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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

Skincare: Where to Start

Skincare: Where to Start

Skincare: Where to Start

 

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With skincare, starting is half the battle, as are most challenging processes in life. There are so many opinions out there when it comes to the best practices and products, but the one thing that is certain is the singularity in how to take care of your skin. Meaning – everyone is complexly different, and the same goes for your skin and what is going to work best for you. 

Caring for your skin takes daily consistency and discipline, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. We want to fuse the simplicity back into skincare, one consistent habit, and product at a time. 

Starting a Skincare Routine

Starting a new habit requires discipline, patience, and a little bit of critical thinking. You’ll have to decide how to fit your new routine into your day. This may take time and effort in the beginning, but with some dedication, your skincare routine will begin to feel like an auto-pilot ritual.

When it comes to skincare, it should be done once in the morning, and once in the evening – much like brushing your teeth. Likewise, try setting out your skincare products next to your toothbrush so you never forget. It might add a few more minutes to your morning or night routine, but the long-lasting results will prove lucrative. 

With any habit, commit to your new routine for at least three weeks. On average, this is how long it takes a human to create a new habit. Double that, and you’re likely to have the habit become automatic in your mind. 

And lastly, if you’re struggling to remember, or having a hard time finding the consistency that skincare requires, remember why you’re starting in the first place. It could be to clear up stubborn acne, to invest in your future self and appearance, or to practice daily self care. Come back to that virtue every so often to keep yourself motivated. 

Evaluating Your Skin Type

With skincare, it’s key to know what your skin type is. This means knowing what will trigger a breakout (hormones, certain products or ingredients, weather, etc.) and knowing how your skin health is typically affected. There are generally 5 main skin types, and you probably fall under one of them. 

  1. Normal Skin – Characterized by little to no acne breakouts, a balanced skin tone, moisture level, and complexion, and not affected by new products or environmental factors.
  2. Oily Skin – Characterized by excess oil on the majority of the face, feeling greasy and shiny, and prone to acne, blackheads, and clogged pores.
  3. Dry Skin – Characterized by dry, flaky skin on the majority of the face, feeling dry, tight, and taut skin. 
  4. Combination Skin – Characterized by a mixture of oily and dry skin in different areas of the face. Normally, the T-zone is more oily, while the cheeks are dry. Can be affected by acne and dark spots.
  5. Sensitive Skin – Characterized by easily triggered and inflamed skin, redness, and inflammation. Prone to eczema and rosacea, as well as frequent breakouts. 

Once you’ve deliberated your skin type, you can continue by selecting products for your skincare routine that match what your skin needs. 

Targeting Skin Problems

In tangent with the previous step, knowing what your skin needs is a key part of the starting process with skincare. You can probably recognize what you most need to assess and resolve with your skin – that’s why you’re reading this, after all! 

Here are some common skin problems and their best resolutions:

Dry, Flaky, Peeling Skin – Resolve with an exfoliating routine and a heavy, hydrating moisturizer. 

Oily Skin – Resolve with a clarifying cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer. 

Acne/Breakouts – Resolve with a clarifying cleanser, acne spot-treatment, weekly detoxifying face masks, and a lightweight moisturizer. 

Razor Burn/Razor Bumps – Resolve by exfoliating before shaving, using a clean, single-blade razor, and cleansing with cold water after shaving, followed by an after-shave product and moisturizer.

Rosacea/Redness/Inflammation/Irritation – Resolve with a calming, gentle cleanser and a soothing, all-natural moisturizer. Always use an SPF. 

Textured Skin – Resolve with an exfoliating routine and weekly detoxifying and purifying face mask. 

Dark Spots/Discoloration – Resolve with products that have Niacinamide and Vitamin C, and use a toner to balance skin complexion

Dark Circles/Puffy Undereye Bags – Resolve with a repairing eye serum and cold compress underneath the eyes (like an ice roller).

Wrinkles/Fine Lines – Resolve with a hydrating and repairing moisturizer, and treat with Retinol (Vitamin A), Niacinamide (Vitamin B-3), and Vitamin C. 

Meeting the 3 Essential Steps

At the very least, these are the 3 most essential steps in any skincare routine. If you match these three steps and stay consistent with them, you have a solid foundation for a skincare regimen.

Cleansing

Our faces endure a lot throughout the day and week. We accumulate thousands of dead skin cells on our faces every day, as well as oil, dirt, and bacteria buildup. The average human touches their face about 23 times per hour. That’s a high chance of contributing even more bacteria, dirt, and oil to the face!

Cleansing is an essential component of keeping your skin healthy and happy. As per good hygiene, cleanse and wash your face once in the morning, and once in the evening with a face cleanser. This will ensure you clear away dead skin cells, flaky skin, or excess oil, in addition to any dirt, bacteria, makeup, or sunscreen you’ve had on your face. The key is to create a clean canvas for the skin to breathe and regenerate new skin cell growth. New skin cells = a clearer, brighter complexion you can feel confident about.

The Disco Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick is an excellent option for a daily cleanser. It’s the ultimate superstar that gently exfoliates dead skin cells, purifying pores of bacteria, oil, and dirt, and nourishing the skin to not leave it dried out. 

Moisturizing

Our skin holds moisture throughout the day and excretes it in the form of sweat and natural sebum production. Sebum is the natural oil excreted from the sebaceous glands in the face – and keeps the skin naturally lubricated. However, this moisture homeostasis is easily disrupted throughout the day from exercise, sun exposure, weather, and applying makeup or other skincare. The key to this step is to restore moisture to the skin and lock in a hydrated and clear complexion.

Always moisturize with a face moisturizer after cleansing. This step is also necessary as it locks in moisture that could have been drawn out in the cleansing process. The Disco Hydrating Face Moisturizer restores the moisture barrier, deeply hydrates the skin, and protects against free radical damage.

SPF 

The last, but certainly not least step is applying sun protection or SPF. If you consistently skip this step, everything else in your skincare routine can be deemed useless, especially if you end up with sun damage. The sun has long-lasting consequences on the skin if you don’t use protection. Sunburns are the least of your worries – sun damage can contribute to premature wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. Applying SPF is truly the superstar anti-aging step in skincare.

Always apply an SPF 30 sunblock in the morning or before sun exposure. Our computer and phone screens also emit blue light, which can also contribute to damage to the skin. 

Use the Disco Moisturizing Mineral Sun Block with Zinc Oxide to adequately protect the skin from UV rays with SPF 30, as well as moisturize the skin with Tripeptides and Niacinamide.

Final Thoughts

Skincare can feel overwhelming if you’re just getting started, but it really boils down to getting the basics right. If you’re looking for more information or struggling to make that jump to start, here is a comprehensive guide on beginning a skincare routine.
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