What do we do every morning when we get up and every night before bed? We wash all traces of sleep, makeup or dirt from our skin’s surface. The next step might be to replace those naturally occurring oils we’ve just scrubbed away with a face oil and/or moisturiser.
But are we getting the most out of our products this way?
The whole point of applying oils to your face is to benefit from the many fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that naturally occur within them, and for our skin to absorb and utilise as much of this goodness as possible. Some oils are able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, whereas others sit quite happily on or near to the surface and act as a barrier to water loss and a moisturiser, keeping your skin supple and helping prevent dry skin.
How to get the most out of face oils
To get the most benefit from applying these rich oils to our skin, the surface needs to be clean, but also free from dead cells. It’s these dead cells that prevent us from looking our most radiant selves, and stop our favourite oils from being fully absorbed.
The best way to prepare your skin when applying oils is therefore not only to wash away dirt, but also exfoliate away any dead cells, to leave a smooth, fresh surface that will readily to accept the product you apply.
The correct way to end your daily cleanse
In my post entitled, ‘Will Putting Oils On My Face Give Me Spots?‘ I explained how some oils are more likely to clog pores and allow dirt to become trapped inside, leading to breakouts and inflammation. Oils can also be more prone to clogging pores if you leave the pores wide open after washing with hot water. The best way to stop this is to spritz a natural toner over your face after you cleanse, or to splash your face with cold water. Both ways will encourage the pores to close down, so that the oil you then apply doesn’t get trapped in places it shouldn’t.
How often should you exfoliate dead skin cells?
Two or three times per week with a gentle cream exfoliator should be enough to keep dead cells in check and help you get the most out of your facial oils and other skincare products.
My routine looks like this:
Morning: Shower, splashing face with plain hot water most days, and a gentle exfoliation every 2-3 days; splash of cold water or spritz of toner before applying my daytime oil, which for me is my uplift me oil; I sometimes follow with a light moisturiser then apply makeup after leaving things to absorb while I get dressed.
Evening: Cream cleanser to remove makeup followed by hot water rinse, then hot face cloth held onto my face for a few seconds – I can’t even begin to tell you how good this feels. Then a quick spritz with a toner, allowing the skin to dry naturally, before applying my night time oil to face and neck, which for me is my own renew me oil.
What’s your routine like? And do you make sure to exfoliate and close those pores down before applying products?