One of my 2015 resolutions is to “protect my youth.” That means exercising regularly, eating right, and also taking care of my skin. To be completely honest, I have pretty amazing genes, which have given me pretty good skin so far (thanks, grandmas!), but I want to have amazing skin throughout my entire life.
I’m not hopping on the anti-aging bandwagon, but I am a trained researcher, and research has proven that when women start incorporating “anti-aging” into their skincare routines as early as their thirties, they are less likely to feel the need for any sort of surgical procedures later on in life. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been reading as much as I can about skincare: the ingredients your products should have (retinol, retinol and more retinol), the products you need to own (apparently there are several steps, all of them important), and how often (and in what order!) you need to use everything. I realized I knew absolutely nothing about how to take care of my skin. I’m a simple girl (literally…I use Simple Skincare products for just about everything), but this year I’m going to test a routine that involves more than just the basics.
How to Create an Amazing Skincare Routine in Your 30s
A cleanser should be the first step of your skincare routine. It ensures that you’re starting off with a clean slate, removing makeup as well as dirt and oil that can attach to your face throughout the day. I’ve been using Cetaphil’s Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar for years, but I’m looking for something a bit less drying, especially now that it’s wintertime.
Cleansing Brush //
A cleansing brush helps to clean the gunk that’s deep-set in our pores. It also exfoliates, allowing your skin to absorb all the good stuff from the your products (making your skincare routine work as effectively as possible). I like the Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System, but I’ve heard such good things about the Clarisonic line that I might just give it a try.
My pick: Clarisonic Mia II
Toners remove the excess oil and makeup that your cleanser may miss. If your cleanser doesn’t include a toner (philosophy’s does), than you should use a separate toning product after cleansing. In the past I’ve used ordinary witch hazel or rosewater (they’re tried and true). If you have acne from time to time, I also recommend Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Astringent, which was so effective in clearing up my skin that I don’t need to use it anymore.
After cleansing and toning, it’s time to apply a serum, which is a concentrated treatment. Serums boost the effectiveness of your skincare products and improve your skin’s overall health by increasing your skin’s moisture levels, increasing brightness, or stimulating your skin’s ability to produce collagen (more collagen means firmer, healthier looking skin!) They also infuse your skin with vitamins A (retinol), C and E. Serums are used morning and night right after cleansing your face, and are applied by gently pressing into the skin. You can find a serum that will do just about anything (based on your specific skincare needs), but I decided to try one that does it all.
Face Mask //
What I’ve learned from all my skincare research is that our faces can’t get enough moisture, and a good face mask is a great opportunity to drench your skin in as much moisture as it can possibly take. Use a mask after your serum and before your moisturizer during the day, or if you’re using an overnight mask, let that be the last thing you put on before bed.
I don’t really have a “go to” moisturizer. If I’m pressed for time, I just put some lotion on my face before running out the door. When I’m being more thoughtful, I use Josie Maran’s 100% Argan Oil on my face as a moisturizer, or extra virgin coconut oil. But I really want to try a luxurious, creamy moisturizer specifically made for face. Considering I turn thirty in a few weeks, I’m being super indulgent and treating myself to an early birthday present, which happens to be one of the most positively reviewed moisturizers around.
My pick: Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream
Eye Cream //
The skin around our eyes and on the backs of our hands is where most of us will start seeing the first signs of aging. It’s actually a good idea to start using an eye cream in your mid- to late-twenties and use it every day after your moisturizer. When applying an eye cream, gently tap the area around/underneath your eyes with your ring finger (it’s your weakest finger, so you won’t put undue pressure on that sensitive skin). Like serums, there’s an eye cream for everything: puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and dryness. My issue is that the skin around my eyes just doesn’t seem as moisturized and luminous as it could be, so I chose a gel cream.
My pick: Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream
Facial Peel //
Peels help exfoliate dead skin and regenerate a new skin layer, leaving you with a super dewy, bright and even skintone. Some peels are gentle enough to use every day, while others are to be used once or twice a week. A good peel should include glycolic acid (for reducing the look of wrinkles and fine lines), hyaluronic acid (for intense moisture) or salicylic acid (used to minimize pores). Use a peel after cleansing and then follow up with a serum or moisturizer that contains retinol (an age-fighting version of Vitamin A).
Like I said, before doing my research, I knew absolutely nothing about skincare and had no idea that skincare could be this involved. After doing the bare minimum my whole life, I’m interested in seeing results from a more thoughtful skincare routine. Are any of you thinking about creating a skincare routine this year? Or if you already have one, what are your favorite products?