Not only does skin care have beauty and cosmetic benefits, but it is also an important practice to prevent illness and disease.
Your skin represents a barrier that protects all of your other organs and systems from the outside world. It is the one thing stopping you from the negative effects of bacteria, diseases, and environmental pollutants.
Therefore, to maintain your skin, you should put together a skincare routine that suits your skin type.
This article will explain everything you need to know about why skincare is important and how to take care of your skin.
Importance of Skin Care
Skin is your body’s largest organ, and it has the biggest responsibility of all: protecting all of your other organs, including your brain!
Plus, it can reduce your chances of premature aging because a strong skin barrier reduces rates of transepidermal water loss which are associated with premature collagen breakdown.
When your collagen breaks down, the top layer of your skin slowly starts pulling away from the underlying structure. This is how we develop wrinkles and sagging skin over time.
Finally, a good skincare routine is an essential practice to maintain skin health and improve your overall appearance.
Skin Care Benefits
While many people falsely believe that having a skin care routine is a unecessary, I can assure that it is. Proper skin care has tons of benefits, such as:
Improved ability to maintain your skin barrier
Slowing down the aging process
Speeding up wound healing
Reducing your chances of infection and disease
Improving your quality of life
Taking care of your skin is a lifelong commitment to being the healthiest, happiest, and most attractive version of yourself.
Plus, you’ll recover from sickness more quickly, age better, and having a greater sense of self confidence!
Good Skincare Ingredients
There are a million different skincare products out there, but many of them can be distilled down to the following ingredients:
All of these ingredients are backed by decades of research and have been proven to have incredible benefits for many different skin types.
Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin are essential for skin hydration. These ingredients help pull in moisture from the air and bind to it, leaving you with plump, healthy skin.
Other common humectants include, but are not limited to:
You’ll commonly find these ingredients in any skincare product, including cleansers, toners/serums, and moisturizers.
Retinol is the gold standard in skincare for anti-aging. It has tons of benefits for mature skin, including:
Stimulating collagen and elastin production
Controlling excess sebum production
Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
Retinol falls under an a category of skincare ingredients called retinoids. Other retinoids include:
Adapelene (also known as Differin)
While adapalene is better for people with acne prone skin, retinol and tretinoin are great anti-aging products.
Vitamin C is another great anti-aging ingredient. It has benefits like:
Evening out skin tone
Reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation
Stimulating collagen production
Neutralizing free radicals
The most popular derivative of vitamin C is l-ascorbic acid, but others include sodium ascorbyl phosphate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
Chemical exfoliants typically fall into three categories:
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs)
Each category has a different purpose, and one may be better than the others for your specific concerns.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
AHAs like mandelic acid are used for surface level exfoliation to fight signs of aging and hyperpigmentation by turning over dead skin cells.
By promoting skin cell turnover, AHAs help with removing dead skin, therefore leaving you with softer, smoother skin overall.
Other popular forms of AHAs to remove dead skin cells include glycolic acid and lactic acid.
Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
BHAs like salicylic acid are used to treat oily skin concerns, such as:
They can be used in your daily skin care routine as long as they don’t cause irritation for you.
Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs)
PHAs function similarly to AHAs. However, because they are larger molecules, they don’t penetrate into skin as deeply as AHAs.
Therefore, they can be a better option for people with sensitive skin as they are less likely to cause irritation.
Occlusives like petroleum are awesome ingredients, especially for people with dry skin.
These products form a waxy barrier over your skin, trapping moisture and reducing transepidermal water loss. This process can help reduce irritation and premature aging by protecting your collagen from degradation.
Occlusives should be used as the last step in your skincare routine.
How to Create a Skincare Routine
A proper skin care routine is an essential daily hygiene step, just like brushing your teeth. At minimum, you should be cleansing and moisturizing your face twice per day.
That being said, there are plenty of other amazing skincare products that can help you achieve healthier and younger looking skin.
The most common categories include:
While this may seem overwhelming – don’t worry! I’ve broken them all out below.
Cleansers are used to get rid of sweat, dirt, and other impurities that collect on your skin throughout your daily life.
If you have dry skin, I suggest washing your face with a gentle cleanser 1-2x per day. If you have oily or acne prone skin, try washing twice per day using a foaming cleanser or one with active ingredients.
And if you have combination skin, you can experiment with what works best for you – try cleansing just once per day at night and moving up to twice if you need it!
Toners are used to further cleanse your skin after washing your face, but they can also add hydration and soothing ingredients to calm skin.
I used to think toners were overrated, but after trying out the Laneige Cream Skin Toner, I’ve changed my mind. I think toners can be a great addition to any skincare routine but especially if you’re using harsh active ingredients that can cause dryness.
Serums are concentrated skincare products used to deliver high amounts of active ingredients to treat a specific skin condition.
For example, niacinamide serums are popular for treating uneven skin tone and excess oil production. Further, hydrating serums are used for treating dehydration while vitamin C serums are used to treat signs of aging.
While serums aren’t a necessary step in your routine, finding one with active ingredients to treat your specific skin concerns can be a good idea.
Exfoliants are used to treat a bunch of different skin concerns such as:
Dull and dehydrated skin
Uneven skin tone
Acne and breakouts
While they can be powerful products, they can also cause irritated skin, so be sure to proceed with caution and not to overuse them.
Moisturizers are essential for replenishing your skin with fatty acids and hydration after cleansing.
Regardless of your skin type, you should be try moisturizing 1-2 times per day. This is especially important if you use active ingredients that cause dryness, such as retinol.
Facial oils are used to provide extra nourishment to your skin barrier after moisturizing.
Your skin is made up different lipids (fats) and can benefit from adding extra oil if you have dry skin or live in an environment with cold weather or harsh winds.
Wearing sunscreen is the best step you can take to avoid:
There are two common types of sunscreen: mineral and chemical. My preference is mineral sunscreen formulated with zinc oxide, but these can sometimes leave a white cast on darker skin tones.
Common chemical sunscreen filters include avobenzone and oxybenzone.
How often should I use a cleanser?
You should use a cleanser at least once per day.
If you have oily skin or acne prone skin, you can consider cleansing your face twice per day, morning and night. Additionally, you may prefer cleansers with active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to help with clogged pores and reduce breakouts.
However, if you have dry skin or sensitive skin, you may want to consider washing your face once per day at night with a gentle cleanser.
How often should I exfoliate?
If you are adding an exfoliant into your skincare routine, you should use it between 2-5 times per week depending on:
The type of exfoliant
The strength of the exfoliant
Your skin type and sensitivity
What other actives you’re using and how frequently
For example, a gentle exfoliant like 10% mandelic acid could theoretically be used up to 5-6 times per week, assuming it does cause you to develop any irritation.
However, if you’re using a stronger exfoliant like 7% glycolic acid, you should consider starting with 1-2 times per week and increasing frequency over time depending on your tolerance.
Overall, it is important to listen to your body and monitor how your skin reacts to new products and ingredients.
Summary: Is skincare important?
Yes, skincare is an important daily hygiene practice. In fact, skincare is more than just beauty routines!
Consistent use of quality skin care products can improve your overall health and appearance. It can even protect you from conditions like eczema and skin cancer. Further, skincare can improve your quality of life and confidence because it improves your self image.
Everyone should develop a good skincare routine for their skin type.