“Your skin has memory. In ten, twenty, thirty years from now, your skin will show the results of how it was treated today. So, treat it kindly and with respect.”
Jana Elston, a qualified beauty therapist.
Caring for our skin is one of the many ways we take care of ourselves. Studies reveal that people with active skincare routines have reduced stress levels and are less likely to be depressed. These are just but the psychological effects, so can you imagine the physical benefits?
One myth that should be thrown away is the notion that skincare is solely for women. It’s for everyone who has skin and last time I checked, men did too, and they also need to care for it.
Having an active routine is something that shouldn’t be picked up as we approach our 30s and 40s. This is something that we need to start as early as in our 20s and our prime. Once we reach our 40s, we will end up looking almost half our age.
As we get older, the amount of time our cells take to turnover increases, and our skin begins to lose its elasticity. The skin cells need to regularly turn and new ones formed for us to maintain a soft and youthful complexion.
Different people have different skin types that require their very own products, attention, and care. So, my question today is, what is your skin type?
Determining your skin type
This is not rocket science and it can be done in two simple steps.
- Take your regular cleanser and wash your face.
- Leave it bare for 30 minutes.
If your skin looks dry and scaly = dry skin.
If you look like you’ve smeared oil on your face =oily skin.
If your skin is dry in some areas and oily in others then you have combination skin.
Lastly, if your skin is neither too dry nor too oily = normal skin.
This knowledge is so vital because different products are designed for different skin types so you need to know your skin to provide the right care for it.
Benefits of having a skincare routine.
What is a routine? Is it something you do once a year? Once a month? No, it only qualifies as a routine when you do it every day or every other day.
Some of the benefits you’ll reap from having a skincare routine are:
- Prevents acne.
- Slows down aging.
- Bright complexion.
- It boosts your confidence.
Let’s go on ahead and take a look at the people who have walked this walk and their skin is a true reflection of this, South Koreans.
They are said to have the clearest most glassy-looking skin in the world that makes them look more than half their age.
What exactly is their secret? Let’s find out!
The 10 steps Korean skincare routine
- Oil cleansing.
This being the first step in the routine means it’s very important.
Oil cleansing involves using a facial oil such as coconut oil on your face right before you use your usual cleanser.
Massage the oil in circular motions and gently wipe it off with a warm towel.
What this does is that it removes dirt and oil from the skin without stripping off its sebum. Sebum is the oil produced by our skin that promotes skin hydration and flexibility. Stripping it leaves you with dry scaly skin and a dull complexion. No one wants that right?
- Normal Cleansing.
After oil cleansing, you’ll notice that your face doesn’t dry up even if you naturally have dry skin. It’s now time to lather up your facial cleanser and wash your face. It is highly recommended to cleanse your face in the morning and evening.
This leaves no room for bacteria causing acne to attack your face.
Exfoliation is the process of gently scrubbing your skin to get rid of dead cells that are on the skin surface. By doing this, your skin is allowed to regenerate and new skin cells are ready to be formed. This is especially helpful to people with acne.
An added benefit is that products put on the skin after exfoliation absorb faster and more efficiently.
Exfoliation is not just for your face, it’s also great for your entire body. You can use a body scrub or an exfoliating hand glove. However, keep this to a maximum of twice a week, so as not to damage the skin.
For those with sensitive skin or on a tight budget, there is always the option of using natural products such as sugar and coffee. This makes an amazing exfoliant that leaves your skin looking good. Besides, who doesn’t like the smell of coffee?
There are tons of benefits of toning your face such as getting a magical glow, reducing the appearance of pores by tightening them, keeping your skin even, balancing its pH, and reducing dark spots. Sounds like the whole package, right?
Rosewater, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera are the most widely known natural tones and they work wonders for your skin. Pat the toner into your face gently right after exfoliating.
Essence is a watery product that has concentrations of nutrients such as hyaluronic acid that is good for anti-aging and balancing the pH of the skin. They are similar to serums but are more lightweight than them. Put a few drops of the serum on your dry hands, and gently pat it onto your skin.
A serum is a skincare product infused with ingredients such as vitamins and antioxidants. There are various serums such as vitamin C that brightens your complexion and vitamin E that reduces inflammation. The serums are usually water-based which makes them absorb quicker into the skin ensuring you reap off all its benefits. Put a small amount of your serum on your face and pat gently.
Facial masks draw out impurities in the skin and tone it too. There are so many types of masks such as clay masks, peel-off masks, cream masks, and natural masks. The type of mask you select should be based on your skin type and it’s best to consult a dermatologist before you do.
- Eye cream
Most of us are guilty of neglecting our eyes in our skincare routine even though the skin below our eye is the most delicate and requires a lot of care.
Eye creams help in keeping the skin under your eye looking youthful by providing anti-aging properties. Take a small amount of eye cream and massage it gently below your eyes.
Moisturizing your face prevents dryness as it acts as a barrier to water loss. This is especially beneficial to individuals with dry skin. Individuals with oily skin should choose a lighter moisturizer while those with dryer skin should pick a heavy one. There are products such as Aloe vera that can be used by all skin types.
Apply the moisturizer on your hands and pat it on the skin. Patting enables it to be absorbed faster and more efficiently into the skin than rubbing.
Although vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed by the body, getting too much of the sun is harmful to your skin and exposes you to harmful UV rays. Sunscreen prevents sunburns that lead to uneven skin and in the worst-case scenario led to skin cancer. It is not just for summer when the sun is scorching but it’s an everyday essential.
Apply a generous amount of sunscreen on your face and body and you’re good to go.
Life can get so busy at times and following this routine daily might be close to impossible. If you can, that’s great and your skin will thank you, if not you could do it once or twice a week.
The most essential steps in a daily routine are cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreen. However, try as much as you can to practice the ten steps. Truth be told, no change will happen overnight. It might take a week or even a month before you see any solid result but once you do, you’ll be so glad you started.
Bonus things to consider
Despite having a routine and sticking by it, there are other things you need to put into considerations. Things that may appear subtle but, in the end, make a major difference.
- Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet.
As we stated, South Koreans are said to have the clearest and most glass-looking skin. If you take a look at what they eat, you’ll find out that 80% of their food is vegetables. There’s a particular one called Kimchi that is a favorite among the locals. It comprises fermented spicy cabbage. The fermentation produces natural bacteria that help in digestion once it gets into the gut.
Having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables not only boosts your immunity but also works wonders for your skin. Furthermore, the World Health Organization recommends that adults eat five portions of fruits a day.
- Changing your pillowcase every week.
Everything will be pointless if you’re lying on a dirty pillowcase for close to 7 hours each day. As we sleep, our bodies get into a state of rest, and our skin releases the toxins it was holding. Lying on the same pillowcase for weeks on end exposes your face to bacteria that may cause acne and other skin-related problems.
So go ahead and change your pillowcase every week, even if it appears to be as white as snow.
The world has grown and so has tech. Doctors have been able to take the nutrients our bodies require and package them in a capsule form that can be easily broken down in our bodies for us to reap maximum benefits. Consult your dermatologist for the best supplement for you.
In conclusion, it is never too early or too late to begin your journey in skincare. Remember, taking care of yourself is a full-time job with no breaks and pauses, after all, we only get one body.