In this article we will be looking at a complete guide to best skin care routine for glowing skin. Whether you have you dry skin, oily, very dry skin, sensitive skin, normal skin, acne prone skin, and combination skin, this article is for you.
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Best Skin Care Routine For Glowing Skin: The Complete Guide
There are 3 main steps that form the foundation or basics of a good skin care routine. These includes:
- Sun protection (Sunscreen Application)
The above steps are necessary for every skin type no matter your age. Without these 3 steps in your skincare, most of the other things you do to your skin will have less benefit to your skin.
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Cleansing Your Skin
Cleansing is necessary to remove build up of dirty, oil, and pollution that accumulates on your skin. It is also necessary to remove previous sunscreen applied. Leaving all these on your face will lead to clogged pores and skin irritation.
Cleansing creates a clean surface that is prepared to receive and absorb the remaining elements of your skincare routine like moisturizer, actives, and treatments. Cleansing also allows the skin to breathe and to renew itself.
Types Of Cleansers On The Market
There are many different types of cleansers on the markets that sometimes making a perfect choice can be overwhelming. However, the variety ensures that you will always find a few that are ideal for your skin type.
1. Bar Soap and Black Soap Cleansers
These are probably the most popular cleansing agent for the face. However, soap based cleansers may not be ideal for facial cleansing for everyone. Traditional bar soaps have a high pH of 8 and above whilst the skin has pH of around 4.5 to 5.5. So each time you cleanse with a high pH cleanser you’re compromising the skin’s ability to perform it’s functions properly.
Traditional bar soaps cleanses very well, in fact often too well but they tend to strip off the skin natural oil leaving it dry and light. But there are modern bar soap cleansers like cetapil that are available now on the market that are more pH balanced and better for the skin. They are usually labeled as cleansing bars.
Then, the composition of black soap varies depending on where it is made. It can be quite harsh and irritating on the facial skin particularly. Some people mix it with things like honey and lemon to cut its irritation ability. But some people’s skin cannot condone that at all.
- Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar
- Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Face & Body Bar for All Skin Types
- Neutrogena Original Gentle Facial Cleansing Bar
2. Gel Cleansers
These are clear and have a thick, gel-like consistency. They can be used for normal, oily and combination skin.
- InstaNatural Facial Cleanser – Vitamin C Face Wash
- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser
3. Cream Cleansers
These are usually thick and creamy. They are very moisturizing and may contain oils and other ingredients to help cleanse the skin without stripping off its natural oils. They may also be called milk or lotion cleansers. If you use waterproof makeup you may need to use a make up remover first before using it. They’re ideal for dry and combination skin type.
- Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser
- Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Face Cleanser
- L’Oreal paris cream Cleanser for Softer and Smoother Skin
4. Oil Cleansers
It may sound very strange to clean the face with oil especially if you have oily skin. However, oil cleansers are very effective and are mild way of cleansing the skin. The oil cleansers does a good job by dissolving the oil that is on the skin, including sunscreen as well as dirt, pollutants and waterproof makeup which are washed away with the oil.
Oil cleansers are ideal if you do wear heavy makeup or if you like to wash your skin twice in a day. After using oil cleanser, a gel or cream or foaming cleanser is used to wash off any residue on the skin. They’re ideal for moist skin type.
5. Clay Cleansers
These are great for absorbing excess oils from the skin. They are ideal for oily and combination skin.
- Neogen Dermalogy Canadian Clay Cleanser Kit
- bareMinerals Clay Chameleon Cleanser
- L’Oreal Paris Skincare Pure-Clay Facial Cleanser
6. Micellar Cleansers
These are also known as Cleansing Waters. They originated in France where women were developing skin irritations from using their local water to wash their faces.
Micellar waters are made up of tiny oil molecules called ‘micelles’ suspended in soft water. These oil droplets attract oil, dirt, and make up. It is said that these do not need to be rinsed off.
But ideally, they should be rinsed off and followed up with another cleanser or the residue they leave behind may be irritating for some people. They are ideal for people sensitive and dry skin.
- Simple Skin Micellar Cleansing Water
- Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
- Marcelle Micellar Water
7. Powder Cleansers
These are sold as fine powders, which are mixed with water to create a thick cleanser. They can also provide a very mild, gentle exfoliating effect. They’re ideal for people with oily and sensitive skin.
