Skincare can be complicated, even for the obsessed or self-confessed beauty junkies. There’s more choice available to us than ever before: so many brands, so many ingredients, and so many different product types – from several different cleanser varieties, to serums, creams, emulsions, oils and mists. How can we navigate this?
We’re going to explore what makes an ideal skincare ritual, so you can have confidence that you’re getting the best from your products and maximising your routine in order to achieve your best possible skin health.
What makes a good skincare routine?
First and foremost, it’s one that is meeting your needs. Your products should be suited to your skin type (normal, dry, oily, or combination) as well as targeted towards addressing any skin concerns you might be experiencing (dehydration, sensitivity, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, acne, etc.). A product’s texture will be a key indicator as to whether it is suitable for your skin type. For example, gel and/or foaming cleansers are normally more suited to oily skin, and creams, oils or balms more for normal to dry skin. Rich moisturisers may be too heavy and occlusive for oily skins, so should be reserved for drier skin, with oily skins opting for a lighter texture. The texture should be looked at in combination with a product’s ingredients, and whether they are tailored to your skin’s type and conditions.
If you have a specific condition that concerns you, such as dehydration or signs of ageing, you can opt to treat this with a targeted serum. Those with multiple concerns who also like to keep things simple will appreciate multi-tasking serums, with blends of ingredients that can treat multiple concerns at a time. Our Age Defiance Night Serum is a great example of this – instead of requiring one serum for hydrating, one for ageing, and one for pigmentation, it combines all three serums into one. It’s all about assessing your needs and taking the time to find products that can meet those needs.
A good cleanser is the most important foundation of a good routine, ensuring you’re removing blockages, buildup, oil, sweat, and pollution to start with a nice blank canvas, which will assist with penetration of the products you apply afterward. We recommend cleansing morning and night, for two minutes each.
If you like to double cleanse, start with our Calming Cleansing Balm then follow with the Hydrating Cleanser if your skin is normal to dry or the Balancing Cleansing Gel if your skin is oily to combination.
How often do I mask and exfoliate?Again assess your own individual needs, but as a general rule of thumb, you can exfoliate gently 2-3 times per week. Most modern skin professionals now recommend a fruit enzyme or chemical, AHA/BHA-based exfoliant that will gently dissolve surface dead cells, increase cellular turnover and encourage collagen production. For example, our 2-in-1 Resurfacing Exfoliant utilises Caviar Lime, Desert Lime and Rainforest Lime native (AHA) fruit acids in order to do just that, in addition to super gentle, finely-ground bamboo particles and spherical jojoba esters for those that love the feeling of a light scrub.
When it comes to masks, these are an excellent method of delivering high concentrations of hydrating, nourishing ingredients into the skin. Our Deep Cleanse Antioxidant Masque incorporates purifying clay in order to clean deeply and extract blockages and impart its powerful blend of minerals, hydrators, and phytonutrients even more effectively.
Do I need a mist?
Mists are a wonderful way to increase the amount of nourishment and active ingredients your skin receives. Mists can also encourage greater product penetration and make your serums last longer. We used to believe that wounds should be kept dry during the healing process, but we now know that the wet-healing method is much more effective, and this is because skin that is kept moist and hydrated better facilitates the inflammatory cascade, cell proliferation and protein synthesis required for healing.
The same sentiment is true for our skin in general – its functions improve when kept hydrated, and it also means ingredients are more effectively transported through our cellular membranes. In addition, misting can also be used as a wonderful calming ritual to promote self-care and stress reduction. Stress has far-reaching negative impacts, not just on our minds but our physical bodies, our skin, brain, and other organs, so reducing this in any way we can is beneficial – whether it be meditation or a simple mist!
In terms of when you should use your various actives, there are a few simple tips to remember. Hydrators, calming serums, and vitamin B can be used whenever is required, any time of day. Vitamin C is best reserved for morning, to make the most of its energising and brightening effects, its antioxidant ability to scavenge free radicals that occur through environmental aggressors, plus evidence has shown it can enhance the efficacy of your sunscreen. Save your vitamin A for the evening, as there is some evidence to suggest this can UV-sensitise the skin. Any AHAs or BHAs should also be left for evenings for the same reason.
Which order do I apply, and how should I layer my products?
Always start with your cleanse – two minutes, morning and night. Exfoliation should follow after cleansing, but we recommend reserving this for nighttime, to give your skin time to settle and repair. I
If you use a dermal roller, the same advice applies here, carrying out immediately after cleansing and repeating 2-3 times per week. Avoid using your dermal roller on the same nights as your exfoliants to reduce risk of sensitivity. Afterwards, apply a few spritz of mist.
Apply your serums and elixirs next, layering one after the other. If you are using multiple serums, use the most active and/or ones containing peptides to give the best chance of penetrating deeply, followed by hydrating serums.
Next is your eye cream, followed by your moisturiser, which acts to keep in all of your active serum ingredients and prevent hydration from evaporating as quickly through the skin’s surface. If you use a face oil, apply this very last as it is of the heaviest texture, and will lock in your moisturiser and serums even further.
In the morning, ALWAYS complete your routine with sunscreen, especially if you are heading outdoors, even intermittently.
How much product should I use?
The quantity of each product you use will vary according to the type and viscosity of the product itself, but generally speaking your cleanser and exfoliant will be around a 10-cent coin, and a 20-cent coin for your mask (or however much is required to cover your face as well as neck and décolletage if you choose). Your serums will often be a single pump or a large pea-sized amount, and eye cream around half of this. Your moisturiser should be around a 10-cent coin – again, depending on whether you take this down to your neck and dec. Face oil will often travel quite far, with just 3-4 drops required. Around a teaspoon of sunscreen is recommended.
We hope this helps to simplify and solidify your daily routine and give you the tips and tricks you need to be confident with your skincare applications. If you are still unsure of have questions regarding your skin or your routine, we have several online tools available to assist you, including complimentary 15 or 30 minute live video or phone consultations with one of our qualified skin experts. Alternatively, you can complete our online questionnaire to receive your consultation if you don’t feel like chatting, or simply fill out our online quiz in just 2 minutes to receive a customised Mukti skincare regime.