Skincare can be intimidating. There are ten-step routines, thousands of products and hundreds of techniques. It’s enough to make your head spin. Here are some tips for starting a skincare routine.
1. Sun Protection
The most basic and beneficial thing you can do for your skin is to protect it from sun damage. Not only can long-term sun exposure cause premature aging, but it can also lead to a whole host of skin damage and health problems, including various cancers. You should find a good sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and wear protective clothing like tightly-woven fabrics, sunglasses and wide-brim hats. You should also find shade if you’re outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to avoid the peak of the sun’s strength.
Many sunscreen products contain chemicals that can harm coral reefs and marine life. If you love going to the beach, make sure you’re using reef-safe sun protection before diving in. Additionally, avoid sunscreen or skin-care products with these ingredients:
- 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor
- 3-Benzylidene camphor
- nano-Titanium dioxide
- nano-Zinc oxide
The good news is that there are plenty of sunscreen brands that are reef-safe, so you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding an environmentally friendly sun protection product.
After sun protection, a good moisturizer is the basis of any skincare routine. Depending on the type of moisturizer you choose, the product will seal moisture, stimulate your skin to produce it, or add moisture to your face. When used in conjunction with a good sunscreen, moisturizers work hard to protect your skin from aging. And you should use a moisturizer no matter your skin type, even if you have oily skin. Excess oil can be caused by your skin overproducing oil to make up for a lack of moisture, so pick a light moisturizer for gentle hydration.
There’s a lot of skincare you can do at home, but a facial spa can offer a lot of specialized benefits you might not get with your everyday routine. Facials themselves can help reduce stress, promote circulation and relieve congestion in the sinuses. When you get a facial, you can also learn about and try different products, tools or treatments and see what works for you. You can even get things like an eyebrow wax done instead of going to the salon.
4. Stress Management
It’s not just what you put on your skin that makes or breaks a skincare routine either. Stress can affect all parts of your body, including your skin. One of the most well-known signs of stress on the skin is acne, but you could also notice your skin seeming duller from a lack of rest. Stress can cause people to have trouble sleeping, and to either overeat or not eat enough, both of which also affect skin health, so it’s important to manage stress in your day-to-day life.
What you put in your body can affect the health of your skin as much as it affects your bones, muscles and organs. The most important rule of thumb for keeping your skin healthy and hydrated is to drink a lot of water. While the idea that acne is in part caused by a poor diet is unproven, there is a possible link between healthy skin and diets rich in whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats that are comparatively low in processed foods and unhealthy fats.
While learning about skincare can be overwhelming, starting simple can help. Once you have the basics down, you can start trying new things.