Skin & Body Care
How to Build a Skincare Routine for Self-Care and Wellness
Laura Chacon-Garbato, LME — Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training 21 July 2023
Taking care of your skin is not only a crucial aspect of maintaining your overall health, but it's also an essential element of self-care. A consistent skincare routine can help you achieve a healthy, glowing complexion and provide a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation at the end of a long day. However, with so many products available on the market, it can be challenging to know where to start or what will work best for your skin type.
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of developing a skincare routine and provide some tips on how to get started. So whether you're a skincare novice or an experienced enthusiast, keep reading to learn how to build a simple skincare routine that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
Why Keep a Self-Care Routine?
The natural stresses of life affect more than your mental health. Stress triggers inflammation in the body, which slows down your digestive system. This affects the bacteria in the gut, which can cause flares of skin conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea or psoriasis. Stress also dries the skin because of the rush of adrenaline and cortisol – as if things weren’t stressful enough.
Keeping a self-care routine can help manage and relieve your day-to-day stress levels. A thorough yet basic skin and hair care routine can help you manage stress and its effect on your overall well-being. Plus your skin and hair will feel more flexible, hydrated and healthy. Who says no to that?
An Easy Skincare Routine for Women and Men
Feel good, look good. The skin is the largest organ in our body, and it's important to keep it hydrated and well nourished. Having a consistent skincare routine will not only help your skin look great but will also help you feel like you’re taking care of yourself.
1. Wash your hands before you wash your face.
According to the CDC, it’s important to wash our hands to prevent infections and illness. Bacteria, viruses and allergens can transfer from your fingertips to your skin. So before you touch your face, make sure you wash your hands.
2. Don’t wash your face with hot water.
Hot water can irritate your skin and take off the natural oils that are essential for it to remain healthy. Use lukewarm water to remove scrubs and cleansers.
3. Use a cleanser designed for your skin type.
Using a cleanser that’s appropriate for your skin type can make a big difference in the way your skin feels and looks. Try to build a routine to cleanse your skin in the morning and at night before going to bed, just like brushing your teeth. Avoid harsh, ordinary soaps that can strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, choose gentle cleansers: dermatologist-tested and sulfate-free.
For dry skin, select products with ingredients that help soften and moisturize like aloe vera and chamomile. If your skin is oilier, pick ingredients that leave the skin feeling refreshed like a juicy orange and grapefruit.
After a few days, notice how your skin feels and adjust from there. Who knows? You may start to feel healthier after the first day. And that’s how you know it’s a good habit.
4. Hydrate your skin and use sunscreen daily.
Having to use two products in the daytime can get complicated. This is why using a daytime moisturizer with an already broad-spectrum sunscreen in it is perfect for daily use. Not only will it hydrate your skin, but it will also help protect it from harsh UV light. If you feel that you need extra moisture, include a daily serum underneath your daytime moisturizer.
When shopping for a serum, look for products with hemp seed oil that are known for their conditioning properties. Hemp is known as the wonder plant because of its hydrating and moisturizing properties.
5. Exfoliate 2 to 3 times weekly.
When we’re young, the body automatically sheds the skin of accumulated skin cells, but as we age, that process slows down. Right now, thousands of dead skin cells are collecting on your skin’s surface. Let’s send them on their way.
It’s vital to scrub your face at least 2 to 3 times a week to help prevent blackheads and whiteheads from appearing. Plus, manual exfoliation can reveal healthier, brighter-looking skin in minutes. It even helps you maximize the benefits of your skincare products. By removing the dead skin cells, you are removing a barrier that prevents your skincare products from penetrating, and thus, can make your skincare products work better.
Look for products that are gentle but have powerful exfoliating ingredients like blueberry, pomegranate and bamboo seeds. These types of ingredients can help achieve soft, smooth skin without harming it. Exfoliate often and reap the benefits now.
6. Drink enough water.
We all know the importance of drinking water, but it's especially vital for maintaining our skin's health. When the skin is adequately hydrated, it looks smooth and has a radiant glow. To kickstart a hydration routine, set up a water station at work or bring a large bottle of water for your desk so you’ll remember to hydrate throughout the day.
7. Use a clay mask to help draw out impurities.
Masking can be a great ally in the battle against skin impurities and an overproduction of oil. It’s not something you need to do every day, but once or twice a week or so can provide wonderful benefits to your skin.
Bentonite clay is my favorite because it is known for its absorbing and toning properties. It will remove oil, dirt and impurities, which helps prevent pore clogging – a leading cause of breakouts. A good clay mask can help diminish the appearance of pore size, too.
Too complicated? Here Are 3 Basic Skincare Tips
For an easy yet thorough entry point to great skincare, grab these three skincare products and start your self-care today:
- A cleanser geared for your particular type of skin
- A moisturizer with sunscreen (SFP) to protect against harmful UV rays
- A scrub to exfoliate your skin
Let’s not forget our hair and scalp! Here are my top tips for taking good care of your hair:
1. Sleep well.
When you are at rest, your body renews itself. A good and restorative night’s sleep is required for the protein synthesis of the hair and the release of enzymes and growth hormones that are necessary for overall hair health. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each day.
2. Keep a balanced, healthy diet.
A healthy diet equals healthy hair. Keratin is an important protein that builds the strength of your hair, skin and nails. And what makes keratin? Minerals like copper, iron, magnesium and selenium, as well as vitamins like B7, also known as biotin E, D and C. Adding sources of these nutrients to your diet can make a huge difference for healthy hair. Look for them in healthy fats and antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies. Fish is also a great choice. Their omega-3 fatty acids encourage hair growth.
3. Choose the right shampoo.
Choose a shampoo specifically for your hair type to help strengthen your hair. Select a gentle shampoo and conditioner to help repair hair and bring it back to a strong and healthy state.
Pro tip: Mind the ingredients. Pick products that are sulfate-free and clinically tested to improve hair strength. Try to avoid chemical-based products and look for more gentle ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter and plant-derived microproteins to help soften and strengthen hair.
4. Condition more.
If your hair is wet, apply some conditioner even on the days when you’re not shampooing. When water evaporates, it draws moisture out from the inside of the hair shaft, which causes hair to dry out and weaken. Conditioning more will help lock in much needed moisture.
Consider a weekly deep conditioning treatment, including DIY ones like this: One ripe avocado, 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and 3 tablespoons of aloe gel.
- Mix the three ingredients, adding more coconut oil if you have very long or thick hair.
- Make sure your hair is damp and start adding the product from bottom to top.
- Put on a shower cap and leave it for approximately 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. It’s a great alternative to a store-bought conditioning treatment.
The vitamin content in the aloe vera gel, coconut oil and avocado will nourish your hair and keep it hydrated and shiny.
A good self-care routine only takes minutes, and the more you do it, the easier it will become. After doing this routine for a couple of weeks, your skin and hair will thank you by revealing a healthy glow.