Thursday, May 10, 2012

Clinique, founded in 1968, started the world on a three-step system craze for skincare that consisted of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Throwback, anyone? If you were interested in skincare around the early 90s, the picture to the left probably looks familiar to you.

Clinique has since updated their 3-step system to include a new cleanser, and a plethora of "add-on" treatments, from serums to lightening masks to even a make-up line. But building off their 3-step system launched Clinique's brand image as the simplest and best way to daily take care of your skin.

How true is the 3-step system in modern day skin care regimen? Market analysis shows that the demographic of people paying attention to their skin is becoming consistently younger - individuals are more interested in maintaining youth than recapturing it after it's too late.

In honor of May Melanoma Awareness Month - the first most important thing to stress about maintaining healthy and youthful skin is sun protection. The sun's ultraviolet rays are the most damaging environmental factor to your skin. So whether you use a separate sunscreen or have it included in your make-up or moisturizing routine, ensure that you are protected! SPF30 or higher is usually what is recommended, as often, the higher the SPF, the more chemical the ingredients. However many steps your skin care regimen is, make sure applying SPF is included or added!

Step 1: CLEANSE.
This is the most basic and most straightforward of any skin care regimen. Avoid bar soaps, as they tend to be harsh on the skin. Liquid cleansers come in different textures and with different ingredients. For normal to dry skin, use a creamy cleanser that can be washed off or wiped off. Wiping off creamy cleansers eliminates the potential to strip your skin of essential oils, and further hydrates dry or damaged skin. For normal to oily skin, look for small percentages of glycolic or similar acids, that will not only reduce oiliness, but even out imperfections and smooth fine lines.

Exfoliation really gives you the most bang for your buck. I recently started using Malin + Goetz's Jojoba Scrub two or three times a week, and it really makes a noticeable difference. Exfoliating sloughs off dead skin cells that have collected at the upper dermis of your face, which gives your skin a dulled look. Using an exfoliant a few times a week will not only eliminate those dead cells, but revive and encourage skin cells to produce more rapidly. The biggest factor in looking for a good scrub is the size of the bead - the more sensitive your skin, the smaller the bead should be. (Generally speaking, always go for smaller beads as they are easier on your skin. Depending on the manufacturer of the product, the smaller beads should still do the same work as the larger ones!)

I cannot even begin to describe all the different varieties and types of moisturizers out there on the skincare market. In fact, 64% of consumers maintain moisturizing as their #1 method of skin care! Moisturizers range from full body to face, anti-aging to spot treatments, natural and organic to lightening and brightening... Constantly, chemists and dermatologists are developing and expanding on their moisturizers. The major thing to remember when considering moisturizers is that their aim is to hydrate and maintain hydration in your skin. Applying moisturizers right after the shower, for example, locks in the water in your skin as you towel off. There are a few key ingredients to look out for when searching for moisturizers (check out the blog post of last week for details!), but much of it depends on a consumer's individual needs.

It may be surprising that this three-step method doesn't include toning, one of the primary entities in Clinique's original three-step process. Toning, while a good option for people with combination to oily skin, is purely elective. For many people, especially those with dry or sensitive skin, toning should be avoided altogether, as its alcoholic nature can further irritate your skin. Furthermore, with the right cleansing and exfoliating methods, toning can be somewhat redundant.

What cleansers and exfoliating scrubs do you use and recommend? Do you tone? Any particular moisturizers you swear by? Let me know in the comments section!

1 comment:

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