Is there even one?
According to experts, and it seems everyone on the internet is an expert these days, there are three main steps to a beauty regime: Cleanse, Treat and Moisturise. Ok, fair enough but being a teenager in the late 80’s early 90’s I thought Tone was the middle one. Well it seems I’m wrong and Toning is an optional activity these days and we do it to redress the PH balance of our skin, but apparently the key thing we need to be doing now is Treating our skin after we’ve cleansed and before we moisturise.
Fair enough I’m no expert but this is what I have found out and if you are like me and don’t use much by the way of skin care products then this may help. For those of you that do use products daily you might just find you are using too many products and actually overwhelming your skin.
So what does ‘treat’ stand for?
I can tell you it’s not a lovely chocolate biscuit treat unless it’s one specifically made for skin! I do have a rather lovely face mask that smells so chocolatey and delish that it always makes me feel hungry… but I digress. Treating is where we use, serums or creams which are packed full of skincare superheroes like vitamin C, retinol, hydroxy acid and more.
Of course everyone’s skin is different and we need to adjust to suit our skin and our age but after looking at what is recommended the following seems to be the ideal skincare regime:
- Cleanse – use a gentle face wash to take away the impurities of daily life. Using a gentle face wash is important if you are using several products in your skin care regime as you don’t want to overwhelm your skin. Don’t cleanse too often or use too harsh a cleanser otherwise your skins natural barrier will be washed away and you’ll end up with redness and potential problems with other products.
- Tone – this is an optional stage but is good for rebalancing the PH levels of your skin. Make sure you are using the right toner for your skin type though. If you have dry skin use a hydrating toner to soothe skin and if you are prone to acne then using a toner with salicylic acid in will help keep spots at bay.
- Serum – whatever your age or skin type it seems as though vitamin C is the skin saviour. It helps reverse the damage caused by the sun and pollution. It’s also good for hyperpigmentation, and especially so if used in the morning routine.
- Eye cream – find one that suits you and dab with your ring finger to prevent damage to the fine skin under the eyes. Our ring finger is the weakest one so ideal or delicate areas.
- Moisturise – this is designed to keep your skin hydrated and create a protective barrier for your skin against damage and pollution. Depending on your skin type choose a lighter moisturiser that will soak in quickly, if your skin is on the drier side then a thicker cream based moisturiser will do the trick.
- Sun cream/sunscreen – this is essential, our skin can get damaged by the sun even on an overcast day. It is the number 1 cause of skin damage so we need to use it daily and at least an SPF of 30 is recommended, even if you spend most of the time indoors.
Night-time – this is the perfect opportunity to ensure your skin is getting all the key nutrients it needs
- Cleanse – this is where a cleansing oil is recommended as it is designed to take off your makeup and cleanses your skin in one go.
- Tone – again optional but do it before you apply serums.
- Serums – apparently retinol is the skin saviour for anyone to use at any age but especially in our 40’s and 50’s. There are recommendations to using alpha hydroxy acid to encourage collagen but this will need to alternate so as not to put too many ingredients that may fight with each other if you now what I mean.
- Eye cream – use as you would in the day, but using eye cream at night helps the delicate skin around the eyes deal with stronger ingredients like retinol better.
- Acne cream – this is about prevention rather than cure. If you know you are prone to the odd or regular breakout then putting spot control cream on can help keep them at bay.
- Moisturise – uber important to moisturise using a night cream as this is designed to hydrate and protect your skin and make sure it is glowing when you wake up.
- Face oil – these are designed to give that extra boost of moisture for your skin overnight. They add an extra layer of protection. Don’t worry if your skin is oily these if the right formula is chosen can work wonders for your skin.
To me this seems a lot of a faff, although it is why many women and men have fantastic skin and I don’t. I look at my own skin care regime and for me to do what is recommended I’d be there all day messing about. Especially as it’s advised to wait a little between stages to let the skin settle and for the products to sink in. But with the pressures on us all to look good every day, and keep the aging process at bay we are ‘encouraged’ to follow complicated regimes.
To be honest in the grand scheme of things if you only do half of the recommended régime you are doing something right!
Essentials are – cleansing, applying serum and moisturising the other bits, are for when you have time if you can.
What about me? What do I do?
I’m such a heathen when it comes to my skincare, or lack of care as is mostly the case. I do put sun cream on I confess to that, but if I’m honest I don’t much do the other stuff. I have the odd phase where I go all out and do all three steps, but mostly I wash with a bamboo or organic cotton flannel, yes you read that correctly a flannel. I was born in the 70’s and some of the things I did as a kid have stuck with me. I have a pile of bamboo and organic cotton flannels in the airing cupboard as they get used regularly, I’m not for these environmentally damaging wipes (they don’t do your skin much good either) and the washable wipes that companies seem to keep coming up with as the new environmental alternative, well open your eyes they’re just cut up flannels made from bamboo or organic cotton, marketed as the new way to save the planet! And, yes I can be this cynical I used to work in marketing, kinda know the tricks they use to get people to buy into the ‘product’. And spot cream! I just use toothpaste! It works a treat and leaves my face smelling minty fresh 🤣, the other half has grown accustomed to seeing me with toothpaste on my face occasionally he doesn’t bat an eyelid these days.
I will use a moisturiser on occasion when I remember to, although I confess I don’t always do this every day. I forget. Unless I get into routine and remember to do it or I’m putting on makeup, it just doesn’t get done. I do put sun cream on though, as I mentioned before but I don’t much like the combined moisturisers with SPF in them I find them far too greasy for my skin. So normal mineral based sun cream does the job for me. I do remember to put moisturiser on at night, and I’m even choosing a night time one for extra Oomph. So I suppose I might get some brownie points for that!
My mum always encouraged me to ensure my skin was clean but she used to suffer terribly with allergic reactions to most skin care products and so she rarely wore makeup, in fact I think she only ever wore mascara and lipstick as everything else made her skin react. She would react really badly and have to have prescription cream to put on, usually some steroid cream or …
What’s it called? …
It’ll come to me in a bit…
This is one of those walk into a room moments and you forget what you walked into the room for! It’s an age thing.
Antihistamines! That’s the one.
Mum used to wear a moisturiser but it was the same one for years and she rarely changed the brand, she had to though on the odd occasion as the formula and ingredients had changed and caused a really nasty reaction where her face swelled up and went burning red it started to peel in places. So as you can imagine skincare and makeup wasn’t foremost in my teens. Most of my influence came from teen mags like MORE and when I was older Cosmopolitan. Ahh, those were the days 🤣 Anyone of a certain age will remember More Magazine, Cosmo is still about and is even more racier than I remember 😜
I can’t say I’m much of a girly girl and I never really have been, but on occasion I do like to make an effort. And, this means when I do remember to use skincare products I want them to be as skin, animal and environmentally friendly as possible.
I will only use animal friendly products those with the Leaping Bunny and Vegan logo on them. I have long been an advocate of animal friendly products and positive ethical practices in the beauty industry and I naively used to use many of the high end brands Estee Lauder, Clinique and such like, but I found out that they were and are still not animal friendly. They are often owned by parent companies who sell in China and their products must be tested on animals before they can be sold there. So at some point there will have been an ingredient that has been tested, if not the actual product, on animals. It is hard to find a truly animal friendly product but if you care enough then look for the leaping bunny and the vegan V and you can’t go far wrong.
You don’t have to pay high end to get a good product. Many cheaper products use the same ingredients as the more expensive brands, it’s just the bigger more ‘high end’ brands market to a ‘lifestyle dream’. We all like a bit of designer but we don’t necessarily need it for our moisturiser. Do your research, there are plenty of informative websites out there.
I’m not here to tell you which products to use, you are old enough to make those decisions on your own. All I ask is that you consider the impact on the environment, animals and your health and do your research you can’t go far wrong.
Thats it from me for now. Have a rummage through your skin care products and take a careful look. Hopefully you’ve perhaps picked up a little snippet of useful information in this post.
Take care, stay safe.