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The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

Unlocking the Secrets of Skincare: What You Need to Know

Unlocking the secrets of skincare, everything you need to know about your skincare products.
Photo by Jorja Janssen
Unlocking the secrets of skincare, everything you need to know about your skincare products.

As a girl, skincare is very important in our day-to-day routine. There are so many makeup and skincare products out there, and they all look so similar. How are we supposed to choose the right or best product for our skin type? But not only that, what are we using? Many products don’t tell you what they are meant to be used for or how they should be used. I dove deeper and researched many popular products to inform you what you are using on your skin versus what you should be using.

The first piece of information I want to dive into is the proper layering of skincare products. We use so many products but we are never taught the proper way to apply each product for the best results. The proper way to layer your skincare begins with cleansing, followed by toner, serum, eye care, moisturizer and/or facial oil, spot treatment, and ends with sunscreen.

— Individual products in proper skincare order —

 

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Cleanser (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Cleanser

Function: Cleanser is used to remove the daily accumulation of dirt, oils, makeup, sunscreen and dead skin cells. There are many different types of cleansers for all different skin types but the main function of each is to unclog pores and exfoliate the skin.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, promotes healthier and smoother skin, hydrating, provides a natural glow, stimulates blood circulation and helps other skincare products penetrate the skin.

Warnings: If you begin to feel tightness on your skin after using a cleanser, it is an indicator that the cleanser is not the right fit for your skin. Using the wrong cleanser can strip your skin of the natural protective oils it produces causing dehydration, dryness, and irritation of the skin.

How to use: It is recommended that you cleanse your face twice a day (once when you wake up and then again before you go to bed), however, it is okay to clean your face once a day if you notice any flakiness, dryness or irritation. When cleansing, wet your face with lukewarm water and then gently use your fingertips to rub in the cleaner. Make sure not to scrub your skin as this could cause irritation. When you have finished rubbing the cleanser, rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Where can I find this product?: You can find these products at stores such as Amazon, Ulta, Target, Sephora, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Hy-Vee and eBay.

 

Micellar water (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Micellar Water

Function: Micellar water cleanses the skin, it’s great at hydrating the skin, removing dirt and dead skin cells, and keeping the skin clear. Micellar water is also great for all skin types, from oily to sensitive

Health benefits: Antibacterial, hydrating and versatile.

Warnings: May cause irritation if it gets in the eyes. If swallowed when using, you may experience vomiting or diarrhea.

How to use: Micellar water is mainly used as a makeup remover. You can wet a cotton pad with the water and gently wipe away any makeup or dirt/grim. Once you feel it has all been removed, you can either pat your face dry or use another cleanser.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Amazon, Target, Ulta, Walmart, Walgreens, eBay and Sephora.

 

Toner (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Toner

Function: Toner is most commonly used as the prep for your pores. It is great at removing dead skin cells and giving the skin a quick hit of hydration.

Health benefits: Antibacterial, nutrient-rich, balances PH levels and hydrating.

Warnings: Some common side effects of poor-quality toner include burning and/or stinging sensations, redness, dryness and/or flakiness, and acne.

How to use: Toner is designed to be used after you cleanse so it should be used twice a day after each cleansing session. To apply toner to the skin, use a cotton pad.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Ulta and Sephora

 

Vitamin C Serum (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Vitamin C Serum

Function: Vitamin C is used to boost collagen. Collagen is what keeps your skin from sagging. Your body naturally produces collagen, but as you grow older, the production slows. Vitamin C also protects the collagen your body naturally creates.

Health benefits: Antioxidant, anti-aging, reduces discoloration, redness, and hyperpigmentation, boosts the radiance of the skin, protects against sun damage and soothes sunburns.

Warnings: Certain skin types may experience redness, stinging, itching and other skin irritations.

How to use: Vitamin C serums are recommended to be applied in the morning as the serum acts as a backup sunscreen. Vitamin C serum is to be put on right after toner. To do this, apply a few drops onto your hands or directly to your face and then pat and let air dry.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Amazon, Ulta, Target, Sephora, Walmart, eBay and CVS Pharmacy.

