Given the varieties, brands, types and product formulations we have in the market today, choosing the right products for your skin can be confusing, overwhelming and even intimidating for you. After trying several brands or regimen for some time with no success, you might even begin to wonder if clear skin is within reach, or if you’ll even achieve better skin. Amid the hype, noise and confusion, honesty really helps. Here are a few pointers to help you navigate through this rough terrain…
- Don’t use the Price to Judge
Product price is a very relative factor in the sense that what user A considers affordable might be too pricy for user B. But we can agree that some brands are generally way pricy compared to others. It is possible to get great or better skin with the right products and an ideal skincare regimen, but you have to know that a cheaper product does not make it ineffective and a costly product does not make it superior. A little research and a little knowledge helps you choose the right product and at the right price.
Good quality products can be affordable or pricy, it simply depends on brand preference and whether it works or not. Don’t judge a product based on how it looks or the price, judge it based on efficacy and quality. If it works, delivers on what it promises, and gives value for your money, then it’s worth it. Remember fancy luxurious packaging adds to product cost, and for most luxurious brands, the cost is not for the product in the bottle but for the packaging. As a cosmetic consumer, first you buy the packaging (which you actually throw away) then you judge the product later, and the manufacturers of these high end brands know that. Don’t be tricked by that cute-fancy-glossy box, get to know the product. Prioritize quality.
- Switch Your Cleanser
As you get older, your skin changes and might get dry and flaky. It’s time to review your cleanser and change things up. In your teens and early 20s, a foaming cleanser and face wash might have worked perfectly to help control excessive oiliness and unclog pores, but as you get older you really need that moisture, natural oils and hydration to keep skin looking plump and youthful.
A good cleanser should remove dirt and surface oil, makeup and pollutants without stripping your skin of natural oils. Look for a moisturizing face wash, sulfate-free cleansers that do not lather up, a water soluble cleansing balm, or try double cleansing with the oil cleansing method for healthier skin with perfect balance, hydration and longevity. Time to check out what this K-Beauty, ‘glass skin’ fuss is all about…
- Stop Scrubbing, Brushing and Rubbing
Yes, I know you’ve heard all the benefits of a spinning face brush and you want to try that much hyped magical facial scrub, but really, you don’t have to use them. If exfoliation is what you’re after, there’s a better, more effective and gentle way. Instead of manual exfoliation, use chemical exfoliation. It’s tried and tested—meet alpha hydroxy acids!
Scrubbing your skin can cause dryness, redness and irritation. Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid, as well as beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid work miraculously to help slough off that top layer of dead skin cells to reveal glowing, hydrated, luminous complexion.
Look for a good quality (leave-on) glycolic acid serum (5-10%) or a salicylic acid serum (1-2%) and use it daily or a higher concentrated (rinse-out) peel (20-30%) and use it 3 times a week. Don’t worry if your skin tingles a little or feels a little irritation, just follow product instructions and let the ingredients do their magic. Your skin texture will improve and you’ll love the results.
- Don’t Skip Your Sunscreen, then go Beyond
Wearing sunscreen is one of the major habits that, if you adopt early, you’ll be smiling all the way to old age. Okay, am not sure if that makes sense, but what am trying to say is that sunscreen is really useful when it comes to fighting wrinkles and fine lines and preventing premature aging caused by UV exposure.
While a good sunscreen does the trick in the war against wrinkles, you really need to up your stake and consider adding a serum with Niacinamide or Vitamin B3. Using a Niacinamide serum under your sunscreen helps protect your skin by boosting its immunity. It’s like a double shield of protection for your skin. Vitamin B3 optimizes the performance of skin mechanisms and reinforces the skin’s natural barrier function.
- It’s not just a hype—You Need Vitamin C
Like other organs in your body, your skin needs sufficient Vitamin C so that it can age well, beautifully and gracefully. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for healthy vibrant skin—whether you take it in supplements, in your diet or topical application, you’ll notice the difference. A vitamin C loaded skincare regimen strengthens your skin by enhancing collagen production and you’ll get that glow that makes your peers envy you!
Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that exists naturally in your skin and you can boost it by consuming fruits and vegetables or taking supplements. As we age, or due to other factors like pollution or shortfalls in your diet, Vitamin C levels could get depleted. Your body feels the loss and your skin shows it. Lower levels of collagen and antioxidants leave your skin vulnerable to free radicals that increase every woman’s miseries: premature aging, loss of elasticity and vibrancy, and pigmentation.