- Korean Beauty (SRB) Rice Bran Enzyme Powder Face Wash
- Hanalei Powder Face Cleanser
- Genesis Exfoliating Face Wash Powder for Dry and Sensitive Skin
8. Cleansing Wipes
These are similar to baby’s wipe. But they’re not the most effective cleanser for removing oil, dirt, and makeup. Using them involves dragging and pulling at the skin, which can be irritating. They also leave behind a residue on the skin, which can be very irritating.
- Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Face Wipes
- Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths
- Simple for Sensitive Skin Face Cleansing Wipes
9. Cleansing Balms
These are very similar to oil cleansers but they are much thicker so are less messy to use. They’re ideal for removing very thick, heavy layers of makeup. They’re great for dry and sensitive skin types.
- ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
- Farmacy Natural Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm
- Heimish All Clean Balm
10. Colloidal Oatmeal Cleanser
Oatmeal mixed with a little water is a mild and gentle cleanser. It can remove everyday dirty and oil from the skin. It doesn’t strip off skin’s natural oils or leave it feeling tight. But it is not great for removing heavy makeup like thick foundation or waterproof mascara for example. It’s specially suited for cleansing in the morning when your face may not be very dirty. It is a good cleanser for all skin types but ideally for dry skin.
How to Wash Your Face Properly
- Remove your makeup
- Adjust the water to warm
- Cleanse in a circular motions without scrubbing, for at least 30 seconds
- Rinse thoroughly
- Gently pat your face dry with a soft and dry to well.
Dos Of Facial Cleansing
- Do use clean hands and face cloths
- Do use lukewarm water
- Do pat skin dry gently with towel
- Do use an exfoliate a few times a week
- Do wash your face morning and night, even if you’re not wearing makeup.
Don’ts Of Facial Cleansing
- Don’t forget to wash your hands before touching your face.
- Don’t use hot water to cleanse your skin
- Don’t rub your skin when drying
- Don’t forget to wash your neck
- Don’t go to bed wit make up
- Don’t cleanse your face more than twice daily.
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Moisturizing Your Skin
A moisturizer is a cosmetic cream, lotion etc. that is applied to the skin to add or restore moisture to it and to make it smoother and softer. It is a very generic term, which covers a wide range of products.
Water constantly evaporates from the deeper layer of the skin. This is known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). By regulating its water content, skin maintains a dry, easily shed surface as a barrier against infection, dirt, or damage.
It is also needs to protect itself from drying out and becoming brittle and rigid. A moisturizer can help your skin to maintain this delicate balance. The desired outcome for using a moisturizer includes:
- Repairing the barrier skin
- Preventing loss of water from the skin (TWEL)
- Improving the appearance of the skin.
There are 3 or 4 types of moisturizing ingredient today in the cosmetics world you can find in good moisturizers. They includes:
These are substances, which attract water to surface layer of the skin (epidermis) and help to plump it up. Some common Humectants you may find in your skin moisturizers are:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Sodium lactate
- Lactic acid
- Propylene glycol
- Butylene glycol
These remain on the outer surface of the skin and act as lubricants. They help the edges of the skin cells to lay down flat thus giving a smooth and even appearance and making the skin feel softer. Oils used in moisturizers act as emollients. Some common emollients you may see in your moisturizers are:
- Olive oil
- Shea butter
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
- Sunflower oil
- Fatty alcohol
These works of these ingredients is to slow down the loss of water from the skin. They help to reduce transepidermal water loss (TWEL). Occlusive are usually thick, greasy, and heavy. They are most effectives when applied to damp skin. One of the common occlusive is petroleum jelly. Others may include:
- Mineral oil
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
If you have acne prone skin, use moisturizers that have occlusive in them on your face with caution.
However, most of the moisturizing products on the market today fall into one the these four categories:
- Humectant dominant Moisturizer
- Emollient Dominant Moisturizer
- Occlusive Dominant Moisturizer
- Therapeutic Dominant Moisturizer
These provide hydrating effects and are great for use with heavier creams because they’ll not repair dry skin on their own. They’re best applied to wet skin to help seal in the moisture, then, follow up with another moisturizer.
These are lotions that are usually quite watery. They do not feel greasy or heavy and spread and absorbs easily to make your skin feel soft.
They’re best used as maintenance when you’re not battling with any skin problems. They’re great for hot weather, and not most effective for dealing with very dry skin.
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient, Unscented Body Lotion
- Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream
- Theraplex Clear Emollient Lotion – Oil Moisturizer
They come in form of thick lotions, creams or semi-solids ointments. They will make your skin look very grease and shiny in your moisturizers e.g. body butters.
- Paula’s Choice RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50
- ETUDE HOUSE SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream
They’re cream, gel, lotion and ointments used to soothe, soften, treat, and prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin, and other minor skin irritations like diaper rashes and sunburns from radiation therapy.
You’re skin concerns will determine the type of moisturizer you will use. If you have skin that is neither dry nor oily, choose an emollient heavy moisturizer. It will usually be a light fluid lotion.
But if you have a very oily skin you should avoid regular use of occlusive dominant moisturizers. A very light, water-based moisturizer would be ideal for you.
People with dry skin should go for thicker, greasier moisturizers like body butters it would help them a lot. They may be little difficult to use in the day because they’re not cosmetically elegant especially under makeup.
Just light moisturizer for day and a heavier moisturizer for night. You can also use a thicker cream for your body and lighter moisturizing lotion for your face.
Moisturizers may contain actives that are targeted towards various skin concerns like hyperpigmentation or skin imitation and sensitivity.
1. If you apply moisturizer every day your skin becomes lazy and loses its ability to stay hydrated on its own.
Skin doesn’t get used to being hydrated and forget how to stay hydrated on its own. Overtime, skin loses its ability to stay naturally hydrated as it did when we were young. This occurs for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of sun damage and age.
Skin can also become dry from using bad skin care products such as abrasive scrubs, harsh cleansing brushes, and heavily fragranced products.
2. You only need moisturizer if you have visibly dry, flaky skin.
Regardless of your skin type, as long as you choose a moisturizer with beneficial ingredients and your skin type appropriate texture (e.g. cream for dry skin, gel or liquid for oily skin, and lotion for normal or combination skin), you can absolutely gain amazing benefits from using one.
However, you can also get those must have ingredients from other types of skin care products such as face serums, treatments, booster, and toners, a product doesn’t have to be labeled ‘moisturizers’ or have creamy texture before your skin can get what it needs to be healthy.
3. You need different moisturizers for different parts of the body.
This completely depends on your skin types and conditions. For example, if you have an oily completion but dry skin on your legs, then yes, you’ll benefits from using two different moisturizers.
Personal preference also plays a role. You may prefer lightweight lotions or gel facial moisturizers but love the protective feel of a nourishing body cream leaves.
How To Cleanse, Moisturizer And Tone Your Skin
Battling with hyperpigmentation these amazing home remedies may be want you need.
Sun Protection And Sunscreen
A sunscreen is a lotion, gel, spray, stick, foam, powder or other types of product that is applied to the skin to protect it from the harmful rays of the sun.
Some people with African skin felt that sunscreen is not necessary for them because the melanin in their skin protects them from the rays. However, there are certain skin problems which are common in Africans that are worsened by the sun., making sun protection important for the as well.
The sun produces invisible rays knows UV-A, UV-B and VU-C rays. UVC rays do not enter the atmosphere but UVA and UVB do pass through. UVA and UVB rays causes damage to the skin in different ways. UVA Causes
- DNA damage
UVA rays can pass through a window glass into your home while UVB rays do not, but both rays can cause skin cancer. The intensity of the UV rays is determined by:
- Cloud cover
- Amount of shade
- Presence of reflective surface
UV Penetration Into The Layers Of The Skin (UV Light Filters)
The active ingredients in sunscreen are called VU (Ultraviolent) light filters. And the UV filters act by:
- Absorbing UV rays and dispersing their energy
- Blocking and reflecting and scattering UV rays
UV filters are divided into:
- Organic (Chemical) Filters, and
- Inorganic (mineral or Physical) Filters
Examples of chemical filters are Tinosorb S and Avobenzone whilst examples of physical filters are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide.
A sunscreen that contains only chemical filters is called chemical sunscreen. A sunscreen that contains only physical filters is called physical sunscreen whilst a sunscreen that contains both chemical and physical filters is called a combination sunscreen.
Types Of Sunscreen on The Market
Sunscreen comes in different formulations depending on where you’re, how long is an exposure, what is your skin type, you need to buy the right one for yourself.