 

Niacinamide (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Niacinamide Serum

Function: Niacinamide is another moisturizing serum. It is known to help calm the skin, reduce the amount of water loss and increase the hydration of the skin. It is a great product for those who are looking to increase the hydration of their skin.

Health benefits: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, builds keratin and maintains skin health,

Warnings: When using, may cause flushing of sensitive areas such as cheeks, nose, and eyes, redness, itching, stinging and/or burning.

How to use: Niacinamide serums can be used in your morning or evening skincare routine. You should apply it after cleansing and toning, but before applying moisturizers or facial oils. Niacinamide is best absorbed when applied on damp skin.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Amazon, Ulta, Walmart, Target, eBay and Sephora.

 

Snail mucin (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Snail Slime Serum a.k.a. Snail Mucin

Function: Although not much research has been conducted, snail mucin has become very popular in the skincare world. It has not been determined yet if snail mucin is effective, but some studies have shown that it has helped with skin regeneration and protection against aggressors.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, hydrating, recovers skin from sun damage and exfoliates the surface of the skin.

Warnings: May cause allergic reactions including itching, rashes, redness or irritation, watery or irritated eyes, stuffy nose and hives.

How to use: Snail mucin should be applied as the final step of your evening skincare routine. Apply an even layer onto clear skin.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Amazon, Ulta, Target, Walmart and eBay.

 

Eye Cream (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Eye Cream

Function: Eye creams are most commonly used to reduce puffiness, but they also fight against dark circles, UV rays, and other environmental aggressors you may face in your daily life. Eye creams also help fight against any visible signs of wrinkles around your eyes.

Health benefits: Anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, hydrating, versatile and reduces discoloration under the eyes.

Warnings: May cause burning, stinging, and/or puffiness if it gets into the eyes.

How to use: Although it may be believed that eye cream should only be used in the morning, to get the best results, eye cream should be used in the morning and evening. In the morning, the eye cream should be directly applied under the eyes as one of the last steps after moisturizing but before sun protection. In the evening, it should be applied after cleansing and toning your skin.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Amazon, Target, Ulta, Walmart, eBay, Sephora, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, CVS Pharmacy, Sears and Walgreens.

 

Moisturizer (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Moisturizer

Function: Moisturizer is exactly what it sounds like. It is used to hydrate the skin by increasing the stratum corneum water content. This means that when you apply moisturizers, you are directly applying water to the skin.

Health benefits: Hydrating, increases stratum corneum water content and protects the skin from friction.

Warnings: If you use it too often, it is a possibility that it could change your skin’s natural balance of water, lipids, and proteins. If you experience burning or stinging, breakouts, dryness, or a change in the color of your skin, it could be a sign that you are not using the correct moisturizer for your skin type.

How to use: The most effective way to apply moisturizer to the skin is when the skin is damp. Apply a small amount to your fingertips and dab it onto the face before rubbing the rest in. It is recommended that you apply moisturizer to the face in the morning and evening.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Amazon, eBay, Ulta, Sephora, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Sears

 

Castor oil (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Castor Oil

Function: Castor oil helps to remove the harmful acne-causing bacteria on the face. It is also well known for its pro-aging benefits

Health benefits: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, softens skin, promotes the growth of healthy skin tissue, soothes sunburns and moisturizing.

Warning: May cause burning, stinging, redness, or irritation. If you have Dermatitis, this product may cause irritation to the skin. It is recommended that you do a test patch before use.

How to use: Castor oil is a thick, heavy oil. You can leave it natural or you can mix it with a carrier oil (carrier oils include coconut oil, almond oil, and olive oil). It is recommended that castor oil be applied in the evening, giving the skin enough time to absorb the oil. Begin by cleansing your face and then follow with the oil, massaging it in gentle circular motions.

Where can I find this product?: You can buy this product at stores such as Amazon, Walmart, Ulta, Etsy, eBay and Walgreens.

 

Jojoba oil (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Jojoba Oil

Function: Jojoba oil is very similar to the skin sebum our body produces naturally. Because of this, it is a great product for those whose bodies do not create enough sebum and have dry and flaky skin.

Health benefits: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, soothes itchiness and flakiness of skin, promotes the growth of healthy skin tissue, soothes sunburns, anti-aging and non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores).

Warnings: Can cause some irritation, rash or allergic reactions to certain types of skin. Jojoba oil is unsafe when taken orally.