Daily use of a high quality, well-formulated Vitamin C serum and cream will be a game changer for your skin. Apply Vitamin C on your face and neck to boost antioxidant protection, protect skin from the disasters caused by free radicals, and get that youthful, vibrant glow. However, once opened don’t use your serum for a year. Regardless of the expiry date or even if the formula you’re using does not oxidize, use your Vitamin C serum for 3-6 months to get the maximum benefits of Vitamin C. You don’t want to use a product that has lost its punch; use it for a reasonable duration when it’s still fresh and potent.
. A Dose of Vitamin A Daily…or Every Other Day
Retinoic acid, a Vitamin A derivative, came and changed everything in skincare. When applied on skin, retinoic acid helps improve the tone, texture, and general appearance of skin by making it look youthful, plump and lively. There’s loads of evidence and research findings out there to support these claims, all you have to do is, of course do some research and take time to understand how this miracle ingredient works, and then choose what suites your skin.
We’ve written comprehensive articles on retinol on our blog, you can check them out to learn more. You have several alternatives you can choose from, from prescription retinol products given to you by your dermatologist to cosmetic formulations. Medical grade retinol is stronger but may cause more irritation, redness, and/or peeling, and most skin types may not tolerate it or might take longer to build tolerance, and you’ll most likely have given up on retinol by then.
Cosmetic grade retinol formulations may have lower concentrations or use less irritating forms of retinol that might not work faster like medical grade but your skin tolerates them better, and cause less irritation and dryness. The bottom line is that Vitamin A skincare productions work magic on skin, but you really have to be patient and give your skin time to adjust to them. Whether you choose medical grade or cosmetic grade, you’ll get results
Topical use of Vitamins can benefit your skin, and research seems to favor these claims that you not only need Vitamin C and A in your diet, but also in your skincare regimen. Also, have you checked the reviews from users who have tried these products? I believe that marketing or not, hype or not, everyone can’t be wrong. There has to be something right about Vitamin C and Vitamin A skincare products that has made them such a success in the skincare world. The buzz can’t be all made up, they work!
- Use a Great Moisturizer and a Facial Oil
After 25, you’ll most definitely start to notice changes in your skin. You’ll look at pictures of yourself at 20 and the change will be noticeable. We can call it whatever we want, but truth is we begin to age and the signs start to show— wrinkles may appear, albeit faintly, and you may start to notice some fine lines here and there. It’s actually not so scary, you only need to make a few adjustments to your skincare routine to accommodate the new changes, and that means getting a good moisturizer. It doesn’t matter how oily your skin it, a moisturizer is paramount for all skin types, and especially as we get older.
As we age, your skin can lose its ability to hold moisture leading to dryness, dehydration an loss of elasticity. Skin that lacks moisture and nutrients lacks essential fatty acids that make skin appear healthy, plump and rejuvenated. Dry skin types may need richer, thicker and more moisturizing creams for added protection while oily skin types need moisturizing but lighter formulas that don’t feel heavy on skin. Look for meaningful ingredients in your moisturizer and try to understand how the active ingredients in it work
Lastly, adding a facial oil to your skin is an essential that most older people with youthful skin will tell you about. You’ll never go without a facial oil once you give it a try. Moisturizers and facial oils are rich in essential fatty acids that mimic the skin’s natural lipid barrier leading to intense moisture restoration and a plump look without a greasy feel on skin. Look out for moisturizers and facial oils with Vitamin-packed oils like Rosehip oil, Sea buckthorn, Tamanu, Olive Squalane, carrot, among others, as well as Hyaluronic acid, Amino Acids and glycerin.
The beauty industry makes so many promises, and hope comes wrapped in glamorous, irresistible and seductive little bottles that makes you want to venture into the next something new and try that cream with an exotic name. There’s always the next big thing, a new trend, and we can struggle to be patient as we want to try what everyone is raving about this year. Yes, that latest supreme ingredient could finally be the answer to your skin woes, and you wonder if it will even work. Yes, there are exciting fresh discoveries. Yes that new serum sounds sophisticated and looks elegant.
However, none of these new entrants will make a difference to your skin if you don’t learn the basics of skincare, be consistent, master the tips and essentials of daily skin care, and do your research properly. Find what suites your skin, know what to do and when, what to avoid, and remember that what matters, by the end of the day, is quality, good advice and results. Just learn to balance.