Toners and tonics and serums, oh my! Do you really need 8 steps in your skin care routine? Despite all the advertising and media hype, skin care is really very simple and doesn’t have to break the bank. There are only 3 basic steps needed to have healthy glowing skin; cleanse, refine and protect.
Cleansing is key. It provides the foundation for using other products. A good cleanser is gentle, soap-free and should remove all dirt, oil, environmental pollutants and make-up. After cleansing your skin should not be irritated, tight or dry, just fresh and clean. There are quite a few high quality cleanser available at the drugstore in the $8 -$10 range.
Refinement is really makes the difference in how skin looks and feels. To refine, you have to exfoliate. Exfoliation means removing the top layer of dead cells from the skin’s surface. It is one of the primary uses of alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs. There are a number of ways to exfoliate that range from washing with a rough wash cloth to facial scrubs and dermabrasion. AHAs are better than other forms of exfoliation because they can be used twice a day. Removing dead skin cells sends a message to the body to produce new skin cells. When using AHAs twice a day cellular turnover is occurring twice a day. This leaves skin fresh and soft with more even tone and texture. AHAs can be used by women of all ages and skin types. Other methods of refining may not be as effective and cannot be used as often. The cost of exfoliation is widely variable and ranges from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Alpha Hydrox treatment products cost between $10 and $20.
The last step is to protect your skin. Many women think that using a moisturizer is the only way to get softer, fresher looking skin. Moisturizers do not affect change in your skin like AHAs. If you have normal to dry skin, a moisturizer will make your skin feel better but not everyone needs a moisturizer. But everyone needs a sunscreen! Protect your skin from the sun. Sun damage causes many of the signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. To protect your skin from the sun, always wear a sunscreen with SPF15 or higher, even on cloudy days. There are lots of facial sunscreens available in the $10 – $20 price range.
So do you need 8 steps in your skin car routine? No, but if you like the way a toner, tonic or serum feels, go ahead and use it. Cleanse, refine and protect is all you need to do. Skin care is simple and can be very affordable. With just 3 products and less than $50 you can have healthy, glowing skin. All the rest is just hype.