How to Determine Which Skincare Products You Actually Need

There’s a jungle of skin care products out there, with everything from anti-wrinkle creams and BB serums to cleansers and exfoliators, but what do you actually need to take care of your anti-ageing wellness? Here’s some sound advice for your wellbeing-centred skin care regime.


1. Don’t go overboard in the beginning – Your new moisturiser may be amazing, but that doesn’t mean you should rush out and get the matching serum, cleanser, mask and eye cream. You should use a product for at least three weeks, in case it irritates your skin. That way, you’ll be able to pinpoint the problem without wasting your money on loads of products. Plus, using too many strong products may overload your skin and cause sensitivity and inflammation.


2. Test it out – Most brands are often happy to give you a sample before you buy, so you can test whether it’s going to work for you, or irritate your skin. If you find that the sample does irritate your skin, try other samples of moisturiser and look at which ingredients the irritating ones have in common.


3. Don’t mix and match – Check the ingredients on your skin care products, and make sure you’re not combining any ingredients that react badly together. Never put vitamin C with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), copper peptides or retinol, and never put retinol with benzoyl peroxide or AHAs.


4. Use what you need – The products you need depend on your skin type. If you have acne-prone skin, you need a cleanser that helps remove oil and dead skin, an oil-free sun cream, a glycolic product and one that contains salicylic acid. If you have normal or combination skin, you need a cleanser, an anti-ageing serum which contains peptides and hyaluronic acid or vitamin B, a moisturiser with SPF, and an exfoliator twice a week. For sensitive skin, make sure your cleanser doesn’t contain sodium laurel sulphate because this can cause irritation, and opt for a perfume-free moisturiser, SPF50 sun cream and a weekly enzyme mask.


5. Use the right thing at the right time – Serums are especially formulated to penetrate deeply, so should be used before a moisturiser. Moisturisers should be applied before make-up, to keep your skin hydrated and protected against the elements. Primers should be used after a moisturiser and before foundation to even out your skin tone and help make-up go on smoothly, or you can use a tinted moisturiser instead to give a sheer wash of colour instead of foundation. A BB cream can act as a primer before foundation or be worn on its own, and a CC cream is for use instead of foundation.

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