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Pop Quiz: Skincare Basics

Do you know what the essentials for a good skincare routine are?

With as many products and ingredients, lotions, and potions on the market these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about what constitutes a good and effective regimen for healthy skin. Do I need an eye cream? A toner? A face mist? Peptides? Snail mucus? The tears from a baby lamb? Vitamins L, M, N, O, P?

As different as all of us are, the basic components of our skin are relatively similar in their overall general needs. Think of it like Fats, Carbs, and Proteins, but for your face. Some of us need different kinds of carbs or prefer a specific protein, but the foundation of our required nutrients is all the same.

So let’s break it down to the key components and see how you score.

Give yourself ONE point if you…

Use a Cleanser.

Ok, this one’s easy, but it’s important! Cleansers that don’t strip your skin and nurture the natural oils present on your barrier are seriously crucial to skin health. Even better is, you know, a double cleanse.

My favorites are: Lira Cream Cleanser, iS Warming Honey Cleanser, iS Cleansing Complex

Use an Antioxidant.

By now I could probably write a doctoral thesis on why antioxidants are so crucial to overall skin health. But I doubt you want to read that. You have better things to do. So let me sum it up with an analogy. You’ve heard of Gotham City? Well, there’s this bad guy creating total chaos and disorder there, let’s call him The Joker. Anyway, it’s madness; the dude is leaving total destruction in his wake. But you know who can help? This guy called Batman. Using an antioxidant in the morning will help protect you from free radical damage caused by everything from UVA/UVB rays, environmental stressors, blue light, and probably the Joker.

My favorites are: iS Proheal, SkinBetter Alto Defense and Repair

Use Sunscreen.

Don’t… just please don’t make me write out why this is important. You’ll break my heart. But here are a few super interesting facts about sunscreen in general:

• According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, daily sunscreen use can reduce the risk of developing melanoma by 50%.

• Research indicates that women are more likely to use sunscreen regularly than men. • Washington State ranks 17th for the highest rate of melanoma in the country, according to UW Med.

• People in the PNW are less likely to wear sunscreen year round due to the constant grey weather, but UVA/UVB rays can still penetrate the cloud cover.

• Your surest bet against the damaging effects of skin aging. Up to 90% of all visible aging is caused by UVA/UVB light.

My favorites are: iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF, SkinBetter Tone Smart compact, Elta MD tinted SPF 46

Use an Active.

An “active” what? An active is a term that refers to ingredients or products that actively work in the skin to create change. This can be something like an acid or a retinol, and it’s part of your nighttime routine. The point of an active is to work to repair the damage from the day and turn over a fresh new set of skin cells for the next morning!

My favorites are: SkinBetter AlphaRet, iS Clinical Active serum, iS Clinical Active peel system

In summary

The overarching idea is to protect your skin during the day from all the villainy around you and restore and renew at night while you sleep. Choosing the right products to help you do this is where the challenge (and hopefully, a professional) comes in. And know I will never pressure anyone to buy products, but I am always happy to provide an individualized, personal recommendation.

So what did you score?


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