One of the most common questions we get asked daily is, “which skincare products should I use?” We get it, skincare can be so confusing. The variety of products are endless, the types of routines to follow continue to grow, and the ingredients used always vary. A lot of the time, people just give up because of how many options there are.
But fear not! Whether you’re new to skincare, or a skincare enthusiast, we’re here to provide some clarity. As dermatologists, we’ve had our fair share of not only studying skincare, but experimenting on how to achieve and maintain healthy skin.
First things first - what’s the purpose of skincare? Why bother at all? Skincare is the foundation of healthy skin. It provides a clean canvas for your makeup and prevents aging by keeping your outer layer in top shape, which also helps with acne prevention! There are many different types of skincare products out there that can be tailored to fit any budget or lifestyle (more on this later).
It’s important to start taking care of our skin at an early age so we have fewer wrinkles and dark spots as we get older, while also reducing the risk for skin cancer. When you maintain good habits when it comes to caring for your body overall - eating well, exercising regularly, sleeping enough - then you will notice how much better looking and feeling your skin is too!
The Skincare Foundation
It can be overwhelming to know what products and routines are effective for your skin type. Don’t worry! It’s simple. The main point of a skincare routine is to protect and maintain your skin barrier. Let’s break it down to these products as your foundation: Cleanser, Moisturizer, Sunscreen.
By starting with this foundation, not only are you already taking a step towards great skin, you’re protecting your skin as well! Your skincare foundation is preventative. It protects your skin from UV radiation, which accelerates the aging process and can harm your skin in many ways.
So now you have the foundation. What’s next? Once you have a good foundation, active ingredients can be added. Actives are science-backed ingredients used to achieve specific results in terms of making changes to the skin.
Remember, less is more. Too many actives can irritate and compromise your skin barrier. When considering actives, add those that align with your skin health goals. It’s best to add these one at a time.
The Fab 5 of Skincare
Hopefully, by now, skincare seems pretty simple. But what are the top essential products to use for a perfect skincare routine? After extensive research in our field, we came up with the Fab 5 of Skincare*.
Use a gentle cleanser once in the morning and at night. Cleansers are more moisturizing and hydrating than regular bar soap. By using a cleanser, you are removing dirt build-up, excess oils, and/or makeup and starting your skincare routine fresh.
There are many different types of moisturizers. The moisturizer used depends on your skin type. Be sure to check out our blog on moisturizers to learn more about the various moisturizers available and which one is best for you!
- Antioxidant (vitamin C)
Vitamin C is a naturally occurring antioxidant. It helps protect our skin from free radicals, photoaging, and even skin cancers. Apply vitamin C in liquid form directly to your skin for best results. Learn more about the awesome benefits of vitamin C.
SPF is your BFF when it comes to skincare! It protects you from the sun's harmful UV rays. We recommend applying sunscreen at the start of your day, and reapply every 3 hours if outside, sweating or towelling off. Try to use sunscreen that is broad-spectrum and SPF 30 or higher.
Retinoids are a must-have in a skincare routine (except if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding). Retinoids prevent fine lines and wrinkles, boost collagen production, and brightens and evens out the skin tone. It also prevents and treats acne! We have a blog post specifically on how to use retinoids. Check it out to learn more!
We’ve covered the basics, but there’s always more to learn! We’re here to help you on your skincare journey, and can’t wait to see where it takes you.
*Always consult with your board-certified dermatologist who can best assist you in achieving your skin health goals.