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Skincare for dummies

(15 Posts)
sambababy Wed 26-Oct-16 08:31:15

I've been reading through the recent skincare routine/ingredients threads but some of it sounds like another language to me and I didn't want to divert those threads with my own questions.

So, I was wondering if anyone could explain, in real simple layman's terms, which products/ingredients I need and why, and which ones to avoid for wrecking my skin or wasting money.

I've heard cleanse, tone, moisturise (spf)...but not sure why the tone...and then there's serum, is it really necessary?...and at 33 with huge creases in my sun-damaged forehead, I'm looking for anti-wrinkle products but kind of believe it's all a big marketing con, am I right?

I want to keep my routine simple but I want to make my skin look better, more glowy, I've never had glowing skin! I've got combi-sensitive skin (some past eczema issues with fragrance in products) and I live in a hot country at the moment. Currently using nip+fab glycolic cleanser at night, Nutrogena spf30 moisturiser in day, Lancôme advanced night repair, and a Sanctuary eye gel which is just nice and cooling really.

Please help! TIA!

ChocolateRaisin Wed 26-Oct-16 09:53:01

I'm a massive beginner, so can't really give you any advice but definitely products do work and improve the appearance of skin with regards to aging.

Someone on here pointed me to the Caroline Hirons blog which has some excellent advice on it, lots of useful info in the 'cheat sheets' which explains a lot.

I've become addicted very quickly!

specialsubject Wed 26-Oct-16 10:06:00

There are only a couple of things that make a small difference, i think you need retinol which is fierce stuff.

'Helps reduce the appearance' actually means 'does nothing'

Use real sunscreen too, not city block stuff. That is for those outside for 30 secs between office and shrieking at others over an indoor lunch.

botemp Wed 26-Oct-16 10:53:27

A basic skincare routine for maintenance is:

-Separate SPF (year round minimum 30, preferably 50 in summer)

Toning is rather old school (unless we're talking acid toning), a good cleanser does not require another product to finish up its job of cleansing.

Serums are to treat specific concerns (hydration, acne, anti-ageing, redness, etc.) with usually specific active ingredients in a formula that penetrates the skin more easily. You add these as you find the concern for them.

Read on here (scroll down to the giant bit of text) for a more detailed explanation of routines and what each step does and what you could potentially work towards. By no means is it a requirement to have all those steps in your routine, it is simply displaying the realm of possibility. Barring any specific issues the basic routine will suffice for most.

Very briefly anti-ageing that is proven to work is SPF and Retin-A but this is a rather simplistic delivery of it and there's far more to it. I wouldn't advise delving into anti-ageing until your basic routine is sorted. It's a bit like running before you can walk. Read on here for information more specific to an anti-ageing routine.

sambababy Wed 26-Oct-16 12:21:26

Chocolateraisin I shall check out that blog, thanks! I've heard people mention her before but I'm wary of bloggers just pushing products and I get very easily fooled into buying things and hoping for miracles confused

Specialsubject I try to use a moisturiser with spf 30 in it, or a separate spf 50 if I think I'll be outside for long. I think I've been lax with this over the years though and I'm paying for it now. Living in a hot country is hard on your skin.

sambababy Wed 26-Oct-16 12:25:06

Botemp I'm glad you said toning was a waste of time, I've always wondered and never really done it consistently. Can I ask why a spf 30 moisturiser isn't worth buying in place of the separate products?

Another question actually - do I also need a separate makeup remover? I was using bioderma Micelles water before cleansing until it ran out. Can I cleanse in one step or will that not work, I need to do it twice.

Also I forgot to say I have a lot of light red marks on my face from where I got acne when pregnant with my first child. I think they're fading slowly but is there something that would help with that too?

sambababy Wed 26-Oct-16 12:27:48

Ah just reading the other thread you linked to and I see you cover a lot of my questions in there. Will keep reading thanks!

botemp Wed 26-Oct-16 12:48:14

I think CH is not the worst blogger out there but she is very much on the product pushing bandwagon. She changes her tune on certain things too and the site is a bit of a nightmare to navigate but the cheatsheets (though some may be outdated) are good reading.

