Understanding Your Skincare

Understanding Your Skincare

Face wash, cleanser, toner, face masks, moisturiser, day cream, night cream, exfoliators, face brushes, face oils, facials... it can be hard to keep up with all the skincare needs and fads. Do you need to use all of the above, how often do you have to use them? 
Don't worry, I've got you covered, the good, the bad and the ugly of skincare.

Let's start with the most simple then, shall we? Face wash is pretty self-explanatory, it does exactly what it says on the tin, it washes your face. Most of us use one of these when we get up in the morning to clean our faces and get rid of the dirt and grime both on the surface and in our pores. A face wash is generally applied to damp or wet skin, rubbed in and washed off with water taking all the impurities with it. My favourite face wash has been the Neutrogena pink grapefruit face wash for so long. 

If you suffer from sensitive skin the best thing to do is to only use face wash once a day and look out for face washes that do not contain soap. Soap can be extremely drying on your skin. It's best to always look at the contents of any skin treatment you are using and use ones suitable for your skin type; dry, sensitive, oily, combination, acne or breakout prone or normal.

Quite a lot of people make the mistake of confusing cleanser and face wash, they serve the same purpose as both clean out your pores and get rid of impurities in your skin, but cleansers do not need to be rinsed off the skin and can dry into the skin without a problem, but of course some work with water. You should use cleanser on makeup free skin. You can get various types of cleansers; cream cleansers, cleansing oils, cleansing milks, foam cleansers, liquid cleaners, cleansing balms and of course micellar waters. 

Cream cleansers, cleansing oils and cleansing milks are the best for those with dry skin as they tend to add moisture back into the skin, whereas those with oily skin should probably avoid cleansing oils as it will add oil to their already oily skin. Normal and combination skin types should use foam, gel or liquid cleansers, but have the opportunity to play around with different types and  figure out what suits them specifically. From personal experience, I wouldn't use a micellar water as a cleanser unless you're going to double cleanse with another product, I don't think they work as well as other cleansers.

Toner is used after cleanser and tends to replenish the skin and hydrate it after the cleanser has gotten rid of all the bad stuff. I learned at a The Body Shop event that a lot of people are actually scared of using a toner because back when they were first introduced in the beauty world they were packed with alcohol and tend to hurt, dry and irritate skin. Nowadays, toner is totally safe, but you should always avoid those with alcohol or menthol in the ingredients as they tend to do just what old toners did. 

Just like with cleansers you can get a whole bunch of different toners, from gels to liquids, but toners tend to be very individual and some even promise to improve skin texture, get rid of redness and stop skin from aging. Overall a toner is used to remove excess cleanser in the skin and rebalance the PH levels of your skin.

Face masks are everywhere right now, from The Body Shop's new releases to L'Oreals very famous clay mask release. Everyone is loving face masks and you should be too, not only are they great for a little pamper time, but they can also be incredible for your skin. Unlike face wash, cleansers and toners you don't use face masks every day, but instead use one at least once a week, more if your skin is feeling overly oily or overly dry. 

There is a whole bunch of face masks out there and they usually tell you exactly what they do from hydrating to deep cleaning and even plumping your face. From clay masks to mud masks, fruit masks, I swear there is a mask made from and made for everything you can think of. You should apply a face mask to clean, cleansed and unmoisturised skin and remove it after the time recommended on the box. You could also multi-mask by applying different masks to different areas of your face, for example, if you have an oily chin apply one for oily skin to your chin and then ones for plumping to your cheeks.

Understanding Your Skincare

Surprisingly enough moisturiser adds moisture into your skin. Moisturiser should be applied last in your skincare regime. There are two main types of moisturiser: day cream and night cream, which again is pretty self-explanatory. Moisturiser adds moisture t your skin as well as keeping it soft, supple and elastic. Just like with face masks there is a whole list of types of moisturisers and you should find some perfect for you from brightening your complexion to anti-aging and adding oil to dry skin, you should find a moisturiser that suits your skin type and will benefit you. 

Facial exfoliator is incredible for your skin and depending on your skin type you should exfoliate 2-3 times a week for the best results. A lot of people think that only those with dry skin should exfoliate, but this is wrong, everyone should, it gets rid of dead skin cells and keeps your skin smooth, glowing and healthy, this is because it speeds up the natural process of shedding dead skin cells. Exfoliators come in different forms, you can get a face wash exfoliator, face scrubs or you can use a facial brush to exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells. 

Exfoliators tend to be scrubs with little balls inside them that get rid of the dirt and dead skin. By using an exfoliator you are giving your skin a deep cleanse, but over exfoliating can lead to over sensitive skin. If you do have sensitive skin, however, you should be careful with which exfoliators you pick up as many are very rough and harsh on the skin to give the best clean and this can lead to problems. 

I mentioned face brushes in the exfoliator paragraph, I know what you're thinking, brushing my face? Hell no! My face brush has saved my skin, I have gone from having quite dry, spot prone skin to having supple, soft skin that hardly attracts dryness or spots. You can really use your face brush with any product; face wash, cleanser, oils, but their main purpose is to give your skin a good, hard clean and exfoliation. I use Magnitone, but there are so many other types of face brushes out there to test, but and most of them come with interchangeable heads for sensitive skin, or a rougher exfoliation etc.

Some people like to use their face brushes only every second day or once or twice a week, but for me, I use it daily with my cleanser every morning using either the sensitive head or on the sensitive setting as I do have sensitive skin. I recommend everyone gets a good face brush, though, they are a gift from God.

Facial oils are something I've only begun to use in my daily routine within the past maybe six to eight months. Different facial oils cater to different needs from anti-aging to plumping the skin, quenching dry skin or just releasing antioxidants to keep your skin feeling and looking healthy and fresh. I have been corrected, although I have heard that adding oil to oily skin increases oil apparently, it does the opposite and actually resets oil receptors. 

Facial oils can be added to moisturisers or applied straight to the skin and most, but not all should be applied twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, stick to the guidelines on the back. Some people apply their oils before moisturiser and some apply after theirs, I apply before because I was once told to apply my skin regime in order of thickness which of course means the moisturiser is last as it is thickest in consistency. Some people have said that their oil can work as a primer, but I have never tried this so I can't back this up. 

Facials are usually done by someone else, usually a beautician or in a spa. There are different types of facials, from those that only massage and moisturise the face to those which completely replace the top layer of skin. Facials are great for renewing your skin and treating any problems, they are also incredibly relaxing. If you go to the correct place for a facial they are done by a professional who will usually tell you which type of facial is best for you, they would never tell anyone with sensitive skin to go for an acid peel facial as it would be far too rough on the skin. 

Although some people may get them more often, it is recommended you get a facial at least once a month, but since they are pricey not everyone gets to have them this often and instead do home face masks during the time between facials to keep the skin hydrated and treated for problems. Transform do some incredible facials and I 110% recommend you go there if you're thinking of one. 

Have you learned anything about your skincare today? Do you have any tips to share?

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Disclaimer: edited version shows a few changes to this post.
Credit to Jessica Barlow for some information that needed to be cleared up.
I never claimed to be an expert, just going by my personal stories,
thank you to a real expert for helping clear up some issues. 

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