In the past, we’ve discussed the importance of setting up the right skin care routine order. We told you what products to use first, middle, and last – now, we’re coming back with tips for fine-tuning your regimen for maximum impact!
1. SPF is Everything
No matter the steps in your skin care routine order, it’s imperative that you protect yourself from the more harmful aspects of the sun with a daily SPF. UV rays penetrate the skin, allowing UVA rays to cause sunburn, sunspots, and aging. Meanwhile, UVB rays cause sunburn and can even lead to skin cancer – this is why SPF is so important!
SPF, which stands for “sun protection factor”, refers to the amount of time before the sun’s radiation begins affecting your skin. For example, if a sunscreen is labeled “SPF 25”, that means it will take twenty-five times longer for the UV rays to burn your skin than it would if you left it unprotected.
You can also protect your skin from UV rays by wearing a hat, as well as clothes that protect your chest and arms, which are typically the most vulnerable to the sun. You can’t wear gloves and a turtleneck at the beach, though – so be sure to cover unprotected areas with SPF as the very LAST step in your daytime skin routine.
2. Layer Your Products from Thinnest to Thickest
When practicing a skin care regimen with multiple steps, the general rule is to layer products based on weight, starting with the lightest and finishing with the heaviest (most occlusive) product.
This is because lighter formulas like serums will absorb the most quickly, while the heaviest products – like night creams – take longer to absorb into the skin. Knowing the most efficient order to apply your products will also help them incorporate better, without pilling or muddling their intended textures.
Your skin care routine should always start with a gentle cleanser, followed straight after with toner. Toner is an essential step because it helps restore pH balance, and gives the pores an extra cleanse.
From there continue with serums (which are often water-based) or sheet masks, facial oil, and then your eye cream. The final step should be your moisturizer, which is the heaviest – and if it’s daytime, the SPF can be applied on top of or as a replacement for your moisturizer.
3. Spritz Your Skin After Using Facial Oil
It’s no secret we love a good facial oil. Non-comedogenic oils are helpful for the skin because they help provide strength and elasticity. But their biggest benefit is creating a protective barrier that keeps moisture locked within the skin.
That being said, dampening the skin is important because it ensures that there is moisture to be stored in the first place. Likewise, it is crucial that the face be freshly cleansed and dried before adding oil and spritzing, to avoid dirt or bacteria being sucked into your skin.
4. Handle with Care
We can all agree that a facial massage feels nice – but if you’re pulling, tugging, and stretching your skin, you may be doing more harm than good.
Handling skin with harsh motions can damage the tiny, delicate blood vessels just beneath your skin. Not to mention that when we continue to rub parts of our skin the same way, it will start to conform a little too well to the movements – much like a memory foam mattress.
Instead, apply your serums and moisturizers with patting, dabbing, gliding, and sweeping motions. These methods are far less aggressive and irritating, but still perfectly effective.
5. Use a Cleanser Instead of Face Wipes
This tip is closely related to the last one: dragging and tugging the skin can be harmful, and ditching your cleanser for a makeup wipe will create the same effect.
In addition, the solution wipes are soaked in tends to include harmful chemical preservatives. These wipes also are not meant to replace a conventional cleansing routine, and won’t clean your skin as thoroughly.
Instead, try a cleanser made with fresh botanical waters and plant-based oils. Our Nopal Cactus Cleanser is formulated with yuzu citrus, nopal cactus, and aloe juice to promote a glowing, dewy complexion.
6. Use More Fatty Acids in Your Routine
It is no secret why they’re called "essential" fatty acids – our body needs them!
Essential fatty acids, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are the building blocks for healthy cell membranes, and can effectively strengthen the skin barrier. When the skin is better protected, there is a reduced likelihood of infection or moisture loss.
Omega fatty acids go by in the skin: omega-3 fatty acids are known as alpha-linolenic acid, and are especially known for reducing inflammation. Meanwhile, omega 6 fatty acids are called linolenic acids, and are often used to help heal acne as well as emulsify oils. Omega 9 fatty acids, or oleic acids, are known to exhibit antioxidant properties and can boost one’s immunity.
If you wish to incorporate more essential fatty acids, an easy way to do so is using our Restorative Facial Oil, which is full of plant-based oils filled with essential fatty acids, including pomegranate, rosehip and jojoba oil.