When it comes to putting together a skin care routine through menopause, we’ve got you covered! There’s no shortage of advice on the internet about how to put together a skin care plan, regardless of the stage of life you’re at. Ranging from the 10 Step Korean Skin Care Regimen to 7 Step Schedules and whittled down versions as well, the confusion is understandable. Do we really need 10 steps? Can we get away with just one?
Like you, our time is precious, so anything that involves too many steps isn’t going to cut it. 7 is a stretch and 10 is most definitely too many! We’d love to tell you that you could get away with just one, but alas, that would be a fairy tale and over here, we’re all about keeping things real. While we’ve blogged previously about 4 steps to great skin, we’ve managed to whittle it down to a doable 3 steps. We hope you’ll agree that this is manageable indeed.
Why You Need a Skin Care Routine
Great skin comes down to two main factors – your DNA PLUS your daily habits. If you won the gene pool lottery, then lucky you. However, it’s important to acknowledge that one can’t rely completely on a genetic advantage when it comes to skin. Conversely, if your genes are against you, all is not lost. A well thought out and regular skin care routine can have a big impact on how your skin ages regardless of your genes. Of course, what constitutes a good routine can differ depending on who you speak to. It’s no wonder that many of us may be left feeling completely confused and unsure about where to begin. Caring for your skin shouldn’t be (and really isn’t) all that complicated. You just need to know the right steps to follow.
Through menopause, many women struggle with dryness while others experience acne, even if it’s not something they’ve had to contend with before. You may feel as if you’re reliving your teen years again! Hormonal fluctuations are responsible for many of these skin changes so it may be necessary to revisit your skin care routine and consider changing up the products you’re using. By selecting and using products best suited to your individual needs and ensuring that you follow a well thought out skin care routine, you’ll be well on your way. Let’s get to it.
The 3 Steps Everyone Needs
Here are the 3 steps everyone needs in their skin care routine:
Step 1: Cleanse.
Step 2: Protect
Step 3: Perfect
Step 1: Cleanse
Cleansing is an important and often neglected part of a skin care routine. Beyond removing make-up, dirt and oils from your face, cleansing helps to provide a clean skin surface, allowing any products that you apply on your skin to be absorbed better. Cleansing also helps to reduce blemishes, redness and irritation, which may be caused by an accumulation of make-up, pollution, dirt and oil. It’s a matter of personal preference whether you choose a one-step or two-step cleansing method. Over here, we go back and forth between the two, depending on the time of year, how our skin feels, how much make-up we’ve applied and also by how lazy we feel! (It’s not a good reason, we agree. But, we also recognize that we’re human).
We offer two cleansers at Apothekari. Cloud Nine Foaming Cleansing Crème may be used by all skin types, including individuals with sensitive skin or rosacea. It’s a very gentle cleanser and if you’ve found your skin getting drier and/or more sensitive, it’s a good one to consider. AHA-Mazing Clean Exfoliating Cleanser Gel, provides gentle exfoliation and foaming action with a triple combination of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). If you prefer more sudsing action or your skin is on the oilier side or you have acne, then this is the cleanser for you. It may be used by all skin types, but caution should be exercised if your skin is overly sensitive skin or if you have rosacea.
Step 2: Protect
We’ve all heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and this holds true when it comes to your skin. Prevent skin damage by protecting your skin with the right ingredients and your skin will reap the rewards for years after. Two types of ingredients are important to know about when it comes to protecting skin – antioxidants and sunscreens.
Antioxidants include ingredients like Vitamins A, C and E, green tea extract, pomegranate seed oil, coenzyme q10, etc. They exert their action by helping to prevent skin damage associated with free radicals, unstable molecules that are formed by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and pollution, amongst other things. Free radicals lead to a range of unwanted effects including hyperpigmentation and collagen destruction, associated with lines and sagging. Antioxidants can also help boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen.
Sunscreens protect skin by minimizing damage caused by UV rays, which are thought to be responsible for more than 85% of skin aging. Hands down, wearing sunscreen daily is one of the most important things you can do to keep your skin looking its best. You can choose between a chemical or physical blocking sunscreen and the choice is up to you. Well formulated and effective products are available in both categories. We’re big fans of physical sunscreens formulated with zinc oxide because zinc is a very soothing skin ingredient and the only sun filter that delivers protection against the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays.
We know you’re wondering…. is it possible to find a product that combines a sunscreen with antioxidants? Yes, it’s possible to find sunscreens that contain antioxidants and Shade SPF 30 is one. However, most sunscreens don’t contain levels of antioxidants high enough to deliver the maximum protection against free radicals. For the greatest benefit, most experts recommend that you apply both an antioxidant formulation (consider our Bespoke Vitamin C Serum 10 or 15%) and a sunscreen in the morning. Generally, apply the antioxidant first, followed by sunscreen.
Step 3: Perfect
Once you have the basics of Steps 1 and 2 covered, it’s time to look at your specific skin needs. This will differ depending upon your age, your ethnicity and even where you live (climate, humidity, etc).
Whether, you’re worried about wrinkles and fine lines, crows feet, dark circles, hyperpigmentation, dry skin or acne, Step 3 focuses on that. It’s important to find and use treatments that are designed to address your skin’s specific problems. You can choose from a range of products including moisturizers, eye treatments, skin brighteners, acne remedies and various serums.
Some treatments, like sunscreens, are designed to be applied during the day. Others, like retinoids (which tend to degrade when exposed to sunlight, are best used at night). Antioxidants, moisturizers, eye creams, skin brighteners etc may be used day and/or night. Whatever you use, give the product a fair chance to make a difference. New skin cells turn over once every four to eight weeks so you need to wait at least that long to determine if the product is working.
Regardless of your specific skin needs, one ingredient that’s a must for anyone concerned about healthy and beautiful skin, is a retinoid. Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and deliver a range of skin benefits including: increasing collagen and elastin production to fight wrinkles, fine lines and skin sag; skin brightening effects, an increase in skin moisture content and a reduction in oil production. They not only help to improve the skin’s appearance, but can also reverse damage caused by the sun. Additionally, retinoids have anti-acne properties, making them a useful addition in the management of acne, which strikes many women through menopause. Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging contains retinaldehyde – a form of retinoid that offers effective yet gentle treatment. It’s well tolerated by most skin types, especially if introduced gradually into your skin care regimen.
We know you have lots on your plate; we do too. That’s why we feel that 3 steps in your skin care routine are all you need to achieve healthy and beautiful skin at menopause or at any other phase of your life. Let’s keep things simple and uncomplicated AND with great skin to show for it!