Skincare is the foundation of every beauty routine. A radiant and meticulously cared-for face serves as the foundational step for all subsequent beauty routines, ranging from makeup application to hair styling. But where should one begin?
Here’s a detailed, step-by-step guide to embark on your skincare journey.
DEFINING THE SKINCARE ROUTINE
Before delving into the details of skincare routines, it’s crucial to clearly define what we’re discussing.
A skincare routine encompasses a series of steps and products aimed at taking care of the skin, both for the face and body. It involves regular practices that help maintain skin health and enhance its appearance. These routines typically include cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen, and are usually carried out both in the morning and evening as part of a regular daily or weekly regimen.
Thus, it’s a commitment that requires not only time but also financial commitment.
So, before approaching a skincare routine, it is good to evaluate whether one is willing and if it is worth dedicating one’s time and money to this practice. We must ponder the question: Is the application of creams and serums on the face a worthwhile investment of my time and money, or is there a risk of draining my wallet without yielding effective results?
Let us explore whether a skincare routine truly amounts to a waste of time and money
ESSENTIAL SKINCARE GUIDE
– Let’s Define the Skincare Routine
– What is a cosmetic
– The Routine
– The Advantages of Skincare
What is a Cosmetic
The first point to keep in mind before approaching a skincare routine is that it involves a set of habits involving the use of cosmetics. Let’s immediately highlight the two key words of this practice: habits and cosmetics. Let’s start with cosmetics and try to understand first what a cosmetic is.
The European legislative definition of a cosmetic is established in Council Directive 76/768/EEC of the European Union on cosmetic products, known as the ‘Cosmetics Directive’.
This Directive has subsequently been replaced by Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cosmetic products, currently in force. According to this regulation, a cosmetic is defined as:
“Any substance or mixture intended to be applied to the external surfaces of the human body (epidermis, hair system and hair, nails, lips, and external genital organs) or to the teeth and mucous membranes of the oral cavity with the exclusive or main purpose of cleaning them, perfuming them, altering their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition, or correcting body odors.”
In other words, the European regulation on cosmetics defines cosmetic products as substances or mixtures that are used to improve the external appearance or conditions of the surfaces of the human body, except for drugs and products used for hygienic or therapeutic purposes.
This definition also establishes the scope of application and the regulatory requirements that companies must meet to market cosmetics in the European Union.
From this definition, we immediately understand that cosmetics are not drugs. They do not have healing or therapeutic properties and are intended for healthy skin, free of pathologies. If we suffer from acne or rosacea, for example, we must be clear that cosmetics do not cure them. Pathologies should be treated with medicines and under strict medical supervision.
In short, cosmetics do not cure and do not perform miracles. Cosmetics alter the appearance of our skin, clean it, perfume it but do not restore or modify organic functions. This task is up to medicines. In fact, the concentrations of any active ingredients contained in cosmetics are not such as to be able to treat the epidermis. Therefore, cosmetics are essentially harmless products for health. But it’s precisely this point that reassures us, namely the harmlessness to health guaranteed by law, that naturally raises the question: if cosmetics do not cure, then what are they for?
And it is here that the word routine assumes its importance.
The second key point to remember is that an effective skincare routine requires consistency. The secret to success lies precisely in the word ‘routine’
Although cosmetics do not have the power to cure, various studies have shown that a consistent, long-term skincare routine can have beneficial effects on skin health. The importance of consistency in a skincare routine is a recurring theme in dermatology. Many studies suggest the benefits of regular and consistent use of certain treatments.
The key in many of these studies is that the skin is a complex organ, and depending on its initial conditions and the desired goals, a prolonged and consistent approach is required to achieve the best results. Of course, specific issues should be addressed by a dermatologist, but generally, the benefits of certain practices have been observed, such as prolonged hydration of dry skin, daily application of sunscreen, extended use of active ingredients like retinol or vitamin C, or the effectiveness of daily skin cleansing.
