Have you noticed that some of us are better at looking after their skin than others? I was well into my twenties before I realised the importance of looking after my skin. In fact I only developed a skincare routine when I turned thirty! It’s fair to say that up until then, following a skincare routine seemed like too much work. But looking after your skin doesn’t have to be an ordeal. You can make it as complicated as you like (with all sorts of fancy serums and face masks), but really there are only 3 steps in a basic skincare routine.
Cleansing is extremely important as it helps to remove dirt and excess oil build-up from your skin. If you allow daily grime to accumulate you run the risk of clogging your pores, resulting in an outbreak of spots (which nobody has time for). Cleansing couldn’t be simpler. Start by washing your face daily with warm water. Warm water helps to loosen the dirt but also preserves your skin's natural hydrating oils. After you’ve washed your face you can even consider using a mild face cleanser. Facial cleansers are formulated to be gentle on your skin and will leave your face feeling clean and fresh. Whatever you do, don’t use bog-standard hand soap on your face. Your skin will be stripped of its natural oils and will feel tight/dry.
Once you’ve removed the surface grime it’s important to give your face a deeper clean. Exfoliating helps to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells, prevent acne and boost circulation. If you have stubble or a short beard, exfoliating also helps to prepare your facial follicles for shaving by raising them. This makes it easier for the razor to cut through the hairs, giving you a closer shave. You can start exfoliating by using a facial scrub and your fingertips. When exfoliating, move your fingers around in small, gentle circular strokes. Your face is a fairly sensitive area so don’t be too rigorous!
Once your face is clean and skin has been exfoliated it’s time to moisturise. Moisturising daily helps to hydrate your skin and stop it from drying out. It also protects your skin against blemishes and other skin problems.
To be honest, there are tonnes of moisturisers on the market, so it can be pretty hard to choose the right one for you. Ideally, the type of moisturiser you should use should depend on your skin type. If you have oily skin try using a light moisturiser that is noncomedogenic or ‘oil-free’. If your skin is dry then you may want to use a thicker moisturiser (possibly containing hyaluronic acid), which is a very effective humectant.
Finally, if you’re sporting a beard then make sure to use beard oil. Most people think that beard oil is made for the beard, but it’s actually not. The primary purpose of beard oil is to moisturise the skin underneath your beard (which can often get neglected). The fact that beard oil also softens your facial follicles and smells great are just added benefits!
So there you have it, a basic skincare routine that even Homer Simpson can follow. These three steps shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes. So while you’re partner is scrolling through Netflix looking for a show to watch, nip off to the bathroom and start your new skincare routine.