How many times have you splurged on professional anti-aging skincare products, only to get home and be totally confused about what cream to use with what, how much to use, and how to layer them properly? If you don’t know these important details, you’re not going to get great results, and that means money down the drain.
Thankfully I’ve been going to Village Spas for 30 years, and the aestheticians are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful with keeping me on track. Every time I go, I get a personalized skincare prescription with how-to instructions that I take home and keep in my bathroom drawer right beside my skin creams, so I always know what to do!
I’m very particular about my skin, and by following their detailed notes, I see results!
If this doesn’t happen where you buy your skincare products, next time, don’t leave without a how-to prescription. In the meantime, here’s an interview I did with Alida, a long-time aesthetician at Village Spas, where she gave me lots of great tips on how to use anti-aging creams to get results that make a difference!
Q. How much skin cream should I use?
Alida: Many women think the more of a moisturizer or skincare product they use, the better. If you are over-using your product, it isn’t doing your skin any harm, but you’re wasting it. On the other hand, if you use too little, then you may not be spreading it evenly over the face and allowing enough product to even penetrate into the skin.
In terms of product amount, it’s helpful to have a rough idea. Here’s a great guide, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all.
If you have a large face and dehydrated skin, it’s very likely that you will need to use more product than someone with oily skin and a smaller face, simply because the person with dry skin will absorb product quicker, and will need more of it to cover their entire face!
So it’s really about knowing your skin type and getting familiar with the consistency of the product upon opening it.
Q. Any tips for applying anti-aging creams?
Apply product directly to your face in 5 areas: Forehead, nose, chin, left cheek, right cheek, and massage into the skin. Avoid putting the product on your hands, rubbing them together, and then applying the product to your face. A bit of cream will absorb into the hands, and you will waste it.
Q. What’s the proper way to layer skincare products? I find that so confusing.
Alida: I agree with you, Deb – the product layering question is a very common one! An easy way to remember is to apply your products from thinnest to thickest texture. It also helps to think about the size of the molecule of the product and how it would absorb.
For example, a toner is very thin in texture and similar to water. It absorbs very quickly because the size of the molecule is very small. Something like sunscreen is thick, so it has large molecules and doesn’t absorb as quickly. The thinner toner comes before, the thicker sunscreen. Here is a brief breakdown of layering for an everyday routine!
You can print this handy graphic and tuck it in your bathroom drawer. But let me explain it a little more first.
Your daily anti-aging skincare routine should include eight products over eight steps.
Step 1. Cleanse: Clean your skin thoroughly to remove any impurities
Step 2. Tone: This preps the skin and helps with product penetration. (Toning was once a necessary step after cleansing because older cleansers would strip the skin. Technology has advanced, and cleansers now are gentle enough on their own. However, you must use a toner if you are using a bar of soap which we obviously don’t recommend!)
Step 3. Vitamin C antioxidant: This is your protective shield and must go on before any other serums.
Step 4. Targeted serum: This is your corrective serum and can be anti-aging, hydrating, lifting, etc.
Step 5. Eye Cream: A good eye cream is designed to be non-migrating and for thin skin. A regular face cream used around the eyes could cause Milia (little white bumps).
Step 6. Face Moisturizer: One of your final steps and a thicker product. This helps to act as a barrier and seal in moisture.
Step 7. Neck Cream
Step 8. Sunscreen: Top and final layer to protect your investment. A hat or umbrella further protects your face & neck from more damage.
Your daily anti-aging nighttime skincare routine involves 7 products over 7 steps.
Step 1. Cleanse
Step 2. Tone
Step 3. Targeted serum
Step 4. Night Moisturizer
Step 5. Eye Cream
Step 6. Face
Sept 7: Neck Cream
Every second or third night, you are going to want to alternate your evening skincare routine with one that uses Retinol for best anti-aging results.
Nights using Retinol
Step 1. Cleanse: Clean your skin thoroughly to remove any impurities.
Step 2. Retinol: Approx 3 times a week, depending on the strength you’re on
Step 3: Night Moisturizer: A rich, moisturizing cream to combat the irritation that’s typical with an aggressive anti-aging retinol
Q. Is toner necessary? What if you have dry skin?
Toner isn’t an essential step anymore. It’s still a nice step in the routine to help remove makeup if you’re using a cotton pad, or for a refreshing mist. However, its purpose is to regulate the pH of the skin after using a stripping cleanser, which is rarely formulated nowadays.
If you are splashing your face with only water (no cleanser) or use older methods like a bar of soap to wash your face (which I advise against), then I would recommend a toner for that client.
