Basic Skincare: The First Steps to Good Makeup

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to tackle the issue of skincare. In my opinion, great skincare is the first step to great makeup. Now, that’s not to say that if you have some skin issues that your makeup can’t look great; but in my opinion, improving your skincare routine can only make it easier! In this post I’m going to run through the absolute basics of skincare, who should be using what kind of products, and post a few resources at the bottom so you can check it out for yourself and decide what would work well for you!

So let’s start with a list of products that everyone should use: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

Cleanser

The first thing to understand about cleansers is that you need to use them at least once per day. Generally it’s recommended that if you’re only going to wash your face once per day, you need to wash it at night. This helps to wash off all of the dirt and oil that has built up on your face throughout the day. Now, if you want to wash your face more than once per day, you need to consider your skin type. If you have very dry, dehydrated skin on your face, I would only use cleanser at night, and rinse your face with just water in the morning. If you have oily or acne prone skin, it may behoove you to wash your skin with cleanser both in the morning and at night.

The second thing you should know is that there’s different kinds of cleansers, and the kind you use depends on your skin type. If you have normal, oily, or acne prone skin, you’ll probably want to use a foaming cleanser. The foaming action helps to remove excess oil from your skin. There are gentle foaming cleansers that are especially good for combination skin types. If you have dry or sensitive skin, cream cleansers are probably a better option for you. It won’t strip off the oils as much, and it’ll even add a little bit of moisture to your skin.

Regardless of what type of moisturizer you choose, please keep in mind that your cleanser should never make your skin feel tight. A lot of people mistake that tight feeling for skin being squeaky clean, but what it actually means is that your cleanser is stripping your face of too many of your natural oils.

Moisturizer

Moisturizers, as the name implies, add moisture to your skin. Some moisturizers also have occlusives that hold moisture in your skin. It may seem like an obvious thing, but I still know so many people who don’t use any kind of moisturizer. If you don’t moisturize, your skin will end up looking dry and dull, especially if you use some of the other products I mention here.

Depending on your skin type, you’ll need a different kind of moisturizer. If you have very dry skin, you’ll want something thicker and heavier to add a lot of moisture to your skin. If you have oily skin, don’t think you can get away with no moisturizer. Your skin still needs it, but you should go for something a little bit lighter since you won’t need as much extra moisture. I personally like moisturizers with some silicone in them because they’re very light, but the silicone helps to hold your skin’s natural moisture in.

Sunscreen

There are two types of sunscreen you can use: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen needs to be applied directly to the skin to work. These are usually organic (carbon based) compounds that react with UV radiation and convert it to heat. This is great because usually the formulation is thinner and there’s not as much concern if you miss a spot. The downside is that the increased heat can actually worsen brown spots from previous sun damage, and they can be very irritating. Chemical sunscreens usually contain ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octinoxate.

Physical sunscreens work by providing a physical barrier to stop UV radiation from reaching the skin. These are great if your skin is irritated by high temperatures, as it doesn’t heat up your skin like chemical sunscreens do. These also have a longer shelf life and are generally less likely to irritate your skin. The downside is that the occlusive barrier may make you sweat more, which in turn will wear off your sunscreen faster. It can also leave a white cast on skin, which is an issue for people with darker skin tones, or anyone who wears makeup. Some of the ingredients can also cause flashback during flash photography. Physical sunscreens have mineral ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

No matter who you are, what climate you live in, what color your skin, or how much you like a nice tan, you should always wear sunscreen. Not only does it protect your skin from UV rays that cause cancer, it also protects you from premature aging and hyperpigmentation caused by UV damage.

And those are the absolute basics of skincare! Focus on getting this part of your routine down pat and then focus on getting into some of the other, more advanced parts of skincare! Stay tuned for another post explaining some of the other skincare products you can use to up your skincare game!

If you want more information about skincare and some product suggestions, check out /r/skincareaddiction on reddit. They helped me figure out my own skincare routine.

Paula’s Choice is also a great resource for skincare tips, and you can search for information on your specific skincare issues.

Let me know in the comments below what products you use for your skincare routine!

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