Who Needs a Daily Skin Care Regimen?
The short answer is that anyone who wants their skin to look its best needs to invest in twice-a-day care.
But that doesn't mean every woman's regimen will be the same old routine. Yours will be determined by your skin type (take this test if you don't already know it) and the products that work best for you. A great regimen is as unique as the woman who creates it.
That said, every routine has the same goal of keeping your skin looking healthy, and healthy skin should be:
Smooth & soft · Blemish-free · Glowing · Evenly textured · With minimized wrinkles.
This kind of skin doesn't come without commitment, so let's get started and break down the essential components of a truly great skin care routine.
Because everyone's skin gets dirty from a combination of dust, sweat, makeup, sebum and even impurities in the air. If you don't cleanse thoroughly (yet gently) your pores will become clogged and your skin will start to look dull. Needless to say, clean skin is key to a more radiant look.
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To be honest, we've heard the occasional expert opinion that if you cleanse properly, you don't need a toner. We beg to differ. Good toners remove the last tiny traces of makeup and cleanser. The clean, fresh feeling they leave you with is worth the extra step.
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Because serums get serious about the specific results you're looking for. They're made with a high concentration of active ingredients. Only you know which serums can benefit you the most, but used daily under a moisturizer they can address issues ranging from sun damage, discoloration and uneven skin tone, to barrier repair, lines and wrinkles and collagen production.
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Because no matter how much water you drink, the only thing that can really help hydrate your epidermis is a great moisturizer. The reason? The outermost layer of our skin is actually dead and therefore not capable of absorbing water from within. The good news is that today's moisturizers don't just act as barriers against the environment and dry air, they actually help our skin function and improve water retention in the epidermis by 'sealing' it – effectively maintaining a delicate balance between adding hydration to the surface and preventing evaporation.
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You've probably noticed that the skin around our eyes is the first to show signs of aging. That's largely because skin in the eye area is thinner than the rest of your skin and therefore less able to retain moisture. In short, the skin around our eyes benefits from a cream that's specifically formulated for this more sensitive area.
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It turns out your mother was right when she talked about needing your beauty sleep. Skin cells do their best repair work at night. In fact, research shows that skin cell regeneration almost doubles at night, peaking between 11pm and 4am. You want to make the most of nighttime by using a cream that's designed to work with your skin's natural, internal rhythm to boost collagen production, destroy harmful free radicals and repair cell damage. We could go on and on about this, and we do in our section, Why is nighttime so important for your skin?
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Look to young skin for the answer. One reason young skin looks so clear and radiant is that it naturally replaces itself every 14 to 21 days. This renewal process slows as we age; by the time we're 40 it takes a full 30 days. That's why a great exfoliant can make such a difference. Instead of letting dead skin cells sit on the surface where they clog pores and create a dull complexion, remove them with an exfoliant. The result reveals clearer, brighter skin and restored suppleness. It also stimulates cell renewal.
*Few people can or should use an exfoliant daily. Listen to your skin and pace yourself according to its wishes. Once or twice weekly may be all you need.
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