Skincare routine basics: when and what?

As promised, here it is the sequel of the Skincare routine basics post! I managed to assemble a basic AM and PM routine, that might help you in organizing yours. Please keep in mind, that this is very basic and doesn’t target any specific issues or skin types. It contains all the basics steps, but feel free to skip any that feel redundant. For example, I dutifully skip toning. Why? Because at this point in my routine I deem it unnecessary and I can’t think of any toner, that could offer my skin any significant additional benefits. But this could easily change, if I’d decided to implement baby acids on everyday basis, with a mild exfoliating toner. It is a matter of purpose and organization. Another example – you can most certainly skip the moisturizer in the morning, if you have a nice replenishing SPF protection moisturizing cream.

My point – don’t take this cute graphics literally and be mindful about all the active ingredients you use and combine (e.g. some toners have active ingredients, some creams, serums have multiple active ingredients etc.). At the end, you’ll have to find and organize product types and active ingredient concentrations, that will address your specific skin concerns. So, you can skip this and that, and add this and that, but never ever skip cleansing, some kind of quality hydration and protection

So, here we go, take a look at the “when and what” of skincare!

When and what?

Exfoliation, combination?

I know the »periodical« exfoliation is very vague, but It really can’t be generalized. The decision about which exfoliants in which active concentrations to use and how often, depends on your age, skin type, specific concerns and skincare goals.

Exfoliants are big game changers, but can also cause a lot of drama. Basically, all actives come with a power that can generate a backlash. That’s why I’ll seize this opportunity to present the »better safe than sorry« chart on how to combine the big guns. Please note that I said big guns – meaning the potent actives in highly effective concentrations. Not all retinoids, vitamin C or acids have the strenght to cause drama. For example – the retinoid retinyl palmitate is a total sissy compared to tretinoin or 1% retinol, and while it is smart to be cautious, it is unlikely that it will cause  irritation, even if combined with a stronger form of vitamin C. Anyway, If you’re not sure, just stay on the safe side within the “better safe than sorry” chart below.

The purpose of this chart is to avoid irritation and, on the long run, sensitized skin. We dread sensitized skin! The only concern here is irritation and inflammation. There was a lot of fuss in the skincare community also about the presumably diminished effects of actives, if incorrectly combined (e.g. retinoids with vitamin C due to pH differences), but those myths were all basically (scientifically) debunked.

That’s it! I know I promised product suggestions for each routine step, to enable your cosmetic wish list, but again – this was longer than I expected. Next time, I promise!  

Please feel free to share any of your thoughts, concerns or questions regarding this topic with me.


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