We all own the products and know the procedure: cleanse, tone and moisturise. Repeat daily. But beyond that, how much do we actually know about what we’re doing and whether it’s actually helping our skin?
It can be easy to be enticed into trying new and exciting beauty trends, but it seems like this regime is here to stay. So, why is it so popular and is it really necessary?
IS CLEANSING WORTH IT?
On a day-to-day basis our skin can go through a lot. The busy lifestyles we lead and the environments we’re exposed to means it often has to fight against bacteria and viruses. Our skin is a protective barrier for our bodies: it naturally has slightly acidic properties that help to defend against these germs that could otherwise get through.
When you use a cleanser, the idea is that it will work to remove all the unwanted oil, substances and particles that have built up on your skin throughout the day. As the first step of the routine, it prepares your skin for the toner and moisturiser. If your pores are still clogged when you apply the following products, it prevents them from being properly absorbed, essentially making them redundant.
While the benefits seem hard to argue against, some have claimed that cleansing skin can have an adverse effect on its delicate pH levels. If a cleanser is too alkaline or acidic for your skin type, it could be constantly forcing it to work to get back to its original state. This can end up accelerating signs of aging and leave your skin overly oily or dry.
FINDING THE BEST CLEANSER FOR YOU
Despite it being the element of your skin care routine that is most capable of damaging your complexion, if done right, cleansing your skin is also the easiest way to balance your pH levels and achieve that dewy glow.
The best way to ensure this is to identify which skin type you have and use this to find the best pH balanced cleanser for you. If your skin feels oily, sensitive, irritated and you rarely feel it necessary to apply moisturiser, this may be an indication of skin being too acidic and needing a more alkaline cleanser. However, if your skin feels tight, dry, dull and needs a lot of moisturising, it could be caused by skin being too alkaline and needing more acidity in your cleanser.
It’s important to remember that what nourishes and cares for our skin can change: as we age we produce less natural oil and levels of acid can alter - and this means altering the products we use.
Source: Kylie Aquino
IS USING TONER WORTH IT?
Although it’s been around for decades, the skin toner market has boomed in the past couple of years. From micellar water to glycolic acids, it’s become a fundamental component of the cleanse, tone and moisturise mantra. After cleansing, some people swear by skin toner to hydrate, minimise pores and remove any unwanted substances that may have been missed.
However, many have labelled this stage as, at worst, harmful and at best, ineffective for most people. Some toners called ‘astringents’ contain harsh ingredients such as alcohol and parabens, found to increase the risk of breakouts and induce allergic reactions. Experts have commented on how skin toner was typically only used for people with problem skin suffering from the likes of severe oiliness and clogged pores.
For the average person’s skin, a good, thorough cleanser and an effective moisturiser should be enough for a successful skin care routine. So if you’re looking to save time in your morning routine, you can skip the toner and also save a few pennies. But if you love the refreshing effect of applying toner, make sure yours is not an ‘astringent’ but a ‘freshener’: the mildest, alcohol-free toner that is suitable for all skin types.
IS MOISTURISING WORTH IT?
Dry skin can be caused by a multitude of factors, but a good moisturising regime can keep irritated and flaky skin at bay. But what about if you have regular, combination or oily skin - is this step still important? The answer seems to be a resounding yes.
Despite it seeming counterintuitive, using an appropriate moisturiser on oily skin could be the solution. If you don’t use moisturiser, your skin can react by producing an excess oil to rectify the dehydration, creating a vicious cycle. The key is to find the right oil-free, light moisturiser (such as a serum) that include humectants to draw water to the surface of your skin.
If your skin feels hydrated by your current products, you can be confident you’re making the most of them by applying them in the right order. During your morning routine, try dampening your face with some water before using your moisturiser. This will hold in the water and keep you hydrated throughout the day. If you use more than one moisturising product, such as a serum and day/evening cream, be sure to apply thinner consistencies before thick to allow them to fully absorb into the skin.
Each beauty trend has its critics, including the cleanse, tone and moisturize regime. What’s clear is that these steps have the potential to help achieve a clear, radiant complexion; it all depends on your skin type and the products that will work with it. The wrong products could end up being detrimental rather than forming an invaluable skin care routine. Identifying your skin type could be revelation your skin has been waiting for!