Anti-aging skin care products can deliver dramatic results when used properly, but those protective antioxidants, skin-improving growth factors and retinols aren’t going to do much if they just sit on top of dirty skin or dead skin cells. That’s why it’s imperative to properly prepare your skin so active ingredients can get to where they need to be in order to work.
CLEANSE YOUR SKIN FOR A CLEAN CANVAS
The first step in preparing your skin is cleansing both morning and night. When you wake up, cleansing removes any oil or residue from the products you applied the night before, and leaves you with a clean canvas for treatment products and makeup. One of the absolute worst things you can do to your skin is not washing off the makeup, dirt and pollution that accumulate on your skin over the course of the day, which is why it’s important not to skip this step at night. Applying your treatment products on clean skin day and night will help them absorb into the skin and can help you achieve your skin rejuvenation goals.
The cleanser you choose depends on your skin type. If you’re oily or acne-prone, opt for a foaming gel cleanserthat contains salicylic acid. People with sensitive skin should try to avoid anything that can be harsh or stripping to the skin, so look for a cleanser that contains soothing ingredients. People with dry skin need a cleanser that includes hydrating ingredients that moisturize as it washes away dirt and debris.
TONE TO RESTORE PH BALANCE
Toning is the next step in any effective skin care regimen since it removes any lingering dirt or makeup that cleanser may leave behind, and it restores the pH balance of the skin. But toners shouldn’t strip the skin of moisture—they are designed to freshen and clarify while prepping the skin for treatment products that follow.
REMOVE BUILDUP OF DEAD SKIN CELLS WITH EXFOLIATION
After cleansing and toning, exfoliation is the next essential skin care step. By removing the buildup of dead skin cells, exfoliation reveals brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin while removing the layer that can prevent the active ingredients in anti-aging skin care products from penetrating the skin. Proper exfoliation can also prevent acne flare-ups by keeping pores clear of clogging debris.
There are a variety of exfoliation methods, including acid-based exfoliation and physical exfoliation. The main acids used in anti-aging skin care products are alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids. One of the most common beta-hydroxy acids is salicylic acid, and it can be found in SkinMedica Purifying Foaming Wash as well as other cleansers, and exfoliating creams [SkinMedica combines salicylic acid with alpha-hydroxy acids, (lactic, glycolic, citric and malic acids) in the 15% AHA/BHA Cream]. Physical scrubs small beads or particles to manually remove dead cells from the skin surface, leaving it smoother, radiant and prepared for treatment products that follow.
When these three prepping steps are part of your skin care regimen, they can take anti-aging results to a whole new level. Once your skin is cleansed, toned, and exfoliated you can be confident your anti-aging products will provide optimal results. Just don’t forget to protect your rejuvenated, skin with sunscreen every day to prevent further damage, and keep your skin looking its best for years to come.