Have you ever gone to a beauty counter or spa and suddenly left with 5 new products with no clue why you picked them up? We call this the beauty store blackout. This is a common occurrence because most of us not only love beauty products, but we also are convinced into a sale based on claims of what said product would do for us. The desire for a clear and glowing complexion can come at a cost when you don’t understand how to structure a regimen for yourself. There is so much to consider when you are buying products for your skin including how your products will work together in synergy. The combination of ingredients can become a science experiment gone bad on our face if we’re not careful. So how do you navigate all of this if you’re not an expert? Here are the 4 SFT steps to keeping your regimen simple and effective.
STEP 1 - CLEANSE!
Don’t get too hyped up on using a cleanser that has lots of active ingredients in them. Having a salicylic or glycolic rich cleanser may seem like it’s going to give you the cleanest skin ever but this is what formulators call “wash off” products. Why? Because you end up washing them off before the actives can really do their work. There are a few cleanser types that are great for all skin types which includes oil cleansers and cream cleansers but if you’re looking for something to really clean you look for a cleanser that can also double as a mask. A great example would be the Osea Ocean Cleansing Mudd which is targeted for more oily or breakout prone skin. This cleanser has invigorating ingredients that help immediately wake up the skin and give a good clean but if you use it once a week as a mask you can also benefit for the algae to help minimize the appearance of surface impurities. So don’t fall for all the extras because your skin will get confused and you may unintentionally interrupt your skin’s natural PH levels. It may feel squeaky clean to do so but over time it will weaken your barrier if it’s too consistent. So mix it up and stick with the simple formulas if you’re not sure.
STEP 2 - TONE!
As soon as your skin is cleansed you want to replenish it with your hydrator of choice. The old school thought behind this step was that if your toner didn’t have an astringent like effect with alcohol or witch hazel as a main ingredient, then it didn’t do anything. This step is actually meant to set the tone of the rest of your nutrient-rich skincare so that you can drive the serums and oils deeper into your skin. Stick with simple solutions that are rose water or aloe water base. You can also spray this throughout the day to keep a nice balance in your oil production.
STEP 3 - TREAT!
Treatments are so confusing for most people because most of us think that if we want a specific result we have to add everything at once. Unfortunately, that is not the case as certain ingredients do best on their own and may not work well with others. The synergy that you are looking to create is most likely already accounted for in certain formulations so don’t think that you need to layer something else to boost your results. For example, there are folks out there that get excited for the cellular turnover that they add all the vitamin serums they have during the day and the skin simply freaks out. To make it easy look for ingredients that are rich in vitamins c and e for during the day for antioxidant protection and for cell turnover you can an enzyme-rich formula or a vitamin a serum at night.
STEP 4 - SEAL AND PROTECT!
To finish off your routine, especially in the day, it’s important to seal in all of the nutrient-rich qualities of your toner and treatment with a moisturizer. Many people feel that their oil treatment is enough given their skin type and/or condition, however, for those of you who need a little extra barrier protection or nourishment, this step is a must. Moisturizers range in their moisture factor based on how your skin is feeling but they typically seal in all of the parts of your cell structure that haven’t been addressed yet. Moisturizers like Josh Rosebrook’s nutrient day cream is a great example of an all in one option since he added the right amount of sun protection with zinc oxide in his formula. Another great alternative for those of you who don’t love the feel of a moisturizer would be the Barrier Lipid Restore by Marie Veronique. This formula takes into consideration a common issue in people’s skin which is transepidermal water loss (TEWL). So the formulation considers the ratio of epidermal lipids that we need for plump and healthy skin.
We realize that this journal post may need a part 2 and part 3 to really elaborate on the complexities of product combinations and ingredient understanding. We hope that this can start as a general outline to simplify your needs and next time we will jump into the benefits of exfoliation as well as when and how to do it based on your skin type or condition. Next week we will be continuing with our combination theme by discussing food combinations. We are excited to share our theories on how certain foods pair best together. Comment below with any questions!