Prolonged practices over time can thus improve the appearance of our skin and prevent premature aging. In short, the beauty routine can be likened to the famous ‘healthy lifestyle habits’ that help us maintain good health, not forgetting the fundamental point that cosmetics are not medicines and do not perform miracles. Of course, these habits are not necessarily the same for everyone.
The third point to consider when approaching skincare is that beauty routines need to be personalized. Skincare is not ‘one size fits all.’ Genetics, age, environment, dietary habits, lifestyle, and skin type play a crucial role in the effectiveness of a routine. This means what works for one person may not work for another.
Thus, a scientific and precise approach to skincare is necessary, taking into account individual needs.
Personalization in skincare is crucial for several reasons:
- Unique Skin Characteristics
Each individual has a different skin type. Some may have dry, oily, combination, sensitive, or skin prone to specific conditions. Personalization allows for creating a routine that specifically caters to each person’s needs.
- Specific Skin Issues
Apart from skin type, everyone may have specific needs or different issues to address, such as signs of aging, dark spots, acne, or rosacea. Personalized skincare can target these issues effectively.
- Adaptability of Skincare Over Time
Skin changes over time due to various factors, including age, climate conditions, hormonal imbalances, and lifestyle changes. What works for someone at one time may not work at another. Effective skincare must adapt to these changes.
- Reduced Risk of Reactions
Using products suitable for one’s skin type and needs reduces the risk of unwanted side effects like redness, irritation, and rashes, ensuring better tolerability.
- Economic Efficiency
From an economic perspective, personalized skincare allows for selecting products and treatments that match one’s needs, thus avoiding unnecessary expenses. This approach avoids the cost of unsuitable products, leading to significant long-term savings.
- An Enjoyable Experience
Having a tailor-made routine can make each skincare moment a unique and pleasant experience, a true wellness ritual. Using products that our skin easily absorbs or that emit pleasing scents can turn every application into a rewarding and special moment.
In conclusion, without personalization, effective skincare is unattainable. Even with similar skin issues, preferences vary – some may prefer a heavier texture, others a gel-like one, scented products, or fragrance-free. Not only does everyone have different needs, but they also have different preferences. The same product cannot cater to all issues, nor can it be equally pleasing for everyone to use.
THE ADVANTAGES OF SKINCARE
When discussing skin care, we delve into a topic that extends far beyond aesthetics. A daily routine can improve the health of the skin, helping it remain strong and resilient against external agents. Every day, our skin faces small battles against pollution and climate changes, making steps like cleansing, hydrating, nourishing, and especially protecting it crucial for maintaining its natural balance.
Consistent use of suitable products can do much to preserve the skin’s youth, but a skincare routine is not limited to this alone. In skincare, the ritual of self-care can also benefit our psyche, self-esteem, and the management of daily stress. Skincare is a personal moment of care, a true restorative break where one can find some peace, carefully applying beloved products.
Let’s now look at the advantages of a well-structured skincare routine:
Firstly, an improvement in the overall appearance of the skin. Skincare can help reduce dullness, improve texture, lessen dark spots and imperfections, and contribute to a healthier and more radiant appearance.
Secondly, prevention. A regular skincare routine can help prevent future skin problems and maintain long-term healthy skin. This aspect of prevention also pertains to premature aging. Some skincare products contain antioxidant and anti-wrinkle ingredients that can help prevent or reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.
Moreover, a good skincare routine can help keep the skin well-hydrated, preventing dryness and flaking. Hydration is crucial for the skin because it supports its barrier function, slows aging, and improves overall skin health and appearance.
Skincare products can also be essential for protecting the skin, as in the case of sunscreens that help protect the skin from UV ray damage, or antioxidants that help defend against atmospheric pollution and other environmental factors.
Additionally, a well-designed skincare routine contributes to maintaining healthy skin, reducing inflammation, preventing dirt and impurity build-up in pores, and promoting cell regeneration.
Lastly, having healthy, well-cared-for skin can boost self-esteem and self-confidence.
Considering all these benefits, let’s see how to establish an effective skincare routine.
In the next chapter we will discuss the three steps upon which effective skincare is based: