For many of us, our multi-step skin care routines are established out of need. Whether it’s pigmentation, acne, premature signs of ageing, congestion and so on, our daily regimens have been tailored to tackle the specific skin issues we face. But what do you do when you don’t suffer from the most common skin concerns? When you’re one of the lucky ones who actually has pretty amazing skin? Do you really need to invest in a complicated routine? After all, if it ain’t broke…
To make sure you don’t waste time (or money) using products you don’t really need, we spoke to two leading skin care experts who shared the routine those who’d describe their skin as normal – good, even – should be following.
Both Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, Emma Hobson and celebrity facialist and Dr. Spiller skin care expert, Sue Dann agreed that the essential pillars of any skin care routine include double cleansing, exfoliating and protecting.
#1 / Double cleansing
While it might seem like overkill, double cleansing is an essential skin care step for anyone (regardless of the quality of their skin). This is because the first cleanse, which Hobson advises should be done using a cleansing oil or balm, powers through and removes the initial surface makeup, sunscreen and oil left on the skin after a long day. She adds that balm and oil formulas should be your first cleanser of choice “because the oils in these products attract, grab and lift the oil, dirt and makeup on the skin’s surface”.
Your second cleanse (which can be done using your normal cleanser) is then able to rid your skin of any remaining bacteria and residue lurking in your pores.
If you already have great skin, Dann explains the main thing you need to look for in a cleanser is one that doesn’t strip your skin or leave it feeling tight. Some of our favourites include Dermalogica Precleanse and Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm for your first cleanse, and Dr. Spiller Wash Cream for your second step.
#2 / Exfoliating
Your skin has a natural exfoliation cycle that it goes through each day, but your makeup and sunscreen can get in the way of this process. That’s why Hobson stresses that “regular exfoliation should be an essential component of everyone’s skin routine, regardless of its condition.” Not only does exfoliating two to three times a week prevent congestion from dirt and dead skin build-up, it also “helps keep the skin hydrated by supporting the barrier of the skin and ensures it maintains its smooth, even texture,” notes Hobson. Additionally, exfoliation prepares the skin to receive actives from your moisturiser better, thus enhancing its effectiveness.
If you’re not sure which exfoliator to reach for, be it a physical or chemical formula, Hobson says it’s all down to personal preference, “as a healthy functioning skin can use either or a combination of both”. Three great exfoliators to try are TATCHA Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, Alpha-H Liquid Gold, and First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads.
#3 / Protecting
Simply put, protecting your skin, be it from environmental aggressors, harsh UV rays or even fine lines and wrinkles, should be part maintenance, part insurance. You want to keep your skin in its tip-top condition while ensuring it stays that way for as long as possible. As a result, both Hobson and Dann suggest incorporating the two following products into your routine: a moisturiser and SPF.
A moisturiser is imperative in any skin care routine as it works to “maintain hydration at a healthy level and protects skin from environmental aggressors,” explains Dann. When you’re on the hunt for a new moisturiser, she recommends opting for a formula “with a good percentage of emollients and humectants as well as quality skin-compatible oils like jojoba, rosehip, argan and/or olive.” She also suggests looking for a moisturiser that contains vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and glycerin for added hydration benefits.
Additionally, incorporating a sunscreen into your routine and using it every day – rain, hail or shine – is by far the best thing you could ever do for your skin. Not only does sunscreen protect you from harsh UV rays that can cause all sorts of problems for your general health, they also prevent premature skin ageing, a loss of collagen and elasticity, and reduce the chance of pigmentation development.
The choice is yours whether you opt for a moisturiser formulated with SPF or select a separate face sunscreen; the only thing that matters is that you use one!
Three of our go-to sunscreens include Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF50, Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE® City Smart With Sunscreens Hydrating Shield and La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Ultra-Light.
Want more information on how to nail your skin care routine? Then find out why you need to be careful not to over-exfoliate.
Do you have great skin? Share your secrets (and Holy Grail products) with us in the comments below.
Main image credit: Getty
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.