“New Year, new me.” It’s the motto heard everywhere this time of year, and it isn’t just applied to diet and fitness. Day in and day out, I talk to people who have questions about their skin – and many of them tell me they are confused and overwhelmed by a bathroom counter that’s full of partly-used bottles of skin care – some purchased because they saw it on tv, some bought on impulse in a department store, some purchased out of boredom with their old routine, and some purchased after a esthetician’s recommendation. The right products for great skin might be hiding somewhere in there, but because the hodge-podge of skin care filling their shelves is overwhelming, they give up altogether. But fear not, great skin seekers! Here are 3 easy steps that will make recommitting to your skin – and seeing the results you want – a breeze this year.
Your Game Plan for Great Skin
1. Out with the old. First things first. Look at the all the products you’ve collected and eliminate those that need to go. Has a product been open for over a year? Toss it. Notice a color, texture, or scent change? Out it goes. Bacteria can thrive in products that are past their prime– especially in hot, humid environments (like your bathroom)– and can do more harm than good to your skin. OTC products, like broad spectrum sunscreens and acne products, will have expiration dates printed on their packaging to indicate when they should be discarded for most effective use, so make sure to check them.
2. Reassess. The next step is to reevaluate your skin and its needs. Categorize your remaining products – which ones do you use daily? Which ones do you use weekly? Are there any products you’ve only used once? Any product you bought on impulse and realized it just wasn’t right for your skin type (maybe you got swayed by some drugstore display)? Look closely at each product and think about your skin type and your current skin concerns. Do these products address what you need? A cleanser you got for free when you bought a lipgloss probably isn’t designed for your exact skin type. A physical scrub you’ve loved since college might not be the best now for your adult acne. Reassess not only the skin type you have, but what you want out of your skin care.
3. Establish a good daily routine – and stick with it. With all of the old or incorrect products eliminated, and a renewed focus on your skin’s needs, it’s time to find what you’re missing and plug in the holes. Here’s the complete AM & PM order of what to use, and when to use them:
3. Treatment Cremes / Serums – note: the one you apply first will penetrate the most, so pick the one that targets the concern most important to you
4. Moisturize / Sunscreen – if you’re using both, apply your SPF last
1. After cleansing, Exfoliate 1-3 times a week
2. Mask as needed
3. Nighttime products, treatment cremes
Once you’ve established a new routine, stick with it! Consistency is key to seeing results. Don’t get swayed by fads and impulse purchases – they’ll just confuse your skin and throw it off course!
Have questions about your skin or need help finding the right products? Getting a skin care professional’s assessment on the current condition of your skin will help you put the pieces together. Find your nearest spa and schedule a SkinReading with a pro – and don’t forget you can always ask me anything below or reach me at teresa [at] bioelements.com. That’s what I’m here for!
Bioelements Director of Education Teresa Stenzel has been a member of the Bioelements esthetics team since 1993. With a key role in the company’s integration of new professional products, she helps develop new facial and body treatment techniques, as well as new curriculum for Bioelements, ensuring skin care professionals receive the education they need to deliver the best skin care recommendations and professional treatments. Visit Bioelements Professional Skin Care on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.