Woman applying a moisturizer

Skin care routines can often end up becoming quite complicated, but this does not need to be the case. While it can be easy to find yourself caught up in the myriad of products out there, these are the most essential of skin care steps, and should form the basis of every skin care routine.

 

Cleansing

Cleansing is a step that clears away any dirt and bacteria from the surface of your skin, as well as your pores, and should be done each day to prevent environmental free radicals from damaging the collagen that lies within your skin. While some may swear by cleansing twice a day, this is not strictly necessary if you cleanse in the evening right before bed, as this means that your skin will still be clean in the morning. However, in order for this step to really be effective, you need to ensure that you are using the right cleanser for your skin type. If you have dry skin, avoid foaming cleansers, as they will strip your skin of natural oils, making a lotion cleanser the better choice. However, for those with oily skin, foaming cleansers are great, as they will remove any excess oil from your skin.

 

Exfoliation

While exfoliation is not a step that needs to be carried out every single day, it still needs to be done on a regular basis, at least twice a week. Exfoliation not only removes the layer of dead skin cells that sit on the surface of the skin, therefore allowing subsequent products to properly penetrate your skin's layers, but it also stimulates cell turnover, a process that naturally declines with age. Whether you opt for a scrub or a chemical exfoliant, this is a step that is absolutely key when it comes to healthy skin.

 

Moisturizing

A moisturizer not only helps to keep your skin hydrated, but it also protects it by forming a thin film over the surface of the skin. In order for your skin to receive maximum hydration, you should apply a moisturizer to damp skin only, as this means that it has extra moisture to trap into your skin. Just like with the other products that you use, your moisturizer should be designed for your specific skin type, as this means that it will be able to provide your skin with exactly what it needs.

 

Sun Protection

Not only is the sun responsible for up to 90% of facial wrinkles, but it also causes so much other damage on a cellular level, which is why sun protection is a step that needs to be followed each and every day. The sun's rays can travel through thick cloud, as well as glass, meaning that even on cloudy days, or days when you plan on just staying indoors, you still need sun protection.

 

While there are many other skin care steps that would no doubt provide plenty of benefits to your skin, these are steps that are absolutely essential and should not be skipped. From daily cleansing to bi-weekly exfoliation, keep your skin looking and feeling its best by making these four steps a priority.