Q. How important is eye cream? I get lazy and end up using face moisturizer under my eyes. Does that matter?
The skin around the eyes is much thinner than the rest of the face. There are eye creams specifically formulated for those thinner layers and also ones that are non-migrating, so they don’t move into the eyes, causing irritation, which often happens with other creams. You shouldn’t use your regular face cream around your eyes because too much of a hydrating component like hyaluronic acid will cause milia (white bumps) to build up around the eyes.
Q. Why are neck creams important?
Like the eyes, the skin on your neck area has a different composition. It’s thinner and more prone to wrinkling and creping. There are fewer oil glands, and your neck experiences a higher loss of elasticity, so yes, a neck cream is preferable.
Q. How can we develop an easy anti-aging skincare routine?
When you begin your routine, in the morning and evening, take a moment to remember that your routine is YOU-TIME! It’s time to focus on your self-care.
As I mentioned earlier, when applying any product, remember to always apply from thinnest to thickest in texture. You want to make sure that your lighter texture products are penetrating into the skin before sealing them over with a cream. The only time you need to wait in between layers is when you are using a retinoid. If you use a Retinoid, wait a minimum of 20 minutes before applying your moisturizing cream.
Your whole routine should take 5-7 minutes morning and evening. This includes a cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, cream, SPF, and sometimes an exfoliant or mask! The length of a routine varies from person to person and comes down to lifestyle. If you’re someone who loves the ritual of a skincare regime, you may enjoy massaging the products into your skin for proper penetration – this regime will take at least 10 minutes.
Some women want a bare minimum of products possible because they don’t want to spend any more time in the bathroom than they have to! This regime is under three minutes and is usually a cleanser, a cream, and an SPF.
Q. Should you change skincare products periodically?
Our skin changes with the season, age, environment, diet, and more! So I recommend you switch up your routine every once in a while.
Some women think they have sensitive skin and continue to believe this for 10+ years, avoiding beneficial treatments like Chemical Peels and exfoliating serums at home, when in reality, their skin has changed and is now more resilient than they think.
Sometimes it’s about making a lateral change and trying a new product; sometimes it’s about upgrading to a stronger, more active product than what your skin is used to. A great example of this is Retinol. There are more gentle levels of Retinol like the Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3, which is recommended for beginners to be used 2-3 times a week. Once your skin has adjusted, you can use it every day. Then you can upgrade to the 0.5, then eventually up to the 1.0.
An important note when switching products is that you may experience a bit of purging. This is completely normal! People get scared away from new products that could benefit them because they experience breakouts. The reason this happens is that your skin is being introduced to something new, and it’s adjusting! It’s temporary, and usually, the purging subsides after approximately two weeks.
Q. Is it better to mix up skincare brands?
I love this question so much because sometimes clients could really benefit from other lines and are reluctant to switch because of brand loyalty, but you definitely don’t need to stick with one brand for everything. I understand why people want to stick with a brand they trust, however, if there is an amazing product out there that will benefit you, why wouldn’t you want to try it!
Q. Are there certain products you should never combine?
Knowing which products work either with each other or against each other is when skincare begins to get more specific and more confusing. This works similar to vitamins you ingest. There are ones that counteract each other, and others that work really well together and help with absorption.
Exfoliators + Skin Brightening products, for example, can increase photosensitivity and irritate the skin. Another example is using Retinoids and not using an SPF. If you’re using a Retinol and going out into the sun, you’re exposing ‘new’ skin to UV rays, which will cause sunspots to form. Your aesthetician can give you more expert advice on various combinations.
Q. What’s the benefit of visiting a professional aesthetician?
Getting advice from a professional aesthetician is key. Instead of listening to other reviews, doing your own research and trial-and-error, we can analyze your skin type in conjunction with your lifestyle, and use our knowledge and experience to recommend a routine that will truly benefit you.
Professional aestheticians are continually learning. We’re always trying to find new ways to improve our client’s skin through the latest anti-aging products, devices, or laser machines.
It’s so gratifying to watch new clients come in with their skin concerns and months later leave with clear, glowing skin. This is why we do it. We’re always learning and collaborating to make sure we are giving our clients the very best. If we see something, we want to fix it.
We hope clients don’t take this personally or think we are trying to sell for the sake of selling. Our goal is and always will be to make sure we can help and make you look and feel great!
Thanks, Alida! I have learned a lot!!
Ladies, Be sure to check out Village Spas for complete beauty services and a wide range of anti-aging products that you can purchase in-store or online. If you have more questions on beauty-related questions, let me know, and I will do another post. Email email@example.com
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