When it comes to skin care it can be confusing what to put on your skin and why. My Boyfriend is a great example he just can’t understand why he has to put different products on his face. He just wants to wash his face and put moisturizer on. Then he will watch me layer products and then complain to me why I didn’t tell him to do the same. This is a simple guide to decoding products and learning what to put on your face and why.
You know the basics, wash your face, exfoliate 2-3 times a week and indulge in a face mask every week or so. The reason we have to put different products on our face is that some ingredients can conflict with active ingredients and sometimes we need a more concentrated amount of an ingredient. I go to so many of my friends’ homes and see that they just have products lying around because they don’t know what to use when and why. I usually end up numbering them so that it makes it easy for them.
Piling on an excess of products can interfere with absorption and lead to irritation, clogged pores, and it could leave your skin looking dull instead of glowing. You can refer to my post on how much product you should be using.
I usually observe the rule of 3. It makes life easier even for those busy mornings that you are just trying to get out the door. After you wash your face, start out with a serum because the texture of a serum is thin. While in your 20’s your skin is still fresh I would still start using a serum for prevention in the future. Serums deliver the most active ingredients on to your skin throughly. You can customize your skin care this way. So if you have fine lines you can get a serum with retinol or peptides. If you are looking to brighten up your skin get one with brightening essence or take away redness you can look for one with licorice or aloe. Find a serum to suit your skin needs. You can also switch out your serum so you can use one month and change it.
Next would be an antioxidant or an oil, don’t do both. Antioxidants are great because antioxidants can make skin appear more youthful and even-toned. Vitamin C is an ingredient that is great for everyone it brightens your skin, makes your skin look more plump and youthful, can improve texture, protects against sun damage, and promotes collagen production. After you apply the serum and antioxidant let them dry for a about a minute and then go ahead to your moisturizer. This will let them fully absorb into your skin and you won’t get that heaviness feeling on your skin. Oils make skin look radiant, do not put on oil with more than one serum because it can make your skin look greasy. If you are using an oil use it sparingly a little goes a long way and then use a light moisturizer.
Now for the last product which is moisturizer so I know I said I follow the rule of 3 but don’t forget your under eye cream in this step. Put it on before your moisturizer but since they are both moisturizers I kinda just put them together. Don’t forget to always apply your eye cream with your ring finger and pat it around your area. Depending on where you live and the what season it is choose a moisturizers that is right for your skin type. For me, I live in LA and the climate is dryer and my skin is type is normal (which means it isn’t oily or dry), so I choose I can wear a thicker cream in the Fall/Winter. If I travel to a more humid destination like New York or Dubai I go for a oil free moisturizer. If you are unsure what to choose go to a department store or Sephora and have someone help you.
Choose a moisturizer that has SPF for the a.m. (even though a dermatologist has told me the SPF breaks down in moisturizer, I think if you don’t want to add another step it’s better than nothing). Moisturizer helps seal in serums and is the key to any layering routine. If you get one that is light weight is hydrating you can skip the makeup primer.
For the evening do the serums but get an evening moisturizer. Usually they are heavier don’t worry. I prefer night creams with retinol or glycolic acid to help with skin cell turnover and rebuild cells. At night your skin regenerates when you sleep. If you want an anti-aging cream look for one with peptides, it helps with collagen from becoming less elastic. Salicylic acid works for acne, green tea calms redness, and vitamin K helps with dark undereye circles.