In the world of beauty the loudest voices are those of the marketeers. The people that get paid if you end up paying for their products. From traditional advertising, social media and of course branded content in the form of paid articles, we are bombarded with the next great thing. Chances are, they are indeed good products, but chances are also, that you don’t need them.
What we don’t hear often enough is how to make the products we buy work best for us. Although marketeers will happily tell you how to use their product, they probably won’t bother to tell you that they need to be used in coordination with other items. Although, if there are two products that work well together within the same line, they will certainly highlight that to you.
The truth of the matter is that the way in which a product is applied, how it is applied and with what it is applied goes a long way in the effectiveness of the product. A great analogy is exercise actually. Pilates instructors will sing the praises of their form of exercise, the HIIT folk will do the same. What you won’t hear from them is the importance of variety, a good diet and of course rest.
Same for skin, we are all tempted to use serums, those little miracles in a glass bottle that we are told will change the look and feel of our skin. Whether it is a resurfacing glycolic acid, a nourishing hyaluronic acid or a glow-boosting vitamin C, when is equally important are the next two points.
Firstly, preparing the skin for absorbing these serums. Anyone that put a liquid soap on a dry sponge will understand that unless the skin is prepped, it will not effectively absorb the ingredients. Before applying a product ensure that the skin is at the desirable pH with the right toner. Yes toner, that product that most of us don’t really understand the importance of…
On a weekly or bi-monthly basis a stronger form of skin resurfacing is needed, to ensure that the layers of the skin are not too thick, thus hampering the absorption process. A facial scrub, a AHA face mask or a micro-needling tool will go a long way in banishing dead skin cells that create a buffer between the skin and the product.
Now that the skin is prepped, the application of the product onto the skin is also important. Another great analogy is hand or foot cream. Slapping it on, or massaging it in patiently makes a world of a difference in the skin absorption process. Take the time to massage the product in effectively. The massage will also increase blood flow, which will further oxygenate the skin, therefore allowing for more absorption.
A product is much more effective if you help it from the inside as well, with a supplement. There are a variety of supplements that promote good skin. Most of them are anti-oxidants which protect the body from free radicals. This fights off inflammation and the breaking down of collagen. There are also a number of minerals and vitamins that play different roles, depending of course on what you are hoping to achieve. It is important to check your blood first to ensure that it is safe to take additional supplements. Too much of a vitamin or mineral is just as harmful as too little.
Zinc for example is a mineral with powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and is often used for acne-prone skin. So if you are working on your skin from the outside with a weekly mask and some resurfacing serums for example. It only makes sense to support your efforts with a daily Zinc dose, that will in addition to fighting inflammation, will also promote the proper function of the immune system that can help clear up acne bacteria.
Alpha Lipoic acid also is a powerful antioxidant that is 400 times stronger than the combination of vitamin C and E. A heightened level of blood sugar can elevate insulin and induce hormonal imbalance, thereby resulting in inflammation. Alpha Lipoic acid It can normalize blood sugar level by controlling insulin, thus minimizing inflammation.
Lastly, once the product has been applied effectively to the face it is important to protect the skin from the environment. This is where the role of the moisturizer comes in. Many people with normal or oily skin don’t feel that they need to hydrate or moisturize their skin further, choosing to leave their skin exposed. You need to create a barrier between your skin and the environment, usually in the form of a cream. The good news is that you don’t need to pile on a number of products to achieve this. The vitamin c cream from Dermaceutic is a good example of this actually. Its texture helps boost the skin with essential vitamin c but it also serves as a barrier between the skin and the environment. Harsh conditions that we are subjected to on a daily basis are wind, A/C in the car or indoors, blue light from our computer and phone screens, in addition to the sun of course.
If adding an additional layer of sunblock seems like too many layers, you can mix your sunblock in with your foundation or moisturizer. There are some super products out there that cover many needs at once. Laura Mercier’s tinter moisturizer in SPF 15 is the perfect example of multi-tasking!