Having beautiful skin is as easy as cleansing, exfoliating, toning, moisturising and lathering on an SPF. But for some, the basics of beauty may not seem so basic. What order do you start with? Should you still cleanse after you exfoliate? Are toners necessary? These are the questions we’re here to answer.
The first rule of cleansing is to do it twice a day, once in the morning and again at night – there are good reasons for this. During the day, dirt as well as your skin’s natural oils mix to form a layer of grime that can clog pores and irritate the skin, which may lead to break-outs. Removing make-up is imperative for the same reason. However, never use your cleanser to remove make-up as cleansers aren’t created to remove waterproof and smudge-proof cosmetics. Instead, use a make-up remover suited to your skin type before cleansing.
Cleansing your face in the morning removes oil and sweat residue that will have formed as you slept, and allows skin to better absorb skincare products, making the AM cleanse a must-do.
Here’s a tricky one. To tone or not to tone? Not everyone has to use a toner; they’re best suited to people who have oily or acne-prone skin. The main objective is to remove excess oil and balance your skin’s pH, both of which promote better skin health. However, there are toners to avoid: alcohol-based products strip the skin of its natural oils and dry it out, causing an array of skin problems, so beware.
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, leaving you with a healthy, bright glow. Do this in the morning, but not every day as exfoliators can be quite harsh on the skin, creating scratches and cracks that may become inflamed. Instead, exfoliate two to three times a week before you cleanse so that your cleanser can clean off any residue left by your exfoliator.
This isn’t just for those who have dry skin. You should moisturise after every cleanse – using a moisturiser for your skin type – as it helps to prevent wrinkles. Dehydrated skin only accentuates the lines you already have; not moisturising leaves your skin vulnerable to infection, which causes inflammation. Inflamed skin breaks down collagen and eventually leads to skin with lines and wrinkles.
Finally, use sunscreen! This is an absolute must for all skin types. Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays which may cause cancer – which is more than enough reason to protect your skin.