​An Esthetician Answers: What is the Best Skin Care Regimen?

The pressure to have the perfect #shelfie on Instagram is real, but are all of those products necessary in our day to day skin care routine? Our skin care regimen should be customized to our skin’s unique personality and needs, so how do we know whether what we’re using or what treatments we’re receiving is right for us? And as brands expand their ranges and new ones pop up, how do you decide what deserves a spot in your routine as well as what steps are necessary for your skin type?

Esthetician Chloé Amstutz says that our daily routines don’t necessarily have to be overly complicated in the amount of products that we use, they just need to have consistency.

“In my opinion, cleansing is a highly undervalued step in a routine,” she said. “Using the proper cleanser removes problematic oil, debris and makeup that causes many skin challenges. If the skin isn’t cleansed properly then every step after is null and void.”

A habitual lack of cleansing in your routine can cause your pores to become clogged, leading to dreaded breakouts and an enlarged pore appearance. What’s more, failing to properly cleanse your face regularly can have oily skin types becoming increasingly oily, while those with dry skin finding that their skin looks duller. Regular cleansing will keep your skin looking radiant and healthy, while helping to keep skin sebum levels in check. Plus, it helps any anti-aging skincare products you’re using work more effectively. (Related reading: "How to Properly Wash Your Face")

What is Amstutz’s idea of a basic level skin care routine? After cleansing, use an effective moisturizer for your skin type (for example, gel-based for oily skin or a heavier cream for dry skin), as well as sunscreen to protect your skin throughout the day. It’s best not to skimp on these essentials to ensure that your skin is receiving the protection that it needs.

“Restoring balance to the lipid barrier after cleansing is important to ensure its function and protection,” she added. “The sunscreen part is the most important part. It’s been said that SPF is the number one anti-aging ingredient available in skin care and I couldn’t agree more.”

Beyond the basics of an at-home skin care routine, professional treatments are advancing and becoming increasingly more accessible to everyday consumers. The question then becomes, what treatments should you get and how often?

Similar to her advice for a traditional skin care routine, Amstutz echoes the same sentiment: consistency.

“I believe the most effective treatment–both in result and cost–is a more regular facial regimen,” she said. “For the average person, a quarterly dermaplaning facial and chemical peel is a great way to improve the efficacy of daily use products and help undo and treat lingering skin issues.”

Dermaplaning is a non-invasive treatment that exfoliates the skin, using a blade to remove dead skin cells as well as vellus hairs on your face. In addition to making the surface of your face smooth and bright, it also helps to encourage cellular turnover and, thus, has anti-aging benefits. Dermaplaning and chemical peels can be done separately, but they also work synergistically together. Since dermaplaning will remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells, the chemical solution in the peel is better able to reach deeper into the skin and is, therefore, more effective.

“Chemical peels vary in formulation, strength and benefit and can be tailored to the individual’s needs,” she added. “Aging, hyperpigmentation, and acne can all be improved with dermaplaning and chemical peels. Sticking to a quarterly regimen keeps the skin healthy and lessens the opportunity for a poor outcome or unrealistic expectations.”

Chloé Amstutz is a licensed esthetician in California and Tennessee and the owner of NAKED: Skin & Wax, a unisex skincare and wax studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Chloé was previously an esthetics educator at the Aveda Institute in Nashville and a Regional Educator for a franchisee with multiple locations of European Wax Center in California. Prior to teaching and training roles, she specialized in full body speed waxing with hard wax. Additionally, Chloé is certified in dermaplaning, lash extensions and microneedling. She is active on Instagram where she shares her expertise with consumers and professionals alike.