Thorough but gentle daily cleansing and a good moisturising care will help to keep your skin healthy. Quality skincare products, chosen to match your specific skin type and skin concern, can protect facial skin from damaging external influences such as the sun, hot and cold climates and air pollution. They can also help to soothe irritated skin, restore it to a healthy condition and prevent the development of skin diseases.
Daily face care routine
Your daily face care routine
Four basic steps
Good skincare involves four basic steps: cleanse, tone, care and protect
Your skincare routine should take place twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. The specific routine will vary depending on the time of day and the particular needs and condition of your skin.
Cleansing & Toning
About facial cleansing & toning
Why cleanse and tone?
An effective face care routine starts with thorough but gentle cleansing and toning to:
- remove dirt, sweat, sebum and make-up without drying out the skin.
- prepare skin for your face care regime. The valuable ingredients in face care products are absorbed more effectively when applied to cleansed skin.
Cleansing is particularly important for skin prone to acne as it helps skin to maintain its natural healthy balance and supports the natural regenerative process.
How to cleanse and tone
There are two main steps to a thorough cleansing routine: a cleansing milk or gel followed by a toner. If you are wearing eye make-up then it is advisable to add a separate eye-make-up-remover as a third step in your cleansing routine.
- Gel cleansers should be rinsed off thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid using water that is too hot, especially on sensitive skin, as extreme temperatures can cause irritations.
- Cleansing milks are applied and removed with cotton pad and do not require water. You can, however, gently remove cleansing milk with lukewarm water if you prefer.
- Three-in-one products provides a convenient combination of cleanser, toner and eye-make-up-remover. Though best results are always achieved by using a separate cleanser, toner and eye make–up remover. Three-in-one cleansers should be applied by wiping a cotton pad gently across your face and eye area.
How to choose an appropriate cleanser and toner
Water alone will not clean your face. You need to use a surfactant (a detergent that dissolves both water and fat) to bind with the dirt and remove it gently from your skin. It is important to choose products that are gentle on skin. Frequent washing with ordinary soaps or aggressive surfactants can weaken the barrier function of skin by:
- changing the pH from its naturally slightly acidic state of between 5.4 and 5.9 to a neutral or even alkaline pH, reducing its ability to fight bacteria
- disrupting the proteins in horny layer (the outermost layer of the skin)
- removing skin-protecting lipids (the fats that hold cells together in the epidermis)
When skin’s barrier function is weakened its sensitivity is increased and it is more prone to dryness and irritaton.
Read more about skin structure.
Choose a cleanser that:
- will be gentle on your skin and will not dry it out
- has been formulated for your specific skin type and concern
- has been thoroughly tested and is, ideally, compatible with sensitive skin
When choosing between a milk and a gel product the general rule is that the drier the skin the more it will prefer a cleansing milk. It leaves your skin’s own lipids untouched, your skin stays balanced. Cleansing gels are ideal for cleansing normal to combination skin types.
Eucerin recommends alcohol- free toners for most skin types. Alcohol based toners have a cooling effect, but they can strip skin of its natural lipids. Skin may then over-produce lipids in an attempt to replace those that are missing. Alcohol can intensify the dryness in dry skin and, for those with oily or combination skin, an alcohol-containing toner can help to regulate excessive oiliness by removing sebum.
Three-in-one products, also known as micellar cleansers, offer cleansing, toning and eye-make-up- removal all in one. Oil molecules suspended in water lift away dirt and make-up quickly and gently. Micellar cleansers offer a convenient alternative to using three individual products.
The Eucerin DermatoCLEAN range of cleansers includes a gel, milk, toner, eye make-up remover and three-in-one product. All of the range has been tested on, and proven to be compatible with, sensitive skin and contains products for all skin types.
The Eucerin DermoPURIFYER range has been specially formulated for skin prone to acne. For hypersensitive, hyperreactive skin Eucerin recommends Eucerin Re-Balance Soothing Cleansing Cream. For skin that is prone to redness try Eucerin ANTI-REDNESS Soothing Cleansing Gel.
All about the facial care routine
Care products should hydrate and replenish skin. Moisturisation not only increases skin’s water content, it protects it and encourages orderly desquamation (the process by which skin sheds dead cells) leaving it feeling smooth, soft and comfortable. Many care products also target and treat specific concerns.
Specific skin concerns such as ageing, hyperpigmentation and acne can effectively be treated with special care products that contain a high concentration of active ingredients. These special care products are often in a concentrate or serum format.
- Topical medication prescribed by a dermatologist to treat conditions such as acne or Atopic Dermatitis should be applied in the same way as a special care product: always first on gently cleansed skin before the application of day or night cream. Special care products should be allowed to absorb into the skin for a couple of minutes before a day or night care product is applied.
- If you are using a special care product then it should be allowed to absorb for a couple of minutes before applying a day or night cream. If your skin does not require a special care product, then the day or night cream should be applied directly onto a thoroughly cleansed face.
How to choose an appropriate care product
Care products should be matched to your skin type and should address any particular concerns that you may have. Your care product choice can also adapt to suit the season (for example, many people prefer to use a lighter fluid product in the warm weather and a richer cream during the cold winter months.)
Learn more in skin types and concerns and take our skin test to help determine your own skin type. If you would like advice on how to treat a specific skin concern then contact a dermatologist.
Day care and night care
Many care products can be used both morning and evening. Others are formulated for specific use during the day or at night:
- AM: Some moisturisers contain a sun protection factor (SPF). This makes them suitable for daytime use but they should not be used in the evening. Other care products that contain pigments (for example, some of the products that treat redness or acne) should also only be used to during the day.
- PM: Skin regenerates overnight. As well as moisturising skin, night creams contain ingredients that stimulate the cell regeneration process. They are also SPF and pigment free.
Caring for skin around the eyes
The delicate skin around the eyes is particularly thin and sensitive and thus more vulnerable than the rest of facial skin. Because of this it benefits from a specially formulated eye care product. Eye cream should be applied with care.
For more tips on how to care for skin visit tips for healthy skin.
All about sun protection for the face
Effective sun protection is a vital part of keeping skin healthy and should always be considered as part of your daily face care routine. This is particularly important if skin is sensitive or for example acne-prone and therefore more vulnerable to sun damage. Whilst a few minutes a day in the sun helps with the healthy production of Vitamin D, facial skin is often exposed to several hours of UV rays. Over exposure to UV rays is the main cause of premature skin ageing. For this reason, skin that is going to be exposed should be protected with a sunscreen.
How to protect
Several day creams already include a sun protection factor – normally SPF 15 – but on many occasions your skin will require a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF), which can be applied in addition to, or instead of, your usual SPF day cream.
Products containing SPF should be applied as the final step in your morning skin care regimen.
How to choose the right sun protection product
There are several factors that should be taken into account when choosing the appropriate sun protection factor for your skin:
- Skin colour (i.e. which phototype are you? Phototype 1 & 2 is more sensitive to UV exposure than phototype 3 - 6 (Please refer to Fitzpatrick phototyping scale).
- The season
- The level of exposure (depending on the climate zone you are in)
- The duration of exposure