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Everything you need to know about starting a skin care routine

Depending on who you ask, a Skin Care Routine can mean a million different things. Does it attract the occasional acne-fighting sheet mask? Are all 18 of your expensive serums the perfect #Shelfie? Read and somehow understand the textbook of an ingredient list for each product? Or is it cautious to apply the right amount of prescription cream to calm a psoriasis patch without feeling greasy ?

The truth is, of course, that this can be anything – and any skin care is necessarily as unique and individual as the person who follows it (or at least tries it). But as skincare is in vogue and its definition is getting more and more extensive, it has become a little more intimidating and confusing for beginners.

Here we come into play. As you begin your search for skincare, we hope to be able to answer as many questions as possible in this guide to skincare ̵

1; with the help of research and experts rather than hype.

How To Use This Guide: If You Are A Brand – New to the idea of ​​a skincare routine, it is helpful to start at the very beginning where we will answer your most basic questions about skincare – even if it does You are too embarrassed to ask all your skincare-savvy friends. If you are dealing with skincare and really want to know which ingredients are right for you, we have the right thing for you. Scroll down to learn more about the actual elements of a skin care routine and an overview of the ingredients that work best in certain skin conditions. We also have special sections for the color of your skin, what to do if you are pregnant, and what to keep in mind if you have been diagnosed with a condition that affects your skin. In addition, some often confusing aspects of the skin care industry are broken down, eg. For example, see if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the ingredients for skincare products and what the manufacturers mean by "clean".

In each section you will find links to our entire coverage of this topic. So click on something that will interest you if you want to learn more.

And finally, you should read our Glossary of Common Skin Care Terms which can help you to eliminate persistent confusion.

Let's go!

What do you really mean when you skin care [19659013sagen?]?

We mean the basic care and storage of your largest organ – your skin! It plays an important role in protecting against external pathogens and keeps, as you know, all your internal organs in place. And just as you brush your teeth regularly, your skin needs at least some attention to function properly.

It also needs protection – primarily from skin cancer. When talking about skin care at SELF, we talk about science-based ways to improve the look and function of your skin to address and address both cosmetic and medical issues.

This guide is for anyone who is curious about what it means or what it takes to have skin care, but not where to start.

Photo: Felicity Ingram; Wardrobe: Ronald Burton; Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L & # 39; Atelier; Make-up: Porsche Cooper; Manicure: Yukie Miyakawa with Walter Schupfer

Why should I care about skin care?

Yes, skin care may be quite trendy these days, but no matter what happens when you give your skin some love, it has both cosmetic and medical benefits. For example, with a finely tuned skin care, you can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and sun damage, although you can not slow down the passage of time. You can also effectively treat minor skin problems such as dryness or greasiness.

In people with certain skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and acne, skin care is not always optional and requires a little more thought. For one, treating a particular skin condition often means you need to use a particular skin care system, and second, your condition can make your skin more sensitive to ingredients and products in general. Finding a functioning skin care routine can be an important way of treating and managing the condition.

Many people also find their skin care routines beneficial for mental health. This routine can help you realize how easy it can be to do beautiful things for your body and build healthy habits. Two Great Examples Are Why I Care About Skin Care Following the Death of My Mother and How skin care has become a crucial part of my sobriety toolbox that we released last year.

We also know that practicing skin care can bring benefits that are not exclusively related to your skin. Many people find that sticking to a skincare system gives them routine and a sense of control without them possibly having none. Others find that going through their routine or even applying the occasional mask relaxes them and helps them to focus their attention on themselves, perhaps for the only time in their day.

That is, some skin care companies make big claims about what their products can do without the evidence of their safety. Our goal at SELF is to help you make the best possible decision before you buy or try out a product, and guide you to the treatment options we know best about.

I am ready to start a routine for skincare. What do I need to know before I start?

Before you figure out what to include in your skincare, it's important to know your skin type and know if you have any major concerns that you want to address. It's also good to think that each regime is individual – what works for your friends or family or Randos online may not be the best for you.

To find your skin type, think about how your skin will behave without makeup or products a few hours after taking a shower. If it gets a little greasy or shiny, you probably have oily skin. If it feels dry or flaky, you have dry skin. If you have dry skin and other oily skin in some places (usually in the T-zone), you have combination skin. If you do not have any of these things, it is considered that you have a "normal" skin. Knowing your skin type will help you find products that reduce dryness and greasiness while effectively treating other skin problems that you have.

If your skin is prone to irritation when using certain products, if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a product, or if you have certain skin conditions on the face (eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, etc.), you may have sensitive skin , People with sensitive skin may also have oily, dry, combination or normal skin. However, special care should be taken when choosing products that do not cause irritation or deterioration of skin conditions.

You do not necessarily have to see a dermatologist before starting a skincare. However, if you have sensitive skin (or are not sure if your skin is considered sensitive), if you have a skin condition, or if you are trying to solve major problems (such as persistent or severe acne or hyperpigmentation), this is the case It is important that you consult a Dermatologist to guide you through the process.

Here are some great articles that can help you before you start skincare:

Photo: Felicity Ingram; Wardrobe: Ronald Burton; Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L & # 39; Atelier; Make-up: Porsche Cooper; Manicure: Yukie Miyakawa with Walter Schupfer

OK, understood. What are the basic steps of skin care?

Skin care does not have to be complicated if you do not want to. The three basic steps of a skin care routine are cleansing moisturizing and applying sunscreen (at least SPF 30 and a broad spectrum)). They should be cleaned and moisturized every morning and every night. You should also apply sunscreen every morning. However, you can use a moisturizer with at least 30 SPF and broadband protection to combine these two steps. You can also use a daytime moisturizer with sun protection factor at night, even though you may find that a thicker product is more moisturizing and better suited for nighttime use, as you do not have to worry about getting it on – you also need it Do not worry about the SPF during sleep.

If you wear strong make-up or sunscreen during the day, you may find that your cleanser does not remove all the make-up or leave you feeling a bit greasy. In this case, you can benefit from the Double Purification by first washing with an oil-based cleaner and then with a water-based cleaner or micellar water on a cotton pad to remove any residue. However, a double cleaning is not required.

Serums, toners, peels and prescription treatments should be applied after cleansing, but before moistening .

Read more about the basic steps of a skin care routine:

Sounds feasible. But I also want to address a specific skin problem. How do I do that?

This is where products come into play that contain certain ingredients that skin care professionals call " agents ". Actives are chemicals or molecules in a product that actually treat your skin because of the problem for which the product should treat it. For example, if you buy a product to treat your acne, it's the active substance that does the most work to eradicate your acne.

Some drugs may be listed on a product label in a medicine pack because they are more stringently regulated by the FDA. However, in general, the FDA does not test cosmetic skin care products for safety or efficacy, so we do not know exactly how well they work most of the time. For this reason, finding a skin care routine for your specific skin is always a trial and error.

However, the use of most drugs is based on some investigations, so we have at least one theory about what they can do and how well they do it.

Read more about drugs:

Photo: Felicity Ingram; Wardrobe: Ronald Burton; Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L & # 39; Atelier; Make-up: Porsche Cooper; Manicure: Yukie Miyakawa with Walter Schupfer

Great. How do I know which active ingredients are suitable for my skin?

Choosing the right ingredients depends on the specific skin problems you want to address. Here are some of the common problems:

signs of aging

Some of the common signs of aging are photodamage, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.


Retinoids : These compounds – retinol, retinal (or retinaldehyde), retinoic acid, and synthetic retinoids such as adapalene and tazerac – are just two of the best ways to prevent the signs of aging , (The other is sunscreen!) Retinoids, which are forms of Vitamin A, stimulate the process of delivery of skin cells from below, resulting in smoother skin and a reduction in the signs of aging and acne. These are included in both prescription and over-the-counter products . So, if you are not satisfied with the results of an over-the-counter option, check with a dermatologist to see if you have a prescription version. Retinoids are also notorious for causing irritation when you first use them. Therefore, it is important to apply them only a few days a week at the beginning and to apply a moisturizer immediately after the application.

