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The Building Blocks of a Healthy Skincare Routine

Posted by Ellie Swain on Nov 24th 2023

The Building Blocks of a Healthy Skincare Routine

We've all had that moment choosing skincare products – it feels like there’s an endless sea of cleansers, serums, and moisturizers, and it can be pretty overwhelming. With countless brands advertising the next big beauty ingredients, how do you know what truly deserves a coveted spot in your skincare collection?

Don't fret. Here's a breakdown of the most important ingredients that could take your skincare game to the next level. And yes, there's a suggested order for how you should incorporate them. Keep reading.

A Clean Complexion with Gentle Cleansers

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid or Ceramides

Before we jump into the exciting stuff like serums and exfoliants, let's talk basics. A gentle cleanser is the cornerstone of any good skincare routine.

Look for options containing hyaluronic acid or ceramides. These ingredients hydrate your skin and fortify its natural barrier, respectively. The idea is to cleanse without stripping your skin of essential oils. No squeaky-clean skin here, please.

The Exfoliation Station

Key Ingredient: AHA/BHA

Our skin constantly generates new cells, but sometimes, the old ones need a nudge to make their exit. This is where exfoliation comes in. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acid work on the skin's surface to brighten and even tone.

On the other hand, beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), like salicylic acid, go deeper to unclog pores. When it comes to using AHAs and BHAs, start with a low concentration and always follow up with sunscreen during the day, as these can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Containing both glycolic and salicylic acid, the Replenix Gly-Sal 5-2 Clarifying Pads 60 pads are a great place to start for smooth and clear skin.

Retinoids for Youthful Skin

Key Ingredient: Retinol

Retinol seems to be good at everything – it’s wrinkle-smoothing, pore-refining, and texture-improving. What can’t retinol do?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production.

However, tread carefully, as retinol can be irritating. Start with a lower concentration, like the Revision Retinol Complete 0.5, and use it every other night until your skin adjusts.

The Serum Show

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, Niacinamide

Serums are like energy shots for your skin as they contain a higher concentration of active ingredients. Vitamin C is your go-to for brightening, protecting against pollution, and encouraging collagen production. Think of it like the morning coffee your skin didn’t know it needed.

On the flip side, niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is an all-around superstar. It tackles redness, controls oil production, and even fades dark spots. The best part? It plays well with other active ingredients like retinol and AHAs/BHAs.

The Hydration Haven

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Squalane

Now that we’ve bombarded our skin with all these actives, it’s time to hydrate. Look for moisturizers with ingredients like glycerin, a humectant that draws water into the skin.

Meanwhile, squalane mimics your skin’s natural oils, offering feather-light hydration. They both work to seal all the goodness from the ingredients in the previous steps.

The Final Frontier: Sunscreen

Key Ingredient: Zinc Oxide or Avobenzone

Last but never least, sunscreen is non-negotiable. Yes, even when it’s grey and cloudy. Zinc oxide offers broad-spectrum protection and is excellent for sensitive skin. Chemical filters like avobenzone are also effective but might be less suitable for reactive skin types.

Bonus Round: Specialty Treatments

Key Ingredient: Peptides

Once you've got the basics down, you might want to explore specialty treatments that target specific concerns like puffiness or fine lines around the eyes. Here, peptides come into play.

Peptides are smaller proteins that help your skin produce collagen, making them a great supplement to a retinol regimen. They're often found in targeted treatments like eye creams and can add that extra oomph to your skincare routine.

Remember, spacing and timing can make all the difference when introducing any of these ingredients into your skincare routine. For instance, using retinol and AHA/BHA on the same day can irritate your skin. Instead, alternate them throughout the week. Sunscreen should be worn daily, but other products like exfoliants might only be necessary a few times a week.

Your skincare routine and journey are deeply personal. Remember that not every ingredient will be a home run for everyone. It's always wise to conduct a patch test when using new products and ingredients and perhaps consult a dermatologist, especially if you have specific concerns or conditions.

Start with a few key players and build from there. Your skin is in it for the long haul, so let's treat it with the love and ingredients it deserves. Do you want more skincare advice? Here are the best ingredients for your hand cream.