Now, nobody says you have to buy ten different cleansers and serums with names you can't even pronounce. Skincare should be easy and straightforward. But if all you do is wash your face with a bar of soap, maybe shave, and you're out the door, you might consider papering your mug a little more, especially if you're having skin problems like breakout way past puberty, shaving irritation and fine lines that seem to creep out of nowhere. You can blame your genes all you want, but maybe you should ask yourself if you're doing the maintenance minimum for your body's largest organ.
Learn Your Skin Type
You first have to figure out what skin type you have because this will help you identify which products you should buy and which you should avoid.
If you have normal skin, consider yourself lucky because it means you will rarely have to deal with any breakout, rashes, dryness, or any form of irritation.
On the other hand, if you have sensitive skin, you've probably noticed that your skin often feels dry or tight and that it gets easily irritated. After using some products that aren't suitable for this skin type, you may experience a sensation of stinging or burning because your skin is irritated by one or more of the ingredients.
If you have oily skin, it probably gets shiny, or you have oily patches. You may also struggle with acne from the buildup of sebum.
Some people have combination skin, which means it's dry in some areas and oily along the T zone. The T zone is your forehead and nose.
Then you have to read the labels and choose products according to these skin types. It will usually be mentioned what type they're designed for, but you can also check the ingredients. For example, if you have skin that's prone to acne, you'll want non-comedogenic products, which means they've been tested and don't clog pores. Usually, these products will contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
If you have sensitive skin, you can also find products that mention they're suitable for this type of skin. You'll want to stay away from anything that might irritate, such as fragrances. Fragrances can cause allergic reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin, so you'll experience itching, stinging, burning, and redness. Look for products that say fragrance-free on the label.
Lastly, if you have fine lines or wrinkles, you'll need products that contain retinol (vitamin A) and glycolic acid.
Switch From Soap to Cleanser
If you like to keep things simple, you probably wash your face with a regular soap bar from the supermarket. The problem is that those soap bars can be very irritating and drying for sensitive skin. If you have oily skin, on the other hand, the soap residue left on your face will change your skin's pH, causing it to produce even more oil.
Cleansers are milder and won't irritate your skin. Soap is good for cleaning but a bit too good. If you're not working outdoors, in the dirt, you really don't need to wash your face with something so strong. It will just end up stripping your skin of its natural oils, so you'll have to buy more products to counteract the effects or live with it. Like this, you're not adding any steps to your routine. You're still simply washing your face, but you're switching one product for another.
You'll also want to be careful with the temperature of the water. If you like to take really hot showers, you might want to keep them short because the hot water dries out your skin, making it scaly, flaky, and itchy. Ideally, you should use warm water, not hot.
After you wash your face, don't rub your face with the towel. This technique doesn't increase water absorption, it just irritates the skin. You only need to pat your face a few times, and that's it.
If you don't use moisturizer, you should. It only takes a few seconds to apply, and you can find one for any type of skin problem. It helps keep the moisture trapped in your skin, so it will also slow down the appearance of wrinkles in the long run.
Now let's talk about shaving technique. First of all, you should take your time with it. If you try to do it in a hurry, using swift movements, you're more likely to damage your skin. You also should avoid shaving against the grain. Although you may feel like this gives you a closer shave, you're also increasing the risk of inflammation because the blade will nick the buried surface of the hair follicle. To get a better shave, do it right after you shower when our pores are open. It also helps if you apply some pre-shaving cream that will soften the hair and lubricate the skin. You can do a little research to find the top shaving cream for men, which will make both the process and your face much smoother.
In terms of aftershave, you should avoid anything with alcohol. This might have been necessary when straight razors were the only option because they caused nicks that could get infected. Nowadays, you're better off with a moisturizer.
And we can't finish this article without discussing blades. These days it seems that the more blades, the merrier. Four blades, five blades, or the ultimate battery-powered seven-blade stubble slicer! The idea is still to get a close shave, but that's not always a good thing. If you have sensitive skin or your hair is curly or coarse, shaving too close will lead to ingrown hairs and irritation. In that case, less is more. You should have enough blades that you don't need to pass over the same patch of skin repeatedly. A bit of stubble looks better than a face full of ingrown hairs.
You should also be careful with nickel allergies. If your skin gets irritated from the back of your watch or zippers, you might have an allergy and have to switch to titanium blade razors.