1. Creamy Sunscreen
This is suitable for dry and sensitive skin. It is on creamy base. It is soft, nice to apply and ease to spread on the skin, as well as it does not really dry skin up and it will also give you enough hydration to your skin. So if you’ve dry skin, aging skin, and if you’re pretty much 40+ with normal skin, you can use it.
2. Emulsion Sunscreens
This is more like milk and flowing fluid, is not thick or creamy. It is best suited for oily skin type. It gives you the sun protection you required and keeps magnifying, still keeps your skin not looking dull, nice and right, and still gives you the protection.
- EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 for Sensitive or Acne-Prone Skin, Oil-free
- SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF 50+ Sunscreen
3. Gel Sunscreens
When you apply it is just like a cream but absolutely has this magnifying powdering effect on your skin. It usually comes with 30 SPF. Absolutely perfect for acne prone skin and oil skin. To me this is the best of all types of sunscreen.
- Kanebo ALLIE Extra UV Gel Sunscreen – SPF50+ PA++++ 90g
- Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel SPF 50/PA+++ (Face & Body)
4. Spray Sunscreen
If you have a large body parts that you want to be protected. Then Spray sunscreen is your best bet. It comes in SPF 30, SPF 40, SPF 50 even up to SPF 80, which is fantastic. Just keep it a foot away from your hand, feet and spray and it will fantastically covers the whole body surface.
If you’re applying a sunscreen that’s like a cream just put a little on your finger, dot it all over your face, and use two fingers to nicely spread it all over your face. Make sure you have adequate quantity sunscreen and not too thin layer that does not deliver what is promises.
- Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF 50 Plus, Antioxidant Sunscreen Spray for Sensitive Skin,
- SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 35 Sunscreen
If your skin is very dry while using cream and spray sunscreens, you use a spry of water, and then hydrate the skin then apply the cream it will be much easy to move your fingers on the skin. If you’re using emulsion sunscreen, take a little on your finger and apply gently and massage overall.
It is important to know that you’re not just protecting your face from the sun but your hands, feet and all the exposed parts of your body need to be protected. Your entire body is very important. And one mistake everyone make on protecting their faces is neglecting the lips. Use lip balms with SPF apply them on your lip before going out. It stops them from dulling and drying up.
When To use Sunscreens
If you’ve a dry skin, you either use a spray on your face or you could use a primer, a lotion or a moisturizer on your face and then apply the sunscreen.
If you’re undergoing some treatment like anti-aging, anti-acning, then you should first use what the doctor has asked you to use, which is the medicated cleanser lotion or emulsion, then use your moisturizing if need be and then used the sunscreen.
If you’re going out and need to apply make then, apply you medicated cream, work in a moisturizer, apply sunscreen, and wear your make up. Your sunscreen comes last and on it comes your colored make up.
Sun Protection Guidelines
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours between 10am to 4pm, under umbrellas, trees, or other shelters that can provide relief from the sun.
- Be extra careful around surfaces that reflect the sun rays, like snow, sand, water, and concrete.
- Wear sun protection gears like hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye problems. Wrap around sunglasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays offer the best protection by blocking UV rays from the skin.
- Wear a long sleeved shirt and trousers or a long skirt for additional protection when possible.
- Apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher at least 15mins before going outside even on cloudy days. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 to 4 hours and after swimming, if you’re staying out in the sun all day.
Sunscreen Buying Guides
- Choose a minimum of SPF 30
- If you’ve oily skin or acne prone skin, then look for non-comedogenic on the label, or look for alcohol-based lotions or gels.
- If you have dry skin, then, look for moisturizing agent like hyaluronic acid and ceramides or look for heavier, creamy sunscreen formulas or ointments. Avoid alcohol which some people find drying their skin.
- If you have sensitive skin opt for a physical sunscreen, which will form a layer on the skin and won’t irritates the eyes.
- Though physical sunscreens are known for leaving a white ashy appearance especially on brown skin. But there are new formulas on the market now, which contains micronized zinc they’re invisible on dark skin. So look for those ones if you want to use a physical sunscreen and the white cast.
Physical Vs Chemical Sunscreen
- It works like a shield. It sits on the surface of your skin deflecting the sun rays.
