Skip to Content

NorthShore’s online source for timely health and wellness news, inspiring patient stories and tips to lead a healthy life.

Healthy You

Breaking Down a Healthy Skincare Regimen

Monday, May 28, 2018 7:54 AM

Before summer hits, make sure you've got your skincare regimen down pat. Sally Wohlgemuth, NorthShore Aesthetician, breaks down the essentials and shares tips for choosing the best routine for your skin.

From Sally: 

It is important to remember that what works as a daytime regimen will vary from your nighttime regimen. When we are sleeping new skin cells grow faster, so a good evening facial routine should be a high priority. The goal is to repair damage from the daytime pollution, sun and stress, as well as to hydrate since you lose more water from your skin as you sleep. During the day the goal is to protect, this is why SPF is key in your daytime regimen.

It is also important to remember that there is no cookie cutter recipe for skincare. What will work for someone with acne, will not work for another. We all have very individualized skincare needs. The best and most fool proof way to choose products is to have a professional Esthetician analyze your skin properly and recommend a tailored regimen.

What's the best order of application? 
Rule of thumb, always think thin to thick. You use water when you cleanse, a toner to regulate pH, serum or gel for your daily dose of vitamins, an eye cream to treat, moisturizer to maintain balance and an SPF to protect.

Cleanser: The first step in your skincare regimen. A cleanser is used to remove makeup, dirt, oil and dead skin cells. There are different options when it comes to a cleanser. There are gentle cleansers that won't strip the skin, as well as exfoliating cleansers that gently promote cellular turnover.. Choosing the right one for you is all dependent on your current skincare concerns. Your Esthetician will help choose the perfect balance for your skin.

Toner: Traditionally, toners were used to restore your skin's pH balance after cleansing. Having a balanced pH level creates a more vibrant and smoother appearance. Your skin has an acid mantle made up of sweat and oil that you naturally produce. After cleansing, you often strip away these oils, which can change your skin's pH balance. Incorporating a toner will help to moisturize and refresh the skin. It does so by binding the moisture to the skin because of its humectant property.

Serum: Whether you’re looking for an even tone, a reduction in fine lines, brightening, firming or to diminish dark spots, a serum is the answer. Think of a serum as the much-needed vitamins for your skin. Most serums come in a highly concentrated form, delivering up to 70% more active ingredient to the skin than a moisturizer alone. Because a serum contains a much smaller molecule, it can penetrate the skin deeper than the ingredients in a moisturizer or cleanser. I definitely would not skip on a customized serum!

Gel: Gels have a quicker absorption rate because they are so thin and the skin can easily absorb them. Much like a serum, most gels are used as a treatment with a highly concentrated active ingredient for either around the eyes or lips, where the skin shows its first signs of aging.

Eye Cream/Gel: The delicate skin around the eye should not be ignored. A good eye cream or gel should incorporate Vitamin C, peptides, as well as established ingredients with anti-aging benefits. Antioxidants can help protect against free radical damage, and components like hyaluronic acid will boost moisture. These ingredients will help to strengthen the skin. When the skin is strengthened, it is healthy and viable. It appears less tired and hydrated.

Moisturizer: Using the right kind of moisturizer for your skin can help maintain its balance. The stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin) is made up of fat, oil and skin cells that help keep moisture in the skin. Applying a moisturizer to your skin can increase the moisture level of the stratum corneum and prevent the skin from drying out. Moisturizer can also help protect your skin from the environment. Applying a moisturizer creates a barrier that keeps oil from escaping and harmful outside elements from causing dryness or irritation. Moisturizer is used to treat many different skin types, including normal, dry, oily and sensitive skin.

SPF/Sunscreen: A physical SPF by far will be the best thing you can do for your skin. By creating a physical barrier to the sun, you are protecting your skin from harmful rays and premature aging. A mineral-based sunscreen that contains either a zinc oxide or a titanium dioxide is considered a physical sunscreen and should be applied accordingly. Reapply sunscreen every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating.

Lotions: Lotions are typically for use on your body and are primarily made of water and added ingredients. However; there are currently drugstore face lotions on the market. If it is pumped with preservatives, it is not advised. The delicate skin on the face cannot tolerate the added ingredients, specifically the preservatives in a lotion. The pores on the face can easily become clogged and can cause unwanted blemishes and irritation. Please save the Jergens for your legs!