ABCs of skincare
What product should I use? What is the best skincare routine? How do I know what combination of products will work best for me?
Whether you’re a skincare buff or novice, these are some questions that you’d surely Googled at least once. After all, no one is born knowing what products are compatible with their skin and which are not and which steps are ideal and which ones can be omitted.
While we’d love to prescribe a set routine with products X, Y, Z, we believe you deserve something more honest and transparent than that. So, with that said, here’s our answer to the questions above: it depends. There isn’t a golden rule—a one-size-fits-all approach—to skincare. But don’t let this turn you away just yet. We may not know the perfect skincare routine for you, but we do have some tried-and-tested tips you can consider integrating into your daily regimen.
Start with the basics
You’re probably familiar with the words cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Maybe you’ve even purchased a cleanser, toner and moisturizer following your online research, but you’re now wondering: now what? What do these do, and what’s the correct order to apply them?
Here’s what we recommend:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser that works for you.
- Once your face has been patted dry with a soft cotton pad or clean face towel, soak an unused cotton pad with a toner of your choice and gently sweep your face with it. Toners help to remove any traces of lingering impurities and restores your skin’s pH balance.
- Finally, apply the prescribed amount of moisturizer onto your face (check the product label to find out how much you should use) to help hydrate, soften and nourish the skin.
Voila! In three simple steps, you’ve got the basic ABCs of skincare down pat; or a starting point, to say the least.
If you’re thinking, “that’s it?” keep reading 😉
It doesn’t hurt to add serums
If you feel that you’ve got the basic ABCs down pat and are looking to amp up your skincare regime, we recommend you try face serums.
Face serums are highly concentrated, traditionally water-based skincare products that render specific results. For instance, a brightening serum containing antioxidants such as Vitamin C will help deliver a more even skin tone. A hydrating serum containing hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, will help boost and lock in moisture to keep your skin from drying out. Face serums are optional, but if you do give one (or two) a try, we recommend you apply it before putting on moisturizer, thereby changing the steps like so:
- Face serum
Okay, cool. I’ve done what you recommend, but now what? We’re glad you asked because now comes the most challenging part.
Are you still with us? Phew. Okay.
If you thought of closing the tab for a split second, we don’t blame you. In a culture of fast-food, fast cars and faster wi-fi, waiting isn’t exactly anyone’s favourite word. But we mean it when we say that to find the ideal skincare rhythm, you must first learn to be patient and wait. Otherwise, you might miss out on the opportunity for your skin to flourish from using products compatible with your skin type.
Okay, but for how long should I wait?
Good question! The general rule of thumb is to use a product (after you’ve done a patch test) for at least six weeks, once or twice daily, to notice a difference. To ensure consistency, which is necessary to see results, apply your skincare products in the order we recommended. If, after the six-week trial, you don’t see a difference, you have our blessings to try something new.
Perseverance pays off
The journey to finding the right products and developing a routine requires time, patience and trial and error. It’s normal to get impatient while waiting for results to kick in and to show off your glowing skin. After all, you didn’t buy the holy-grail product you saw on TikTok or Instagram for nothing. But we assure you, if you take your time to find the right skincare rhythm, you will slowly but surely find yourself with healthy and beautiful skin.
Lastly, here’s a trick to remembering the order we recommend above: the products tend to move from a thinner to a thicker substance. Easy, right?
Be patient. Be consistent. And good luck!