5 Products You Need In Your Skincare Routine – Regardless Of Your Skin Type

Cara Croke discovers that there's no reason to over-complicate your skin routine.

There are thousands of brands and millions of products we are told we absolutely need, but how can we narrow it down to just a few products that we know are essential to our skincare routine and will definitely work? We’re not all dermatologists, but lucky for you, Nicola at Renew Skin Clinic is a skin specialist and she’s let us in on the five types of products essential to skin health, regardless of your skin type.

MORNING TIME

Step 1: Active Cleanser

Nicola says that the first product everyone needs to use on their skin in the morning is an active cleanser. Which one, however, depends on your skin type. “If you have oily or acne prone skin, a cleanser with salicylic acid in it is the best for you. If you’re a little bit older, a cleanser containing glycolic acid is best for you. If you’ve very irritated skin, something with vitamin C and lactic acid will be better. Product wise, I would commonly recommend a foaming wash cleanser. Image’s Clear Cell clarifying cleanser is great for oily skin.”

Step 2: Anti- Oxidant
Anti-oxidants are important for protecting the skin against environmental damage, which can cause all sorts of issues, anything from pigmentation to skin cancers. “An anti-oxidant will usually come in the form of vitamin C, with a couple of other things in it that will protect you from damage – not completely, but as much as possible. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF contains three anti-oxidants and I’m never without it.”

Step 3: SPF
If you wear an SPF alone you have approximately 50 percent protection against the environment, if you combine it with an anti-oxidant you’ll have about 90 percent. “For most people I would suggest an oil-free SPF, it doesn’t leave any residue on the skin, it doesn’t make your skin white and it doesn’t show up through your makeup. People think that because we don’t get lots of sunshine in Ireland we don’t need an SPF, and although it’s true that we don’t get a lot of UVB, we do get UVA and it’s there all the time. “UVA ages and UVB burns, so the A is there every day even if it’s dark or raining. UVA also penetrates 30 times deeper than UVB and it’s the one that causes all the damage like ageing and skin cancer.”

We love the IMAGE SPF 32+ because it smells divine and works really well under make-up.

NIGHT TIME

Step 1: Active Cleanser

Use your active cleanser again at night to cleanse the day off your face. Nicola uses hers to remove her make-up, and for weekend make-up will double cleanse. Still using a micellar water? “Please throw it away, it will strip your skin of all the good stuff and is worse for you than a make-up wipe.”

Step 2: Retinol 
Retinol is vitamin A, which is one of the only proven anti-ageing ingredients. “It’s essentially an exfoliator, but there’s no bits in it, it’s just a night cream. When you put it on your skin, it’ll penetrate down and then push all the gunk out. It takes a little bit of time to see the results from retinol, about six weeks roughly. You also have to ease into it, the same as with an active cleanser, as they’re both really active products. If you use them every day straight away you’ll start to notice texture on your skin.” She recommends starting off using active ingredients 2-3 times per week, before moving to every night.

Step 3: Hyaluronic Acid
“Hyaluronic acid is essentially extra moisture. You have it naturally in your skin, however it depletes as you age. You can add this to your skin as needed if you start to feel dry. You don’t have to use it every day, some people do, I would just always have it on the shelf and add it in as needed to my routine.” We love Irish skin brand Reform’s Hyaluronic Acid serum, and also their combo Hydrating B5 gel which contains both ingredients. Nicola recommends easing these essential products into your existing routine, slowly replacing your old favourites.

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