The reason SPF50 is usually touted is because of user error (not using enough) you'll probably end up with something like the minimum SPF30 coverage. Considering how much SPF you need that's about an equal amount or more than moisturiser so an SPF30 in a moisturiser will not only have a deluded amount of SPF in it, you're not using the appropriate amount so it is going to be very hard to achieve that SPF30 rating under those circumstances. It's a marketing gimmick to both sell you a separate moisturiser for day and night (for this reason most night creams are also too heavy, making them too much for day time) and they can inflate the price of the product too on account of the SPF that offers little to no protection effectively. Added to that (especially since you live in a hot climate) you need to top up your SPF every two hours of sun exposure and after exercising, swimming, etc. and a moisturiser wouldn't be all that useful for this.

It depends how much makeup you wear, if it's just a bit of mascara and little else a makeup remover or micellar will act as your first cleanse perfectly fine. If you're wearing base and/or SPF it's better to have a separate oil based cleanser for it. If you're wearing minimal makeup or just SPF and use the oil based cleanser I often find it sufficient and don't necesarrily need a second cleanse.

Pigmentation from spots is usually best aided by Vit C and SPF. You can consider using an AHA in conjunction with that but might be a bit much to jump on all at once. Basically it's new skin that's far more photosensitive than the rest of your skin and therefore 'burns' resulting in the red appearance, hence the need for SPF to protect it, without it it is stuck in a cycle of burning, peeling off, revealing new skin and burning all over again. Vit C suppresses the melanin synthesis (skin colouring darker than the natural tone) and also help fade existing sun spots.

Lottapianos Wed 26-Oct-16 13:04:44

Slight hijack - people who talk about 'real' or 'proper' sunscreen, what sort of products are you thinking of? In Autumn / Winter, I use day moisturiser with SPF 15 and foundation with SPF20, I thought that would be ok. I use Vitamin C serum each morning, acid tone each evening, no retinols

botemp Wed 26-Oct-16 13:21:54

It means a standalone broad spectrum sunscreen of at minimum 30SPF, preferably one that is sweat proof so won't wear off with the slightest bit of exertion or rain. (Think LRP Anthelios or similar)

To avoid any confusion SPF15 in moisturiser and SPF20 in makeup do not add up to better or higher protection. You'll have the maximum coverage of SPF20 from the final layer (but highly unlikely in the case of makeup unless you're trowelling it on). With acid use I'd definitely be looking at a broad spectrum SPF50 (the ones in moisturisers and makeup usually aren't broad spectrum-UVA and UVB rays blocking-). The sun has the most impact on photoaging, acids make you even more photosensitive so without adequate broad spectrum sunscreen protection you are in fact encouraging and accelerating photoaging.

WhooooAmI24601 Wed 26-Oct-16 13:25:18

I cleanse with Liz Earle's Hot Clth Cleanser, amazing stuff which removes everything.

I don't moisturise, use serum instead as I have oily skin and the oil serum seems to suit it.

Bravura are amazing for skincare and will talk you through what you need versus your skin type, and won't ever do the hard-sell on you.

Clinique and Clarins sunscreens are invincible. I wear one or the other every day regardless of season and have lovely, plump unlined skin at 35, when a lot of friends are beginning to notice lots of wrinkles/lines.

Lottapianos Wed 26-Oct-16 15:15:06

Thanks botemp. So LRP Anthelios would be a good one to go for?

botemp Wed 26-Oct-16 17:13:38

I can't recommend it personally as it broke me out terribly, but that says more about my skin than the product. The Fluide one is much liked for its light consistency.

sambababy Wed 26-Oct-16 19:29:40

I think the fluid one broke me out too. It's hard to find such a protective product that doesn't when worn everyday. I think I'll try the biore one for everyday and use the LRP when I know I'll be spending time outside.

I'll finish the nip fab cleanser, which will probably take a couple of months, then look into an oil-based one. To be really honest I only use warm water on my face in the morning, no cleanser blush

Anyone ever wish for the old old days when there was just soap and water? Lol

sambababy Wed 26-Oct-16 19:31:20

Btw thank you for all your comments I really appreciate the advice!! flowersflowers

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