The world is obsessed with skin care, and rightly so! But amongst the sea of hot new ingredients, revolutionary formulas, and more product names than we can count…sometimes you really just need to know the most basic daily skin care essentials. This is that list.
Admittedly, we’d love to add a little extra serum or essence to this list of skin care essentials, but if you only had to remember four big things, these are pretty important. So let’s take a look at the top four items every beauty-conscious human being should be using!
If you don’t believe in these yet, you should. There was a time, yes, when many toners contained alcohol and astringents that were quite drying — but that time is over. So really, are toners necessary for happy skin today? Read on.
Short answer: YES. A good toner is a powerful asset to any simple skin care routine! The benefits of using a toner can include hydration, extra dirt removal, and the rebalancing of our skin’s natural pH levels after cleansing. Our skin’s natural pH is 5.5, and when that’s knocked off balance, we can easily dry out. Different cleansers have different pH levels of their own, and pure water itself already has a pH of 7, meaning your pores are at high risk of being knocked off balance. Maintaining a more natural pH level is crucial to healthy skin!
The right toner can also deliver a healthy burst of nourishing and restorative ingredients. However, the best toner ingredients for you and your skin are determined by your skin type and any special trouble areas, such as acne, scarring, or allergies. Generally, here’s what to look for:
Toners for Dry Skin:
Try a milky formula that focuses on hydration. Good ingredients for dry skin include plant, nut, and seed oils, such as coconut or jojoba.
Toners for Oily Skin:
Stick to lightweight formulas that work to help reduce oil. Good ingredients for oily skin include AHAs and salicylic acid.
Toners for Normal Skin:
You can alternate between more milky or lightweight formulas! Take advantage of this flexibility to focus on ingredients that your skin responds well to, such as tea tree oil or chamomile.
Toners for Combination Skin:
Generally, stick to more lightweight formulas. The ingredients you choose should correlate with whichever other skin types you have a combination of.
Toner for Sensitive Skin:
Look for products specifically formulated for sensitive skin, with ingredients that work to calm and soothe.
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you on why you should use toner in your skin care routine every day! Think of them as the primers of the skin care world. Or think of a plant with dried out soil — water may sit on top of the dirt for quite a while before absorption. But after things are moistened up a bit, just like soil, our skin will be ready to absorb and respond to more!
2. Sun Cream
This doesn’t surprise anyone, right? …Right?
We’ve known for years now how damaging the sun’s UV rays can be. Exposure can lead to much more than just fine lines, dry skin, and wrinkles — it could potentially lead to skin cancer. And that’s really why you should wear sunscreen daily.
Okay, so you know it’s important to wear a regular sun block. Next question: What SPF should you use on your face daily? A good, comfortable number is at least SPF30, but it should be water-resistant (come on…everybody sweats) and broad spectrum (both UVA and UVB). If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, though, try to go for SPF60. Note: higher SPF does not mean longer wear times! Regardless of how high or low the SPF is, it’s recommended to re-apply every few hours. Less frequently if you have a well-shaded job indoors, but more often for those who spend more time out in the sun.
And where should sunscreen application fall in a beauty routine? Well, it depends on the person! Some prefer it to go under a moisturizer, and others are more comfortable leaving it as the last step. The choice is yours!
3. Creams Made for YOUR Skin Type
Many people just buy whatever cream or moisturizer their favorite friend, family member, coworker or commercial are talking about that month. But different products work best for different skin types, and you should always have your individual skin type in mind when wondering how to choose a moisturizer! Don’t know your skin type? Take a quick look at our guide here!
Maybe you do know your skin type, but you’re still wondering Hmm, what kind of moisturizer should i use? Different ingredients perform best with different skin types, and you should consider what your ultimate skin care goal is. Fade acne scars? Soothe and calm? Or just, plain and simple, keep everything hydrated?
To get you started, here are some quick recommendations for choosing the best moisturizer for you and your skin:
Moisturizers for Dry Skin:
The drier your skin, the thicker the formula should be. Consider an ointment if you experience itchiness, too. The best ingredients for dry skin moisturizers include plant, nut, and seed oils, shea butter, glycerin, ceramide, and hyaluronic acid.
Moisturizers for Oily Skin:
Go light, with lotions and gels that are non-comedogenic, meaning that they won’t clog pores. Look for salicylic acid and AHAs to control oil production, and tea tree oil is a favorite among those with oily skin who are also treating acne.
Moisturizers for Normal Skin:
Creams are a good middle ground. They’re thicker than lotions and gels, but not as thick as ointments, making them good for normal skin types. Since you’re not battling dry or oily skin, look to ingredients with benefits that you’re interested in. Chamomile is calming, blueberries are packed with antioxidants…feel free to explore!
Moisturizers for Combination Skin:
Consider using two different moisturizers — an oily forehead doesn’t need the same help as a dry chin, and so forth. Refer to the suggestions above, based on your own specific skin type combination!
Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin:
Again, always look for products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. Stick to hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formulas, and always check the ingredient list for any allergies. In general, try to stick to ingredient lists that are as short as possible — 10 ingredients or less. Consult a trusted dermatologist if over-the-counter moisturizers are still triggering your sensitivities.
4. Skin-Friendly Makeup
While not exactly part of a skin care routine, your daily makeup is just as up-close and personal. With so much information available on the internet now, it’s important to know which makeup ingredients to avoid to keep your skin healthy and happy. And consider makeup made with natural ingredients, like botanical extracts and essential oils, to make sure that you’re still receiving important skin care benefits throughout the day.
Now, to be fair, a change in mascara isn’t going to revolutionize your skin health. We’re talking mainly about base makeup here — foundations, concealers, powders, and so forth. These are the products that sit directly on your pores for hours at a time, and can either make or break your skin health. If a makeup base can’t breathe, for example, pores won’t get the air they need to stay calm and under control. Dry skin types will dry out and crack; oily skin types will start over-producing oil, and see makeup separation. Regardless of skin type, everyone is at risk of breakouts and other skin troubles when pores can’t breathe!
So choose makeup that uses safe, high quality ingredients that allows your skin to breathe. This doesn’t guarantee no more makeup-related breakouts forever, but give it an honest try. Even the best skincare routine is no match for bad makeup sitting on your pores.
Luckily, the Lava Art Compact Cushion foundation formula is crafted to be breathable, with up to 19 natural, botanical extracts to help nurture and nourish skin throughout the day!
To Wrap it Up
If you could only use four skincare essentials a day, this is what we recommend! A nice toner to clarify and balance, a sun cream for protection, and a skin-type specific moisturizer to lock it all in. Oh, and makeup that’s actually good for your skin, too!
The skin care industry is constantly evolving, and we do recommend experimenting with different products! But that is another post for another day. Until then, stay moisturized!
All the best,
– Rose from Lava Art