Before I became an esthetician, I didn’t know anything about taking care of my facial skin. Sometimes I would use bar soap in the shower. Other times, I would just rinse my face with water. Occasionally, I would apply moisturizer. Overall, I lacked the knowledge and understanding of what products to use and how to use them.
It is important to use products in the right order. In doing so, you will prepare your skin for the penetration of beneficial ingredients. The correct sequence of products can make all the difference between skin that is hydrated, smooth and protected versus skin that is lackluster and aging prematurely.
1. Cleanse – Cleansing removes the nighttime moisturizer and excess oils that have accumulated on the skin’s surface. A clean slate is necessary to prepare the skin for the day. Be sure to use a gentle facial cleanser — not a body soap which is far too alkaline and drying for a woman’s face. (In a future blog post, I will be addressing the various types of cleansers and the specific skin types they are designed for.)
2. Tone – Many women don’t understand the purpose of toner, but toner is actually very important. Not only will it remove any remaining traces of cleanser, it will function to restore the natural pH of the skin. While the skin is still damp from the toner application, you will want to immediately apply your serum or moisturizer. Moist skin is more receptive.
3. Serums – Now that your face has been prepped, you can apply your serum. Serums are created to be of thin viscosity so that they can easily penetrate into the deeper layer of the skin.
4. Moisturize – Lock in your serums and protect your skin with a moisturizing product that is appropriate to your skin type. For example, aging skin requires a thicker cream while younger skin would benefit from a thinner consistency. Acneic conditions also need protection in the form of a lightweight moisturizer with oil-reducing properties.
5. SPF – Always apply sunscreen. Daily, no matter the season!
1. Exfoliate – Proper exfoliation will rid the skin of dead surface cells. You want to do this so that the skin is able to absorb the beneficial products that you apply to it. Enzymes are especially gentle and can be used on all skin types. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) should be reserved for oily skins.
2. Masque – After exfoliation, apply serums and then cover with a masque designed for your skin type or condition. Masques are great for delivering a surge of beneficial ingredients into the skin. Rinse off after 10-20 minutes, then apply your moisturizer.
If you are confused as to your skin type and/or need guidance in selecting products, feel free to contact me. Please understand that without personal consultation, I will only be able to suggest “generic” products, not specific brands. As an esthetician, I am partial to professional product lines with correctly formulated ingredients. I am not a fan of drugstore skincare because they typically contain fillers to bulk them up as well as irritating artificial fragrances. Bottom line, quality products that are used properly for your specific skin type and condition, DO make a difference.
Lori Weintraub is a licensed skin care therapist, holistic health coach and a hair removal expert. She offers online consultations, skin care lessons, exceptional products and hand-holding guidance to help women over 40 regain their youthful glow. Learn more here.