You’ve probably seen the memes circulating Instagram and TikTok about the abrasive approach we all used to take with our skin — mainly rubbing St. Ives Apricot Scrub into our pores as if we were scrubbing the dishes. As we all wince at the thought of how rough we were with our skin, what most of us are noticing is that in 2024, not a lot has changed.
Great skincare is all about education and learning what active ingredients and habits work best for your skin type. And while your dermatologist and esthetician commonly have differing opinions, listening to what your skin needs might be your best approach. We’ve become consumed with applying more and more, but similar to the skin cycling trends we’ve seen, sometimes our skin needs a break — and that’s exactly what “skin cushioning” is all about.
What is Skin Cushioning?
Skin cushioning isn't a specific product or fad, but rather a philosophy that prioritizes a calm, pampered complexion. It focuses on cultivating a healthy skin barrier through mindful practices and targeted ingredients. Think of it as building a solid foundation for radiant skin from within.
Be gentle and kind to your skin, use less harsh active ingredients, and focus on improving the moisture barrier of your skin — that’s what skin cushioning focuses on. This holistic approach removes harsh chemical or physical ingredients to give your skin a chance to breathe and replenish itself. And what most individuals are finding is that it leads to more dewy, effortless skin, naturally.
Key Details of Skin Cushioning:
- Gentle Cleansing: Ditch harsh cleansers that strip your skin's natural oils. Opt for gentle formulas that remove impurities without leaving your skin feeling tight. If you’ve been contemplating a cleansing milk — now might be the time to purchase it!
- Hydration Heroes: Hydrate at every level! Layer serums, essences, and moisturizers rich in hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides to lock in moisture and plump up your skin.
- Exfoliate with Care: Regular exfoliation is key to maintaining a smooth, radiant complexion. However, instead of harsh retinoids, scrubs or chemical peels, opt for gentle chemical exfoliants like AHAs or BHAs instead.
- Incorporate Nourishing Touches: Targeted treatments like sheet masks, eye masks or facial oils to address specific concerns like dryness or uneven texture are great additions to your routine.
- Sun Protection Always: Safeguarding your skin from UV rays is non-negotiable. Use a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen daily to prevent premature aging and hyperpigmentation.
The Benefits of Skin Cushioning:
- Enhanced Radiance: A healthy, hydrated skin barrier naturally reflects light, creating a soft, dewy glow.
- Improved Texture: Gentle exfoliation and hydration lead to smoother, softer skin that feels comfortable and supple.
- Strengthened Barrier: By prioritizing gentle cleansing and nourishment, you strengthen your skin's natural defenses against environmental aggressors.
- Healthy Aging: Consistent moisturizing and nourishing with the right ingredients can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Remember: Skin cushioning is a long-term approach. Embrace consistency and patience, and you'll gradually see a noticeable difference in your skin's health and appearance.