- Look for the active ingredients Zinc oxide and / or titanium dioxide
- Opt for their sunscreen if you have sensitive skin.
- It works like as a sponge, absorbing the sun rays.
- Look for one or more of the active ingredients, Oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
- The formulation tends to be easier to rub into the skin without leaving a white residue.
Sunscreen Frequently Ask Question
What Is SPF In Sunscreen
Sun Protection Factor, which is the number written on your tube likeSPF 30, SPF 40, SPF 50 etc. And this simply means 1 SPF is equals to 10 minutes sun protection. That means if you’re the sunscreen you bought has SPF 30, that will protect you for 300mins under the sun. So you should apply a adequate amount of cream on your face. Also you should not be in a sweaty place, wiping away your , touching your face 20 times, all of these will take away part of the sun protection applied. To always be on safer side, always reapply sunscreen every 4 hours.
SPF is divided into 4 groups as follows:
Low – 4, 6, 8, 10 SPFs
Medium – 15, 20, 25 SPFs
High – 30, 40, 50 SPFs
Very High – 50+
However, no sunscreen will block all UV rays. But if a sunscreen is labeled ‘broad spectrum’ that means it offers UV-A and UV-B protection. You may also see UVA protection rated from + to ++++, especially in Asian sunscreens.
What Is Tan Protection Index
It simply means how many minutes you’re under the sun without actually getting tan. Usually you will see the sunscreen bottles with a lot of ‘+” signs. The best to use is actually the sunscreen that ‘++++’, ++ is very average and +++ is good enough. So you’ve to look for +++ TAP on the bottle before buying to ensure you’re protected again tanning as well.
Ultra Violet Rays
The ultra violet rays that you’re actually getting yourself exposed when going under the sun and which damages your skin are UV-A and UV-B. Both UVA and UVB cause tanning as well. So it is good to use a sunscreen, which will protect you against the whole spectrums.
Can A SPF Higher Than 30 Be Used
Yes if you really want to use a good sun protection for your face you could go up to SPF 50 but it also depend on your lifestyle. If you can reapply your sunscreen every 3 to 4 hours, if you don’t go out under sun too much, if you don’t sweet too much on the face, then you could stick SPF 30, that will be enough otherwise use higher SPF like 50.
Does Sunscreen Prevent Cancer
We naturally have a lot melanin in us. Melanin increases protection against the sun. But there are some skin cancers happening like melanoma. So you must protect yourself against that. Yes sunscreen protects you against skin cancer.
Is Just Sunscreen Enough
Sunscreen is your first line of defense against sun burn yes. It is but you further do other things to keep UV rays at bay using:
Full sleeved linen fabrics
Big/oversized sunglasses to protect yourself. Sunscreen can just definitely be one of the best factors to protect yourself from sun burn.
Need Sunscreen While Swimming
According Dr. Rashmi Shetty (a skincare expert) Swimming is the time when you get worst damages. Therefore, reapplying sunscreen is very important because there is chlorine whatever is the level of the SPF, you may reapply it after 20mins. The longer you stay, is the more damage you get to your skin even after you’ve apply the sunscreen. Reapplying sunscreen when you’re in the pool is mandatory.
Do You Need Sunscreen Indoors
You definitely need sunscreen everywhere explained Dr. Rashmi Shetty. She said if you’re not looking at protecting yourself from visible sunlight, you’re looking at protecting yourself from the actual wildest traces especially the UVA that can penetrate through glasses of any kind into your home. So you must apply sunscreen when you’re indoor or outdoor.
Why Are Sunscreen Important
Sunscreen is the best anti-aging gift you can give to your skin. But how exactly does sun damage you? UV-A rays which is the main culprit causing the damages, which causes aging or re-activates aging normally causes the damage to the top layer of the skin, then goes deep all to the DNA. So it is super important for you to always apply sunscreen if you want to:
– Age gracefully
– Ward off dark spots
– Prevent skin redness that leads to pigmentation
– Avoid cancers
It is very important you apply sunscreen whether you’re indoors, outdoors, cloud day, rainy day, winter or in summer days.
In conclusion, as long as a sunscreen is broad spectrum, water-resistant and has an SPF 30 and above, it can effectively protect you from the sun explained by American Academy of Dermatolgy.
To recap, the steps you cannot do without in your skincare routines are:
- Moisturizing, and
- Sun protection