How to use: It is recommended that jojoba oil should be applied at night since it is a heavier oil. A few drops should be patted into the face. Patting jojoba oil is more effective when it comes to the absorption and nourishment of the oil. Jojoba oil should come before moisturizer but after cleansing, toning, and serums.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Amazon, Target, Hy-Vee, Walmart, Etsy and eBay.

— Acid Skincare Products —

 

BHA (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Beta-hydroxy Acids a.k.a. BHA

Function: Beta-hydroxy acids, or BHA, is another chemical exfoliant however, BHA’s main focus is to exfoliate rough and/or bumpy skin, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and more. This type of acid works on the surface of the skin as well as deep within the pores. BHA is targeted more for those with oily skin as it fights to unclog the pores and prevent breakouts.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, Antibacterial, hydrating, improves firmness, skin tone and skin texture.

Warnings: May irritate when mixed with retinol and vitamin C products.

How to use: BHA serums should be applied after cleansing and toning to a dry face. It is recommended to use in your evening skincare routine as it works to unclog the pores and repair the skin.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Sephora, Ulta, Amazon, eBay, Nordstrom, Target, Walmart and Kohl’s.

 

Salicylic acid (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Salicylic Acid (BHA)

Function: Salicylic acid is the most common form of BHA. The main function of salicylic acid is to fight against acne and acne-causing bacteria. Salicylic acid reduces swelling, redness and unplugs blocked-up skin pores that cause pimples.

Health benefits: Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, soothes sunburns and exfoliant.

Warnings: You may experience skin irritation including redness, dryness, and flaking. You also will want to wear sunscreen with this product as the acid makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.

How to use: You can use salicylic acid every day, but when you first begin incorporating the acid into your skincare, it is recommended to begin using it every other day and then increase it after your skin has gotten used to the product. Salicylic acid can be used in the morning and the night, but be sure to apply sunscreen when using it in the morning.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Ulta, Target, Walmart, Sephora, Amazon, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, eBay, CVS Pharmacy, Dollar Tree, Walgreens and Sears.

 

AHA (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids a.k.a. AHA

Function: Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHA, is a water-soluble chemical exfoliant that is derived from plants. Unlike BHA, AHA works only on the skin surface. It is used as an exfoliant to remove all of the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.

Health benefits: Antibacterial, exfoliation, improved skin texture, dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Warnings: May experience some irritation including redness, swelling, burning and pruritus.

How to use: To begin incorporating AHA into your skincare routine, begin by using once or twice a week and then gradually increase. When applying, make sure to cleanse first and pat the serum onto the face. Do not rub as this could cause irritation.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Amazon, Walgreens, Ulta, eBay, Walmart, Target, Nordstrom, Sephora and Kohl’s.

 

Glycolic Acid (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Glycolic Acid (AHA)

Function: Glycolic acid is one of the most commonly used AHAs. This acid can be used as an exfoliant for removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, but it also helps reverse sun damage to the skin. Glycolic acid accelerates the renewal of skin cells and increases the production of collagen to help the skin reverse any sun damage and keep the skin looking healthy and hydrated.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, reverse sun damage, exfoliant, hydrating, improves skin texture, tone and scarring.

Warnings: May have a mild stinging sensation, flakiness or dryness, redness, crusting or scabbing and a change in skin color when using a higher concentration of glycolic acid.

How to use: It is recommended that you use a glycolic acid peel or mask once a week during your nighttime routine. To apply the peel, cleanse your face and then apply an even layer before applying your other skincare products.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, Walmart, Target, eBay and Macy’s.

 

Lactic Acid (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Lactic Acid (AHA)

Function: Lactic acid is a type of AHA acid, meaning it has the same function as other AHA acids. Lactic acid is a chemical exfoliant that removes the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and also helps to improve skin texture, reduce dark spots and smooth fine lines or wrinkles.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, antibacterial, improves skin texture and tone, increases collagen production and exfoliates.

Warnings: May cause skin irritation and increase the risk of sun damage. It becomes more unsafe the higher the concentration.

