Surf Skincare 101: Facial Care

Recently, skincare has taken the spotlight in the media, and we couldn’t be happier! There are so many options available for all skin types that provide us the opportunity of achieving our skin goals. However, with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what’s best for your skin - but don’t fret, it may be easier than you think.

We’re here to help you get the supple beauty you desire, on top of your existing beauty, without the stress of elaborate terminology and false advertisement. With so many people telling you what to put on your face, let’s find out exactly what you’re putting on your face - so strap on your surfboard leash, and get ready to catch a big wave of skincare.

girl washing face in mirror

Moisturizers, Serums, Oils Oh My!

Moisturizers, serums, and oils - aren’t they all the same thing? Is it the consistency that sets them apart? Well, we’re here to tell you that these three are different, and it isn’t just the consistency that sets them apart. They all provide different benefits, and it’s important to know what they contribute to your skin - because they can be just as damaging as they are beneficial if they aren’t needed.


(Water, Occlusives, Humectants): Most moisturizers are oil-in-water emulsions. If you look at any moisturizers ingredient list, you’ll most likely find water and oil. 

While the outermost layer of your skin absorbs water nicely, it doesn't bind it very well, so some oily substance is needed to hold it in. Applying an oily substance to the skin without also resupplying it with water is ineffective; you'd end up with greasy skin that is still dry and cracked. These oily substances in moisturizers are sometimes referred to as occlusives because they block the evaporation of water. 

In addition, humectants in moisturizers pull water into the skin’s outermost layer both from the air and from deeper layers of the skin. However, when the humidity is low, there's so little water in the air that almost all of the water comes from the inside out - so they are almost always used with occlusive ingredients to trap moisture.


(Vitamins, Retinol, Hyaluronic acid, Peptides): Serums target specific concerns with active ingredients. Serums mainly include ingredients like Vitamin E and C, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and peptides. 


Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant known for its ability to protect, nourish, and moisturize skin. It also softens, so you can get that silky smooth feel. Vitamin C enhances that youthful look and helps to boost rejuvenation and improve skin tone and radiance. Overall, it enhances the look and feels of the skin. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that plumps up the skin, minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also an antioxidant, so it gives you added nourishment. Hyaluronic acid helps keep our skin and tissues hydrated; it moisturizes, plumps, and helps the skin to retain moisture. Lastly, peptides are antioxidants that smooth and improve the texture of the skin. They’re the building blocks of collagen and other proteins, so they play a key role in keeping skin looking fresh. 

Some serums combine several of these, while others focus primarily on one or two.


Oils provide the skin with nourishment and vitamins that can penetrate the upper levels of the skin.

The basic idea is that putting an oil on your face will help supplement the natural oils your skin is supposed to produce, add moisture to your skin, and help repair the barrier that keeps that moisture in. Depending on the type of oil (jojoba, maracuja, coconut, argan, tea tree, etc.) the oil may have other benefits, like anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties.

Thus, moisturizers trap water, serums target the skin’s needs, and oils provide the skin with nourishment and vitamins.

friends wearing under-eye masks to rejuvenate skin

How to Layer Facial Care Products

The order of application is crucial because the skin’s job is to keep substances out, and many of our products involve keeping substances within the skin - so how exactly do we effectively apply skincare products? 


Step 1: Cleanser - cleanses the skin.

Step 2: Toner - act as a delivery system for antioxidants, vitamin-B derivatives, and even toning acids.

Step 3: Antioxidant Serum - boosts your skin’s inflammatory response to neutralizing damage from UV rays and environmental pollutants.

Step 4: Eye Cream - ensures that the eyelid skin does not easily lose laxity and its smooth appearance later on.

Step 5: Spot Treatment - treat acne spots by drying out the skin.

Step 6: Moisturizer - hydrates the skin.

Step 7: Oil - provides nourishment and vitamins. (Check out our Face Oil blog for more on face oils and Surf Soap’s very own face oil, Coral Glow.)

Step 8: Sunscreen - physically blocks UV rays from the sun.

girl performing her facial care routine


Step 1: Cleanser

Step 2: Toners, Essences, Boosters

Step 3: Eye Cream

Step 4: Treatments, Serums, Peels

Step 5: Moisturizers or Night Cream

Step 6: Oil

girl facing the sun sunshine on skin

Is Bare Better?

We’ve discussed all the foundational skincare products and what they do, but are they necessary? Why can’t we just go bare? Although it would be wonderful for our skin to take care of itself, it isn’t that simple.

The human body knows what to do on its own; we have cells that exist to fight bacteria. Our bodies naturally do whatever they need to do – we don’t need to help move it along. However, it’s important to maintain a consistent beauty regime because taking care of our skin on a daily basis will result in healthier skin long-term. People without a routine allow their skin to absorb pollutants, such as dirt and toxins, leaving the skin looking dull, wrinkled, and lacking radiance as well as showing the effects of age faster.

However, going bare can do our skin a few much-needed favors. A plus is that it may tell you what your skin specifically needs. It also may give you the chance to start a new routine without the lingering effects of your old routine. Some products and ingredients can be overused, which leads to irritation, dryness, redness, and blotchiness. Those side effects may lead people to seek treatment for skin conditions they don’t face, which may cause them to go bare. It’s important to remember that too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing.

Overall, bare skin can be beneficial short term, but a skincare regimen helps your skin in the long term.

jade roller

DIY Skincare Hacks for Some Self Care

Finding time for yourself may seem impossible when you’re busy with your everyday life, and skincare doesn’t have to be an added chore to your list - so here are a few DIY skincare hacks for some self-care.

Castor Oil: Castor oil can be used to thicken eyebrows because it contains Omega 9 Fatty Acid and boasts anti-inflammatory properties to help hair grow uninhibited. 

Sugar: Can be used for softer lips, feet, and hands. Mix a DIY sugar scrub with olive oil, lemon juice, and sugar to soften rough heels, hands, and lips.

Honey: Can be used for anti-aging. Apply a honey mask to clean skin for its anti-bacterial and healing properties (honey can heal acne scars!) as well as anti-aging effects.

Sweat Sesh: For detoxing skin, a good sweat session, no matter the type of exercise, is good for your skin as it helps flush out toxins from the body.

Baking Soda: Apply baking soda once a week to your toothbrush to whiten teeth.

Steam: For detoxing skin, run a washcloth under warm water and apply it to your face before your masks for optimal results. This opens the pores and allows the product to absorb into the skin. You can also boil water on the stove and hold a towel over your head to create a makeshift steam room.

Peppermint Oil: Use for plump lips. Peppermint oil offers lips a natural plump, so add a drop or two onto your lipstick next time you apply.


Frozen Spoons: Keep two spoons in the freezer and place them under your eyes to de-puff any under-eye bags or dark circles when needed.

Baby Oil: Score a quick fix for your manicure by applying baby oil to your nails and cuticles every night. Nails will stay shiny and hydrated 24-7.

We’ve finally ridden the wave, so now it’s time for you to get back to shore and use what you’ve learned!



updated: Sep 29, 2021

Written by Mia Hamp

Shop Now