Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Know your skincare lingo before deciding on what your skin needs and what to buy.
The beauty industry uses thousands of terms that can seem mind-boggling to the unacquainted. With so many new skincare trends and products coming up each day, it can be hard to constantly be in the know.
From multi-masking to broad-spectrum sunscreen, glycolic acid to hyaluronic acid, there’s a plethora of ingredients and products that we seem to need in order to get clear, radiant and youthful skin. But what exactly does your skin really need? We break down the basics for you as you brush up on your skincare knowledge.
These are a few skincare terms every woman needs to know before developing her own skincare routine.
1. Broad-spectrum sunscreen
You should always look for a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen, because this means that it can help to protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays, which can both damage the skin. This is important because if your sunscreen isn't broad spectrum, it won’t protect you from all harmful sun rays even if it has a high SPF.
Ideally, you should be wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 15 daily, regardless of the weather (you can still be exposed to UV rays on a cloudy or rainy day!). Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, and even more frequently if you are swimming or generally perspire a lot. Sunscreen should be applied after your makeup, but it’s even better if you apply it twice - once before laying on your makeup and once more after. Try a broad-spectrum SPF with whitening benefits, like Dr. Ora’s Aura White Sun Spray.
You might have seen those pictures on social media, where women have a variety of multi-coloured masks on their faces. That’s multi-masking, a new beauty trend that involves simultaneously applying multiple face masks to different parts of your face. This is to target specific skin concerns on your face, which can be useful if you have combination skin (i.e. your skin is oily in some areas but dry in others).
Not sure what type of mask to use? Clay masks are a classic tried-and-tested solution.
3. Double cleansing
Sometimes, we need a deeper cleanse than our regular cleanser can provide. For that reason, there’s double cleansing, which involves first removing your makeup with makeup remover, and then cleansing your skin to remove dirt and excess oils. Finish by applying moisturiser to damp skin to lock in some hydration.
4. Glycolic acid
Glycolic acid is becoming a staple in many people’s skincare routines. It is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps to remove dead skin cells, thus improving your skin texture and brightening your complexion. Be sure to follow up with some broad-spectrum sunscreen after using products formulated with AHAs as the latter can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. If you haven’t got one already, look for a cleanser that is formulated with glycolic acid, then apply broad-spectrum sunscreen before you step out of the house in the morning.
5. Water-based moisturiser
There are many different types of moisturisers available in the market now, from lightweight gels to creamy lotions. Every skin type may have different issues that require different solutions, but moisturising should be a key part of every skincare routine - even for oily skin. External factors such as UV rays, pollution, and even excessive cleansing can cause damage to the skin’s moisture barrier, resulting in increased oil production as your skin becomes drier. That’s why it’s important to always apply moisturiser after cleansing. Water-based moisturisers are suitable for all skin types. Look for products formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water that can provide longer-lasting hydration, and pick the one that best offers what your skin needs.
6. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance found in skin that is able to attract and hold on to moisture. This moisture-binding substance helps to keep skin hydrated and plump. Scientific studies have also shown that hyaluronic acid not only helps to improve skin hydration but also boost production of collagen. It can also combat free radicals and maintain the elasticity of skin, and boasts antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties that can help with wound healing.
As a lot of the hyaluronic acid our body produces gets degraded every day (and we produce less of it as we age), we need external products that boost the hyaluronic content in our skin. Look for serums and moisturisers that include this ingredient (also sometimes called sodium hyaluronate) and apply them daily to get softer, smoother, hydrated skin.