Are you someone who is overwhelmed with your skin care routine or who doesn’t even know where to start?
Do you get excited about a product, so you buy the whole line only to end up asking, "What is all this for and how do I use it again?"
Worse, do you feel like you just dropped a bunch of cash only to have the products sit on your shelf or in your shower untouched, BECAUSE it's so overwhelming?
You are not alone!
As a Master Esthetician, my clients struggle with knowing how to put together a daily skincare routine – and it’s one of the main issues they have (along with obvious skin concerns).
You’ll be surprised at how few products you need to make a difference -- but these few items pack a powerful punch.
Here are some overarching tips to start.
Every skin care professional will have a difference of opinion when it comes to what works and what doesn't and that's okay. These products have been tried and true over the years and some of my most beloved.
Let’s dive in and simplify your routine!
1. Get yourself a great cleanser (AM/PM)
A cleanser is your best friend and the first step in your routine. Look for ingredients like Willows Bark Extract (salicylic acid) for oily/acne-prone skin, and glycerin or ceramides for dry/sensitive skin. Don't forget to double cleanse! We like the Epionce clinical skincare cleansers: the Milky Lotion cleanser for sensitive skin, or the Gentle Foaming cleanser for oily skin.
2. Vitamin C Serum (AM/PM)
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help decrease the formation of free radicals in the skin that come from external factors such as pollution and sunlight and can damage the DNA of healthy cells. You can use this day or night before applying moisturizer. We like Image Skincare’s Vital C serum, linked here.
3. Retinol (PM)
Retinol is up for debate regarding whether it's a "true" exfoliator or not. Retinols encourage your skin to turn over at a faster pace to generate healthier cells, whereas a typical exfoliant strips your skin of dead skin cells. They may have similar results, but they’re two different mechanisms to remove skin cells. It's important that if you've never used a Retinol before, you choose a lower strength and use only once or twice a week. Do this for about a month. If your skin responds well, you can increase up to two to three times a week. Use in the PM after cleansing and before moisturizing. Also, if you plan on being in the sun for prolonged periods of time, consider reducing or stopping retinol altogether temporarily as it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Do not use retinol if pregnant or breastfeeding. We like SkinMedica’s 0.5 Retinol Complex formulation, linked here.
4. Moisturizer/ Serum (AM/PM)
Hydration is key! Moisturizer picks up where your water intake leaves off, but it's never a substitute, just an added benefit to your skins overall health. While you can use a moisturizer both day and night, you might want to go with something of a heavier weight consistency for nighttime use and a little lighter for day. Obviously your skin type plays a huge part in this as well. If you are dry most or all of the time, you might do just fine with a heavier moisturizer for day AND night. The opposite can be said for oily skin. Most people fall in the middle, having a more "normal" skin. Look for humectants in the ingredient deck such as Glycerin, Ceramides or Hyaluronic Acid. These bring true hydration into the skin rather than just sitting on top. Stay away from anything with too much fragrance as it can be triggering for sensitive skin. Again, we love Epionce dermatological products: use the Renewal Facial Cream for dry skin, or the Renewal Facial Lotion for combination/normal.
5. SPF 50+ (AM)
Sun protection should be the last step in your morning routine. Your SPF is one of the key factors to keeping skin youthful and protected. Not all SPF products are created the same! Many articles have been published throughout the years regarding this topic and it can be overwhelming to choose an SPF product that suits your needs, but the most important thing to remember is that you need SPF. What we're trying to do is keep UVA and UVB damage at bay which can cause premature aging and increases your risk of skin cancer. Believe it or not, you come into contact with these factors year-round, even when it's cloudy or you're indoors -- some UV rays can even penetrate through glass. Think working from home gets you a free pass? Not if you're by a window!
In terms of choosing an SPF product, I'll keep it very simple. In general, stay away from chemical sunscreens, which can absorb rays and irritate sensitive skin. Some ingredients to stay away from are Avobenzone's, Oxybenzone's and Octinoxate. Instead, look for physical ones that reflect rays. Physical SPFs contain Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide; you should also look for products that include soothing, hydrating ingredients such as Vitamin E or Green Tea Extract. We LOVE Epionce’s Daily Shield SPF 50 – not only is it an amazing physical sunscreen, but it also is tinted for a fresh glow!
Also, don't forget to reapply -- especially if you're going to be in contact with water! Wear a hat if possible and take shade breaks throughout the day.
This five-step process is pretty simple, right?
You don't need an arsenal to achieve great skin, but you do need consistency. (A great eye cream also helps!)
I tell my clients that home care is 80% of what makes your skin thrive, so make sure you stick with a routine even when you're tired or traveling.
Are you in search of the perfect products to buy? Check out our clinical physician-strength skincare line, Epionce. Available online or in our office, every product is paraben, fragrance, sulfate and gluten-free.
The real transformation comes when you see your skin care professional for more advanced treatments such as facials, micro-needling, and radio frequency treatments like Tempsure Envi for collagen production and skin tightening.
As the adage goes, the age you start taking care of the skin is the age you stay -- so start early!
Do you have a favorite product or treatment? Let us know!