Over the last year, many of us have spent an inordinate amount of time staring at our own faces in the corner of a screen. While video meetings have been a vital source of connection during this unprecedented time, they’ve also made us all incredibly aware of our need to up our skincare routines.
Taking better care of your skin can seem intimidating, especially if you’re not used to having a skincare routine. Everywhere you look there are dozens of products claiming to be miracle cures for our skin. Products that promise clearer skin, brighter complections, a more even skin tone, and an end to fine lines and wrinkles.
With so many products and promises, it can be difficult to know what the best way to take care of your skin really is. So let’s break it down into four simple and easy steps to better take care of your skin without needing an advanced degree in dermatology.
Hydrate Your Skin From the Inside Out
It may surprise you that the very first step to taking care of your skin is not a cream or a cleanser, but the simple act of staying hydrated. Our bodies are made of up to 70% water. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and like the rest of our organs, it can be damaged by dehydration.
Drinking water helps our bodies flush out toxins, stay balanced, and run more efficiently. While drinking a glass of water won’t directly moisturize your skin — high water intake will help keep you from getting dehydrated. Dehydration can cause your skin to lose elasticity and can add to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Swapping out high sugar drinks for water can go a long way when it comes to taking care of your skin.
Gently Cleanse Your Skin
Every day our skin is exposed to environmental stressors and toxins that can clog pores and damage skin. Cleansing the day’s stressors from our skin is an important part of any skincare routine. However, over-cleansing your skin can also cause damage and create stressors. That’s why it’s important to find a gentle cleanser that washes away dirt and debris without damaging your skin.
Using a harsh cleanser can actually strip your skin of its natural protective oils which can lead your body to overproduce oil in response. This can lead to an increase in cleansing and a vicious cycle. Find a gentle cleanser and use it in the evening before moisturizing. For most skin types cleansing once a day will be enough.
Moisturize After Cleansing
Because cleansing strips your skin of natural protective oils it’s important to moisturize after cleansing at night. You’ll want to choose a moisturizer based on several factors including your skin type and even the time of year.
If you have dry skin or are experiencing environmental stressors that induce dryness you’ll want to choose a thicker moisturizer. If your skin is normal to oily or if you’re in a humid environment pick a lightweight moisturizer. If your goals are anti-aging focused look for a moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid and/or Ceramides.
Wear Sunscreen Every Day
If you incorporate one thing from this list into your daily skincare routine let it be this: wear a broad spectrum UVA/UVB resistant sunscreen of at least 30 SPF or higher every single day. There is no better way to take care of your skin than by applying sunscreen daily.
A sunscreen with a moisturizer can serve double duty. Just be sure to apply every day. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of sun your skin is exposed to even when spending time indoors. The safest way to ensure your skin is protected from sun exposure is to cover up and wear sunscreen.
These four easy steps can help you begin your skincare journey and ultimately take better care of your skin.