levels and removes any last traces of dirt and makeup. Having been given a bad rap in the past as formulas usually contained lots of alcohol, modern toners are gentler, more effective and more nourishing. Plus, they target all kinds of different skin concerns and allow later products to permeate better, so that you get tons more out of your skincare.
Serums are like your daily supplements, delivering shots of nutrients to your skin and boosting your overall regime. The pièce de résistance of your skincare routine. Lightweight and easily absorbed, these powerful formulas typically contain smaller molecules that can penetrate the dermis deeply, delivering vital ingredients to the skin more effectively. From brightening to repairing, hydrating to anti-ageing, these potent elixirs can be customised depending on what your skin concerns are. Retinol, considered a gold standard in reducing wrinkles, and vitamin C, known for its ability to brighten your complexion, are just two hero ingredients worth looking out for when it comes to choosing your super –charged serum.
With so much focus on serums as this skin’s ultimate savior, it’s easy to forget about the humble moisturiser. After all, every single step prior to this all-important oldie-but-goodie could be practically redundant if you forget to lock it all in with a healthy dollop of your favourite face cream. While we love the plumping benefits, together with the hydration and nourishment these creams provide, their ability to act as a protective shield on the outermost layer of the skin is also a major plus. As for the type of moisturiser you should go for? Your skin's needs will determine the texture that will work for you – light and oil-balancing if you have oily skin or rich and nourishing if your skin needs some more TLC.
Your go-to moisturiser and serum may work wonders on the rest of the face, but they’re not the right consistency for the thin, delicate eye area, which requires extra tenderness. If smooth, bright and plump skin is what you after or if you just need to fake a full night’s rest, an eye cream deserves a spot in your beauty routine. Formulas featuring eye-opening ingredients such as caffeine, hyaluronic acid, collagen and vitamin C all help smooth, refresh and awaken your peepers. Trust us – you won't believe your eyes.
One surefire way of retaining your glow is investing in a good sunscreen and wearing it every single day. We admit, the blazing summer sun makes it easier to remember this crucial step, but applying SPF should be a year-round priority. While the UVB rays might be weaker in the winter, so you don't get sunburned as easily, the UVA rays that cause wrinkles, premature ageing and skin damage are still very strong, so SPF is always important. When it comes to choosing a formula, look out for ones that include nourishing properties that aid with hydration and boost moisture levels.