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Niche Topics (Beauty and Wellness) is all about a natural approach to healthy skin, hair and nails. You'll love our collection of organic homemade beauty, bath and body treatment recipes using natural ingredients that nourish, pamper, cleanse and protect your skin. Harness the healing powers of Mother Nature's bounty to make yourself beautiful naturally.

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Proper Skin Care Routine and Order of Application

 

 

skin care sequence

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4 Best Kitchen Ingredients that Exfoliate Skin Naturally

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Is washing your face with just water enough to remove surface impurities that are accumulated throughout the day and night? Find out what you can do to keep dry sensitive skin optimally hydrated, beautifully plump and glowing.

 

5 Quick Fixes to Revive and Brighten Dull Tired Skin

Get the best home remedies to revitalize and jump-start tired looking skin in the morning and give your face an instant luminosity that you've been dying for!

 

 

 

By Tiffany Moore

 

In what order should you apply skin care products? This deceptively so simple beauty question can leave any woman stumped.

 

 

Daily skin care routine used to be a very straightforward process – cleanse, tone and then finish up with a moisturizer. However, it becomes trickier when a skew of buzzed-about-age-defying products – serums, essences, boosters, to name a few – start to make their grand appearance in the world of skin and face care. So it is not surprising to find yourself suddenly clueless about skin care steps and not sure which products follow which, like “what comes first, serum or moisturizer” or “can I skip sunscreen/sunblock if my moisturizer/makeup has some SPF factor”.

 

 

There are no doubts that using the latest wonder face creams can help you achieve magazine-perfect flawless skin complexion, but their performance can be greatly affected due to several factors including applying them in the wrong order. That’s why you have to know the proper sequence of your skin care routine. Each step prepares your skin for what comes next to allow the skin care products to work optimally so you are able to see results faster.

 

 

 

 

Morning Skincare Routine

 

Step 1: Cleanse

 

Cleanse your face thoroughly to remove dirt, grime and oil. It is best you avoid foaming cleansers because most of them contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), a chemical that has a drying effect on skin and may also irritate eyes and mouth area. Use a sulfate-free mild facial cleanser that is made with gentle ingredients instead, such as cheap-and-good Cetaphil, Eucerin or CeraVe, all of which are available at most drugstores.

 

Also, make sure not to wash your face with hot water because excessive heat robs your skin of its natural protective lipids, which can speed up visible signs of skin aging. The water should be comfortably warm but not hot.

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Tone (optional)

 

Gently pat, not rub your face – cheeks, chin and nose – with a cotton pad that has been soaked with toner, also known also as tonics, mists or astringents, depending on their strength.

 

Since one of toner’s main purposes is to restore pH balance and remove any left over residues from your cleanser and cosmetics, this skin care step is very important and should not be skipped if you wear heavy makeup.

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Treat and Moisturize

 

If you are using medicated or prescription-strength topical treatments for acne or rash, apply it first. This is due to the fact that they need direct contact with the skin to do the job.

 

Eye cream, anti-wrinkle serum, gel or any other skin care products of your choice targeted to address your skin concerns should also go on first. Wait for a moment (about 5 minutes) until it is fully absorbed, then apply sunscreen and moisturizer all over your face. And don’t forget the neck and decolletage area, which are notorious for giving away your age as much as your hands.

 

Always apply in an upward motion, using short firm strokes to prevent the early onset of facial sagging. Then lightly tap your face with fingertips for about 30 seconds to enhance absorption.

 

One word about anti-wrinkle products like retinol based creams is they can increase sun sensitivity so be forewarned.  

 

Next apply a makeup primer and foundation followed by the rest of your makeup routine as usual.

 

In case you are wondering if it is ok not to wear sunscreen if the makeup has SPF, I can only say it depends on what strength SPF your cosmetics contain. Most makeup or beauty products you find on the market contain SPF 10 or 15, which is not enough to protect skin from damaging UVA and UVB. Unless they have a SPF of 30 or higher, I would highly recommend you apply a separate sunscreen before putting on your makeup.

 

 

 

 

 

Night SkinCare Routine

 

Repeat the steps, except sunscreen and makeup.

