Beautiful skin is a product of the skin you were born with and the way you care for that skin as you age. Just as the rest of your body has changing needs as it grows, your skin also needs to develop and maintain a healthy structure as it evolves over time. The good news is that because we have been able to develop so many scientifically based approaches to improving skin health, there are a variety of products available to treat all kinds of problems. Unfortunately, because there are so many choices, it can sometimes be confusing and difficult to find the best skin care products for your skin. This article will provide tips on which products will benefit your skin if you have specific needs beyond the basic level.
Basic Skin Care Steps
There are several essential needs of the skin that you should address on a regular basis. People of all skin types need to cleanse, hydrate, and protect every day. Adding a toner can also help prepare the skin to receive the benefits from other products.
1) Cleanse: This step meets the skin’s basic need to be free of excess oil, dirt, and pollutants. If these impurities are not removed, you may experience dull, sallow skin; clogged, inflamed pores that can discolor and scar; or free radical oxidation that can damage cells, affect healthy cell renewal, irritate the skin, and initiate hyperpigmentation. To avoid these negative effects, you should cleanse twice daily.
2) Tone: Toning fulfills a basic daily need by preparing the skin to receive the benefits from other products and should be performed twice daily, after cleansing. Toning works in several ways. It calms and soothes the skin and also minimizes the appearance of pores and balances the skin’s pH.
3) Protect: The protect step meets the skin’s basic need for a morning moisturizer with SPF to guard against harmful UV rays and environmental stressors. Sun damage degrades the moisture barrier and structural proteins and promotes discoloration—all signs of premature skin aging.
4) Hydrate: The hydrate step provides vital lipids, replenishing moisture, and key repair components for optimal nighttime recovery. Nighttime hydration should be applied every evening.
In addition to the basic daily needs, the skin also has advanced needs that can be met by incorporating additional regimen steps designed to address specific concerns as needed. Starting in our late 20s, our advanced needs steadily increase. Consider some of the following advanced needs:
- Treatments: The treat step meets an essential advanced need of the skin when key components, functions, or structures within the skin are compromised, leading to signs of premature aging. Treatment products are specially formulated to target those key signs of aging.
For protecting skin health and maintaining youthfulness, you can nourish the skin with powerful antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that damage and prematurely age the skin.
- Refinish: The refinish treatment benefits skin that has become dull and rough. Refinishing helps to resurface and polish the skin for a fresh, glowing complexion.
- Exfoliate: When environmental stressors and biological aging begin to interfere with healthy cell renewal, exfoliating becomes important. Exfoliation helps remove dead cell buildup for smoother, more youthful looking skin and can stimulate the cell renewal process.
- Mask: Masks provide a concentrated application of key ingredients for an extended period of time. Masks also provide an excellent way to meet the skin’s various needs by delivering key ingredients to the skin and drawing out impurities.
- Galvanic Spa: Restore vibrancy, rebuild cellular energy, and fight the sources of aging with the Galvanic Spa. This treatment can be done up to three times per week after cleansing and toning.
When following a skin care regimen, it is vital that you use each product correctly. In addition to following specific instructions for each product, keep these tips in mind:
- The advanced steps—refinish, exfoliate, mask, and Galvanic Spa—can be performed either morning or evening, but should not be performed twice in one day. Also, these steps only need to be performed five or six times per week.
- With some core systems, the refinish, exfoliate, and mask steps are not recommended for simultaneous use (refer to individual treatment systems for more information).
- When applying more than one treatment product, apply impenetrable products last.
- Allow serums and gels to dry completely to improve layering. After the serum or gel has dried, apply any lotion or cream treatment products and allow them to set.
- Day moisturizers with SPF should be applied after the treatment lotions or creams have dried to avoid removal of active ingredients. You should wait for day moisturizers to dry completely before applying cosmetics.
- If supplementing your core system with additional moisturizers, make sure to apply them BEFORE day moisturizers with SPF to ensure sunscreen agents are not mechanically removed. However, you should apply additional moisturizers at night AFTER the core system moisturizer to assist with easier absorption of key ingredients.