Beginner's guide to skincare

Aloe Vera plant close up

Ah, the joy of skin. Don't you love waking up to your face having the biggest breakout of the decade and for no apparent reason?

Author: Grace

Isn't it wonderful when it's super oily or super dry with absolutely no in-between? Finding the perfect products that won't burn your sensitive skin is such a stress-free experience, right? Of course not. My skin is so sensitive that I can't ever use a face mask without feeling the force of a thousand suns burn my face.

It's tricky navigating through all the newest and latest skincare products of today, and all those big fancy terms go right over my head. If you're new to the skincare game like I am, here's a quick guide to some of the most common ingredients you may find in skincare products.

Hyaluronic acid: Designed to hydrate and smooth all skin types that need some good hydrating! Says it can be used daily if desired and is sensitive-skin friendly.

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA): Ideal for oily skin, it lowers secretion of oils in our pores to minimise pimple break-outs-- a lifesaver! States it can onlybe used a couple of times a week at first.

Niacinamide: A form of Vitamin B3 that reduces sebum (oils) and inflammation of the skin that can also repair damaged skin. Ideal for all kinds of skin and says it can be used daily.

Zinc: A great ingredient for reducing eczema and acne as an anti-inflammatory. States it can be used once a day for all skin but is more suited to those struggling with acne. There is a caution on this one - don't use it too much with other Zinc products or your skin might be overloaded!

Peptides: Filled with a bunch of amino acids that decreases fine lines. They are usually found in moisturizers and other products designed for daily use. Again, states it is safe for all skin types that want some extra firmness.

Retinol: An anti-aging ingredient of Vitamin A that strengthens the skin and reduces fine lines. It says that all skin types can use this one, but it is better for more-mature skin that is specifically targeting anti-aging use. You can use this one every second night before your skin adjusts, and then you can switch to nightly.

Glycolic acid: Made to reduce the acne and pores on your face and gives your skin a fresh glow! People with sensitive or dry skin are advised to only use products that have a maximum of 5% concentration in it to avoid burns and irritation but can otherwise be used for all skin types.

Vitamin E: Dry skin can use this as an anti-inflammatory and a protector against breakouts. Guidance states it can be used once or twice daily, but oily skin types should avoid putting this directly onto their skin (it will be labelled as 'tocopherol' on some products) as it might increase pore-clogging.

Sunscreen is also an important every-day product! It depends on the type of sunscreen you have and can be put either under or on top of your skincare for maximum effectiveness.

There are a bunch of skincare pages and channels out there that give great daily tips for beginners. Always check with a skin care professional so you get a product that is right for you and know which products can be used with each other. Some might cause a bad reaction if mixed with certain ingredients and there's no substitute for professional advice.

Have fun on your journey, and here's to happy skin!

Tagged in What messes with your head, skincare