Long gone are the days when we’d remove our makeup with a wipe, slap on the closest moisturizer, and call it a day. Now, many of us pay close attention to our skincare regime, experimenting with different ways of keeping our skin plump and glowing. And as the weather gets colder – the temperature is expected to fall to 2°C in certain parts of the UAE this week – dry skin becomes an increasing problem, making us even keener on moisturizers and serums that work properly to keep skin as hydrated as possible.
The key? Skin prep, which can also help with makeup as products are likely to apply more smoothly and last longer. Unfortunately, there’s no set routine you should follow as everyone’s skin reacts differently to different products. However, Dr. Ross Perry of CosmedicsUK says, “The best advice involves a bit of trial and error or a professional skin diagnosis to help you choose a suitable skincare regime.” Here are his top tips.
Cleansing isn’t the most exciting part of any skincare regime, especially when you could be trying flashy new vitamin C serums or facial scrubs. However, it’s still fairly crucial. “Whatever products you choose, it is vitally important that the skin is thoroughly cleansed morning and evening to get rid of grime, sweat, oil, and makeup,” says Perry. “Any traces of cleanser should be removed before applying moisturizer and serum, so the cleanser is not leaving a barrier.”
Exfoliation is a thorny issue in the skincare world; you want to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, but don’t want to damage your skin. Even if you’re nervous, don’t make the mistake of avoiding it altogether, as Perry says, “Regular exfoliation is good for helping moisturizers and serums to penetrate.”
Again, this is all about finding out what works for your skin. “For some people, a daily exfoliating wash is ideal, whereas others find a daily cleansing lotion gentler, with a weekly scrub to loosen dead skin cells and exfoliate the skin,” says Perry. “Alternatively, you could visit a beautician for a professional microdermabrasion or gentle peel – this would be less often as it’s a more intensive treatment.”
Consider Using a Toner
Toners have somewhat fallen out of fashion, with skincare gurus increasingly advocating for fancy cleansers and exfoliators instead. But this doesn’t mean there’s no place for a good toner in your routine, with Perry calling it a great product to use after cleansing, particularly “for those with oily skin and more susceptible to breakouts as toner contains high levels of alcohol to dry the skin out”. Toners ensure you are getting rid of any excess dirt and impurities on the skin.
“There are now toners available with retinol for help with skin renewal and anti-aging, toners designed specifically for acne-prone skin containing witch hazel and aloe vera, and toners with added hydration for those with dry skin,” adds Perry. “It’s about finding one that works for your skin, and it may be a case of trial and error before you do.” Apply toner after cleansing but before moisturizer, serum, or SPF to “ensure skin in squeaky clean as this will help keep makeup on and give an overall smoother appearance”. But remember to always include an SPF in your morning routine all year round, according to Perry. “Don’t rely on what’s in the moisturizer as that’s rarely adequate.”