How’s your skin care routine shaping up? Do you have a nightly ritual you wouldn’t think of skipping? There are certain things we should all be doing to take care of our skin that simply aren’t negotiable if we want to look our best and age well. Check out my 5 step anti-aging skin care routine.
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Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine For Beautiful Skin
Follow these steps to keep your skin healthy:
I know this step seems obvious, but I’m amazed at how many people neglect washing their face before they go to bed. This is especially detrimental if you wear foundation. Even if you don’t wear makeup and are indoors the entire day, dirt and other pollutants accumulate on your skin. This is particularly true if you wear foundation, which acts as a magnet, pulling in impurities.
Your skin detoxifies at night, but if you haven’t washed off your makeup, this crucial step will be curtailed, leading to clogged pores and possibly acne and rashes. Clean skin is also more absorbent, allowing your moisturizer to absorb much better. You skin will then be that much more radiant, instead of dull and lifeless.
I know how hard it is to wash your face at night when you’re tired. I sometimes really dread it, but please don’t neglect this step, it’s that important! I like using my PMD to thoroughly cleanse my face. It takes a little longer, but I like how it makes my skin feel afterwards, and you can be assured, your face will be squeaky clean.
The advantages of using devices, such as the PMD or other similar products, include deep removal of impurities, less-noticeable pore size, fewer blackheads, and better product absorption. They’re also a great way to lift, tone, and smooth the skin, making them an indispensable anti-aging tool.
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I think toning is especially important for those with oily skin because toners are good at reducing pore size, and eliminating excess oil. One of the main benefits of toning is to tighten pores. Toning can also prevent acne and blackheads. When impurities are removed from the skin, blackheads will be less noticeable.
Toning is good for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. If you struggle with breakouts, have dull-looking skin or hyperpigmentation, you’ll definitely want to check out Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner.
Taking time to tone after you cleanse will also increase the softness and suppleness of your skin, while evening out skin tone. I’ve heard, that toning on a regular basis, may even reduce age spots. I know it’s just one more step, but toning is certainly worth doing, especially if you have acne, blackheads, or a lackluster complexion.
This step goes without saying. My face would be so uncomfortably dry if I didn’t moisturize after washing and toning. We all know the importance of moisturizing, but do you know the reasons why? Moisturizers contain emollients and humectants that retain moisture in the skin, preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
Humectants are skin care ingredients that attract moisture from the air to hydrate the skin. Think of a humectant kind of like a magnet that attracts water. Humectants are used in soaps, lip balms, lotions, serums, eye creams, and cleansers. Another great thing about humectants is they pull moisture from the dermis to the epidermis, the top-most layer of the skin. The result is smooth, supple skin that doesn’t crack or flake. Hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and aloe vera are three examples of natural humectants.
Emollients are used in a variety of skin care products to brighten, and soften the skin. Oils, fats, and silicones are used as emollients. These substances fill in the spaces between skin cells, leading to a smoother, more even complexion. Shea butter, beeswax, and lanolin are examples of common emollients used in the skin care industry.
Always look for moisturizers that are noncomedogenic and oil free, meaning they won’t clog pores. A good moisturizer will also ease skin irritations if you have sensitive skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of my all-time favorite humectants, and anti-aging ingredients.
[Read More: Hyaluronic Acid [The Ultimate Hydrator]
Exfoliation is one of my go-to anti-aging strategies. Toxic air, environmental chemicals, makeup, and poor nutrition can cause the skin to look lifeless and dull. Exfoliation removes dead skin that builds up over time, preventing clogged pores, patchiness, and fine lines.
When you exfoliate, not only are dead skin cells removed from the epidermis, but cells in the lower layers of the skin are stimulated, leading to a brighter, fresher complexion. This is significant because cells turnover more slowly with age. Exfoliation also promotes better circulation, bringing vital oxygen and nutrients to the skin.
[Read More: How Often Should You Exfoliate?]
Exfoliating every day is not recommended as it would be too harsh on your skin. Two to three times a week is sufficient, however, if you have mature or sensitive skin, once or twice weekly may be enough. You’ll know if you’re exfoliating too often because your skin will be dry, sensitive, and irritated. Decrease the frequency if this happens.
I exfoliate twice a week using a home-made scrub of sugar and sea salt. You can also use chemical exfoliants, such as, glycolic acid, lactic, and salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is particularly good for acne, and you’ll find it in many popular acne remedies. These hydroxy acids (AHAs) gently “peel” or exfoliate the skin, leaving it vibrant and younger-looking. Always use caution when using AHAs as they can burn, although, it’s usually mild.
[Read More: The Benefits Of Glycolic Acid]
5. Sun Protection
An effective skin care routine wouldn’t be complete without sun protection. Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging, wrinkles, sunburn, eye damage, and skin cancer so it’s worth paying attention to. It’s a good idea to buy foundations or tinted moisturizers that have a sun protection factor (SPF) built in. I make my own mineral makeup, and add zinc oxide, a natural sun block to make sure my face is always protected.
Here’s a fun fact, minus the fun. Did you know that UVA rays can penetrate glass? This means the delicate skin on your face will be exposed to UVA when you’re in your car. These rays are not blocked by clouds either so don’t be fooled into thinking you’re safe when it’s overcast.
If you’ll be out in the sun, even on cloudy days, always wear a wide-brimmed hat, in addition to your sunscreen. This is particularly important if you’ll be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Excessive sun exposure dehydrates your skin, and can cause age spots. This phenomenon can be seen in middle-aged people who have spent their youth sun bathing.
UVA vs UVB Rays
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. It should also protect against both UVB and UVA, and remember that summer isn’t the only season to be diligent. The sun protection factor is a measure of how effectively UVB rays are filtered out.
UVA rays, however, are the most damaging because of their ability to penetrate deeply into the layers of the skin, causing premature aging. And once the damage is done you can’t go back and undo it.
Here’s a great zinc oxide sunscreen. It’s non-comedogenic, lightweight, water-resistant and is a great base for makeup.
UVB, on the other hand, produces vitamin D, which is important for healthy immune function, and protects against melanoma, which is rather ironic, because people slather sunscreen all over their body to protect against skin cancer, but by blocking vitamin D, they actually increase their chances of getting it. Always protect your face because the skin is so delicate, but do allow the rest of your body to be exposed to the sun’s rays for at least 20 minutes to build up your vitamin D stores.
[Read More: Can A Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Acne?]
The intensity of the UVB rays varies depending on the time of day, the season, and location. Although, UVB rays do cause photoaging and sunburn, they tend to damage the epidermal, or surface, layers of the skin only, unlike UVA rays. Keep in mind, sunscreens expire after about three years, and should be replaced.
Having a consistent anti aging skin care routine is important, not only to look and feel beautiful, but to protect your skin from UV radiation. Cleansing, toning, moisturizing, exfoliation, and sun protection all factor in to how you look and how you age.
Take the time to develop and maintain a skin care routine that supports the health of your skin. In part 2 , I’ll outline the 5 steps of my advanced skin care routine, that is beneficial for all ages, but especially those over 40!
Do you wash your face before you go to bed? Do you use sunscreen every day? Let me know in the comments:)