Sunscreen is probably the most important part of your skincare regimen. It is the best way to prevent a rapid aging process before it starts, or to minimize its progress. The earlier one starts daily sun protection, the more thankful one will be in twenty years! If you are out in the sun often, you should be protecting any skin visible to the sun’s harsh rays with some sort of sunscreen. It is noteworthy to point out that not all sunscreens are made equal for all body parts. The face should be protected by a sunscreen product made specifically for the face, because most sunscreens used on the body will clog pores and may cause increased acne or oiliness. Facial sunscreens tend to have little to no fragrance and dry quickly to a non-greasy finish.
Shea butter is a popular ingredient in many rich moisturizers and creams, especially ones meant for the body. It is an emollient, and it can be absorbed into the skin without leaving greasy residue. It helps to soften skin and add moisturizer.
Emollients are an external ingredient that helps to soften skin that is often found in moisturizing products. Occlusives emollients create an oil layer on the skin’s surface to reduce water prevention and increase moisturization. You will often find that most lotions, creams, and ointments are occlusive moisturizers.
Toners are meant to remove oily residue, and some say that this is a skippable step for many, because the availability of cleansers today show that many cleansers have replaced this step altogether. For those with oilier skin, a toner may be necessary, though, because it can reduce the build up of the oil throughout the day.
Typically, a cleanser refers to a product used to cleanse the face either to remove normal daily build-up or makeup (or both). If you are a heavy makeup wearer, it is advisable to use separate products. Use a targeted cleanser to remove the majority of your makeup with a secondary cleanser to remove the last traces. You can always test your combined cleanser for its effectiveness by using it, and then using a makeup removing wipe to see if you missed any residue (and how much you missed). Cleansers remove oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and the like, which all help to provide the skin a chance to breathe better, renew, and keep pores open. Cleansers that contain acne-fighting ingredients may be too strong for dry skin, as many acne preventive ingredients dry out the skin. Oilier skin will demand a cleanser with more strength than drier skin, so it is important to pay attention to what kind of ingredients and what the product is advertised to do.
The point of exfoliation is to remove dead skin cells from the treated area, and this helps to give skin a fresher, healthier appearance. Exfoliation can be done using products such as micro-beads found in facial scrubs, sugar (often found in DIY recipes), or even something like a loofah (they even make loofahs strictly for the face). Typically, these types of products are found at your local drugstore or cosmetic counter. There are stronger exfoliants that are scrubs containing sailcylic acid, glycolic acid, etc., and these are usually found in lower concentrations for products you can readily get, but often available in higher dosages by dermatologists.