Perfecting Your Skincare Routine: Part 2
By: Swathi Anand
Products for Targeting Skin Concerns
Welcome to Part 2 of Perfecting Your Skincare Routine. In Part 1, we covered the basics: cleansing, moisturizing and protecting. This time, we covering the discussion around skincare products you can include in your routine to target various skin concerns, such as fine lines/wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and dark circles.
1. Eye Cream
Eye creams are specially formulated for the delicate, thin skin around your eye to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, brighten your under eye area, and prevent signs of aging. Since the skin around your eyes ages quickly, it’s good to wear eye creams regularly.
I used to think eye creams were just a scam. But I decided to give it a shot when I noticed I was getting dark circles and needed to wear concealer on a daily basis. Even after wearing concealer, I’d notice wrinkles under my eye from the creasing. I invested in a brightening, vitamin C-rich eye-cream. I used it day and night religiously before applying my moisturizer — after using it for just 3 weeks earlier this year, I saw such a major improvement in my under-eye area that I now don’t have to use concealer anymore!
What I use:
Ole Henricksen’s Banana Bright Eye Cream ($38) - This cream works wonders for me. It’s a brightening, vitamin C- and collagen-rich eye crème that hydrates, targets signs of aging, reduces dark circles and improves concealer application and wear. It is inspired by the makeup artist must-have, "banana powder," and contains special pigments to instantly brighten and color-correct the eye area!
Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream ($46) - If you’re looking to splurge a bit more, this cream has done a great job moisturizing and brightening my under-eye area. It is also packed with a bunch of natural ingredients like avocado protein and date seed extract. I have been using this eye cream for more than 4 months and still have product left, so a little goes a long way, and the money is well spent!
2. Vitamin C
Where do I begin? Every skin care routine should include a vitamin C serum — it protects your skin from sun damage, fades hyperpigmentation, brightens your skin, promotes collagen production and evens out your skin tone. What more can you ask from a tiny bottle!
I apply vitamin C serum every morning to my face and neck right after cleansing and before I moisturize. Doing it in this order is important so the active ingredients in the serum can penetrate into your skin better before you put on sunscreen to protect your skin from UV damage.
What I use:
Maelove’s Glow Maker ($27) - Hands down best vitamin C product ever and a HUGE bang for your buck. This serum has done it all — it has faded my acne scars and has made my skin feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom. If you do a quick Google search, Skinceutical’s C E Ferulic will show up as the #1 vitamin C serum, which comes with a $166 price tag. Maelove’s Glow Maker is a dupe for that - go buy it now!
Retinol is considered the holy grail of skincare products among dermatologists, because it is! It is a multipurpose product that takes care of everything from acne to dark spots, and even reduces fine lines and wrinkles! With regular use, it strengthens the skin barrier and produces smoother, brighter, more evenly toned skin. Retinol is just another name for vitamin A in its most natural form, and essentially teaches aging cells how to be like younger, healthier cells by encouraging them to turn over more rapidly.
I decided to introduce retinol into my skincare routine because I wanted to start battling signs of aging, which is recommended for anyone in their mid-20s! I’ve been using over-the-counter retinol formulas because they are less intense and contain moisturizing ingredients, but you can also go to your dermatologist for a prescription if you have sensitive skin.
What I use:
Honest Beauty Pure Retinol Serum ($28) - This serum is a blend of retinol and hyaluronic acid, so it hydrates and reduces the signs of aging. It is affordable, uses clean ingredients and is available at Target! I apply this serum to my face and neck at night before moisturizing 2-3 times a week. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays so it is important to only apply it at night and use SPF (Sun Protector is my fave) during the day!
Pro tip: It takes about 1 month for your skin to get adjusted to retinol. During that one month, you may experience redness, peeling and dry skin. It’s very important to start using it once a week and slowly increase your application to 2-3 times a week. Avoid exfoliating masks and peels during that adjustment period too!
That’s all for part 2 of Perfecting Your Skincare Routine! Hopefully, this was helpful for you as you develop your skincare routine. In part 3, I will discuss the correct order of product application to achieve the best results from your skincare regimen. In the meantime, if you have any skincare questions, feel free to contact me or search for answers in the famous skincareaddiction reddit!