Let me start by making a confession: I never attempted to follow a skin care routine until I turned 40. Crazy, right? It wasn’t that I didn’t worry about the fine lines and wrinkles I saw appearing – they seemed to multiply daily! It was the anxiety I felt every time I walked down the skin care aisle! I would do research on the internet, decide which products I wanted to purchase, and go to the store with my list in hand. The problem was every time I went, there was a new product being advertised, claiming to be better, more advanced, and treating a skin concern I had not even thought about. I would inevitably leave the store with no products, even more frustrated than I had been, with a firm resolve to just avoid all mirrors so I couldn’t see the ever-increasing signs of aging!
Fortunately, that was about the time I decided to start working as a representative for a leading beauty company. This may seem a bit ironic considering the anxiety skin care products caused me, but I thought it might be the best way to learn about the various products, and what each of those products actually did. I must admit, there was much more to learn than I ever imagined! I have included a few of the basic, fundamental questions I found to be extremely helpful in designing a skin care routine.
First, you should decide what is the biggest skin concern you want to address? Some of the basic areas of concern are loss of firmness, fine lines and wrinkles, deep wrinkles, skin dullness, discoloration due to sun damage or aging, the texture of your skin, or perhaps a combination (multiple signs of aging). Knowing the main concern can help pinpoint the focus of your skin care products and greatly impact the direction of your skin care routine.
Second, what is your skin type? The choices in this area are fairly straight-forward: normal, dry, oily, combination, and/or sensitive. The formulation of a moisturizer designed for oily skin is much different than one for dry skin. I know this sounds like common sense, but for someone like me (a skin care newbie at the time), I really had not given a lot of thought to this particular aspect of my skin. I considered my skin to be normal, but many products are not absorbed well by my skin, leaving it looking and feeling oily. Because of that, products designed for combination skin work best for my skin. How your skin reacts to products is definitely something to consider when deciding how you would classify your skin type.
Third, how committed are you to following a skin care routine? For instance, I have a friend who is very faithful to her routine, which has several steps. Her skin is beautiful! I, on the other hand, am doing good to manage three steps! Anything beyond the basics is a stretch, and may result in my not doing any of them. Knowing that, I designed my routine to be basic, with weekly special treatments to boost my results. Your skin care will only be effective if you are actually using it the way you should. If you are like me and need to keep it simple, it doesn’t make sense to have 5 steps every day; you will most likely get frustrated and eventually stop using the products, which means limited results. Be honest with yourself when you answer this question, and you will avoid sabotaging your skin care routine. After you get your basic routine established, you can always add special treatments as you go along.
Lastly, are the products manufactured by a reputable company? Not all skin care products are created equally. This doesn’t mean you can’t get great products at a reasonable price – it simply means you need to consider the reputation and ratings of the company behind the products. There are a lot of fantastic products that will not require you to take out a loan to purchase them! Many names are synonymous with quality. Read the reviews of people who have used the products, as well as industry reviews. Ask friends what they have used, and what their opinion is of the products. You don’t have to spend hours on Google, but it is definitely worth taking a little time to look at reviews.
A tool that is often overlooked when deciding on a skin care routine is a skin care advisor. There are several that are available, like the one I have shared on this page. Keep in mind that as time goes by, your skin changes, and you may want to revisit the tool to see if your routine should be updated. A quality skin care advisor tool will ask the essential questions and give suggestions; you are the one who makes the ultimate decision of what your routine will consist of. After all, you are the expert on you!
I hope this has helped a little in “demystifying” designing your own personal skin care routine! Many companies offer a money-back guarantee on their products, as well as free samples. Take advantage of those offers! They can be key in helping you get the perfect skin care routine that you will actually use. As I said before, the most effective skin care routine is one that you will actually do on a regular basis! Have fun and remember: a smile is always the best beauty basic!