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Skin Care 101 – Building a Foundation Skincare Routine

Great skin is not just a result of good genetics or DNA. Your daily habits, environment and product choices will all have an impact on the how healthy your skin is. As a Skin Therapist, I am asked questions such as “what should I be doing for my skin?”, “I don’t know where to start” and “what products should I be using?”. There are so many products on the market to choose from that it can become confusing as to where to begin. We have outlined below a starting point that can form the basis of a good skincare routine for most skin types. If you are new to skincare, then this simple Four Step Foundation process can get you started on your journey to great skin. For more advanced skin care users this Four Step Foundation is the groundwork on which to grow and add in more advanced products.

Your Four Step Skincare Foundation:

  1. Cleansing
  2. Toner
  3. Exfoliant
  4. Moisturiser / Sunscreen

Step 1. Cleansing

Cleansing removes impurities, dirt, sweat and pollution etc from our skin and provides a clean surface for our other products to work more effectively. Choose a cleanser based on your skin type eg. Oily, dry, sensitive, rosacea etc.

Cleanse both morning and night. In the evening a double cleanse is recommended to remove makeup, pollution particles, sweat, etc. from the skin. In the morning a quick cleanse will prep your skin for the day and allow any makeup to sit better on the skin.

Skin TypeCleanser TypeSuggested Products
Oily/Acne/Breakout proneFoaming gel cleanser, Antibacterial cleanserasap Daily Facial Cleanser, Cosmedix Purity Clean, Aspect Exfoliating Cleanser
Dry/MatureCream cleanser, melting balm cleanser, gentle gel cleanserAspect Gentle Clean, asap Gentle Cleansing Gel, Cosmedix Benefit Clean
Sensitive/Reactive/RosaceaCream cleanser, oil cleanser, gentle foaming gel cleanserCosmedix Benefit Clean, Aspect Gentle Clean, asap Gentle Cleansing Gel
Normal/All SkinsMicellar water, foaming gel cleanserasap Gentle Cleansing Gel, Cosmedix Benefit Clean, Aspect Cleansing Micellar Water, Aspect Purastat 5 cleanser

Step 2. Toner

A toner can have a dual purpose in your routine – removing any leftover residual cleanser and rehydrating/balancing the skin. Gone are the days of harsh astringent toners. They have been replaced with highly effective formulas packed with skin loving ingredients. They are a great way to add extra nourishment and nutrients to the skin without overcomplicating your routine.

Skin TypeToner TypeSuggested Products
Oily/Acne/Breakout proneMist or liquidCosmedix Purity Balance, Cosmedix Mystic
Dry/MatureMist or liquidCosmedix Benefit Balance
Sensitive/Reactive/RosaceaMist or liquidCosmedix Benefit Balance, Cosmedix Mystic
Normal/All SkinsMist or liquidCosmedix Mystic

Step 3. Exfoliate

Our skin naturally replaces itself on average every 28 days. This can slow down to around every 40-50 days as we get older. The top layer of our skin is made up of these dead skin cells and although our body will naturally dispense of these cells not all of them are removed and tend to stick to the skins surface. The result can be a build of dead skin cells that can make our skin look dull, dry, and will prevent other skincare products from penetrating and working as they should within the skin. Regular exfoliation can help to remove these excess skin cells. Depending on your skin type will depend on how often you need to exfoliate.

  • Oily skin – up to 2-3 times per week.
  • Dry skin – generally 1 time per week.
  • Sensitive/Reactive – 1 time per week depending on how the skin feels. This step may be skipped if the skin is in a highly reactive state.
  • Normal skin – up to 1-2 times per week.

Skin TypeExfoliation TypeSuggested Products
Oily/Acne/Breakout proneGentle scrub, paste, leave on gel/serumAsap Daily Exfoliating Scrub, Aspect Exfol L, Aspect Exfoliating Clay Mask, Cosmedix Purity Detox Scrub
Dry/MatureCreamy exfoliant, gentle scrub, leave on gel/serumAsap Daily Exfoliating Scrub, Aspect Exfol L, Cosmedix Serum 16
Sensitive/Reactive/RosaceaGentle leave on paste, very gentle scrub, exfoliating serumAspect Fruit Enzyme Mask, Cosmedix Defy
Normal/All SkinsScrub, paste, leave on gel/serumAsap Daily Exfoliating Scrub, Aspect Exfol L, Cosmedix Pure Enzymes

Step 4. Moisturiser and Sunscreen

The main function of a moisturiser is to hydrate and soften the skin. Skin loses moisture through our environment (sun exposure, air conditioning, air travel) and activities (such as exercise, face washing). Moisturiser should be applied every morning and night after cleansing and toning. Moisturisers have an added benefit of active ingredients to address and help correct skin conditions.

Skin TypeMoisturiser TypeSuggested Products
Oily/Acne/Breakout proneLotion, light weight gelPCA Clearskin, Aspect Sheer Hydration, Cosmedix Shineless
Dry/MatureMedium weight lotion, creamPCA Collagen Hydrator, asap Ultimate Hydration, Aspect Super Moisturising Cream, Cosmedix Humidify
Sensitive/Reactive/RosaceaLotion, gel, creamCosmedix Rescue, Aspect Hydra Shield, Cosmedix Emulsion, Cosmedix Hydrate+
Normal/All SkinsLotion, gel, creamasap Advanced Hydrating Moisturiser, Aspect Phytostat 9, Cosmedix Emulsion

Sunscreen – perhaps the most important skin product to use! The biggest culprit of skin ageing is the sun. Any exposure to the sun can cause underlying damage and premature ageing. Using a sunscreen everyday (yes, even in winter!) can go a long way in preventing deep wrinkles, aged skin, and of course deadly skin cancers. Using a minimum SPF30+ and ideally a SPF50+ on the face and body every day is a must. There are a multitude of different textures, formulas etc for different skin types and preferences. Some products will combine sunscreen and a day moisturiser in one product – makes it easy to never forget to put your sunscreen on!

Skin TypeSunscreen TypeSuggested Products
Oily/Acne/Breakout proneLight lotion, spray, gelCoola Classic Face Organic Sunscreen SPF50, asap CC correcting Cream spf15
Dry/MatureCream lotion, sprayCosmedix Peptide Rich Defense SPF50, Aspect Sun Hydrating SPF50
Sensitive/Reactive/RosaceaPhysical sunscreen, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide basedColourscience All Calm Clinical Redness Corrector SPF50, asap CC Correcting Cream SPF15, Aspect Hydra Shield with Zinc,
Normal/All SkinsLotion, spray, gelCoola Classic Face Organic Sunscreen SPF50, Colourscience SunForgettable Total Protection Face Shield SPF50
BodyLotion, spray, gelCoola Classic Organic Body Sunscreen Spray SPF50, Aspect Envirostat On The Go SPF50