There are things we need to do every day to keep our skin looking and feeling its best - cleansing away all the impurities, keeping it hydrated with serums and moisturizers, protecting it from the sun - you know the drill (if not, check out our quick guide). But there are other rituals we only need to practice each week to keep our skin healthy and radiant.
Exfoliate Your Way To Brighter Skin
One essential step in our weekly routine is exfoliation. This is the simple process of removing dead cells from the top layers of our skin. Implementing an exfoliation routine will leave your skin feeling smooth and fresh, as it decreases the build-up of grime, bacteria, sweat, and any leftover skincare products. Unclogging the pores in this way also allows products to soak into your skin more easily.
Removing dead skin encourages new cell turnover, making it a great ally for anti-aging. "As you increase your exfoliation, you are tricking the skin into acting young again," explains skincare guru Renée Rouleau. Over time, exfoliation helps to promote collagen production, which is helpful for minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
There are two main types of exfoliants - physical exfoliants, like face scrubs and clay masks, and chemical exfoliants, like acid serums and peels. Physical exfoliation is the most common choice since it’s easy to do while you shower. Using a mitt or a brush, gently scrub away the dead skin. Start slow and gradually add pressure, applying small circles, without pushing too deeply into your skin to avoid irritation. Choosing gentle, natural ingredients like coffee, pumice, poppy seeds, and jojoba beads won’t damage the skin.
Chemical exfoliation is achieved using ingredients like glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid. These work by loosening the substance between the skin cells, allowing them to fall away. Plant enzymes in papaya, pineapple, and pomegranate are also great natural exfoliators for sensitive skin types. There’s no right answer for everyone as to which type of exfoliation to go for, so try them both out and see which works best for your skin. If you look for the ingredients above, you can’t go too far wrong.
So how often should we exfoliate? Over exfoliation can lead to dry, flakey skin, which is why it’s not included in our daily routine. Experts suggest exfoliating about two to three times a week. Follow it with a moisturizer and you’ll be left with soft, smooth, radiant skin.
Sheet Masks Are The New Trend On The Market
The latest trend in facial masks is sheet masks. Originally from Korea, you use this type of face mask once and then toss it. It also adds a touch of fun to take a selfie while wearing it!
Just as the name implies, a sheet mask is a cloth or paper sheet with holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth. You lay the mask on your face, remove after about 20 minutes, and then throw away. There is a sheet mask for every skin type and skin condition. Sheet masks can brighten dull skin, clear up acne, moisturize dry skin, or help your skin with the effects of aging—it all depends on what mask you choose. Sheet masks range in price from a few dollars to what you want to spend, but you definitely do not need to shell out a lot of money to jump on this trend.
Korean women (and men) spend a lot of time and effort caring for their skin and using a sheet mask is a regular part of their elaborate skin care routine. Many people use sheet masks just once a week, but there is a growing trend to use sheet masks once a day or even twice a day. Using a sheet mask even once a week can have great benefits for the skin. Think of it as a targeted skin care treatment and ask yourself: what does your skin need now? Then choose a sheet mask that has ingredients that will address that skin care issue.
It also does not matter what time of day you use the mask—morning, afternoon, evening—whenever is most convenient for you to work.
There are also a bunch of tutorials that show people how to do your own sheet mask depending on the ingredients that fit your skin type.
Cleaning Your Tools - A Step That Cannot Be Forgotten
Keeping your skin care accessories clean is something we often forget. Cleaning our makeup tools regularly prevents bacteria buildup and keeps our applicators working as they should. Even cosmetics themselves should be given proper care to minimize the spread of bacteria and to prevent the makeup formulas from breaking down.
The most important reason to clean your makeup tools is for better hygiene. There are numerous stories floating around about everyday folks getting an infection or rash from dirty makeup brushes or cosmetics. There are many specialized makeup cleaning products, but you can also use a little baby shampoo to clean off the makeup residue. For brushes used for powder makeup, washing them once or twice a week is probably enough. But tools used for liquid or cream makeup should be cleaned daily, as they are more prone to harbor bacteria.
Makeup brushes and applicators aren’t the only concerns when it comes to your beauty routine. Bacteria and mold can grow in cosmetics and may cause a range of skin reactions, from inflammation to infections. Be aware that expired makeup can make things even worse.
Some cosmetics also require refrigeration (you'll need to keep them in your fridge) or a cool, dry place so their ingredients don't spoil.
Skincare Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint
To have beautiful skin, it's not enough just to have a good daily routine. A few complimentary skincare treatments during the week or month can turn your skin from normal to dream skin. And don’t forget, it’s also important to have your skin checked from time to time by a dermatologist to see if there may be any problems that we can’t identify on our own (spots, moles...).
Applying skin care products that are suited to your skin type and that meet your needs along with good hygiene will make your skin look and feel amazing. Add a healthy diet and regular exercise, and you and your skin will reap the benefits!