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The Perfect Healthy Skin Care Routine

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

The 5 Crucial Steps for Clear Glowy Skin



 

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So as you can see from the title we are here to discuss the 5 steps every skincare routine should include for healthy blemish-free skin and their benefits. We’ll go over each step and its importance as well as the minimum and maximum frequency for best results. I’ll briefly go over the products to use for each skin type and which products are beneficial for all skin types and conditions. Did you know that your environment and lifestyle (workplace, home, region, makeup, diet) could all have an impact on your skin’s health?


We all have struggled or (likely will struggle) with our skin and we all know how stressful having blemished skin can be. As a licensed esthetician, I have seen and personally struggled with problem skin ranging from acne to dry, dehydrated skin. Whether your skin problems are a result of fluctuating hormones or lifestyle, this guide will give you the fundamental steps to address and improve your skin. Each step discussed is vital for all skin types and conditions. And based on your skin type, I'll let you know which products would be best along the way. For me the perfect skincare routine ends with a beautiful natural glow EVERYDAY! And as long as you are cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, and replenishing your skin with the right products you too can have beautiful glowy skin with minimal effort.


So whether you have dry, oily or acneic skin; live in Alaska, Florida or Michigan I have the perfect solution to balance your skin for natural beautiful glow every, single, day!


Step 1: Cleansing


The first step in the perfect skincare routine is cleansing. For some, this could be one step but for others a double cleanse should be performed for best results. This is especially the case if you exercise daily, work in an environment that can result in oily skin or clogged pores, or wear makeup.


The first step in a double cleanse is intended to remove makeup, dirt, debris and oil from the surface which is why it is often called a pre-cleanse. The pre-cleanse will wash the day away, so-to-speak, in preparation for the second cleanse to address any debris that may have impacted the pores at a deeper level. Your pre-cleanse should be a cream or oil based cleanser as these work best to attract surface oil and makeup for easy removal. The pre-cleanser should be applied to dry skin and removed with lukewarm water and a clean washcloth. (Check out my favorite pre-cleanse here)


The second (or potentially only) cleanser in the cleansing portion of your skincare routine is solely based on your skin type.

  1. Dry and sensitive skin types should use gentle creamy cleansers. This could also be the same cleanser that is used in the pre-cleanse step like SkinScript Pomegranate Antioxidant Cleanser.

  2. Normal to oily skin types should use a foamy cleanser like the SkinScript Green Tea Citrus Cleanser.


It is also important to pay close attention to the ingredients in your cleansers to get the right products to address your skin concerns. SkinScript Pomegranate Antioxidant Cleanser contains antioxidants to fight free radical damage that can cause breakouts or signs of aging. SkinScript Green Tea Citrus Cleanser is made with grapefruit and lemon to provide brightening and antibacterial properties to your cleansing step while green tea calms and hydrates your skin. For oily, acneic skin SkinScript Charcoal Clay Cleanser is great for a detoxifying deep clean as the kaolin clay absorbs toxins and excess oil from the skin.


We all encounter various pollutant and environmental factors that can clog pores and cause breakouts or other skin problems. Cleansing removes the grime of the day (and/or night) in preparation for proper treatment to follow in your skincare routine. It is very important to not overdo it as that can result in dry, dehydrated or sensitized skin which can make breakouts worse as the skin tries to combat over-processing by producing excess oil. This means you should avoid spending too much time on the cleansing process and avoid using too much product. Cleansing should be completed 1-2x a day depending on skin type, condition, and lifestyle. Minimally your skin should be cleansed at the end of the day, optimally morning and night for a busier lifestyle and oily skin.



Step 2: Exfoliating


Exfoliating helps to facilitate cell turnover (the shedding of dead skin cells to bring newer skin cells to the surface) to reveal a glowy and even complexion. The process begins to happen less often as we get older and can result in signs of aging and in some cases more breakouts. Exfoliation encourages the skin to shed dead and damaged skin cells but should be done safely to avoid further damage.



Exfoliation should be completed no more than 1-2x a week. There are 2 methods of at-home exfoliation: chemical and physical.

  1. Chemical exfoliation requires the use of products that contact AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acids) such as glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acids or the use of enzymes like papain or bromelain which are derived from fruits (papaya or pineapple)

  2. Physical exfoliation requires a slightly abrasive material like jojoba beads or oats to buff and dislodge dead skin build up and are usually added to products with other ingredients for antibacterial, detoxifying and addressing uneven skin tone.



A great exfoliant with papain enzyme is SkinScript Beta-Carotene Papain Renewal Serum. This exfoliant is great for ALL skin types and conditions as it is gentle yet powerful as it removes dead skin cells to reveal a dewy glow. The SkinScript Beta-Carotene Papain Renewal Serum balances surface lipids for plump skin and clears impacted pores to minimize acne. The best part is, it’s safe enough to be used every night!


Over-exfoliation can present problems that may appear to be the result of not exfoliating enough such as, oiliness, clogged pores and fine lines. Over-exfoliation can also cause premature damage to new skin cells underneath which could result in sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and dehydration. If you notice any flaking, tight skin or irritation, stop use of an exfoliant and contact your skincare professional to discuss next steps.


It can take on average a month to see results of proper exfoliation so don’t rush the process. For this reason, it is important to note that patience and consistency is very important to get the best result from your skincare routine. To avoid damage from exfoliating, be sure to rehydrate, moisturize and protect. We’ll talk more about the benefits and importance of each of these steps below.



Step 3: Hydrating


Hydration attracts moisture to the skin’s surface to balance the water-oil balance of the cells for a dewy glow and plump skin. Rehydrating is necessary to avoid dehydration in all skin types and includes drinking plenty of water daily (at least half your weight in oz) along with taking action in your skincare routine.