Sunscreen : You have probably already used sunscreen to prevent sunburns that are a form of UV damage. But did you know that UV rays can also contribute to other damages? And this damage can cause dark spots, wrinkles and other signs of aging? This is true. Preventing this – and naturally skin cancer – is an important reason to use sunscreen every day. Be sure to use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 and broadband protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Although sunscreen is not considered your daily sun protection factor in your make-up, the sunscreen in your moisturizer can be applied as long as you apply it to your ears and neck, as well as your face.

Niacinamide: This is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that can be applied to the skin. There are some studies that suggest that it may be helpful in the treatment of acne, rosacea, and signs of aging, including hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Ceramides : Ceramides are intercellular lipids and fill them from the interstices between your skin cells in the stratum corneum (the outer protective layer of the skin). Your skin is already producing ceramides itself – without them your skin can not effectively trap moisture or keep irritants away. Topical ceramides may be included in both prescription treatments for eczema and over-the-counter products.

Vitamin C : Yes, the Vitamin C! This vitamin is important for the production of collagen and other important compounds in the body. And when applied topically, it can act as an antioxidant, preventing UV damage. It can also inhibit the production of melanin (pigment) in the skin, making it a good option for lightening dark spots due to photoageing or other types of damage. Note, however, that not all forms of Vitamin C are formed equally – some are more or less effective or stable than others. Vitamin C often appears on the label of these derivatives – look for ingredients such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl-6-palmitate, ascorbic acid sulfate or L-ascorbic acid (also referred to simply as ascorbic acid).

More information about ingredients for aging:


Although it is very common, acne is much more complicated than most of us realize. For example, there are several types of pimples (whiteheads, blackheads, etc.) that may be inflamed (red, swollen, painful) or not. Acne can also be affected by many factors in your life, such as: Your hormones. If your acne is severe or if your over-the-counter treatment options do not help, it's important to see a dermatologist who may prescribe something more effective for you.


Retinoids (see above)

Chemical Peels : You may already be aware of physical peels such as scrubs and brushes. And while these are perfect for removing dead skin that can clog pores, they are not exactly gentle. For this reason, many dermatologists recommend their patients to follow chemical peels containing both alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs (such as lactic acid and glycolic acid) and beta hydroxy acids or BHAs (essentially salicylic acid only). Instead of physically wiping dead skin cells off the face, they release the bonds between these cells so you can easily wipe them off. They are included in all types of products, including detergents, toners, masks and serums.

Benzoyl peroxide : Unlike salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide can kill the kind of bacteria that are often responsible for inflamed acne. For this reason, it is often recommended to use both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid for the treatment of mild to moderate acne. Severe acne may require retinoid or other prescription treatment. Since both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can irritate or dry out the skin, it is important to use a moisturizer when using these ingredients.

Niacinamide (see above)

Azelaic acid: An acid that is made from yeast, barley and wheat and presumably causes a gentle exfoliation. Studies have shown that it is effective in both acne and canine bumps, which are a common symptom of rosacea. It is available in a prescription and over-the-counter form.

For more information on the treatment of acne:

Scarring and discoloration / hyperpigmentation

For some people, scarring is almost a badge of honor or a physical sign that shows up. You have endured an intense event. But others would rather not let them hang around. And if you try to minimize the appearance of a scar, you need to show some patience and, above all, skepticism.

For over-the-counter topical scar treatments there is no amount of evidence, unfortunately, behind it. What works Moisturizing – almost too strong – and time consuming. If that does not help, you should talk to a dermatologist about your other options, including prescription topical treatments or laser treatments.

However, when it comes to dark spots, melasma, or other problems with hyperpigmentation, you can try lightening ingredients like vitamin C and hydroquinone.

Vitamin C (see above)

Chemical peels (see above)

Retinoids (see above) [19659091] Sunscreen: Prevents, that dark spots become darker (see above).

Hydroquinone : Hydroquinone is considered the gold standard for whitening ingredients up to 2 percent) and prescription in higher strengths.

Read more about the treatment of scars and discoloration:

Dry and sensitive skin

Dry skin is usually also sensitive, and dry skin can also be a sensitive skin symptom of skin diseases that make the ski n more sensitive like eczema. Therefore, products for dry skin are often also suitable for sensitive skin – but not always.

