Welcome to the start of the new year everybody! We hope everyone spent quality time with friends and family and your spirits were high during the countdown to the new year. Whether you’re deciding to get into skincare for a new year’s resolution, or would like to brush up on proper skincare, let’s look at the most important basics that will help you on your skincare journey.
Clean skin sounds very straightforward to most people, but it is the biggest step to learn how to do properly and effectively. While basic soap and water meet the bare minimum for your skin, using skin cleansers that are gentle, non-abrasive, and do not contain alcohol, are a good starting recommendation according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Abrasive cleansers can damage and strip the natural oils in your skin and may lead to scarring, while alcohol is cause unnecessary dryness.
Use lukewarm water to wet and rinse your face thoroughly. Hot water might burst the small blood vessels, or capillaries, under your skin and will cause redness and inflammation. Scrubbing your skin too hard may also result in similar effects, so take care to be gentle when rinsing your face by using only your fingertips. After a good wash and rinse, pat dry your face with a clean towel. Take care not to rub your face as this will irritate your skin over time.
Lastly, washing your face should be limited to once or twice a day, with additional washing after sweating. Cleaning your face too often will not allow your face to restore its natural balance and oils and will irritate your skin. Heavy perspiration, while helpful in keeping your body temperature normal, will clog your pores and trap dirt more easily from your environment.
Once your skin is clean, the next necessary step is maintaining the health and hydration of your skin through moisturizing. Moisturizers, even across different brands, work along the same principles. They provide a protective barrier with humectant properties, or properties that allow for moisture to be absorbed from the air and into your skin.
Similar to washing your face, moisturizing your face should be done twice a day, preferably after washing your face to maintain moisture throughout the day and night. The amount that should be applied depends on the person, should be enough to evenly cover your face, but also sparingly as to not to have a thick layer on your skin. The preferred method is by putting dots around the skin and massaging it in, applying more where necessary.
While Amiré does not carry a traditional moisturizing lotion, we do have products that help with moisturizing your skin. Our Vitamin C serum provides moisturizing effects, while also nourishing your skin with antioxidants that will reduce the effects of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. When used in a daily skincare routine, it should be applied after your toner or cleanser and before your moisturizer and sunscreen.
Sun Protection (SPF and UPF)
The last important thing to be mindful of is your skin’s exposure to the sun. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the standard measure for the effectiveness in sunscreens. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and measures the effectiveness of sun protective fabrics.
SPF only extends to one form of ultraviolet-ray exposure, which is UVB and mostly affects the surface of your skin and is what eventually leads to sunburn. UPF encompasses both UVB and UVA, the latter of which penetrates deeper into your skin and leads to cancer.
What is most important to look out for sunscreen and sun protection is the number following the value. For example, SPF50 means that about 1/50 or 2% of the UVB rays actually reach your skin. This ratio also extends to measuring UPF as a plain white cotton shirt provides a UPF value of around 7, meaning about 1/7 or 14% of both UVA and UVB rays will reach your skin.
Application of sunscreen and sun protection should be applied liberally and on the parts of your skin that will be exposed to the sun. The consensus is that sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours if you are in direct exposure to the sun. To increase your UPF for clothing, wearing darker, thicker clothing will have a protection value of UPF50 or even higher.
If your sunscreen is not right for your skin, it can lead to heat bumps or heat rashes caused by your sunscreen clogging your pores, similar to acne. If this happens, we recommend using a physical sunscreen that contains eco-friendly zinc oxide. Zinc oxide will not clog your pores and is antimicrobial for your skin, which reduces the chance of skin redness and inflammation when applied.