My Top Five Skin Care Tips

Astrid Kieser Kisting, Opinion Editor

Day after day we are met with the constant struggle of perpetuating our skincare routine. How do we know if we’re taking care of our skin properly? Why am I having a breakout so suddenly? How do I wash my face correctly? There are endless questions! One of my biggest passions in life is skincare. I am a firm believer that people should know how to take care of their skin. After all, it’s the biggest organ in/on our body and we will live with the skin we are in for the rest of our life. Since it’s a passion of mine, I spend a lot of time researching products, talking with experts, and trying products. Also, I want to remind you that you are beautiful! Skincare doesn’t make us beautiful, it makes us feel good about ourselves, thus guiding us to feel confident in our own skin. It’s vital that we learn how to care for our skin, rather than cover it up, so here are a few helpful tips that I incorporate into my life.

1. Double Cleansing: This is the most helpful tip I have learned over the years. Believe it or not, there is a correct way to cleanse your face aka double-cleansing. First, you should start with a lukewarm white washcloth so that you can visibly see what you are wiping off of your face. Your gentle soap (Cetaphil or Cera Ve) should lather onto your hands and you should gently scrub with your fingertips around your nose and face. If you tend to have oilier skin, then you should find a cleanser with salicylic acid. Then, taking your washcloth, you should apply light pressure around your face until the soap is off. Next, if you have a facial brush lather your facial soap on again and cleanse with that. Rinse your face with water using your hands and pat dry with a towel. Double cleansing is vital to healthy skin. It allows you to thoroughly wash your face, and if you wear makeup or sunscreen you can allow your skin to breathe and be 100% clean. Though this can be drying, try and only do this in the evening while washing your face normally in the morning, and make sure to moisturize!

2. Don’t Wash Your Face in the Shower: Contrary to what many people believe, you shouldn’t wash your face in the shower no matter how efficient it may be. The water is either too hot or cold and can damage your skin’s barrier. It also drys out your skin, and the pressure can irritate it. Aside from that, you aren’t taking time to scrub your face and thoroughly cleanse it. If you think about it, you don’t wash your hands with really hot water because it will burn your skin and leave it dry. Your face is even more delicate and sensitive than your hands, so don’t expose it to such harsh conditions. Also, if you wash your face before you shampoo and condition your hair, then all of that oil is going to stay on your face if you don’t wash it afterward at your sink. Plus, the hot water and steam from your shower will open up your pores and allow your skincare products to work better after you get out of the shower.

3. Wear Sunscreen: The last thing we want to do is get out of the pool and apply sunscreen. It’s oily, messy, and most people think that it clogs pores. This may be true, but it’s certainly better than having skin cancer. UVA rays are extremely damaging to our skin and they can also leave behind freckles and result in an uneven skin tone. Sunscreen protects our skin from harmful rays and prevents us from having wrinkles (95% of wrinkles are caused by sun damage), and leathery skin. If you do struggle with acne, try and find oil-free sunscreen (my personal favorite is Neutrogena). Though you may think that oil causes acne, you still need moisturizer and sunscreen. Acne (not genetic-cystic acne) is caused by a buildup in your sebaceous glands. This causes pus to build up and form a red bump known as a pimple. If you don’t wash your face, then oil will build up. So, even if your sunscreen contains oil, please wear it and then just wash your face! Even if your foundation says it contains SPF 15, that is not enough and studies have shown that you have to apply that 15 times more than usual for it to be effective. Also, make sure your SPF value is high enough, as a fair-skinned person, I wear factor 50! I promise, your skin will look so much better when you’re older if you do wear sunscreen.

4. Washing Your Face After Exercising: This is something that can easily be overlooked but is by far one of the most vital components of my skincare routine. I love exercising and playing tennis but like everyone else, I sweat. The sweat and bacteria build-up can cause breakouts. I always carry a pack of Pre-Moistened Cetaphil Makeup Remover wipes and wash my face with them after I exercise. This has helped keep my skin breakout-free, especially since I wear SPF when playing tennis outside.

5. Don’t Experiment with Serums or Hyaluronic Acid: When we hear or see the word acid, it usually has a negative connotation associated with it. This isn’t necessarily true for adults, but if you are a young teenager reading this, you really shouldn’t worry about serums or acids. They can be abrasive if you don’t need them and can do more harm than good. Hyaluronic acid is used for older people who are losing collagen as they age (which makes your skin tighter and brighter.) You don’t need this, and if you start using it at a young age your skin will slowly stop producing this, and you will need even more than usual when you’re older. As for other serums, I only recommend vitamin C. It is healing for acne but can be harsh and drying. I would talk to a medical professional before trying any serum, especially since some can react with others. Also, a common acid used in acne treatment is salicylic acid, which is usually fine, but I wouldn’t recommend applying an undiluted serum of this or really any kind on your face. The bottom line is that if you don’t know, ask your doctor or an expert.