Your skin is the first line of defense between your body and the rest of the world. It helps regulate body temperature, makes vitamin D, prevents pathogens from entering, and signals the body to understand when outside sources are causing it pain. That’s why a proper skincare routine is vital to protect the skin and maintain a healthy skin barrier. Maintaining a skincare routine will also prevent or lessen conditions like acne and premature aging.
Depending on who you ask, a skincare routine could consist of splashing water on your face once a day or layering 15 curated products on your skin every morning and night. The basic skincare routine lies somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, and, thankfully, can be as simple or complex as you want. Read on to learn the basics of starting a skincare routine.
Committing to a skincare routine every morning and night can be a struggle. The easiest way to enter into any new habit is to keep it simple. A basic skincare routine only needs 2-3 products to provide benefits and should include a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF, but if that already sounds like too much, opt for a moisturizer-SPF combo.
Figure out your skin type
Buying a few products might seem like an easy task, but after walking into your local drugstore or quickly perusing the web, you’ll soon realize that there are a million options for cleansers and moisturizers out there. Figuring out our skin type will help you narrow done your product search. If your skin looks shiny and feels slippery to the touch a few hours into your day, then it’s likely you have oily skin. If your skin feels dry to the touch, has little shine, and feels a little tight when you move your face, then you have dry skin. Combination skin occurs when you have an oily T-zone (forehead and nose) but dry cheeks.
Once you determine your skin type, look for products that address these specific concerns. Cleansers and moisturizers marketed as being oil-free or for acne-prone skin would be beneficial for oily skin. If you have dry skin, look for hydrating or moisture-rich products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides.
Determine your goals
If your motivation to start a skincare routine is oriented by a specific goal, like treating acne, dark spots, or skin aging, look for particular treatments to address these concerns. These products usually come as toners, serums, or treatments, but you can also find combination products like anti-aging moisturizers to simplify your routine.
The order that skincare products are applied can affect the penetration and the overall effectiveness of the products. Makeup removal and cleansing should always be the first steps to any skincare routine. After that, apply the products from the thinnest consistency to the thickest, with water-based products before oil-based products. Start with a cleanser then follow with a toner, exfoliant, serum, moisturizer, face oil, and lastly, an SPF.
Combining incompatible ingredients will also do more harm than good to your skin. Layering retinol with acids can be a burning combination, and vitamin C on top of benzoyl peroxide will quickly inactivate any of its skin brightening potential. Check out our past blog for specific tips on combining active ingredients.