So you’ve got your moisturising, cleansing and SPF down pat. Maybe you even throw in a serum for good measure. Your skin is looking good. But if you’re looking to elevate your skincare routine and target specific areas or add some extra glow, you're in the right place.
We spoke with Dr Shreya Andric, Principal Dermatologist at Northern Sydney Dermatology & Laser, for her tips on taking your skincare game up a notch.
1. Embrace Gadgets
Adding a nifty skincare gadget into your routine can take things to a whole new level. These days, it's easy enough to bring the best perks of a facial back home. To level up, try an LED therapy device to reduce scarring, inflammation and wrinkles; a handheld masking device to infuse active ingredients into your skin; or an at-home facial steamer to open your pores, allowing products to penetrate more deeply.
While you certainly don't need to use a gadget every day, it can give your skin a little boost. Keep it in your arsenal like you would a weekly face mask.
2. Layer targeted ingredients
One such dynamic duo is vitamin C and hyaluronic acid (HA). According to Dr Andric, these ingredients complement each other to protect, hydrate and repair ageing skin.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that works to brighten skin, while hyaluronic acid is a molecule that's naturally found in the body, and known for its ability to retain moisture. So, if you're looking to target both dullness and dryness, these two ingredients can be safely layered to combat both concerns.
The SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum is a vitamin C serum that works to brighten your complexion for more radiant-looking skin. Pairing this serum with a product that heroes hyaluronic acid, like the SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier, will target hydration and work to plump up your skin. Remember that vitamin C always needs to be applied first to clean, dry skin, as it's unstable and loses potency easily. Once it has dried completely, follow it up with your HA.
3. Double cleanse
I can bet that if you're reading this article, you cleanse your skin in the evenings. But do you double cleanse?
You may have heard this phrase being thrown around among skincare fans. As the name suggests, it involves cleansing your skin twice, but each cleanse serves a different purpose and therefore requires a different product.
Your first cleanse is for gently removing all the makeup, SPF, grime and dirt from the day. It's a tough job so a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water is best to dissolve these bad boys. The second cleanse should be done with a water-based cleanser, and its purpose is to actually clean your skin after the barriers have been removed. It will also work to ensure that all traces of makeup are really gone and your skin is clean and ready to soak in all your skincare goodness.
4. Introduce retinol
If you're not already using retinol, Dr Andric suggests introducing it from around the age of 30, when signs of ageing start to kick in. Retinoids, including retinol, are powerful derivatives of vitamin A that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production.
Retinol can make you more sun-sensitive though, so it's best applied in the evening (and don't forget to use sunscreen during the day). And be mindful if you're using benzoyl peroxide, which can make retinol less effective. The opposite goes for vitamin C, which can be destabilised and less likely to penetrate the skin when used in combination with retinol.
"Using multiple active ingredients at once is likely to result in irritation," says Dr Andric. So, she recommends staggering your application. For example, use retinol two to three days per week and a different active ingredient on the remaining days.
5. Don't undo all your hard work
You might not even realise that you're making some common skincare mistakes. One of the biggies is that you need to stop rubbing your face raw with your towel. The rough texture of the material is less than ideal for skin elasticity. Instead, gently pat your face dry – and even better if you have cotton or bamboo cloths to do the patting with.
Another thing to be mindful of is the temperature of your water. Sure, it might feel lovely to use super-hot water, but it's not doing your skin any favours. Hot water strips the skin of its oils, so it can leave your skin feeling parched. It's also worth avoiding water that's too cold. You need a bit of warmth to help open up your pores so they can be properly cleaned out. Lukewarm water is best!
Building upon your established skincare routine can feel daunting if you don't want to mess with what's already working for you, but you can ease in by adding one tip at a time.