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You may have been using your skincare products religiously but like many women, it isn’t unusual that you may have been blindly following trends or carelessly listening to grand advertising claims. Fact is, even if you may have been better educating yourself about how you can give your skin the best TLC, there’s always something new in the market and there is no time to waste to keep abreast — if your skin health is of premium importance to you, that is!
Why Product Sequence Matters in Your Routine
While many consumers have started reading and studying the labels to check claims against the actual formulation or even to simply rule out potentially irritating, harsh and toxic ingredients, not many women are able to appreciate that the sequence by which they layer products matters too.
Moreover, your daytime routine and your nighttime routine are not meant to be the same. If you’re following the same regimen when you get up in the morning and at the end of the day, you can readily tell that something is wrong with your skincare routine and it’s likely hurting or depriving your skin of much needed nourishment.
Skincare products are differently formulated. Some are water-based while others are oil-based. Some have a thicker texture while others have sheerer formulations. As a general rule, water-based products should be applied first. The thicker the texture becomes, the latter in the process you should apply the product so that it does not stop your other products from seeping deep into your skin.
Why you Need a Serum
Like many skincare products, the benefits of serums are not as well understood as say a moisturizer, a cleanser or an acne treatment cream. So, for starters, you should know that a serum is just as important as the products just mentioned, and below are the reasons why:
Serums are often enriched with highly concentrated forms of antioxidants. The higher potency of antioxidants and serums gives your skin better protection from the cell damaging effects of free radicals, including pollution, UV radiation and other harsh environmental elements and conditions.
One of the most beneficial ingredients in a serum is Vitamin C, also an antioxidant, but also works to reinvigorate cellular repair and renewal processes, a function that is of particular importance to aging skin types.
Serums often contain anti-inflammatories such as licorice and Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide). These are important in calming and soothing skin irritations which may be caused by harsh products or acne-causing bacteria. Skin that is not irritated naturally looks more radiant, glowing and healthy.
Serums are often stripped off emollients and are therefore left with the most beneficial skin ingredients to carry.
How to use Your Serum
Are you convinced that you need a serum? If you are or, if you’ve been convinced for a long time about its beneficial effects but was never quite sure how to include it in your daily regimen, below is the right way to incorporate it in your routine. You may need more or less layering depending on your age, skin type and skin concerns.
For Your Morning Routine:
Step 1: Cleanse with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water.
Step 2: Refine your pores, amp up your antioxidant levels and improve micro-circulation with an alcohol-free toner.
Step 3: Exfoliate with a mild exfoliating cream that contains low doses of alpha hydroxy acids or, deep exfoliate no more than twice weekly with a highly concentrated exfoliant.
Step 4: Apply acne cream or ointment. For special skin concerns like acne, make sure to apply the product well in front of the pack.
Step 5: Put on your serum. Make sure even the hard to reach areas around your eyes and the skin below your chin receive the goodness of your serum.
Step 6: Use an eye cream. Just make sure that it does not contain retinol or any other Vitamin A derivative, just as you would make sure your daytime moisturizer does not contain these.
Step 7: Moisturize and put on sunscreen. You’ll often find products that contains both. However, if your moisturizer does not already have sunscreen, apply your moisturizer first before putting on your sunscreen.
For your Evening Routine:
Step 1: Cleanse.
Step 2: Tone.
Step 3: Apply targeted creams, such as for spot treatment and acne. Never spot treat during the day as these products may contain photosensitizing ingredients that may just cause your skin more harm than good.
Step 5: Put on your serum.
Step 6: Use an eye cream.
Step 7: Use face oil. Essential oils are a great way to let your skin soak in while you sleep. These plant extracts closely resemble that skin which allow these to become easily incorporated into skin and immediately ready for use in various skin repair processes.
Step 8: Moisturize with cream / wrinkle cream. If you are 40 and over, a retinol will be an ideal addition to your routine.
Step 9: Top your regimen with a sleep pack. Slop it all over your face. Don’t bother if you see it floating on your skin. The product will seep in as you sleep.
Well-formulated products, whether these are serums, creams or cleansers, provide your skin the support it needs to keep it youthful and beautiful. That’s why it is of utmost important that you know what you’re putting on your skin, and how you should be using each.
Sara Biston, who lives in New York City, USA – a freelance article writer by profession. She is an experienced writer who loves writing about beauty, skin care & lifestyle. She believes in spreading a word of happiness through her writings. Sara’s passion for beauty & skincare became the catalyst for a major career change. She is firm believing the fact that “Tough time never lost but Tough people do”. She also writes for Solvaderm.