In my conversations with all of you, I have noticed that many many of you have a minimal or nonexistent skincare routine. The majority of folks who tell me this tell me that they got too overwhelmed trying to figure out what to use on their faces that they just gave up. I know there is a cacophony of bullshit out there telling you how you just HAVE to use this or that product, or risk looking like a hag, but a regular skincare routine is pretty important for the health of your skin. So, today, I am going to post detailed information on How To Take Care of Your Face. Don’t think about how many products are out there, and how hard it is to keep all of them straight, you’ll go crazy. Instead, think of your skincare regimen as consisting of 3 steps: 1) WASH; 2) TONE; 3) MOISTURIZE. Under each of those categories, you plug in your products. I find it makes things much less complicated and distressing.
Since I want to get detailed about each step, I am splitting the information into 3 posts, so I can talk about each one. First, let’s talk about washing your face. I have lost count of how many of you I’ve spoken to who are are washing their face with just water. While this definitely won’t irritate your skin, it also is not a good habit. Water will not remove dirt, oil, makeup, or sunscreen. You REALLY need a surfactant (cleansing agent) to lift all of that off your skin. Also, exfoliation is non-negotiable no matter your skin type. Here we go!
DRY/AGING SKIN: If you are over 35, or have dry skin, throw away anything you own that is astringent. No witch hazel, no alcohol, no harsh surfactants. You need to cleanse in a way that doesn’t strip your skin of what little moisture it has. My New 20 face wash is made with organic goat milk, honey, ceramides, rich oils and butters like shea, avocado, and sunflower, and the mildest surfactant possible. This combination serves to balance any drying from the surfactant with lots of moisturizing, which is why it’s great for dry/aging skin. (BTW, I group dry and aging skin together because in general, your skin gets drier as you age. If you are aging but still have oily skin, this paragraph is not for you.) Once a week, you should exfoliate your skin in a very gentle way, either with a mild exfoliating face wash like my Five Fruit (NO salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide!!), or with a clarisonic. If your skin is too sensitive for an exfoliating face wash, try using a washcloth. Your skin should NEVER feel tight after you wash it. If it does, just remember that dry skin wrinkles much faster than other skin. Make sure you are using a cleanser without SLS, as it is very drying. Also, don’t wash your face twice a day if you have this skin type.
OILY SKIN: The #1 thing folks with oily skin do to f**k up their skin is to use a too strong cleanser. #2 is using too many oil control products together. Here’s the deal: most of what is commercially available in cleansers is the nuclear option. They all contain benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid, or AHAs and salicylic acid. If you have oily skin, and it isn’t teenage levels of oily, you probably don’t need that much firepower. What happens when you wash with these crazy strong cleansers is that your skin is stripped of oil, which you think is great cause you have oily skin, but then Scotty down in the oil gland room fires up oil production, and suddenly you find yourself super oily again. If you notice that your skin is dry after washing, and gets progressively oilier through the day, this is what is happening. If you then use additional oil control products, like glycolic acid toners and oil control moisturizers, you will make this situation much much worse. I have worked with many clients who overdid it so badly that their skin dried out horribly and had to be treated as if it was dry skin until it re-equilibrated.
If you have oily skin, try switching to a mild cleanser that has no oil control properties, and use an exfoliating cleanser once a day every other day. Use the mild cleanser the rest of the time. For my clients, I have them use the Calming Cleanser for every day cleansing because it doesn’t strip your skin and it is anti-inflammatory. I then have them use either the Five Fruit or the Anti-Acne wash as their exfoliating face wash. The key is to stop stripping necessary moisture from your skin.
COMBINATION SKIN: The #1 mistake I see from these folks is that they treat their occasional breakouts like acne, and nuke it with oil control products. My advice to you is the same as for folks with oily skin, except do not use AHA/BHA cleansers to exfoliate, and only exfoliate 2-3X a week, once a day. I usually suggest my Five Fruit for exfoliating.
NORMAL SKIN: All you need is a basic, mild cleanser like my Calming Cleanser, and to exfoliate 1-2X a week once a day with an exfoliating cleanser such as my Five Fruit.
SENSITIVE SKIN: Your skin is primed to react to irritants on a good day, so stripping oils from it with a too-strong cleanser will make that much, much worse. Commercial cleansers (even ones for sensitive skin) are usually WAY too harsh for sensitive skin. It’s funny, the industry uses harsh surfactants cause they’re cheaper, but then has to add ingredients that make you not notice how irritated your skin is. Seems like they could skip that step by just using better surfactants, but whatever. I usually have my clients with sensitive skin use my Skin Zen face wash, because it’s super mild, always fragrance free, and has a shit-ton of anti-inflammatory actives in it. Sensitive skin is easily irritated, and irritation results in skin mounting an inflammatory response, so that is why my Skin Zen products are great for sensitive skin. Only wash once a day. I don’t recommend using a product to exfoliate-you’re better off with a Clarisonic or a washcloth.
Next up: TONER!! #themoreyouknow