 

Take note that if the uppermost layer of your skin becomes too thick with dead cells, the active ingredients in your face care product cannot penetrate deeply enough to have a positive effect. Hence, you need to exfoliate, but not more than 3-4 times a week. You can use exfoliating face wash like Definity Pore Redefining Scrub from Olay. Or, create your own homemade face scrub with simple household items such as 2 teaspoons oats and 1 teaspoon baking soda plus just enough water to make a paste.

 

 

 

There has been an ongoing debate whether toners are necessary or are they a waste of money. In my humble opinion, I don’t see the need to apply a toner daily and only use it as and when my skin asks for it.

 

 

For instance, my skin tends to become very dry in cold weather, and breaks out with rich creams. So instead of slathering on deep-hydrating moisturizers, I use a toner with hydrating agents followed by a lightweight face lotion.

 

 

But I would skip toner on days when I don’t wear makeup (perhaps a tinted lip-balm and clear lash mascara) or stay at home all day since toner is often marketed as a must-have beauty item to remove traces of makeup and residual cleanser. Moreover, the serum that I am currently using contains hyaluronic acid which provides the same skin-soothing and moisture-boosting benefits so it does not make sense to use a separate toner and overload my skin with so many products.

 

 

As for extremely oily skin that gets greasy hours after washing, I would think toner is a necessary step in skin care regimen. It benefits oily skin by helping keep excess facial shine under control, leaving it looking clear and feeling fresh all day long. But avoid strong toners – astringents – unless your skin is super duper oily.

This is because they contain a high amount of alcohol, which can be drying and makes skin feel uncomfortably tight.

 

 

The bottom line is, toner is not an essential skin care item but is a great product to use depending on your skin’s needs. Therefore, my best advice is just experiment around and do what works best in your own skin care routine.

 

 

Quite a number of beauty conscious women as well as men I spoke to are guilty of being overzealous and use too many products in their daily skin care regimen. One very common skin care mistake is exfoliating the skin too much or too aggressively.

 

 

I know you are already aware of the need to exfoliate your face on a regular basis for skin as smooth as rose petals. Dead skin cells can accumulate and make your complexion dull-looking and lifeless, in addition to causing skin pores to become clogged and inflamed. Congested skin can contribute to a host of icky skin problems like whiteheads, blackheads and unexpected acne flare-ups.

 

 

However, over exfoliation can work against you. As you happily buff away unwanted old dead skin, you also strip away the skin’s protective layer in the process. If you were to exfoliate more than necessary (4 times a week at best), too vigorously, or use harsh products with unpronounceable abrasive chemicals, your skin can become thinner and hence, vulnerable to irritation and sun damage. Remember, the sun’s harmful rays are one of the major culprits behind premature skin aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, loose sagging skin, and uneven pigmentation.

 

 

So how do you know if you are over-scrubbing your skin? A sure tale-tell sign is unusually-drier-than-normal skin that can also feel itchy. You are probably over doing it too if you begin to notice more facial lines and wrinkles.

 

 

One very important thing to keep in mind is avoid exfoliation in the morning. The reason is very simple; you don’t want to expose the fresh layer of skin cells to harsh environmental pollutants that can create havoc on newly-scrubbed skin. For men, always exfoliate after shaving to avoid skin irritation.

 

 

Another beauty question I get very often when talking about sequence in applying skin care products is  “at what age do you start using anti-wrinkle cream”.

 

 

There is no fixed age when it comes to anti-aging products although they are generally designed for women from the late thirties onwards. However, every person’s skin is somewhat different in nature. For example, wrinkles can appear in white women as young as their twenties while Asian skin or people with dark skin tone may not show visible signs of skin aging as early. That means, fair-skinned babes probably need to incorporate a good quality not-too-heavy wrinkle-stopper as part of their daily skin care routine to delay the onset of fine lines and creases.

 

 

And, if you are an outdoorsy person who love basking in the hot sun on beaches, or if you have repeated exposure to second hand smoke, then it’s also a good idea to use a anti-wrinkle serum at an early age to to repair and protect skin from sun and environmental damage.