5 Tips for More Effective Skin Care

Are you finding that your current skin care routine might not be as effective as it once was? 

Skin can "get used" to a certain regime and certain products - or can revolt when using the wrong ones. Sometimes all it takes is a few little tweaks to your daily routine to get skin back on track.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you maximize the effectiveness of your skin care for your beautiful self:

1. The Double Cleanse

I learned this technique in my initial training as an aesthetician nearly 15 years ago. At first, I was very skeptical, as I thought it was really just a way for skin care companies to sell more of their product. If you are using up your cleanser twice as quickly, of course, you will be buying twice as often. However, after several months of using the technique, I really did start to see differences in my skin.

What is the "double cleanse?" Well, it is, um, a double cleanse, I guess - cleansing your skin twice instead of just once. 

Why is it a good thing? Well, the idea is that the first cleanse removes the initial oil, dead skin cells, dust, environmental debris and general funk that sits on the very surface of your skin. By cleansing a second time, you are able to actually clean the skin and pores much more effectively, having removed that first funkadelic layer. Skin needs to be clean for any treatment you put on after it to work. That first icky layer is like a forcefield that needs to be destroyed before you can save the universe, Flash Gordon! 

Can the double cleanse be too much of a good thing? Of course. And it all depends on using the correct products and technique.

Those with sensitive/dry/mature skin may opt for cleansing twice with a cream or oil based cleanser for delicate skin, removing each cleanse with an ultra soft cloth and splashes of lukewarm water. Those with oily or acne prone skin may want to use a stronger, foaming cleanser with exfoliating ingredients such as glycolic or salicylic acid and a thorough rinse with warm water. Those with normal/combo skin may want to perform the first cleanse with a cream cleanser, followed by a second cleanse with a soapless foaming cleanser, then do a pirouette in front of the bathroom mirror wearing a feather boa. OR, if your skin is feeling in balance, you may choose to skip a morning cleanse altogether and opt for just a splash of warm water (curveball, I know).

And, as you can imagine, the double cleanse combinations continue...

But the most important part is to not scrub or tug aggressively when cleansing your skin, because that is not a good thing. Either is overcleansing. No matter what your skin type, cleansing more than twice a day (or with a too aggressive cleanser) is too much, as you then begin to strip the skin, upsetting its delicate balance.

Since I am not hiding out in your bathroom spying on your particular skin and your skin care routine (or am ?!?), I cannot recommend exactly how you should double cleanse or with what. However, play around with this technique a bit and see how it jazzes with your skin.

2. Don't Listen to Your Friends (All The Time)

Does your friend have a skin care product that has worked miracles for her and she wants you to try it? Our friends mean well, however our friends don't have our skin. They have their skin. And what works for their skin may not work at all for us. Or it might. In which case, take your friend out for dinner and a movie.

3. Less is More

Although much of the skin care advertising that is out there may make this sound preposterous, my philosophy is "less is more" when it comes to skin care. Using more or expensive products does not make skin better. Often times, it can make skin worse, angry and upset. Especially since many popular off-the-shelf brands contain artificial fragrances, which can very easily be a cause of irritation.  And when you are applying several different products at once, it can be hard to discern which product is making your skin unhappy.

Keep your routine simple and natural. It is better for your skin and you will be more apt to perform the routine if it does not contain a trillion million billion steps.

4. Apply Products in the Correct Order

While you are keeping it real with a simple routine, take care to apply your products in the correct order. This will align the stars and maximize their effectiveness. The basic order for a simple AM/PM skin care routine is:

1. Cleanse (double of course)

2. Tone

3. Serum

4. Protective Moisturizer (with a natural SPF 30+ for daytime)

Simple, huh? Sure there are a few other steps you can throw in during the week/month, such as an exfoliant or mask suited to your skin type or a professional facial, but these are the basics to good home skin care. And truly, what you use on your skin at home on a daily basis is just as important, if not more so, than professional treatments.

5.  Switch Products With the Seasons (Or When Your Skin Needs It)

The products that work for us in the summer do not work the same in winter and vice versa. A good rule of thumb is to switch up your skin care at the change of each season. Assess how your skin is feeling. Is it dry, dehydrated and in need of a rich, protective cream? Or is it oily and in need of a light moisturizer and sunscreen? Do you feel really greasy and grimy and need a deep cleanser? Or is your skin feeling dry and flaky and in need of a soothing, gentle enzymatic cleanser to remove dead skin cells?

Match your products with how your skin is feeling from season-to-season, as well as day-to-day, as our skin's needs can change daily based on hormonal and environmental fluctuations. 

If you are unsure about what products to use on your skin or the most effective routine for you, see your local, friendly licensed aesthetician for advice. :)

Happy Skin!!! xoxo