When it comes to skin routines, it all depends on where you’re starting. Do you currently have a skin care routine? And if so, what are the steps you currently follow? This is one of the first questions our clinicians will ask you.
Many of our clients are familiar with the 3 basic steps (plus 1), or what we like to call “FEED”: Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize (plus sunscreen). This is the foundation to any skin care routine and is a great place to start if you don’t have one implemented yet. Implementing a complex, multi-step routine in the absence of any routine is not recommended. You want to set yourself up for success. Starting a manageable routine that you’ll follow morning and evening is critical as your skin requires consistency in order to see results. Adhering to a new routine is best achieved when small changes to behaviour are made over time.
So why these 3 Steps: Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize? And where do other products like serums and SPF fit in?
Step 1: Cleanser
Cleanser: Consider cleansing the cleaning stage, where you are washing your face before you apply your products. In order that ingredients can be properly absorbed into your skin, you need clean skin. Using a creamy cleanser will help to dissolve makeup without stripping your skin. And yes, though creamy cleaners may seem counter-intuitive when it comes to acne, oil dissolves oil so don’t fear creamy – relish it!
Step 2: Toner
Toner: Many modern day toners consist of gentle, hydrating ingredients intended to nourish the skin. Some may even contain various acids, like alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), to address textural concerns. Toners act to ready your skin for the absorption of serums or active ingredients. One of our clients, a painter, equated the toner step to priming a wall before painting. We love the analogy. Even if you don’t have serums in your routine yet, toner is vital to restore the pH balance of your skin that may have been disrupted by cleansing, and will optimize the effects of your moisturizer. After cleansing, use your fingertips to gently pat your toner over clean, dry skin. Wait until the toner dries before applying anything else. This ensures the toner has an opportunity to do its work as opposed to the acids being neutralized.
Step 3: Moisturizer
Moisturize: Possibly THE most important step in your routine. Not to discount the value and purpose of cleansing and toning, but moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Morning and night. No matter what your skin type, moisture is essential for keeping your skin’s barrier healthy. Moisturizer will also give your skin a natural glow. If/when you choose to advance your routine, your moisturizer will also act as a barrier to keep other products or serums with active ingredients in.
Step 4: Sunscreen
Okay yes, we said 3 steps but we have to mention SUNSCREEN. It’s a bit of a cheat, in that you could say 4 steps, but we’d rather look at it as 3, plus 1. Sunscreen is essential no matter your latitude or longitude, no matter the season. You must protect your beautiful skin against the harmful effects of UV rays, like accelerated ageing and even skin cancer. Finding one that is the right texture, scent and opacity for you is important to ensure you’ll use it daily, even on cloudy days.
Next we consider a more advanced routine for individuals looking to incorporate more targeted serums. A routine like this consists of 6 (plus 1) steps as outlined below.
Step 1: Cleanser. AS ABOVE
Step 2: Toner. AS ABOVE
Step 3: Serum
What are they and why are they important? You can consider serums to be concentrated doses of nutrients, hydrators or antioxidants intended to improve the health of your skin. Many individuals choose not to integrate serums into their daily routine as it adds steps and time, but serums are a great way to up the ante and provide your skin with a more customized approach.
Popular serums contain Vitamin C or hyaluronic acid (HA). Vitamin C has protective factors and can also work to brighten and even your skin tone. For those individuals suffering from hyperpigmentation, Vitamin C may reduce dark spots caused by sun damage or scarring. For those experiencing dryness, hyaluronic acid can add extra moisture. Fun fact, HA is also used for cosmetic fillers! Applying it topically in the form of a serum will intensely hydrate and plump the skin. Word to the wise, not all HA serums are created equal. Knowing the size of the HA molecule is important when choosing a serum. The smaller the HA molecule, the better it will absorb.
Environ’s HA Intensive Hydrating Serum helps to plump and smooth the appearance of dehydrated skin. It contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid (a known moisture magnet) and may help to leave the skin visibly smoother and plumper with more resilience.
Step 4: Eye Gel
Oh, the delicate skin around our eyes. How and where we express ourselves – smile creases or laugh lines. Treating this zone well with ‘special’ products designed just for this area of the skin is essential. Most eye gels are light and as such should be applied before thicker moisturizers. A good rule of thumb when deciding how to order your skincare is think lightest to heaviest.
Step 5: Spot Treatments
Spot treatments are intended to target specific concerns like acne or dark spots. Applying your spot treatment(s) to the specific area or spots you’d like to improve is so important. The ingredients in spot treatments tend to be highly concentrated. You should apply these treatments prior to your moisturizer. As like serums, you want them to get to where they’re needed most without having to penetrate a thick layer of cream. Like toner, you will want to wait for the product to dry before applying your moisturizer. We suggest moisturizing around your face while avoiding the treated area and then proceeding to dab some moisture on the treatment area at the end.
Step 6: Moisturizer. AS ABOVE
Step 7: Sunscreen. AS ABOVE
Step 8: Retinol
We believe Vitamin A is like oxygen for your skin. Whereas many companies believe in complimenting your skincare routine with a retinol, Vitamin A is a hallmark ingredient in all Environ moisturizers and are available in gentler forms to build your tolerance. Retinoids – which covers all Vitamin A derivatives – help to normalize skin and increase cell turnover resulting in more youthful looking skin over time. Retinoids are like a magic elixir sparking the production of collagen and reducing the signs of ageing.
As retinoids can be aggravating, Environ developed a unique step-up system intended to lessen the likelihood of an individual experiencing a retinoid reaction – dryness, itchiness and flaking. We believe in starting low and going slow, and we work with our clients to make sure they know that results happen overtime. Investing in good, at-home, medical grade skincare products coupled with a consistent at-home routine, will not result in youthful looking skin overnight, but will set you up for success and youthful looking skin for a lifetime.
At MyBest Clinic, we adopt a FEED FIRST approach with our clients which emphasizes the importance of our clients’ at home routine. Consistently feeding your Skin with the right at home products is so essential to overall skin health.
Our clinicians also perform in clinic BOOST treatments, but we don’t jump to BOOST treatments without knowing and understanding what our clients do at home. BOOST treatments are intended to compliment good home hygiene. When clients are looking for a defined outcome, not being able to control what’s happening at home, a big part of the overall recipe for healthy skin, can be challenging. Imagine a patient with high blood pressure being prescribed medication but not making other lifestyle adjustments, reducing smoking and drinking. Not an ideal treatment plan that’s for sure.
And finally, we end with FINISH. Clients who see success follow their at home routine consistently, come into clinic for BOOST treatments which compliment their at home routine, and then FINISH with carefully selected injectables procedures to refine their look. Connect with us if you’d like us to customize a routine for you and your Skin Goals!