I have been traveling around the country speaking at Pinner's Conferences, teaching my Beauty 101 course. After each class I do a Q and A session, and I am finding that no matter where I am speaking there are loads of ladies and girls who find the whole skin care equation completely confusing, and are frequently using the wrong products or no products at all.
When they read my posts about Korean skin care and the way Korean girls layer their skin care products it just confuses them more, so today lets look at the basics of skin care.
The first thing you need to do is figure out your skin type. Are you oily, normal, dry, or combination?
Most of us get a shiny T-Zone, but that doesn't mean we are oily. It may just mean we are combination skin. Truly oily skin has an almost wet sheen to the cheeks as well as the T-Zone.
Normal skin looks basically perfect, dry skin can look anything from pulled under the surface to flaky.
Next look at what your objective is. Is your skin congested/acne prone, battling black heads? Is it aging too quickly, or dry or irritated or sensitive? You need to know what you are trying to achieve before you invest in products.
Once you have these two items figured out you can choose a simple system to meet your needs, using the basics of cleanse, tone and moisturize.
If you have oily skin look for a foaming or gel cleanser like Kiehls Ultra Facial Oil free Cleanser which will give you a good cleanse but also will also reduce excess sebum on the surface of your skin, without stripping it dry.
Follow up with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Toner to remove any residue, help combat excess oil, and prepare your skin to receive moisturizer. I can hear you freaking out that you don't want to use a moisturizer if you have oily skin, but it is essential. You just need something formulated for oily skins. Try Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Lotion to help balance your skin's surface oil equation, giving you a dryer appearance while nourishing it and keeping it in good condition.
You can find Kiehl's products online at Nordstrom.com
If you have normal skin look for a cleanser that is gentle, removes makeup, cleanses but doesn't strip the skin.
Try an all natural product such as REN Rosa Centifolia Purity Cleansing Balm. When you mix it with water it turns into a luxurious milk texture and leaves your skin super soft and silky.
REN's Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream was designed for the most sensitive of skins, but is also lovely for normal skin. It protects your skin against environmental pollutants and keeps it feeling soothed and smoothed throughout the day.
REN's V-Cense Revitalizing Night Cream revitalizes the skin, works on preventing fine lines and wrinkles and makes it beautifully radiant.
Find REN products online at Nordstrom
Dry complexions need extra TLC. I am a huge fan of cleansing oils for all skin types, but especially for dry skins (like my own).
Tatcha is world famous for it's amazing One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. It dissolves makeup and gives you a beautiful cleanse, leaving your dry or sensitive skin feeling soothed and gorgeous. Tatcha's Dewy Skin Mist is a lightweight powerhouse moisture mist that you can use at any time of the day. It makes for a lovely step between cleansing and moisturizing, and also is a fabulous rescue product when skin feels tight or irritated.
Tatcha's Enriching Renewal Cream is dry skin's best friend. It deeply moisturizes and nourishes the skin, and also soothes it - dry skin tends to get quite sensitive, and this is the magic potion it craves.
Tatcha products are available online at Tatcha.com
When you buy skin care products try to get them all from one line. If you shop within a single brand you will be using products designed to work together synergistically.
You don't need to spend a fortune on skin care - shop within your budget, but start with cleanse, tone and mositurize.