Allow CNP Laboratory to go through the journey of healthy skin with you today – learn about basic skincare regime to identify which products suit you best!
Understanding Your Products
With more than 7000 skincare brands alone in South Korea, the competition for the best skincare products is a serious business. With so many fanciful names competing to attract your attention, how do we know which products should go at which step? Essences, lotions, toners, ampules, boosters, and even skin enhancers all sound largely unfamiliar, but over at CNP Laboratory we see the utmost importance to provide basic education for our loyal fanbase on the methodological use of our own products! Read more to understand what goes on behind each product!
Why should we have dedicated cleansers for make-up removal?
With a weather as humid as the tropics of Singapore, good make-up tends to be determined by its capabilities to last for long hours without smudging. But for make-up to last for long hours under an atmosphere with high humidity, the waterproof capabilities tend to be too strong for comfort at times.
A regular facial cleanser with skincare benefit focus will hence be insufficient for removing make-up on its own as its main focus is on targeting facial care than the removal of impurities and make-up.
What type of ingredients should we look out for in a good make-up remover?
Make-up removing cleansers with the same Water: Oil ratio as waterproof make-up works the best as they come with high homogeneity to fuse with and thereafter emulsify the make-up, allowing a more thorough removal process. Most of the time, for such cleansers to work, they contain silicone and at the same time try to avoid containing too much skincare benefits so that the quality of make-up removal is not compromised.
How frequent is too much cleansing?
Cleansing is an important step to maintaining healthy, clear complexion. But while there is an emphasis on basic dermal cleanliness to ensure that little or no impurities and dead skin cells cause clogged pores and give rise to acne problems, the skin still requires a natural balance of oil and water to function normally. Hence, too much cleansing can cause the skin’s pH to go haywire and at the same time strip away too much of the skin’s moisture level resulting in dehydration. Unless needed due to exercising or exposure to yellow dust and polluted air, one should take note of keeping at least six hours intervals between each round of facial cleansing.
What is double cleansing?
Most consumers misunderstand the meaning that double cleansing refers to cleansing the face twice with the same cleanser. Double cleansing actually refers to cleansing the face with a first cleanser that removes make-up, impurities and sunscreen prior to cleansing the face with a second cleanser that comes with functional skincare benefits based on the user’s preferences such as brightening, moisturizing, or acne treating and more.
How do I know when I am cleansing my face wrongly?
Cleansing should be a soothing and comfortable process much similar to stepping out of a fresh bath with lukewarm water. The skin should not feel tight or taut after cleansing but instead comfortable and relaxed. Using two different hydrating cleansers in a two-step cleansing method cleanses the skin much thoroughly and in safer ways than to use a single cleanser that uses foam to remove make-up and impurities (most of such cleansers also removes the skin’s natural oils and moisture causing imbalance to pH levels and dehydrated skin). One should also avoid using hot water for cleansing as it too can strip away the skin’s natural moisture.
What is a booster?
A booster is a product that focuses on boosting the skin’s capabilities to absorb your existing products and also help improve the skin’s existing capabilities to maintain healthy moisture levels.
Most of the time a booster’s main and primary function is to either help the skin remove dead skin cells or to promote higher levels of water binding capabilities.
One should look out for mild-type exfoliating boosters that do not require physical activities such as rubbing or scrubbing to aid the skin in the process of dead skin cells removal. Physical methods such as exfoliation beads and fruit peels may firstly result in unevenly removed dead skin and at the same time damage or harm new layers of skin, hindering healthy cellular growth.
When should I use a booster?
When one notices that their existing skincare products have less obvious improvements than when the skin was initially introduced to said product, or when there are obvious indications of the lack of ability to absorb products as readily when at a younger age, or for the ambitious individuals who are constantly looking to bring their skin to greater levels of natural health and glow.
How should I apply my toner?
There are two main different methods of applying toners. Westernized toners look at the use of cotton pads as an applicator and at the same time for added cleansing after facial cleansing. By applying toner onto the cotton pad and then using it in a swiping motion, the physical action removes dead skin while providing added cleansing.
In most Asian countries, Eastern toners are recommended to be applied directly to the face directly either using the hands or by a spray bottle. Clinical trials have also shown that when applying toners directly to the face with a spray bottle or using the hands aids the skin to maintain longer hours of moisture levels.
Are toners for cleansing or hydrating?
Depending on the user’s preference and requirement, the toner can be used differently.
