Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guest Post - Establishing and Maintaining a Skincare Routine by Jessica Anna

Hey Beauty Bees,
Today I am bringing you a guest post by a fun blogger named Jessica Anna. Her blog is all about beauty and fashion and is a great read.

Skincare routines can be the trickiest things to figure out and understandably some people just give up trying to tailor one that suits them. There are a colossus amount of products out there with so many confusing names, like effaclar and miscellular, it can become rather frustrating. But from my own experience it is doable and once you get the hang of things, it does become a lot easier. So, today I'm going to share with you my top tips and tricks on establishing and maintaining an effective skincare routine that suits your skin.

Tip #1 - Know your skin type
Before even beginning to purchase any products for your routine, you need to work out what skin type you have. The worst thing to do is just buy any old product for any skin type and start using it. That's a big no no. There are 4 main skin types; Dry, Normal, Combination, and oily. Also remember that any one of these skin types can also be sensitive or acne prone too, so watch out for that. Once you know your skin type, you're ready to go; products labeled for specific skin types will lead you in the right direction towards buying correctly and not wasting your money.

Tip #2 - Take advantage of free samples
If you're looking to buy a product but you don't know how your skin will react to it, the best way to find out is using a free sample or a trial sized version before buying the full thing. This will not only save you money, it will also save you time and effort. Free samples are everywhere; from magazines like Vogue, Elle and Glamour, to shops online and in store that offer samples with other purchases like Sephora, Clinique and Clarins. Free samples are a fantastic way to find new products that you've never heard of that might be amazing for your skin, or confirming the fact a product is or isn't right for you. Skincare can be a tricky thing but free samples are a nifty solution.

Tip #3 - Do some research
I know this may be more effort than you're willing to put into this, but hear me out. Research doesn't mean trying to figure out the science behind certain products or how they're manufactured, no way would I even do that myself! There are literally millions of women out there who have started blogs, websites, or forums to recommend products and share with you whether they liked them or not, what they did and how effective they were. This blog, my blog and so many other places are great destinations to discover products without even having to try them. Personally I find reading other blogs extremely enjoyable, so while doing 'research' I am enjoying myself too.

Tip #4 - Be patient
The last thing you want to do is be impatient with your skin and expect everything to work immediately. It just doesn't go that way. When I first started my routine I expected all my products to give me a completely new face and change my skin over night, but to my despair it didn't happen. But that doesn't mean you're using the wrong products in the wrong order at the wrong time, it just means you need to give them more time to start working. Only after a minimum of a month will you start seeing visible differences and progress, so only after that will you know that the products you're using may not be working as well as they could be. Give it time, be patient and you'll see results soon.

Tip #5 - Know that you're skin can change
This piece of advice is a very important one to remember because once you do establish a line or a selection of products that are effective and do their job for your skin, you must remember your skin has a tendency to change slightly. The younger you are the more likely this is because you'll still be developing and things can change more dramatically.  At 15 my skin was so dry and now I have to manage a much oilier face. But for every woman, no matter what age you are you're skin is never going to remain exactly the same. Some people’s skin changes seasonally; in the winter months it can be drier, summer it can oilier or more breakout prone. When Mother Nature calls, skin can also become more sensitive or again more spot prone.

What you've also got to remember is that your skin will start to get used to some products and become immune to their effects, especially spot treatments. So you must watch out for any signs that your routine isn't working as well as it used to be and change things. Variety is the spice of life, so if you change things from time to time and adapt to your skin, then you're more likely to achieve success with a routine that works.

Tip #6 - Know what’s what
As I've mentioned before there are just too many products out there with so many different claims, for you to be able to just know what’s what straight away. Once you do know what everything means, then you'll become a much more intelligent skincare shopper. Here are the different categories for products and what they do;
  • Make-up removers - These mostly come in liquid form and can be labeled miscellular water or just make-up remover. This comes first in you're evening routine before a proper cleanse and it will help remove as much make-up as possible.
  • Cleansers - Cleansers can come in so many different forms, the main ones are; cleansing balms, cleansing gels, cleansing oils, creamy cleansers and foaming cleansers. Again, it's through trial and error to find out which ones you suit, but most people like to use balms or oils to remove any remaining make-up and a cream, foam, or gel to do the rest of the cleaning. 
  • Toners - From my experience toners can come in three forms; acid/alcohol based toners, hydrating non-alcohol toners and face mists. Acid and hydrating toners go hand in hand during a routine to achieve maximum success and face mists are great for refreshing your face during the day or at any time you like. A toner's primary job is to settle the ph of your skin and remove any remaining impurities.
  • Serums - these are even more complex because there are so many different types with may different effects. Some serums rehydrate skin like oil serums, some are anti-aging treatments and some are all round serums that do just about everything, and you use them in much smaller doses. It's just a case of finding one you like.
  • Spot gels/treatments - if your acne or blemish prone, or even just trying to prevent breakouts, that’s what a spot gel or treatment is for. Some come in liquid form, but most are leave on creams to go under your moisturizer.

  • Eye creams/Serums - this stage is not a necessity and is used by people who feel their eyes are puffier, or have darker circles morning or evening. This product tends to do the trick that serums do to the rest of your face. You must always use your ring finger when applying it.

  • Moisturizers - these are quite simple, their job is to lock in the other products on your face and fully hydrate your skin for a lengthy period of time. They almost always come in a creamy, lotion consistency and are one of the last stages of a routine.
  • Lip balms - I find leaving this stage out does more harm than good. Before bed a nice layer of lip balm every night stops my lips from chapping, full stop and keeps them plump and smooth. Lip balms are really flexible and any one is fine.

Remember, the only way I know this stuff is through going ahead and doing it myself, through ups and downs until I reached a good place with my skincare routine. And I promise the same will go for you. After a while you'll actually really like doing your skincare routine and buying new products, it gets rather fun. So, if you were struggling to figure out what to do for skincare and how it all works I hope this post has enlightened you and helped you along the way.

Jessica Anna at A So Called Beauty Blog

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