If you had feel that skin care is a sham, you’re obviously using the wrong ones. When it comes to what we put on our faces, less is more. Which means we want only high efficacy products, and none of those ‘empty’ serums that are high on promises , but low on results.
Another reason why you are not seeing maximum returns from your skincare routine could be that you are using the wrong products for your skin type. Just because SKII miracle water was nothing short of miraculous for your friend does not mean it will do the same for your skin. If you are close to abandoning skincare altogether, our advice is: don’t. A good skincare routine, like regular exercise can have cumulative benefits that outweigh plastic surgery. Imagine if someone spent 1 minute of their daily loves slathering on sunscreen? Studies have shown that sun protection can help someone look more than 10 years younger than their sun-loving twin!
Ok, you’re sold. But where do you start? Here’s the lowdown on what your skin needs, broken down according to skin type.
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Best For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Oily and acne-prone patients (not dry acne) can get clearer, smoother skin using skin care that increases the overall cell renewal of the face. This can prevent the skin cells from accumulating over time and clogging their pores as oily skin have more sebum which acts like a glue on the dead cells.
“The mistake that many oily, acne-prone skin makes is that they reach only when they see pimples” says Dr Kenneth Lee, aesthetic doctor at SW1 Clinic. “A pimple or a clogged pore is the end of a long process which can be counteracted much earlier on” he says.
Try: Vitamin A derivatives such as Super Helper that come in an oil-free formulation. It works wonders to slough off dead cells and keep the surface of the skin clear of clogs while effectively preventing breakouts from overwhelming the skin. In event of the few zits that slip through your defense, opt for a non-drying pimple gel such as Clear Bliss. One of the problems oily skin face is the overuse of harsh chemicals that results in peeling skin. What you don’t want is two problems on your hands—oily skin on the inside and dry, flaking skin on the outside.
Best For Dry and Sensitive Skin
Dry, sensitive skin seems to be on the rise as people spend more time in air-conditioned places and on airplanes. There are two types of moisturizers avbailable; humectants and emollients. Emollients are used to soften and smooth the scales of the skin, which help reduce rough, flaky skin. They are also occlusive agents: substances that provide a layer of protection that helps prevent moisture (water) loss from the skin.
A few places where emollients can be found are in silicone (dimethicone, cyclomethicone), vegetable oils (grape seed, sesame seed, jojoba, etc.), butters (cocoa butter, shea butter), alcohols (stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol), and petrolatum derivatives (petroleum jelly, mineral oil). The downside is that an emollient may be more comedogenic than a humectant.
A humectant is a substance that actually bonds with water molecules to increase the water content in the skin itself. Glycerin is one of the more typical and effective water binding agents. Other humectants include sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey), proteins, amino acids, elastin, and collagen. Humectants typically draw water to the skin from two different places; they can draw water from a humid environment, and they enhance water absorption from the outer layer of skin. The downside is that in a dry environment like in an airplane where air humidity is low, it may not work as well.
As if it is not confusing enough, many humectant’s also have emollient properties, while not all emollients are humectants. The best moisturizers have a combination of emollients and humectants. This goes to show why one moisturizer can have different effects from another, and the cheapest one on the shelf may not always do the trick.
Try: This is when you need to split you’re a.m. and p.m. routine for best results. In the day, try Luminizing II which has all the benefits of a humectant but hydrates deeply so makeup glides on smoothly without clogging the skin. Before bed, reach for Chai Rose Gold serum which is a luxurious skin-pampering serum that blends both humectant and light emollient properties for an over-night replenishment of dry skin. On planes, Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic, an aesthetic clinic in Singapore recommends using a facial mist such as Replenish to moisten skin and keep complexions soft and supple.
Best For Combination skins
Combination skin people tend to be the most confused, and the most gullible when it comes to skincare. Ideal targets for savvy cosmetic salesgirls who will try to sell them everything including the kitchen sink, combination skin types may find themselves drowning in a sea of products that do more harm than good. ‘Do I treat my skin as oily or dry?’ many ask. We hear you. According to Dr Kenneth Lee, combination skins need to be careful not t tip their skins to either extremes. The key is to start with the gentlest cleansing their skin can tolerate so that they can maintain clear skin with a good pH balance, without over-stripping their skin of vital oils.
Read More: 5 Things You Should Do When Acne Won’t Clear
Try: Skin Gym, a self-warming gel cleanser that activates upon on contact of the skin excels in clearing pores without the use of harmful SLS. The notable thing about this cleanser is that it does not strip the skin of its barrier nor does it raise the pH of the skin, so skin feels comfortably fresh after. Combination skins are in an ideal position to enjoy a variety of active ingredients to brighten their skin, our favourite being pure vitamin C in the form of Citrine. This fresh vitamin C powder dissolves on contact with the water-based active serum, and is easily absorbed into the skin. Being water-based, it does not feel greasy while imparting just the right amount of hydration for combination skins. For spot treatment of drier areas, we recommend a nifty little secret employed by makeup artists— Sapphire oil. This is a non-comedogenic dry oil that contains azulen extracts for soothing skin. It comes in a clever rollerball applicator, and can be easily rolled onto targeted spots on the skin such as the cheeks or undereye areas for an oomph in hydration.