There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to skincare. We all have different skin types, needs, and the routine that has done wonders for someone you know may not necessarily work the same way for you.
Here, we have listed the reasons why you should take the time to build your own skincare routine:
You get the best value for your money
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, knowing your skin type is one of the answers to having healthy skin because “using products formulated for your skin's needs will help your skin look and feel its best”.
Does your skin feel flaky or rough, or does it look greasy with obvious pores? Or maybe it’s a mix of both – flaky in some areas but shiny in others. These clues will tell you whether your skin is dry, oily, or a combination type. If it often gets itchy, or you feel a slight stinging or burning feeling when using a product, then you may have sensitive skin. And if you experience none of these, then you have normal skin, which is balanced, clear, and not sensitive.
Now, what does this mean for you? Using the right product for your skin type increases the efficacy as these formulations and ingredients specifically target your skin’s condition, which gives you the best value for your money. On the other hand, using the wrong product for your skin type may cause irritation, aggravate skin problems, and may even warrant a trip to your dermatologist.
Consistency is Key
After identifying your skin type, it is also important to look at your lifestyle and habits. Can you sustain your skincare routine for a long period? The best products will not work if you do not use them properly and regularly, because another key to skincare is consistency.
Only you can determine how busy you are and how much time you can devote to your morning and nighttime skincare routine. Having more time on your hands means you can explore a multi-step skincare regimen, as you have the luxury to let each product seep into your skin before applying the next layer.
If you feel that you only have a few minutes to spare for your skincare every day, then it’s best to go for a multi-tasking product that can address several of your skin concerns in one go. You should also look for products that get absorbed faster so you don’t have to wait for your skin to dry before going about your busy day, or forcing yourself to stay awake just so the cream that you just slathered on won’t transfer to your pillowcase.
At the end of the day, remember that beautiful skin takes time. Skincare is not a magic potion that can give you results overnight. In some cases, it can take weeks of regular use before you notice visible results. And this can only happen when you stick to your skincare regimen.
Your skin changes, too
Did you know that the entire outer layer of our skin is replaced every 2-4 weeks, shedding about 0.001 – 0.003 ounces of skin flakes per hour? This is a natural process that enables newer skin cells to emerge from the lower layers, however, this means that your skin that looks healthy and glowing today can suddenly turn dull tomorrow as your skin cells get ready to shed and fall off. Having a personal skincare routine that you can maintain helps prevent this effect, keeping you looking fresh and glowing all day, every day. Suzan Obagi, assistant professor in dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center explains that when we are young, our body produces large quantities of collagen (which provides skin firmness), elastin (which supplies skin elasticity and rebound) and glycosaminoglycans or GAGs (which keep the skin hydrated). This changes after the age of 20 as the body reduces collagen in the skin by about 1% each year, coupled with lessened function of the sweat and oil glands, less elastin production, and less GAG formation
Aging skin thus looks thinner, paler, more translucent, and does not appear as plump and smooth as it used to be. Pigmentation, such as age spots may also appear in sun-exposed areas. This can be harder on women as their body does through hormonal changes before and during menopause.
Having a consistent skincare routine from an early age helps minimize these effects of aging, as it strengthens and prepares your skin for the long road ahead. <insert anti-aging skincare products; products for the 40s and up>
“Prevention is still better than cure” is not just a cliche
We keep hearing this phrase used in different ways, but we cannot deny that this is true. Having a skincare routine that is tailor-fit to your lifestyle and needs will keep problems at bay and save you money in the long run. What seems like a “small” skin concern like acne can lead to serious problems like scarring and hyperpigmentation, requiring a costly trip to a dermatologist in the future.
Finally, remember that our skin is the largest organ of our body, and we only have this one, so we need to take good care of it.