submitted by Brittany Bray, B.A., LMA, Licensed Aesthetician, Aesthetics Director, The Spa at Lifestyle
When you’re ready to begin a new skin care regimen or if you’re graduating to a more advanced one, it’s important to understand the basics of home skin care. These tips can be implemented in your routine to achieve healthy skin.
To begin, cleansing is the most essential step since it prepares the skin for products to follow. Let the cleanser do its job without being aggressive. Skin has a pH of 4.5 -5.5. and cleansing with a product outside that range can lead to issues such as dehydration and irritation. Many OTC (over the counter) products are outside this range. Allow an expert to choose what’s best for you. *TIP: Sometimes a cleanser can be used as a mask. If it’s professional, leave it on a few minutes for a treatment.
Another important step is exfoliation. OTC scrubs or acids can traumatize the skin, so be sure to invest in professional ones. You cannot “open or close pores” but your exfoliator will help to “decongest” them. Exfoliation can give you an immediate result but don’t overdo it. *TIP: If you have breakouts, do not scrub since it can aggravate an area that is already inflamed. You may be better off with chemical exfoliation.
Serums are the key to affecting change in your skin. Don’t skip or bargain with this step. Antioxidant serums protect skin from environmental hazards and can repair damage and are a good starting place if you’ve never used them. Another beneficial serum to incorporate is a lightening one. These are good for sun damage and uneven tone. Retinol based serums are wonderful but OTC formulations may be unstable and can cause irritation. *TIP: Retinols are not all created equal. Apply professional retinol at night and vitamin C during the day. This combination is a great start to achieving beautiful skin.