Receiving skincare advice regarding products to use from friends and family is a common trend among individuals of all ages.
This is because they are our confidants and we tend to act on their advice. However, more often than not we realise that what worked for them doesn’t work for us.
Of course, this is no fault of our family or friends. This happens because individual skin types differ, and a skincare product that gives your friend flawless skin might cause a breakout on yours.
Needless to say, discovering a custom skincare routine that addresses your needs is a dream come true. Thus, the first step in creating a custom routine is identifying your skin type and the products that work for it.
Determining your skin type
Humans are diverse, and so are our skin types. Experts have classified skin types into five namely: normal, sensitive, dry, oily, combination (dry + oily), and sensitive.
As the name implies, normal skin is regular, clean, and neither too dry nor too oily. It typically does not require special care or attention.
This skin type reacts easily to any sort of stimulation. It’s fragility makes it easy for this skin type to lose its protective barrier, thus allowing easy entry of microorganisms and bacteria. People with this skin type need to pay extra attention to the ingredients contained in their skincare products.
This skin type lacks the moisture needed for its maintenance. Some causes of dry skin include inadequate hydration, dry/cold weather, harsh skincare products, and taking long showers and baths. If left unmanaged, dry skin often results in cracked skin. Cracked skin is a risk factor for subsequent skin-related issues such as eczema.
This skin type results from excess sebum produced by the sebaceous glands of the face. As a result, the face takes on a shiny, oily appearance. Acne and pimples are often associated with this skin type.
This skin type combines dry and oily skin. Often, the face’s T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) is of the oily skin type, while the cheeks take on a dry skin appearance.
Furthermore, regardless of skin type, people’s skincare goals are similar. These goals typically include an even skin tone, tight pores, and well-hydrated and healthy-looking skin. Therefore, after determining your skin type, you should use products that contain ingredients that align with your skin type and meet your skin needs. Below is a list of ingredients that work for different skin types.
- For oily skin, ingredients such as salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and benzoyl peroxide are the best fit. They usually effectively control sebum production and hydrating the skin.
- For dry skin, lactic acid and shea butter are effective for hydration.
- For sensitive skin, products such as shea butter and aloe vera help to preserve the skin barrier, thus limiting breakouts.
Key steps you should include in your custom skincare routine
- Cleansing: This step entails the removal of dust, sebum, or/or makeup from the skin. The cleanser you choose must contain ingredients well-suited for your skin type. For example, cleansers with salicylic acid work best with oily skin.
- Moisturizing: Proper moisturization helps the skin to maintain balance, preserve the barrier, and helps prevent skin problems. Moisturisers help the skin to lock in moisture, thus boosting hydration. Oily skin types benefit from moisturizers; they contain niacinamide and salicylic acid as major ingredients. Meanwhile, skincare products containing ceramides, glycerin, and thalidomide acid are most suited for dry skin types.
- Applying Sunscreen: Frequent exposure to UV rays from the sun only serves to age the skin and increase one’s chances of developing wrinkles, blemishes, dark spots, and fine lines.
The consistent application of sunscreen can help to protect the skin against the effects of harmful rays. For sufficient coverage, SPF 30 and above is recommended for daily usage.
Additional Skincare products
In addition to cleansers, moisturisers, sunscreens, toners and serums. There are other skincare products that you can embed into your skincare routine such as Toners and Serums.
These products are applied after cleansing to hydrate and balance the skin’s pH. However, toners have been deemed unnecessary since most cleansers can meet these functions.
These are applied before moisturisers. Serums are skincare products that contain a high concentration of active ingredients. Active ingredients include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. Since these ingredients come in different percentages of concentration, it becomes important that you consult with your dermatologist before you decide on the most suitable to prevent skin irritation.
Based on the information presented above, your morning and night skincare routine should consider the following: cleanser, serum, moisturiser, and sunscreen.
What to keep in mind when embarking on your skincare journey
- Consistency Is Key: Your skincare journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Diligently follow your custom routine to achieve your skincare goals.
- Less Is More: It can be very tempting to buy a lot of skincare products. However, overwhelming your skin with too many products can weaken the skin barrier. Thus, it is better you follow a skincare routine that considers skin protection.
- Patch Test First: Undergoing a patch test will help to detect if you are allergic to certain skincare products quickly. Here is a resource to help you out.
- Hydrate and Nourish from Within: Don’t forget that healthy skin also comes from within. Drink plenty of water, maintain a balanced diet, and get adequate sleep.
- See a Dermatologist: Sometimes, a solid skincare routine might be insufficient in battling your skin problems. Other times, you might need professional counsel on the right type of skincare product to use. Do not hesitate to call on your dermatologist when it comes to this.
You should remember that everyone’s skin is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. Creating a personalised skincare routine takes time and experimentation. Still, you can achieve the desired results with dedication and patience while maintaining healthy skin.
Researcher: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi