Skin Care Basics

Skin care. Google search this and it will come up with millions of results telling you what products to use, what regimen to follow, how often to use what and what the solutions are for your skin concerns...but how do you decide what is really the best in the sea of all this information??? Well I’m here to tell you! And it really isn’t as complicated or overwhelming as google might make it sound.

First thing is first; finding a skin care regimen to follow. To keep your skin healthy and looking good, you really just need to follow 3 simple steps: cleanse, moisturize, exfoliate. Bare with me while I get all nerdy and science-y, but I think knowing why you’re doing something and how exactly it’s going to benefit your skin helps you stick to a regular regimen. So here we go- all the skin care answers you’re dying for google to tell you...

Cleansing. Ideally, you want to wash your face every morning and every night. Throughout the day, your skin produces excess oil that you’ll want to remove. And on top of that pollution, dirt and bacteria all latch on to the surface of your skin! The combination of all of that can lead to acne, premature aging, irritation and dullness. Cleansing your skin before you go to bed is so important to get all of that junk off! So why wash your face in the morning when all you did was sleep? The oils and products from your hair rubs off onto your pillow which goes straight to your face. Also, almost everyone will sweat a little bit in their sleep, so this will leave small traces of bacteria on your skin. So washing your face in the morning is super important to get that all off as well. Now that you know what to do, it is important to make sure you are using a good quality, pH balanced cleanser that is specific to your skin type! What does pH balanced mean??? Your skin is naturally acidic, sitting at a pH of 4.5-5.5. (okay here’s where it gets really nerdy and science-y) A lot of cleansers have actual soap in them and soap is very alkaline (usually around a 9 or 10 on the pH scale). This means that soap is 10,000 times more alkaline than your skin which is crazy. This disturb your skin's pH which causes dryness, irritation and inflammation. Soap will also strip your skin of its natural oils (yes you need those). So find something that you know is pH balanced!

Moisturizing. This is an important step for all skin types. It keeps your skin healthy and hydrated. If you have dry skin, this is probably a step you don’t have a problem with! But those with oily skin, I’m talking to you too! I bet you’re wondering “well I have oily skin so why do I need to worry about this step?” or “I don’t want to put anything else on my face!”. Dry skin, oily skin, normal skin, combination skin- they are all a skin type- it is what you are born with! You’re skin type describes the amount of oil (or if you want to get really technical, sebum) your skin produces. Dehydrated skin is a condition. It is a lack of water. It is caused from dry climates or not drinking enough water. So yes, you can have an oily skin type, but still be dehydrated! Dehydrated skin ages 7 times faster than healthy, hydrated skin does...whaaaat? So if you have dry skin, use a thicker moisturizer to get the extra oil you need and the hydration. If you’re oily, use an oil free moisturizer! This will give you the hydration and water content you still need. Always make sure you find something that is non-comedogenic, this means it won’t clog your pores and won’t cause you to breakout.

Exfoliation. My favorite step!!! And in my opinion, one of the most important. You can be doing everything else right, but if you’re not exfoliating regularly then it’s all for nothing! People ask me all the time “is exfoliation good or bad for your skin??” If done properly, GOOD!!! Exfoliation can help to increase your hydration, smooth your skin's texture, stimulate collagen production and speed up cell turnover. It also allows your moisturizer to work effectively. Exfoliation should usually be done 2-3 times per week, don't over do it!! Over exfoliating can cause major skin problems, but without it your moisturizer can't absorb properly. Exfoliation will remove the top layer of dead cells so that those healthy cells underneath can absorb your moisturizer and put it to work! Whenever people are having skin problems, exfoliation is almost always my answer. If you have acne, clogged pores, a dull appearance, rough texture, dry patches...adding an exfoliator to your regimen will improve if not solve what is going on. All that being said, you need to make sure you find something that is good for your skin type and condition. If you’re not exfoliating now, add that into your regimen and you’ll see smooth, vibrant and clearer skin in no time!

And of course, SPF. You probably hear it all the time, but I cannot stress the importance of this step! Protecting your skin daily will slow down the aging process significantly. Yes, aging is natural and normal...but sun triggers 80% of skin aging, so wear the spf! At least 15-30 spf every day.

After reading all of that, I’m sure you’re wondering “sooo?? What product line should I be using??” There’s so much out there, it can be tricky finding a product line you like! So I’ll help you! My ALL. TIME. FAVORITE. product line is called Sanitas. All of their products have bio-intelligent ingredients: a step beyond natural. All the ingredients they use fall under one of these 4 categories: biogenic, bioactive, bioessential or biomimetic. Basically this means that the ingredients used in all their products are either naturally produced by your body and found in your skin, easily recognized and used by the skin because they interact with elements already present, nutrients not produced by the body but are essential for proper biological functions or they mimic behaviors of nutrients naturally found in your body. This is a professional skin care line, so you have to buy it from a licensed professional either at a dermatology office or from a spa. Click here and you can find a retailer near you!

If you’re on a drug store budget, I always recommend Derma-E, it’s organic and all natural. It’s a little bit of a higher price point than most over the counter products, but you get what you pay for! Their products are pH balanced and non-comedogenic. They have different categories for different skin types and concerns so you have a lot to choose from.

Skin health is more than just topical products- it’s a lifestyle. There is a lot of nutritional importance to skin care as well, but following all these steps will keep it healthy, hydrated and glowing from the outside. I hope I was able to simplify this whole skin care thing and answer some of the questions you had!

Until next time, xoxo.

Brianne Davis, @brianne.j.davis

PS: Follow along with @pureandlovelyskincare for more skin care tips and tricks throughout the week!