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Comprehensive Skin Care Guide for the Ignorant watch

    • Thread Starter

    As the title states this is a guide for those confused about skincare. I have taken the time to explain everything and help those who are otherwise ignorant of the matter.

    Consistency is key to any difference in skin texture and tone. You expect can't do things halfheartedly and expect results.

    I hear so many people state nonsense like: "I don't have the time for a skincare routine" or "I could never do a skincare routine longer than 3 steps. I mean, who has the time?"

    Stop right there.

    You have no right to complain about skin issues when you are not willing to put in the time and effort to correct it.

    If you told me 5 years ago that I would have a 10-step skincare routine I would have laughed in your face.
    These 10 steps do not take longer than 10 minutes to complete and I alternate between different products depending on my skin condition, texture and what I used the day and night before. Skincare is a science but it doesn't have to be as complicated as mine; at least not at first. We will ease you in slowly once you start to enjoy it.

    A little bit about me: I am combination oily with acne prone, sensitive skin that scars easily and is prone to texture issues.

    A titbit before we begin:
    Don't ever compare your skincare routine to someone who naturally has good skin when you are, for example, acne prone. You're comparing apples to oranges.
    I hate seeing these women who have naturally good skin saying that "all I do is cleanse my skin with water and then moisturise and I have great skin" and then encourage others to do the same. That end result is a product of good genes and not a good skincare routine!

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    Skin Types:

    For those with oily skin:
    Your skin is oily because it is dry and thus overcompensates by producing more oil. None of this "I can't use oils because my skin is oily" crap. Oil negates oil.
    Stop using products that strip you of your oil in a vain attempt to control your oil production - you are making it worse. You skin needs moisture so moisturise it! Do not be afraid of using moisturisers and stay away from oil stripping products; those things should be banned from the shelves.

    Typically you will need to exfoliate between 2-3 times a week.

    For those with dry/mature skin:
    Your dry skin lacks the oil production needed to keep it supple and moisturised which is why you really need to pack on the moisture. Don't be afraid of piling on the oils and moisturisers during the day because these will help make your skin look plump.
    Due to the fact your skin doesn't produce a lot of natural sebum you are more likely to age faster than those with oily skin so the moisture acts as a preventative to ageing and also a barrier to outside irritants.

    Typically you will need to exfoliate 1-2 times a week.

    For those with acne prone skin:
    Step away from the overly drying "acne" products that target the entire face and use only targeted point treatments. A lot of people who are acne prone are people with dry skin, so using these products only makes the problem worse. Acne is usually a product of either hormones, diet or personal hygiene.

    If it is hormonal then the best thing to do is see a dermatologist who will prescribe you products to control it.

    If it is dietary then you will need to find the reason behind it; my personal trigger behind my acne was carbohydrates. Once I cut them down to 20g a day my acne improved. Yours might be that you are sensitive to gluten or lactose or fried foods. Find the trigger for yourself through trial and error.

    Acids are better for exfoliation rather than manual because they are less likely to spread the bacteria. BHA's are great for acne.

    Sensitive vs Reactive Skin:
    I see so many people who state they have sensitive skin when actually they are reactive. There is a quite a large difference between the two.

    Sensitive skin is classified by being sensitive to friction, heat and light resulting in redness and sensitivity. Extreme cases of sensitive skin leads to rosacea.

    Reactive skin is reactive/allergic to certain ingredients, which ever ingredients those are depends on the person, and there is no such thing as "hypoallergenic". What a person is reactive to depends on that person.

    You can be both sensitive and reactive or one or the other.

    Sensitive skin is best to use acids instead of manual exfoliation due to friction. Be careful when using acids because you will not need to use as frequently as other skin types. 1-2 times a week max. PHA's and BHA's are best.

    "Normal" Skin:
    Those who won the genetic lottery! Good for you! The best way to maintain said greatness is to do a skincare routine like the rest of us mortals. It won't stay that way forever. Prevention is better than a cure.

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    Skincare Products

    These are what clean your face of dirt, dust and sweat. Always wash your face with water; none of this "wiping products off with cotton" business, not only is it detrimental to the environment, but imagine if you only washed your bum with toilet paper: disgusting right?

    Oil/Balm Cleansers
    These bad boys are what will melt all of that make up off your face.

    Micellar Water
    Whilst I am not an advocate of these products they can be handy in a pinch and ONLY a pinch. Do not use these on a daily basis unless you use them to take off stubborn eye makeup; but even then your oil cleanser will do a good job of that.

    These are the first step of your moisturising routine. Toners get a bad rap because they used to be oil stripping products used to clean off the old cold creams back in the day. Thankfully they are finally being utilised for the greater good; prepping your skin for the rest of your routine.

    Acid toners have become very popular recently for good reason - they take the place of physical exfoliants and provide more benefits. Be careful when using these; you need to wean yourself onto acid toners otherwise you will burn your face. Also, what type of acid you should be using is dependent on your skin type. Also USE SUNSCREEN RELIGIOUSLY. More on that later.

    Essences, Serums and Ampoules
    Essences are newer products brought over from South Korea and Japan and are basically light weight serums that are used during the day. The method behind essences are those of specialised products instead of "all-in-ones" that are rife in the Western beauty world; they allow you to tailor your skincare routine to what your skin is doing that day.

    Serums are night products because they are a heavier consistency and contain ingredients that help with moisturising and prevention of ageing.

    Ampoules are concentrated serums that are directed more at mature skin, though I personally believe there is no minimum age when it comes to anti-ageing products. Prevention is better than cure.

    First Essences
    If you are like me and love skincare you might have come across First Essences from South Korea and Japan - a famous one being the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. These are products that are watery in consistency and are used after toners in your routine.

    They are made with fermented yeast proteins, Pitera being the patented product from SK-II, that help with the ageing process. Pitera (SK-II only) and Galactomyces are the yeast proteins that make up the product and are the powerhouse behind these.

    Eye Creams
    Whilst there is debate whether or not these are needed I personally believe they are good to add into the routine. Our eye area cannot produce sebum so it needs extra help. Tap and roll your ring fingers when applying eye products instead of rubbing it in.

    Oils are great because every oil has its skincare benefits. It could be argan, marula, olive oil, peach kernel, rosehip (my favourite), jojoba, or a mixture of a few. They are great softening products and best used at night after your serum or in place of it. I even use oil on my under eyes, before eye cream, because I personally have a very dry under eye area (I use a drop of pomegranate oil).

    This is another product hailing from South Korea and Japan. Emulsions are light weight moisturisers/lotions and their best use is to be applied before your heavier moisturisers. The reason: the entirety of your face might not need to be heavily moisturised.

    These are your heavier moisturisers that will do the heavy lifting where your emulsion couldn't. Both oily and dry skinned people should have both an emulsion and a cream. Don't fail me now.

    These are acne treatments that should be used for pin-pointing rather than used on the entire face.

    My favourite topic.
    First of all, buy your sunscreen from either S. Korea or Japan. Western companies don't deserve your money with their arrogant prices and their lacklustre consistencies and innovations.

    Secondly, I see so many people using minuscule amounts of sunscreen in an attempt to "make the product last longer". You should be using a teaspoon amount of sunscreen on your face to gain full protection! You will not be protected with only a few small dots on your face. If you are having a hard time blending in that much product, then do it in small amounts at a time.

    Thirdly, if you care about maintaining good skin for years then sunscreen is your best friend and should be applied religiously. The suns ray, regardless if it's a cloudy day, will age your skin.
    If you use acids or retinols on your face you should be using sunscreen religiously; without it you will be reversing the time and effort you have been putting into your skin and much more! I cannot stress enough how important it is for good skin and is very overlooked in the Western world.

    Lastly, no your moisturiser/foundation with SPF will not protect you from the sun. I have no idea why western companies have decided to add SPF to creams and foundations because it does bugger all.

    Always have a separate sunscreen step in your routine and wait until it dries into the skin before applying make up.

    *When applying foundation onto sunscreen it's important to note that buffing it in will disturb the sunscreen and make it move around or pile up, so using stippling or bouncing motions when applying foundation on top is best.

    These are self explanatory and are treatment products used to either moisturise, clarify or brighten the skin. Sheet masks are great for moisturising the skin and keeping it plump, clay masks are great for clarifying and gel masks are great for moisture and brightening depending on their ingredients.

    Sleeping Masks
    This is another product from South Korea. These are gel masks that are applied at night in the place of creams and provide great moisture benefits.

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    Skincare "Products" to Avoid!

    Facial Wet Wipes
    Not only are they an inferior product they are detrimental to the environment. Should be banned from shelves!

    Exfoliants with ground shells or sugar
    These create microtears in the skin because they are not spherical and thus do more harm than good. Use either chemical or exfoliants that use almond meal or other gentle granular products.

    Moisturisers with SPF
    They will not protect your skin from the sun. Show these brands that you will not stand for their inferior products by not buying them and telling them so!

    Western Sunscreens
    Inferior products. They don't deserve your money.

    Anything from Olay
    Full of mineral oil and silicone. Gives the impression of moisturised skin when actually it probably isn't doing anything for you. Not worth your money.

    Anything from catalogue beauty brands
    They are over priced and under perform.

    I will add more as time passes.

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    Now to the fun part:

    The steps in this skincare routine will be the same for everyone just the products you use will be different according to your skin type and skin chemistry.

    AM Routine:
    1. Cleanse
    On dry skin use either a foaming or milk based cleanser to clean your skin of the sweat and dust you have accumulated overnight. Rinse off with water.
    2. Tone
    Use a moisturising toner to prep your skin for the rest of your routine. This is the first step in your moisturising routine. Don't use cotton pads for this; just dispense on your hands and pat onto your face.
    3. First Essence
    If you are using one then this will go on next. Dispense into your hand and pat onto your face. Don't waste product on a cotton pad.
    4. Essence/Serum
    This is the second step of moisturising. This is a good step to combat any skin issues that you have. If you are dry that day then use a moisturising serum, if you are having trouble with brightness then use one for that, etc.
    5. Eye Cream
    Use whichever eye cream you wish to use. Remember: pat and roll, don't rub.
    6. Emulsion
    This is to moisturise the entire face.
    7. Cream
    This is to moisturise the dry patches of the face that weren't completely moisturised the first time.
    8. Sunscreen
    Your last skincare step. Remember to apply a teaspoon amount to the entire face. Make sure it dries into the skin before going outside or moving onto your make up routine.

    Prime your skin and then add foundation to start your make up step.

    PM Routine:
    1. Always remove makeup/sunscreen at night before bed
    Wiping your face with a wet wipe and then moisturising IS NOT cleansing your skin from makeup. You need to use either an oil or balm cleanser (even those with oily skin) to get rid of makeup completely - oil negates oil; so in order to cleanse your skin you need something that will melt off the products on your face. Rinse these off with water.
    2. Cleanse
    After you have removed your makeup you need to cleanse your skin of the oil/balm residue with either the foam or milk cleanser you used in the morning or a separate one. Rinse off with water.
    3. Masks
    Use whichever mask you wish you use before you continue on with the rest of your routine.
    4. Tone
    Use a moisturising toner to prep your skin for the rest of your routine. Don't use cotton pads for this; just dispense on your hands and pat onto your face.
    If you are into acid toners then this would be the perfect time to use it instead of the moisturising one. Make sure you alternate between the two to avoid over exfoliation.
    5. First Essence
    Same as morning routine.
    6. Serums, Ampoules and Oils
    Your first pin-point treatment step. Use whichever product you wish that will help with your current skin condition. If you are using oils you can omit the serum if you are oily or use both if you are dry.
    7. Eye Cream
    Same as morning routine.
    9. Treatments
    If you have acne this would be the best time to add pin-point acne treatments.
    10. Emulsion/Cream/Sleeping Mask
    The last step of your routine. Sleeping masks are great for those who need an extra boost of moisture during the night.

    Go to bed.

    I will update this as time passes with more information, links to information and recommendations.
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    This is really great! I've been wanting to learn more about skin care and this is really comprehensive!
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    This is really great! I've been wanting to learn more about skin care and this is really comprehensive!
    I'm glad you found it useful! I'll add to it as and when I get time because there's a lot to cover.
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