After all the celebrations and going from one party after another during the festive season, the health of your skin might have taken a back seat in your list of priorities. The layers of makeup on your face coupled with lack of sleep probably did not help you in the skin department either. If your skin is looking tired and lacklustre, or you have ended the festive season with flare-ups on your face, how about taking advantage of the coming new year to give your skin a reset?
Going Back to Basics
Believe it or not, our skin has the natural ability to take care of itself. Of course, certain skin conditions such as acne might necessitate the use of topical treatments. However, using these treatments for a long period of time can mess with our skin, which is why it is not unusual for our various skin conditions to repeatedly crop up time and time again.
This is why resetting our skincare routine to the bare minimum is important — to allow our skin to remember that it can do its job quite well when these foreign products are not frequently included in our routine.
Resetting your skin does not mean throwing away all of the products you have been using in your routine and starting anew. It simply means paring down your routine to just the essentials (so long, 10-step Korean skincare routine!). Giving your skin a reset provides the opportunity for your skin to heal and repair itself, without the intrusion of pigmentation-lightening exfoliators, anti-ageing serums and essences, harsh acne-fighting cleansers, or all the other products out there that claim to revolutionise your skin.
A Skin Detox for the New Year
Are you ready to begin the new year with happy and healthy skin? Stick to these essentials in your skincare and you will be welcoming the new year with a natural glow (or at least, a much shorter skincare routine).
Step 1: Cleanse
While cleansing is an important part of any skincare routine, overdoing it or using the wrong cleanser for your skin type can cause more problems such as breakouts or skin that feels too dry and taut. If you have been doing the standard twice-a-day cleanse (morning and night), why not start off your skincare reset by skipping your morning cleanse? Depending on your skin type as well as the formulation of your cleanser, a morning cleanse can sometimes cause your skin to produce excess oil as a result of the cleanser stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Thus, you might notice your skin becoming oily just an hour or so after cleansing in the morning. By skipping your morning cleanse, you will allow your skin the opportunity to regulate its oil production. It might be uncomfortable at first (especially if you have oily skin), but stick to it for a month, and you will find your skin’s oil production balancing itself out. If you are not ready to do without your morning cleanse and you have been using a harsh cleanser, try switching to a gentler cleanser instead, preferably one that is non-foaming. And be sure to not cleanse your skin for too long — keep it within 30 to 60 seconds.
Step 2: Moisturise
Adding hydration back to your skin is important to replace any loss of moisture your skin might have had after cleansing. And yes, the moisturising step is just as important even if you have oily skin. Furthermore, skin that is moisturised is able to perform its natural functions such as preventing inflammation and encouraging cell turnover. Sufficient hydration will also allow your skin to look plump and prevents it from looking dull and lacklustre. Of course, all these benefits from moisturising your skin depends on the type of moisturiser you use. Choose one with a formulation or ingredients that are unsuitable for your skin and you might end up worsening your skin instead. If you have normal to dry skin, opt for a cream or oil-based moisturiser, while oily skin types would be better off with lightweight moisturisers or serums. For those with sensitive skin, avoid moisturisers that contain too many essential oils, fragrance, or harsh ingredients such as alcohol.
Step 3: SPF
Applying a layer of sunscreen on your skin is important anywhere you live, but especially so when you live in a tropical climate like Singapore. Protecting your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays will slow down the development of skin issues such as sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as reduces your risk of skin cancer. Putting on sunscreen is particularly essential if you have hyperpigmentation on your face because exposing your skin to the sun’s UV rays can darken those areas and make it harder for them to fade. When choosing a sunscreen, opt for one with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it every day before putting on your moisturiser and makeup products.