Everyone has a skin care routine, even if they don’t think about it too much. You may unknowingly expose your skin to daily irritants, like sunshine and excess sweat. When I realized what I put up with every day, I started a thoughtful regimen that nourished my body.

Check out the steps I took to craft my new self-care routine. You can replicate them to heal your skin from years of accidental neglect and prevent potentially dangerous health conditions.

1. I Reflected On My Skin Type

It’s important to reflect on your skin type before adjusting your routine. Everyone’s body is different. I begin each day with extremely dry skin, but my forehead and nose get oily by sunset. Think about how your skin feels throughout the day to find the right products to care for it.

2. I Found A Gentle Cleanser

A cleanser deep-cleans your pores to banish sweat, grime, bacteria and dead skin cells. Sometimes that irritates the skin more than it helps. My dry skin is particularly prone to redness and irritation with powerful cleansers. Now I prefer a gentle one that uses ceramides to lock moisture and glycerine to form a protective barrier.

3. I Started Using A Toner

I was shocked to learn that my skin problems could be related to its pH level. If your skin’s pH balance is off, you could have excess dry skin or oil because it’s trying to reach its natural 4.5 to 5.5 pH again. I never thought about that, but now it’s a crucial part of my self-care efforts.

Toner has a pH that resides between the skin’s natural pH points, so spraying or applying it at least once a day could take care of your issues. It definitely made a significant difference in the flakiness around my brows and chin.

4. I Applied Sunscreen Daily

Sunscreen isn’t just for beach vacations. It’s also for daily use. I avoid the greasy feel of newly applied sunscreen by using a moisturizer with a 30 SPF or higher rating in the morning. It doesn’t leave an oily sheen, which was my primary concern. Protecting my skin against cancer and age spots is very important, so sunscreen is a powerful tool in my thoughtful skin care routine.

5. I Moisturized Throughout The Day

Anyone with dry skin knows that flakiness returns at some point after applying moisturizer. To take care of this problem, I got a pocket-sized moisturizer that travels everywhere with me. Using it throughout the day gives my skin more elasticity. It’s also great in winter when the cold air typically dries me out.

6. I Began Exfoliating Weekly

Exfoliators make your skin smell and feel great. I used to use mine daily, but it didn’t solve the dry skin problems that drove me crazy. Although exfoliators remove dead skin cells and bacteria, they can irritate sensitive skin.

Anyone with dry skin should consider exfoliating weekly. Dermatologists recommend using exfoliants two or three times per week, but sensitive skin may only tolerate it once every seven days. Experimenting with my routine proved that to be true. Play around with how often you exfoliate to find out what your skin prefers.

7. I Invested In Nightly Retinoid Cream

If you’ve never heard of retinoid cream, you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard of it until I did a deep dive into skin care products. It’s technically a form of vitamin A that increases collagen and skin cell production by activating your body’s natural functions. Be careful when applying it, though. It makes your skin extra sensitive to the sun, so I only use it right before bed.

8. I Scheduled An Annual Dermatology Appointment

Your skin care routine includes daily and weekly steps that take care of your body. I love my new routine, but it’s not the only way I care for my skin. I also scheduled an annual appointment with a local dermatologist.

They can offer great advice for maintaining your skin’s health and fixing annoying issues, like flakiness or breakouts. Dermatologists also know how to check your skin for potential warning signs. A new freckle could mean you’ve spent too much time in the sun, but it could also mean you have skin cancer.

Make annual appointments or go more often if your dermatologist recommends it based on your health history. They’ll point out more effective routine changes you could make to be more comfortable and confident in your body.

Start A Thoughtful Skin Care Routine

Being thoughtful about your skin care routine means solving recurring problems and preventing future issues. That might mean finding a better moisturizer for your oil-prone skin or exfoliating less often. It’s also a good idea to meet with a dermatologist who will help you craft the perfect skin care routine for your body’s needs. Caring for your skin means investing in your future, so be sure to take the time to do so.

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