If you type in the word “skincare” into a search engine, you will receive hundreds of thousands of results that range from blog posts (like this one) to videos of beauty influencers with already “perfect” skin detailing their multi-step routines.
But why do we need a skincare routine?
According to Kim Chang, a licensed aesthetician at Baylor College of Medicine, taking care of the skin is important to help slow down the effects of aging, protect it from cancer, and improves the overall appearance as well.
“Skin regenerates itself after about ever 27 days. If you don’t exfoliate, it can lead to buildup, congestion, breakouts, and dull skin.”
But are elaborate skincare routines more effective? One click on an influencer’s skincare video may lead you down the dark path of thinking you absolutely need all 20 products they use.
“It depends on your goals,” Chang said. Goals, like clearing acne, improving texture, or combating the signs of aging, might need a more extensive routine.
“If you have an extensive goal, you might use more products than the next person. Using all products every day might not be necessary either. Retinol, for example, is a product you wouldn’t use every day because it can cause extreme sun sensitivity.”
Additionally, Chang explains that some products don’t work well together, and knowing how to layer products will help achieve the best results. “When applying products, the rule of thumb is to layer from lightest to thickest texture. Sunscreen should always be the last step before makeup.”
Chang also shares an expert tip on how to apply sunscreen. “Sunscreen is composed of different metals that refract the sun. To achieve the best results, gently pat the sunscreen into the skin over and over with the palms of your hands until it’s well blended. This method allows the metals to lay on top of each other, giving the best protection.”
So what if you’re not a beauty guru and need a simple, but effective, routine? Chang says you only need three products: cleanser, exfoliator, and sunscreen.
“I recommend double cleansing the skin to ensure that you are removing residual dirt from the hairline and jawline. Double cleansing then exfoliating also allows products to penetrate better.”
Chang also touts the improvements in sunscreen formulas and recommends using one that not only protects from the sun but provides benefits to the skin like hydration, or antioxidants. Look for ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and vitamin E.
Proper skin are can also play a big part in an individual’s overall mental health.
“People gain more confidence and self-esteem when their skin looks better. It’s a confidence booster, no matter how old you are.”
Finally, Chang provides a relatable analogy of her overall outlook on skincare and its necessity.
“I compare skincare to fitness. If you want to be more fit, you don’t just go to the gym; you have to eat right. Someone coming to me for one facial isn’t going to help them reach their goal, just like working out one time won’t make you lose 30 pounds,” said Chang. “Your daily skincare routine is much like your food intake. I’m like your trainer, I can get you there quicker, but I’m not the end all be all.”
Learn more about the Baylor Aesthetics Studio.
-By Melissa Tucker