If you have sensitive skin (ie, you are prone to irritation or allergic reactions, or suffer from skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea), it is particularly important to know that products that contain parabens and fragrances are more likely to have one Cause reaction. It's also a good idea to test every new product on your inner arm before applying it to your entire face.


Hyaluronic acid : Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the skin and on the face, acting as a humectant, ie it can attract moisture into the skin; Products with these molecules allow moisture to bind to the skin without feeling greasy or heavy.

Squalane Oil : Squalane is a slightly moisturizing oil that mimics a component of sebum, the fatty substance that our skin produces. The effect of topical squalane on the skin has been limited. In general, however, it acts like a plasticizer when applied. This means that it can squeeze into the interstices between the skin cells and make your face feel smoother and wetter without being too heavy or occlusive.

Niacinamide: (see above)

Ceramides: (see above)

Further information on the treatment of sensitive skin:

Photo: Felicity Ingram; Wardrobe: Ronald Burton; Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L & # 39; Atelier; Make-up: Porsche Cooper; Manicure: Yukie Miyakawa at Walter Schupfer

There are so many types of skin care products on the market that it's hard to know what works and what's hype. What else should I know about skincare ingredients before I start?

As previously mentioned, pre-market cosmetic skin care ingredients are not FDA-tested so we have no data on how effective or safe each over-the-counter product is. Many companies provide information about their products based on the ingredients in the product, which may or may not be similar to the ingredients used in scientific research.

Basically, it's difficult to know what you're doing if you do not use prescription treatment, so it's always worth weighing the potential risks and benefits before applying anything new to your skin. So it's best to spend money on products containing agents with the most promising research results.

The risks generally include irritation, allergic reactions or the waste of time and money. However, if you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, these side effects are more likely to occur. You should therefore be more careful when trying out new products, especially trendy new ingredients that do not have much solid evidence of their claims. If in doubt, you can always contact a dermatologist.

More about the trendy skincare substances and the science behind them:

Photo: Felicity Ingram; Wardrobe: Ronald Burton; Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L & # 39; Atelier; Make-up: Porsche Cooper; Manicure: Yukie Miyakawa with Walter Schupfer

Is there anything special that I need to know about the care of my skin color?

People with color are generally more susceptible to skin problems with hyperpigmentation like melasma and post-acne dark spots. Inflammatory skin problems such as acne, psoriasis or eczema can also make you more likely to develop scars or hyperpigmentation.

This can be frustrating because the treatment of darker skin pigmentation problems is often challenging in treatments that are commonly used on white skin, such as laser treatments. The laser treatment techniques, however, have evolved considerably in recent years and can be used safely in patients with colored skin in the hands of an experienced physician . In addition, topical treatments with things like hydroquinone and vitamin C can also be helpful. But whatever you do, you know that treating hyperpigmentation takes time – maybe six months to a year.

There is also the widespread myth that people with darker skin do not have to wear sunscreen – that's definitely not the case! The sun can cause damage even if you do not have sunburn. And this damage can both lead to skin cancer and make hyperpigmentation worse. If you have any questions about the care of your skin color or to treat a problem such as melasma, it is best to consult a dermatologist.

Further information on skin care:

I am pregnant. Which products can I use and what should I avoid?

If you are pregnant or nursing, you may need to temporarily stop using certain products, especially certain acne products. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), pregnant women should definitely refrain from using retinoids such as isotretinoin, tretinoin, tazarotene, spironolactone and adapalene. You should also be wary of certain antibiotics like doxycycline. Depending on your doctor's recommendations, you may also need to avoid or limit benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Instead, dermatologists often recommend that pregnant women use azelaic acid to treat acne.

You should also be wary of lightening ingredients, especially hydroquinone . The use of this ingredient should also be discontinued during pregnancy.

In general, however, we do not have much information on how these (and frankly most) medicines affect pregnant people, the AAD says . So many of these recommendations are based on the lack of conclusive evidence that they are safe rather than having evidence that they are definitely harmful. Above all, it is important to check with your doctor or dermatologist before you apply anything on your skin pregnant or nursing because they can assess your individual skin situation and help you figure out what makes sense to you.

