I was walking through the cosmetic department of a major department store the other day and overheard a lady complaining that she hadn’t seen any results with the skincare she had purchased from there. Me being curious as to what the counter lady would say, I fluffed around and pretended to shop to listen in…
The problem I then heard was that this customer had been using her skincare all wrong. She had brought the whole range but had been applying her sunscreen, then her serum and then her moisturizer.
Then it occurred to me… how many customers are using their hard earned skincare wrong and don’t even know it? It is a prevalent occurrence in our industry that we presume our clients have a good understanding on what we do and how to care for their skin. This clients lack of results came as a result of disconnect in communication and an assumption that the customer knew everything we do about looking after her skin and using skincare. What I learnt from that is our customers don’t know, what they don’t know and its up to us as Professional Therapists and skincare advisors to communicate correctly in how they are to use their products to get the best out of them.
So here it is, the run down on how to use most effectively look after your skin at home. Lets go with the daily routine right now.
1) Each day you should be cleansing your skin morning and night. In the morning, even though you think your skin is still clean, just a quick cleanse to remove any of last nights creams, along with residue from metabolic waste produced and allow better penetration for the days skincare routine. If you wear makeup, you definitely need to cleanse twice that evening, as night is when all the skin cells go into overdrive trying to repair all the damage caused by what they have been exposed to all day long fighting off aggressors. Stress, pollution, sun and environment cause massive amounts of free radical damage and aggressors within the skin, so at night time we need to give your skin optimal ingredients to help them to repair the damage, then whatever is not repairable, the skins immune system will eliminate, so given the skin a fighting chance.
2) Next apply a hydrating or antioxidant tonic lotion to your skin. Now in the old days I didn’t believe in toners as they were more irritating and harsh, full of alcohol which strips the skins natural barrier of protection called the pH. These days you can get some beautiful tonics and since I started to use one about a year ago, I can never go back. Check the ingredients to find one that is giving to the skin and not depleting, and then apply by splashing a small amount into your hands then press into your skin, no need to waste your product on cotton rounds as remember we are feeding the skin not removing anything. In saying that, if you suffer from acne, then a renewing toner that has a small amount of salicylic acid in it, is often the best to assist in that deep cleansing and antibacterial application. Once you try a tonic applied by pressing in with your hands, you will never go back as your skin feels loads more hydrated and you actually use less of your other products as they all penetrate better.
3) The correct way to use your skincare is to apply the smallest molecular size and highest active ingredients first. This is normally in the form of a serum. Whilst your skin is still damp with the tonic, you then apply your serum. A serum plays a critical role in the results you attain from your skincare. If you apply your serum whilst your skin is still damp from the tonic you will use less serum and the hydration will allow it to penetrate deeper into the layers it is most needed.
The serum is the product that brings about most of the change within the skin. There are many different types of serums available and your professional skincare therapist can recommend what best suits the concerns you have with your skin, and all serums should be prescribed as a cyclic program, however my 4 favourites are… Hyaluronic acid to rebalance the hydration levels of your skin by holding 1000 times its own weight in moisture, as well as plumping the skin by replenishing the natural levels of HA found within your dermis that keeps your collagen and elastin nice and youthful. My next favourite serum would definitely be Retinyl Palmitate. This is a more concentrated and smaller molecule of Vitamin A that is commonly used for anti-ageing and sun damage. Retinyl Palmitate forces mitosis of new healthy skin cells to be born within the epidermis (surface of the skin). It repairs damaged skin cells then encourages them to multiply almost like a photocopier for healthy skin cells. This serum is best used at night and in conjunction with an SPF, but definitely worth a look at. Good old Vitamin C is another beauty to have at least twice a year. Its is really important you buy a quality Vitamin C serum that is composed of ascorbic and L-ascorbic acid and that is in a formula that is stable as Vitamin C oxidizes fast, just leave your cut apple out and see the effects oxygen has on Vitamin C. This Vitamin C serum is a must for people who want that immediate brightening and glow. It’s a great pigmentation inhibitor (tyrosinase inhibits melanin), and its fabulous for hydration. An all over winner for that pick me up or post summer glow. Lastly on the serum saga, I love a good topical botox serum. This particular serum contains hexa-peptides to muffle the messages going to the muscles to weaken their contraction, which softens expression lines. It also contains a penta-peptide to fill in those nasty lines almost like no-more gaps. The only thing I will say with these types of serums, are that the results are cumulative, so the more often and regular you use them the better the results will be. So all I can say is, go get yourself a serum to kick your skin cells into line asap.
4) Wow that last step seemed like a dousey but well worth it, now we are on cruse control. Next we simply moisturise with a good quality product that will mimic the skins natural barrier function to hydrate and protect the skin. The moisturiser will prevent your skins natural hydration from evaporating, it will balance the hydro-lipidic level (that is water v’s oil content) so as the skin can regulate its oil flow and function normally.
5) Last but especially not least we use our SPF… this is where our customer in the department store went wrong. A good quality UVA UVB blocker is imperative if you want to look younger for longer. Did you know that UVA wavelength is all year round and we actually have about 64% exposure through incidental light from car window, hanging the washing out and even some old computers and fluorescent light tubes can emit high levels of UVA. Why is this important? Well its simple really, UVA increases an enzyme within the skin that goes around like little pac men and gobbles up our good healthy collagen and our collagen is what makes us look young. Treat it like gold and protect it every day with an SPF.
So what I learnt from my little ears dropping experience in the shops the other day, is that you, the customer, simply doesn’t know what you don’t know and you are doing your skincare to the best of your knowledge. It is up to us as the professional, to make sure you are getting the most out of your experience and the results you deserve. At the temple Skincare we really listen to your needs wants and desires with your skin, we perform a computerized skin analysis, then offer you a wholistic solution for your concern. Good luck with your skincare journey, we hope to help you along the way.
Rene and the team @ The Temple Skincare