Skincare routines can be confusing. Daunting, even. How many products do you need to use? How often? What’s the absolute bare essentials?
While every skin is unique, there are a few core steps and ingredients everyone should follow. But if you’re still trying to figure it all out – don’t stress. That’s where we come in!
In any skincare routine, Skin Virtue Founder Nina Gajic said, “Cleansing, hydrating and skin barrier support are the key components essential for every effective skincare routine, followed by skin protection and prevention.”
“UV, antioxidant and cell protection are also vital to help preserve the functionality of skin and slow down the deterioration of our skin.”
So, as long as your skincare routine is made up of these key players - you’re doing something right!
Want to find out more? Let’s break it down.
Below are the seven basics every powerful skincare routine needs to keep your face looking its very best.
The foundation of any good skincare routine? Cleansing. The general rule of thumb is to do this twice a day – in the morning and evening.
A thorough cleanse will help remove dirt, debris, grime, makeup and sunscreen from your skin, helping to keep your skin (and pores!) clean and happy.
“It’s a no brainer!” said Gajic.
This step isn’t just for dry skin – it’s for every skin!
“Every skin type needs hydration, even oily skin,” said Gajic. “It’s essential for every cell in our body.”
If you’re looking for something that’s going to effectively hydrate your skin, there are a few key ingredients you should keep an eye out for. “Good hydrates include ingredients like saccharide isomerate, sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA. These all pack a major hydration punch for parched skin.”
Better yet, check out Skin Virtue’s range of hydrating skincare.
“Our hydration essential set includes our best hydrating products: Future Advanced Radiance Serum, Future Advanced Serumist® and Pure Radiance Glow Serum.”
Done and done!
“The depletion of the skin’s cellular function is one of the primary causes of structural and functional skin ageing,” said Gajic.
The good news? It is possible to help slow the ageing process and prevent damage. You just need the right ingredients in your armoury, and they can do a world of good for your skin.
Enter: Stem cells.
“Skin stem cells serve two main functions: divide and provide new tissue and replenish and maintain cells within the skin,” explains Gajic. “They help to regenerate damaged tissue and increase cellular function.”
Need a little refresher?
“All stem cells contain specific epigenetic factors independently of their origin (plant, animal or human). Their function is to maintain the self-renewal capacity of stem cells.”
“With age, skin stem cells are less active and have a decreasing cellular function. Including stem cells in our formulations enables us to support skin stem cells to build new tissue and delay the process of ageing.”
That’s why ingredients such as plant stem cells, like malus domestica apple tree stem cells are important to assist in slowing signs of ageing. Ingredients like this will protect and offer support to essential skin stem cells.
Next up? Antioxidants.
Ever sliced up an apple and seen it turn brown? This, friends, is oxidisation – which is caused by free radicals.
With this in mind, it’s essential to incorporate cell-protecting ingredients into your routine to protect your skin from free radical damage. That is, powerful antioxidants and extremolyte microorganisms.
“Global cell protectants and antioxidants help to reduce inflammation and irritation caused by environmental stressors. They neutralise free radicals as well as balance out excess radicals, protecting skin cells from free radical damage,” said Gajic.
While there are many different types of antioxidants out there, some are more potent than others.
For example, Gajic said ubiquinone, vitamin E, carnosine, allantoin, rosemary extract, laminaria saccharina, pomegranate extract, ginkgo and methylsilanol mannuronate, are all excellent antioxidants.
“Another relatively unknown antioxidant called ectoin - which are extremolyte microorganisms - are fantastic. They are a halophilic bacterium that survive and grow under extreme saline conditions in salt lakes, sea water and deserts.”
“They are exposed to high levels of UV radiation, dryness and extreme temperatures and they manage to adapt to these extreme conditions and maintain cell stability. Within the skin they help protect against external stressors and accelerate the natural repair and protective mechanisms of skin cells.”
How cool is that?
Other ingredients that help prevent damage and correct signs of ageing include Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate - a form of vitamin C that works to improve hydration and skin barrier integrity – and rosa mosqueta, which Gajic said is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and is good for the moisture barrier.
“Edelweiss also has strong antioxidant, radical scavenging and DNA protection properties. Glycine soja protein and superoxide dismutase are powerful enzymatic antioxidants and cellular anti-ageing agents well known for their role in neutralising the superoxide free radical.”
“They balance out the number of excess radicals, ultimately protecting the skin from unnecessary environmental damage. Soothing skin and helping to combat photo-ageing.”
If you’re looking for where to start, Skin Virtue’s antioxidant essential set includes: Pure Protect Pollution Defence, Pure Nourish Hydrating Solution, Future Advanced Multi Active.
“Skin barrier supporting ingredients are important, as they help to restore the lipid barriers ability to attract, hold and redistribute water,” explains Gajic.
One of the hardest working ingredients when it comes to supporting your skin’s barrier is ceramides.
“Ceramides play an important role in skin barrier support. They help to moisturise and strengthen the protective skin barrier and protect the skin from external aggressors such as weather and pollution,” said Gajic.
Another great option is niacinamide (vitamin B3) – which has powerful skin barrier stabilising properties. “Topical niacinamide increases free fatty acid ceramide levels in the skin, stimulating micro-circulation in the dermis, and preventing the skin from losing water.”
Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (the antioxidant ingredient we were talking about earlier) also has additional benefits on the skin when it comes to improving skin hydration and skin barrier integrity. What a multitasker!
Figuring out your main skin concerns and what your skin needs is crucial in order to have the most effective skincare routine.
Not only will it help save precious time and money, but it’ll also save you from experiencing potential sensitivities and reactions from products that are not made for your skin.
“Targeted treatments are important. Each of us is an individual with individual skin needs, so we should look for products that suit our skin type and our individual skin concerns.”
Whether it’s serums, booster or masks, think of targeted treatments as the heavy lifters that will help enhance your skincare routine.
Sunscreen is your first line of defence against skin cancer – so if you’re going to do anything for your skin, make sure it’s this.
“UV protection is a no brainer, or at least it should be, it’s our best anti-ageing protection.”
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By Gary Williams, Bio