For more information on how to care for your skin during pregnancy:

What if I have a particular disease that affects me? my skin?

If you have a skin condition (such as rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, or severe acne) or a condition that affects your skin, you need to see a dermatologist and make skin care decisions. Not only is it likely that your skin is more sensitive to skincare products, you also do not want to do anything that could worsen the underlying condition.

If you are trying to treat this condition, you can only go so far with over-the-counter products. Sometimes they can do the work (for example, with a drugstore cleaner containing salicylic acid for mild acne), but you want to make sure that you do not overlook any other option that may be more effective, such as a prescription retinoid.

So over-the-counter products are not an absolute ban on you, but you should be careful with them. It may be advisable to run patch tests (apply a small amount of a new product to the inner arm for a day or two) before using anything new, or your dermatologist may perform a formal test at his office to determine which ingredients You are probably sensitive to. With the right approach, skincare can be an effective (and maybe even fun) way to relieve the symptoms of your condition.

For more information on skin care for diseases:

Photo: Felicity Ingram; Wardrobe: Ronald Burton; Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L & # 39; Atelier; Make-up: Porsche Cooper; Manicure: Yukie Miyakawa with Walter Schupfer

What about "clean" beauty? How do I make sure everything in my skin care is safe?

Given the limited involvement of the FDA in the regulation of cosmetic skin care ingredients, it is understandable that you want to do everything in your power to ensure that you put only the safest ingredients on your skin.

But today, words like clean and of course are more buzzwords than anything else . These terms have no agreed definitions and are not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, any company can define Clean Beauty as it pleases and give itself that label.

It's also important to remember that something is not natural That does not mean it's safe. In fact, natural herbal and herbal ingredients are often irritants and allergens for people with sensitive skin. And our health concerns about certain chemicals in make-up and skin care products are often exaggerated .

Darüber hinaus sind pflanzliche und botanische Inhaltsstoffe (die übrigens immer noch Chemikalien sind) nicht unbedingt mit den in getesteten Verbindungen vergleichbar klinische Versuche. Beispielsweise enthält Hagebutte Vitamin A, ist aber nicht dasselbe wie Retinol oder Retinsäure, sodass Sie nicht unbedingt wissen, wie viel Vitamin A Sie auf Ihr Gesicht auftragen oder mit welchen Wirkungen Sie rechnen können.

] Daher empfehlen wir erneut, sich für Produkte zu entscheiden, deren Inhaltsstoffe uns am besten bekannt sind. Und wenn Sie sich nicht sicher sind, ob etwas für Ihre Haut geeignet ist, wenden Sie sich an einen Hautarzt.

Weitere Informationen darüber, was saubere und natürliche Schönheit wirklich bedeutet:

Ich freue mich sehr auf den Einstieg. Welche Produkte gefallen Ihnen am besten?

Nun, zunächst sollten Sie sich die Gewinner der SELF Healthy Beauty Awards 2019 ansehen . Diese Produkte wurden mit Hilfe von Dermatologen und Bewertungen von über 80 Testern aus über 1.000 neuen Produkten ausgewählt, darunter Menschen mit Hauterkrankungen wie Rosacea und Psoriasis.

Schauen Sie sich auf jeden Fall auch diese Geschichten an, um die wichtigsten Stützen zu finden Ihrer Hautpflege: Reinigungsmittel Feuchtigkeitscreme und Sonnenschutz .

Wenn Sie nach Produkten suchen, die bestimmte Wirkstoffe oder Produkte enthalten Lesen Sie die folgenden praktischen Artikel, um bestimmte Hautprobleme zu lösen:

Wir hoffen, dass Ihnen dieser Leitfaden dabei geholfen hat, die Welt der Hautpflege zu demystifizieren. Lesen Sie hier alle Informationen zu Hautpflegemitteln . Haben Sie eine brennende Frage zur Hautpflege? Schicken Sie mir eine E-Mail an askabeautyeditor@self.com, und ich kann Ihre Frage in einer anstehenden Kolumne beantworten!

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