How to use: As a beginner, you will want to slowly incorporate lactic acid into your routine. To apply, place a few drops onto your fingertips and pat onto damp skin. Because it can cause sun damage, it is recommended that lactic acid be a part of your evening skincare routine.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Amazon, Walmart, Sephora, Target, eBay, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sears and Nordstrom.

 

PHA (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Polyhydroxy Acids a.k.a PHA

Function: Polyhydroxy acids, or PHA, is a mild chemical exfoliant. It works to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and helps to maintain your radiant skin by evening tones and textures. The main goal of PHA is to remove dead skin cells.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, antioxidant, versatile, gentle exfoliant and strengthens skin’s moisture barrier.

Warnings: May cause skin irritation including redness, peeling and itching.

How to use: PHA should be applied once a day, either in the morning or at night after cleansing. When using PHA, always follow with a serum if you use one and a moisturizer.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Amazon, Sephora, Kohl’s, eBay, Ulta, and Walmart.

 

Retinol Serum (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Retinol

Function: Retinol is another exfoliant that neutralizes free radicals in the middle layer of your skin. It is unlike AHA which just reaches the surface, or BHA which reaches deep within your pores. Retinol targets the middle layer where AHA and BHA fail.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, antibacterial, improves skin texture, decreases hyperpigmentation, boosts collagen production and exfoliant.

Warnings: May cause skin irritation including redness, dryness, itching and slight burns.

How to use: Retinol should be used during an evening skincare routine and should be applied every other day. For beginners, apply retinol once a week and slowly start increasing until you reach the recommended number of applications per week.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product at stores such as Amazon, Ulta, CVA Pharmacy, Sephora, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Kohl’s, eBay, Macy’s and Sam’s Club.

 

Hyaluronic acid (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Hyaluronic Acid

Function: Although hyaluronic acid’s main function is treating dry eyes, it is also great for hydrating the skin. Hyaluronic acid makes your skin stretch and flex, reducing the amount of wrinkles and lines and keeping your skin looking young and healthy. Hyaluronic acid is a great way to boost your skin and help it when retaining moisture.

Health benefits: Anti-aging, hydrating, improves skin texture and elasticity.

Warnings: If you have a condition called scleroderma, applying hyaluronic acid may cause skin ulcers to get worse.

How to use: After cleansing and/or toning, do not dry your face. Apply a couple of drops of hyaluronic acid to the face and rub it in. Give it a moment to absorb into the skin and then continue with the rest of your routine. If you have dehydrated skin, you can use hyaluronic acid in the morning and at night.

Where can I find this product?: You can find this product in stores such as Ulta, Amazon, Walmart, Target, CVS Pharmacy, eBay, Walgreens, Kohl’s, Sephora and Nordstrom.

 

— Other skincare products —

 

Caffeinated moisturizer (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Caffeine Infused Products

Function: Products that contain caffeine are often considered anti-aging as they reduce blood flow and make the skin look brighter, tighter and more glowing.

Health benefits: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, reduces puffiness and dark circles, boosts skin circulation, improves skin elasticity and texture and slows down sun damage.

Warnings: May cause redness, use caution when combining caffeine-infused skincare products with retinol.

How to use: Caffeine-infused skincare products are designed to be used in the morning. You can either get serums or moisturizers and apply them as you would a normal serum or moisturizer.

Where can I find this product?: You can find these products at stores such as Ulta, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Sephora, Walgreens and Sears.

 

Anti-aging cream (Photo by Jorja Janssen)

Anti-Aging Products

Function: Any product that directly states it is anti-aging means it is a product that helps to reduce and/or limit the fine lines of the skin. There is a common misconception that anti-aging is only for older women, however, this is not the case. Many people don’t begin using anti-aging skincare until their 40s-50s, but anti-aging skincare should be used well before reaching that age. It is recommended that you start using anti-aging skincare as early as your 20s.

Health benefits: Maintains the skin’s firmness, boosts the skin’s tone and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Warnings: May irritate the skin including rashes, burns, or inflammation.

How to use: Anti-aging skincare products should be used twice daily (once during your morning skincare routine and once during your evening skincare routine). When applying an anti-aging serum or moisturizer, apply it as you would normally a serum or moisturizer.

Where can I find this product?: You can find these products at stores such as Amazon, eBay, Macy’s, Ulta, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and Sears.

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