As double cleansing already took place prior to the basic skincare regime, the skin should be cleansed sufficiently. Using a booster before the toner also helps the skin to shed dead skin naturally. Hence, it is recommended to use an Eastern type toner for prolonged hours of hydration for the skin.
Do take note however to look through the ingredient list as well as understand the product’s country of origin so as to help make the deciding factor if the toner is a western type or eastern type toner.
Are ampules just another type of serums?
Ampules differ slightly from serums as they are designed for higher absorbency and provides a higher efficacy as they contain higher levels of nutrition. It may sound weird that a product with high levels of nutrition can be absorbed much easier than a regular product, considering how more nutrients may = to a product with a more viscous/ thicker consistency.
Banking on the concept of chemistry, the molecules of ampules products are designed to be smaller in molecular size despite coming from a formula of higher concentration. This hence allows the product to absorb easier and faster, penetrating deeper into the skin taking immediate action on pressing issues of the skin.
Serums, Ampules, Essences, when should I use them?
Despite having a higher concentration of nutrients, the ingredients in ampules also come in smaller molecular sizes compared to other products. This allows the user to channel the product deeper into the skin and also experience a faster absorption rate. To prevent retarding the skin absorption process of ampules, serums and essences should hence be applied in the next step if needed.
I have more than one ampule, how should I use them?
Ampules can be layered together to achieve greater effect and even more nourished skin, resulting in a healthy radiance. To do so, simply take the ampule of lighter texture and apply it before the ampule of a more viscous/ heavy texture. This will also reduce the amount of time required for the skin to absorb your products before you can move on to the next step in your skincare regime.
Alternatively, you may also consider separating your ampules between day and night use. Considering Singapore’s humid weather, one should always look at using an ampule with lighter texture and a primary function of hydrating the skin during the day while using an ampule with a heavier texture that focuses on nourishment and moisturizing during the night.
I have so much skincare, are creams and moisturizers really necessary?
Most users with oily skin tend to think that they should not use any moisturizing or cream-based products since their skin is already oily.
The primary function of a moisturizer is to lock in moisture and nutrients, aiding the skin to prolong its capabilities to retaining moisture for long hours while not putting your other products such as serums, essences and ampules to waste. An individual with oily skin type should always end their skincare regime with at least a gel-type moisturizer. Leaving the skin bare and exposed allows the skin to expire moisture much easily and faster, causing the skin to produce more oil as a form of coping mechanism to retain moisture.
I recently bought a new moisturizer and started breaking out, is it not suitable for my skin?
When using a new skincare product, one should always bear in mind that the skincare takes some time to react and adapt, hence a new moisturizer with foreign ingredients may at times result in the skin purging or having more breakouts in the initial phase which tends to last about 3 – 7 days.
However, the same cannot be said for creams and moisturizers containing mineral oil. The petroleum extracted ingredient acts as a sealant, locking the skin in an invisible veil which, while locking the skin to prevent moisture from going out, also prevents the skin from breathing. This anaerobic environment then becomes a conducive environment for acne bacteria to thrive and multiply by the thousands!
SPF and PA, what are they good for?
SPF refers to Sun Protection Factor while PA refers to Protection Grade of UVA.
In other words, SPF protects the skin from UVB rays, which are responsible for causing the skin to burn under sunlight and darken overtime, while the latter protects the skin from UVA rays which are responsible for speeding up the process of skin ageing.
1 SPF keeps an individual with sensitive skin protected from the sun for at least 10 minutes, and so a sunscreen of SPF 35 offers a protection of minimally 6 hours. A sunscreen with PA factors of 3 ‘+’ on the other hand, protects the skin from UVA rays for minimally 8 hours.
A good sunscreen should come with at least SPF 42 and PA +++ protection. One should also take note that UVA rays are much stronger than the weaker UVB rays and can penetrate through glass windows. Hence, basic protection with sunscreen helps deter the effects of ageing caused by the sun.
Physical VS Chemical sunscreens, which is better?
Chemical sunscreens tend to contain Benzophenone, which is a sealant type ingredient much similar to mineral oil. Despite protecting the sun from harmful UV rays, this chemical also seals up the skin, and promotes an anaerobic environment for acne bacteria to thrive. Physical sunscreen ingredients such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide on the other hand, reflects light naturally like a mirror, while leaving the skin breathability and comfortable.