You can also increase hydration in the skin by using:

  1. hydrosols (flower distillate, water content when essential oils are extracted, i.e. rose distillate)

  2. floral waters (water infused with flower essence, i.e. rose water)

  3. humectants (draws moisture to skin from environment or hydrosols and floral waters, i.e. hyaluronic acid or glycerin)

  4. lipids (protects against water loss and irritants entering the skin).


Humectants and lipids are typically found in serums and moisturizers and can be appliednin the 4th step of the perfect skincare routine after “toning” with a hydrosol or distillate. (Check out QAE Beauty’s Rose Distillate and QAE Beauty’s Serums)



Step 4: Moisturizing


Moisturizers protect the skin from the elements, nourishes with formulated ingredients, balances water-oil content, and can be specialized to treat skin conditions (aging, acne, and dryness). There are some moisturizers that are day or night use exclusively


The best moisturizer type varies depending on skin type:

  1. Dry: thicker moisturizers (SkinScriptRx Peptide Restoration Moisturizer)

  2. Oily: thinner moisturizers (SkinScriptRx Light Aloe Moisturizer)

Common ingredients in moisturizers are shea butter, aloe vera, rosehip oil, and olive oil for their highly moisturizing and healing properties. Some moisturizers provide a certain level of protection from your environment and loss of nutrients and water. But to protect your skin from long term damage you will need to arm yourself with sunscreen which takes us to…(drum roll please)



Step 5: Protecting


Protecting the skin is important whether it is just using sunscreen or also applying an occlusive barrier (product that provides a physical barrier to prevent water loss and irritants invading the skin. Sunscreen is important for all skin types and Fitzpatrick (skin’s tanning ability aka skin tone; natural melanin production) and should be used daily. Sunscreen protects skin from UV radiation damage caused by UVA (aging) and UVB (cancerous) rays and should be used along with a hat or umbrella after an intense exfoliation treatment to prevent hyperpigmentation and permanent damage to new skin cells.

Occlusive barriers are especially important for dry, dehydrated and sensitized skin to make sure hydration and skin repairing ingredients are absorbed rather than lost to the environment and prevent irritants from entering the skin. Occlusive protection is usually found in moisturizers as mentioned above and are thicker ingredients such as butters and petroleum jelly. Occlusive barriers are also important for combatting harsh winter weather to avoid dehydration and drying.

Products


Your perfect skincare routine can consist of various products that can be professional grade or over-the-counter. What’s important is finding the right products that work well for you and with one another. If you are unsure if products are safe to use please consult a professional. I'm gonna break products that are available into 2 categories: professional grade and over-the-counter (OTC).


  1. Professional Grade are typically prescribed/recommended by a skin care professional (esthetician or dermatologist)(often used in professional treatments or after-care for professional treatments)

    1. Products tend to be formulated to treat specific skin types and conditions

    2. Are more potent and tend to have more drastic results

    3. Usually more expensive

  2. Over-the counter: can be purchased at your local store (drug store, Walmart, Target, etc.)

    1. Easily accessible and generally can be used by most skin types and conditions

    2. Results can vary but are best for addressing basic skin care needs for all skin types with minimal potency

    3. More affordable than professional grade products


Recap!


  1. Cleansing can be done in a single or double step and should be done 1-2x a day

  2. Exfoliating can be done chemically or physically

    1. As a standalone treatment should only be completed 1-2x a week

  3. Hydrating should be done daily and as frequently as necessary

    1. Water consumption throughout the day internally contributes to the hydration of the skin

    2. Hydrosols and floral waters can be applied throughout the day as needed

    3. Humectants and lipids are usually found in serums and should be applied during the skin care routine just before masks and moisturizing

  4. Moisturizing should be completed as a part of every skin care routine

    1. If reapplication is needed; a thicker moisturizer may be needed

    2. It is important to make sure the skin is not dehydrated as this is more likely the case, especially if you do not naturally have dry skin

  5. Sun protection should be used during the day and throughout as needed if you are spending time outdoors

    1. Wearing a hat as well as using an umbrella can provide additional protection from the sun when outdoors

  6. Occlusive protection is especially important to dry skin since it is harder for drier skin to absorb ingredients due to smaller pores

    1. Occlusive barriers can help with absorption by keeping serums and moisturizers in contact with the skin

    2. Occlusive barriers are also great to use in colder and drier climates where drying and dehydration are caused by the environment factors such as the weather

Results


Incorporating all of these steps into your daily skincare routine along with using the right products for your skin at the appropriate frequency will improve the appearance and clarity of your skin.

It is very important to be patient with the process. Keeping in mind the time it takes for cell regeneration, environmental and health factors may impact the time it takes to see clearer skin. Also, remember incorporating new products or steps into your routine can result in blemishes and breakouts as your skin tries to expel irritants that are clogging or drying out your skin. General rule of thumb is to give any routine at least a month for results before trying something new or abandoning the routine altogether unless the side effects are unbearable. If you are building a routine from scratch, I suggest using one brand at a time and switching steps to other products or brands as a test see if a new product addition can address any issues that your current routine is unable to improve. Also, if you’re trying new products, make sure to slowly add them into your routine to avoid a harsh adverse reaction. This means depending on the product apply 1-2x a week and increase weekly to test for allergies before daily (regular) use. The process of finding the perfect products for you can take some time and can be a combination of different professional and OTC products. Products that I use in my skincare routine include SkinScriptRx professional skin care line, Esthemax jelly masks (both of which can only be purchased from a licensed professional), and QAE Beauty serums and hydrosols. There are also some OTC products I enjoy like Neutrogena when dealing with inflammation and any 100% hyaluronic acid and 100% rose water.


For more information on products to use visit:

qaebeauty.com/skincare and check out these post




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