I'm not sure if there is a "normal age" to start getting into skincare and beauty, but I was about 12 or 13 when I started a skincare regime with my mini cleanser, toner and moisturiser kit that I received as a magazine freebie. Since then, I've learnt a thing or two about skincare, and I've come up with a basic skincare starter kit, which may be helpful to those who want to get into a proper routine. While I am sharing my knowledge of skincare and skincare products, I am not claiming to be an expert! I'm only 16 after all!
p.s. Prepare for a long post!
Step one is to assess what type of skin you have. Oily, Dry, Normal and Sensitive are the general skin type categories, however, one can technically have a mixture of a few. For example, I have generally oily-normal skin, but I get very dry patches around the sides of my nose and on my chin, just under my lip.Once you know what skin type you have, you can buy and use products accordingly.
The first item for your skincare kit is a cleanser of some kind. A great one that I would recommend is the Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup remover. I love this cleanser because it's a two in one product and it does what it says on the bottle. It's really gentle on the skin and has a really fresh scent to it. If you don't wear makeup and you just want a basic face wash, the Luxury Face wash* by Savar is perfect. It suits all skin types and it leaves you with a glowing complexion.
The next skincare product to look into would be an exfoliator. There are many different exfoliators on the market nowadays which means it can be quite difficult to choose one. Some contain little beads (such as Jojoba beads) that burst when you rub the product into your skin, while others may contain pumice particles to help scrape away (sorry, that sounds awful!) the dead skin cells that sit on the surface of the skin. A scrub that I have been loving at the moment is the St Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub. I love the apricot scrub of this range but I find that it can sometimes be a little harsh on my skin, whereas this one is a lot more gentle. This particular scrub is oil free and contains salicylic acid which people with dry or sensitive skin might find too drying. If that is you, I would suggest going for a more hydrating product such as Never a Dull Moment by Origins, which contains fruit enzymes that help to gently lift away dead skin without causing irritation.
The next product is a rather debatable one, and that is toner. While some find them pointless and ridiculous, others swear by them to create a perfectly clean and fresh canvas. I must admit, while I do own a few toners, I don't use them all that much. I do like using them in the summer to cool down my face after cleansing and if I have worn a lot of makeup that day, I will sweep a toner soaked cotton ball over my skin to ensure no makeup remains, but I find my skin doesn't really need the extra product. People with all over oily skin would benefit more from toners because they are removing the oil from the skin that would later cause blemishes. A great toner is the Soothing Facial Toner by Simple, which contains witch hazel known to help tone and tighten pores, without leaving the skin feeling oily or sticky.
Finally, moisturisers! I have two moisturisers that I love, one being my daily (Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser) and the other being my nightly (Essential Hydration moisturiser by Savar*). I use my more hydrating of the two at night because my skin tends to be a bit drier at night after cleansing, thus needing a bit more moisture to last till the morning. If the skin around my nose a chin is particularly dry, I will use either a skin oil, such as my Kosmea Radiance 24/7 boost* or a little coconut oil. Both of which help to protect my skin from drying out, much like how applying vaseline to the lips prevents them from becoming chapped. If you have very oily skin, there are plenty of oil free options for you to choose from as well as moisturising mists.
While there are PLENTY of skincare products out there, the best way to take care of your skin is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Drink approximately 8 glasses of water each day (I have a 750mL water bottle that I drink from throughout the day, and refill when I need to) and make sure that you eat a relatively healthy diet consisting of plenty of fruit and veges (don't worry about the occasional Big Mac, cupcake or chocolate bar! We all have those days!) You can also take skincare supplements if you feel that is necessary.
If you smoke, try your best to either give up, or reduce the amount you smoke because not only does it effect your complexion, but it also is slowly causing your insides to deteriorate.
Phew! That was a lot of writing! Haha! I started writing this at about 3.30pm and now its 5.47pm and it's pitch black outside! Please let me know if this was helpful (If you got throughout the whole blog post, write "Beach Boys" in the comments section. I was listening to the Beach Boys whilst I wrote this post!) If you would like more skincare posts let me know and if you have any questions, either email me or post me a comment!