Personalizing Your Skincare Regimen


Let's talk about how to build your personalized skincare regimen, and where Virginskin's Daily Glow Active Hydrator can fit into your regimen.

First, consider your skin type.  Skin type tells general characteristics of the skin-- for example, how oily or dry or sensitive the skin is.  This is important because different products-- different ingredients and formulations, will suit different skin types and their needs.  More info on that below.

Skin type is primarily determined by genetics.  It will also be influenced by medications-- particularly hormonal medications, as well as cholesterol lowering medications, which can make the skin drier because cholesterol is an important component of the skin barrier.  And it can also be affected by topical products-- for example, if you use topical retinoids regularly, this may make your skin more sensitive.

And yes, skin type can change with age--as we get older our skin gets drier.  It's also possible to develop sensitivity over time.  And the environment also impacts how dry our skin is.

Dry skin is characterized by dry, ashy, dull and sometimes scaly skin. The skin must be regularly supplied with humectants, emollients and occlusives and ingredients that dry out the skin and strip the skin of oils should be avoided.

Potentially irritating ingredients should also be avoided by those with sensitive skin.  Sensitive skin easily becomes red and irritated.  Topical products and environmental factors may easily aggravate the skin.

A misconception is that those with dry or sensitive skin can't use anti-acne and anti-aging ingredients, but this is not necessarily true. Look for gentle formulations made for dry and sensitive skin that combine gentle forms of active ingredients with ingredients that support the skin barrier and moisturize.

Those with oily skin experience shiny and oily skin in their T zone on a regular basis, and may experience oiliness beyond the T zone as well.

A common misconception is that those with oily skin don't need moisturizers.  People with oily skin may still need moisturizers but they may want to stay away from heavy creams and oil-based moisturizers.  Make sure the products are non-comedogenic.  Avoid potentially comedogenic, or pore-clogging, ingredients like coconut oil and cocoa butter.  Lighter, non-comedogenic moisturizers will be helpful-- like lotions and water-based gels.  Oil-absorbing ingredients like powders, clay and charcoal may also be beneficial.

Other skin types include acne-prone and mature, both of which may benefit from specific actives and formulations.  For example, those with acne-prone skin should look for non-comedogenic formulations and acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide may be helpful, and brightening ingredients like niacinamide may help fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

A well-designed formulation, like Virginskin's Daily Glow Active Hydrator, can be suitable for all skin types because it is moisturizing and soothing without being heavy or comedogenic.  And the additional anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, brightening and firming properties make it an excellent choice for those interested in improving skin tone and texture.

Keep skin type in mind to help select formulations and specific ingredients and begin to build your regimen.

I prefer a more streamlined approach rather than a routine with many steps.  The key idea is that, in a Marie Kondo sort of way, you are identifying the skincare products that are best for you and cutting out the non-essentials.  So therefore everyone's regimen will look a little different.

The basic idea is that you need to accomplish three things:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Active Ingredients; these can vary from exfoliators to brighteners to anti-oxidants, retinoids, etc.
  3. Moisturize

And for daytime, also 4: SPF.

As for order of application, the idea is to go from the lightest products that are most absorbed, progressively to heavier products--so that means cleanser, toner, essence, serum, moisturizer, makeup.  Serums/ active ingredients should be applied to clean skin to maximize absorption.  Occlusives should be applied last because they help to lock in the previous steps, and because anything applied afterwards may not penetrate this inert layer and so won't get absorbed.

I don't think that very many steps are necessary to accomplish a thorough skincare regimen.  If you like a routine that has many steps, then I would recommend using a line of products designed to be used together to minimize the risk that you are diluting or deactivating your active ingredients.  Otherwise it's not necessary to use products from only one brand.

The key to streamlining the routine is using flexible and multi-tasking hybrid products.  Virginskin's Daily Glow Active Hydrator is a great example because it is a well-formulated moisturizer that contains humectants to hydrate the skin, emollients to support the skin barrier, and occlusives to lock in moisture.  And it also contains actives like niacinamide and crocus bulb extract, as well as other ingredients, that offer anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, brightening and firming properties.  This means that it can function as both a serum and a moisturizer that is applied after cleansing, in a one-and-done thorough but simple regimen.  During the day it should of course be followed by a mineral sunscreen.  But it's also flexible: if you prefer to first apply a lighter serum, then the Daily Glow Active Hydrator can be applied after this.  For example, a vitamin C serum or an acne medication could be applied in the morning after cleansing, and then this would be followed by the Daily Glow Active Hydrator, and then a sunscreen would be applied next.  In the evening, a retinol serum could be applied after cleansing, and then the Daily Glow Active Hydrator.  And if you are experiencing very dry skin, at bedtime you could try slugging by applying a thin layer of petrolatum on top of the Daily Glow Active Hydrator.

Developing a personalized skincare routine is important because everyone's skin is different.  Skin type, concerns, age, weather, individual sensitivities, hormone status and personal preferences all play important roles in determining which formulations and ingredients will work best for you.  A flexible and multi-tasking option like Virginskin's Daily Glow Active Hydrator is a great building block that can be used in different ways within your routine depending on your specific concerns and adjusted as needed.