An Esthetician’s Guide for Skincare
Six Steps to Get You the Skin You’ve Always Wanted
We’ve all wondered how exactly celebrities stay looking as flawless as they do. And we’ve all probably wondered what can we do to get that same supple, smooth, radiant skin without breaking the bank. Well, have no fear, because I am about to break down the how, when, and what to use, all learned from my experience as an esthetician.
For starters, I will say that I suggest professional retail products from a licensed salon versus using store bought products. I’ve written a separate article explaining the core differences between the two; if you’d like, you can find it on my profile titled “Store Bought or Salon Shelf?” Definitely give it a read if you’re curious about why I prefer professional products, but I also always say use what works best for your skin!
Here are the following steps you should take when doing a full skincare routine, along with more details about why those products are important:
Remove Your Makeup with a Makeup Remover
Most of us are guilty of removing our makeup with our facial cleanser in the shower. I mean, it says it removes dirt, oil, and build-up on the bottle, so it should be able to remove makeup too, right?
Yes, but no. Most cleansers are designed in a way that can remove some makeup, but it will never remove it as well as a product specifically made to remove it. Which is why I always stress to my clients that they should remove their makeup with a makeup remover.
Whether you use oil-based or oil-free remover is honestly a personal preference, especially if you follow the steps I will describe later afterwards. I prefer oil-free. However, bear in mind that there are a lot of makeup products out there that don’t come off as well, or even at all, with an oil-free remover.
Cleanse Your Skin
I hate saying that one product is more important than the other, but if I HAD to pick, I would say a good cleanser is an absolute must for a skincare routine.
Find a cleanser that is specific to your skin type: normal, dry, oily, or combination. Normal skin is well-balanced and is neither too oily or too dry. Dry skin produces less sebum than normal skin and can feel tight, rough, and appear dull. Oily skin produces more sebum than normal and will shine and have visible pores. Combination skin is as it sounds, a combo of different skin types.
This is the part of your routine where you begin to tailor it to what you need. Most cleansers will explain what skin type it is made for.
Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate...
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. These dead cells not only clog your pores, but they don’t reflect light as well and give your skin a dull appearance.
There are two types of exfoliants: mechanical and chemical. Despite sounding complex, there’s pretty much just one difference between the two, whether or not it has grit in it. Mechanical exfoliants remove the cells by scrubbing them off with buffing ingredients in the product, while chemical ones remove the cells by dissolving them.
There are a few different kinds of chemical exfoliants, the most common being AHAs and BHAs. AHAs are made with lactic and glycolic acid and are better for dry or sun-damaged skin because of the added moisture. BHAs contain salicylic acid and are more effective on oily or acne prone skin.
Mechanical exfoliants are most common in the form of granular scrubs. These are my preference because I can actually feel the scrubbing particles in my hands as I work them in, but these are not as suitable for people who have more sensitive skin.
Wipe Your Skin Down with Toner
Toner’s primary purpose is to balance the skin’s pH and remove any remaining traces of oil or dirt from the skin while also helping control acne. You’d want to gently wipe this over your face and neck with either your hands or a cotton pad. This will help begin the process of correcting your skin in the long run.
Apply a Face Mask
This isn’t necessarily a step you should do every day, you’ll just be wasting product, but it’s definitely worth doing about once a week or as the manufacturer instructs.
Face masks are another good product for helping even out your skin type and complexion. A lot of masks have great moisturizing and conditioning ingredients that will get soaked into your cell barrier. Some masks will also target specific conditions such as discoloration. Clay, charcoal, sleep masks, and peel-off masks are just a few examples of the many, many types of masks you can purchase.
Guys. I cannot stress this enough. You have to moisturize.
Moisturizer is going to be the heavy-hitting product when it comes to correcting your skin type. I know it probably feels like common sense to use a good moisturizer when your skin is dry, but did you know moisturizer is also a must for those of us with oily skin, too? Many people are under the misconception that applying moisturizer onto oily skin only makes the matter worse.
For the majority of those with oily or combination skin, the reason behind it is actually because of the way we clean our face. Using cleansers or other products that aren’t designed for our skin type can cause skin to lack the oil necessary for our skin, which makes our skin overproduce oil to compensate for it. And then we use that same product to redry our skin after it gets oily. It’s a vicious cycle only truly stopped by making sure your skin has no reason to overproduce oil in the first place.
Using a moisturizer after cleansing and exfoliating is the best way to make sure your skin gets all the moisture it needs to function, and it will prevent your oil glands from overproduction. Now, I won’t lie to you, if you have oily skin and you apply a moisturizer after cleansing, you WILL feel oily. You’ll still feel oily for about two weeks until your skin can adjust to all the new product on it. Then, I promise you will start seeing some true results.
If You Absolutely Have to Choose...
I definitely suggest at least getting a cleanser, exfoliant, and moisturizer. Those are your core products and offer the most benefits with use, but a toner and face mask are also pretty important (just slightly less so).
Tips and Tricks for Skin!
- Steam your skin before performing your routine. Warm steam will open up your pores and help aid in the removal of build up. Performing your routine in a hot shower is a great way to do so.
- Nose strips are a handy tool to use if you’re in a bit of a rush to remove a bunch of blackheads at once.
- Wait about two to three minutes between each product as you apply them to allow them to absorb into your skin properly.
- The routine described in this article is good to use about once a day, skipping exfoliation every other day and using the mask once a week.
- Sunscreen is your best friend.
Overall, your skin is a true reflection of how you take care of yourself, and taking the time and patience to care for it the right way is the only true way to get that celebrity skin without the photoshop!