Why do I need to use a make-up remover for my sunscreen?
Regardless of the type of UV protection agent a sunscreen uses in its formula, sunscreens should be treated like make-up. As these are waterproof products, ensuring thorough removal of these UV protection agents help keep the skin clear from impurities and potential mineral pigment staining which may lead to discoloration of the skin.
FINAL STEP (OPTIONAL)
What is the difference between a mineral water mist and a functional mist?
A mineral water mist focuses on the minerals provided in mineral water to nourish and hydrate the skin. While certain types of minerals such as Selenium are considered to aid the skin reduce sensitivity issues, functional face mists with actual skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acids or even propolis extract nourishes the skin and improve water-binding capabilities, ensuring healthier skin.
When should I use my face mists?
You may use your face mist at any step of your skincare regime. The physical technology behind most face mists consider the air pressure within the bottle and the size of the nozzle, resulting in ultra-fine mist particles which will not lead to clogged pores.
This also mean that you may use your mist just after cleansing, applying make-up, or any time throughout the day without worrying about smudging your make-up! As functional face mists also contain skincare ingredients, they can also act as a fixing spray that helps fix your make-up so you won’t have to worry about blotchy make-up before the day even ends!
OTHER SKIN CARE
How long should I apply my sheet masks for?
When applying paper sheet masks, one should take care not to leave the mask on until it becomes dry. As the skin behaves similar to a sponge when absorbing water and nourishment, using a paper sheet mask until it dries up and lead to reverse osmosis, where the skin expels water for the paper sheet mask and hence result in water loss through the process. A safe gauge to determine the amount of time to leave your mask on would be 15 – 20 minutes.
Is it safe to use a sheet mask everyday?
It is possible to use a sheet mask on a daily basis, depending on the functionality of the sheet mask. A hydrating type sheet mask works excellent on a daily basis and also helps reduce the puffiness caused by water retention when you wake up in the morning. The frequency of use for exfoliating sheet masks and firming sheet masks, on the other hand, should not exceed more than once every two days.
Should I wash off my sleeping mask before I sleep?
As the name suggests, sleeping masks should be left on while you sleep. Rinsing or washing it off can reduce the ability of the product to help lock in moisture and nutrients while you sleep. One should take note however, to massage the product into the skin during application and ensure proper absorption before going to bed. At the same time, sanitary efforts to ensuring the cleanliness of your pillow and pillow case alike should be maintained – simply place a face towel over your pillow when going to be with a sleeping mask OR ensure that you change your pillow case regularly to prevent providing a conducive environment for bacteria or mould to grow on your pillow.
I am currently using a sleeping mask, why does my skin not seem to improve at all?
Without proper exfoliation, the skin loses its efficacy in absorption. To ensure better results when using a sleeping mask, try using a mild exfoliating product or minimally tone the skin prior to going to bed. This way, the product should and can absorb better as you sleep.
Which step of my skincare regime should I use my Eyes, Nose & Lips products?
Like all products, absorption is better when dead skin cells are removed. Hence, eye masks and pore packs should be used after your booster or toner. Lip care products for locking in moisture such as lip balms on the other hand, should be used after your entire skincare regime.
Are lip balms really necessary?
Using your lip balm before lip color products (aside from lip stains and lip tints) also help to prevent lipstick with drying ingredients from drying out the skin at the lip area by acting as a protective barrier.
Pore packs VS Pore Strips, which is better?
The physical requirement of pulling out pore strips causes tugging and damage to the skin at the nose area, products that are not provided with an aftercare product that helps to constrict the pores or soothe the skin should be avoided. Pore packs on the other hand, despite being troublesome and requires time, are a softer and mild method to eradicate black heads. These products usually come with a first step pore mask to remove dead skin and help ‘”ease out” sebum and white heads within the pores and a second step pore mask to constrict the pores and reduce the chances of external dirt and dust from getting into the pores, resulting in noticeably bigger pores at the nose areas.
Hydrogel Eye Patches VS Paper Type Eye Masks, which is better?
Much similar to paper face masks, paper type eye masks may dry up and result in a reverse osmotic process and strip the skin of moisture causing dehydrate skin. As the skin area at the eyes are much more delicate and easily damaged, leaving paper eye masks for too long until it dries up can result in fine lines and damaged skin at the eye areas. Hydrogel masks work better as the jelly type remains moist longer than the intended 10 – 15 minutes to prevent such incidents