Do you want to streamline your skincare routine? Maybe you have a drawer full of products you thought you needed but don’t know which ones to use at what times. Maybe you are just starting to think about putting together a skincare routine and want to know the basics.
Pull out your products, clear out your drawers; here’s what you need each morning.
- Wash your face. A simple rule of thumb is if you have oily skin, use a bubbly facial cleanser and if you have dry skin, use a creamy one. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a cleanser – just find one that leaves your skin feeling clean but not tight or oily.
- Exfoliate twice a week. Depending on your skin and your product, you can up this to 3 to 4 times, even more, if you’d like, but a couple of times a week is a good start if you’re not already exfoliating. Exfoliating will help get rid of dead skin cells that leave your skin looking dull. A simple, gentle way to exfoliate your face is with a washcloth, but you can use a product as well.
- Moisturize. After cleansing, you always need to use a moisturizer. Try to apply right after you wash your face for the best hydration. if you are looking to utilize those anti-aging benefits in your moisturizer, consider using them on your chest and neck, which show your age far faster than your face. (Run in excess into your hands for even more benefits!) Look for a moisturizer with SPF, but because many great moisturizers don’t have SPF….
- Sunscreen – the most important step. If your moisturizer or foundation has an SPF of at least 15, you can skip this first step, but it doesn’t give you the out on reapplication. Reapply every 1 1/2 or 2 hours, or at least 20 minutes before you leave work for your lunch break. (We love Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30 for lunch outings. It’s pricy, but worth it!)
That’s really all you need for a healthy skincare routine. Want to up the ante? Here are a few extras you might want to add.
- Serum. The molecules in a serum are smaller than those in moisturizers. This means the active ingredients can sink deeper into your skin to deliver anti-aging ingredients to the core of the problem. If you are looking to fend off signs of aging, a serum would be a good thing to add.
- Eye Cream. The only reason we’d recommend you use an eye cream is A: to help with dark circles or puffy eyes or B: for specific aging issues. If you don’t have those problems or issues to work on, feel free to skip them. Apply gently with your ring finger, tapping the product in, not rubbing it.
- Face Mask. There are many different face masks, from mud-based for oily or acne-prone skin to hydrating face masks for dry or aging skin. Using face masks once or twice a week can be beneficial and relaxing to your skin.
Benefits of a Simple Skincare Routine
Did you know that Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey milk?
The idea behind these bizarre baths was that donkey milk would revitalize the skin and preserve the Egyptian queen’s famous beauty. If Cleopatra can go to the effort of sitting in a tub filled with donkey milk every day, you can start an easy skincare routine. Don’t worry. Yours will be a little less strange!
Just as Cleopatra knew, keeping a consistent routine to help your skin is key to making sure it says looking bright and youthful for years to come. But, not every skincare routine is made equal.
Find out how to make a perfect skincare routine with our guide.
Morning and Night Routines
If you want to keep your skin looking, it’s best. The most important routine will be the one you do at night. This is because your skin has more time to rejuvenate and refresh as you sleep, and the products you use will be much more effective! Your morning skincare routine can be more simple and, if all you need to do is wash off the product from the night before, a splash of water will do.
Know Your Problem Areas
Read this skincare guide to find out about sebum. This is the main difference between skin types, with dry skin not producing enough and oily skin producing far too much. Once you know your problem areas, you can create a routine to suit your skin, playing to its strength, and supporting its weaknesses.
Elements of a Basic Skincare Routine
Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be a chore. Your morning skincare routine can consist of just three elements; a cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen. If your skin is low maintenance, you may only need a cleanser and a moisturizer in the evening, making it super simple!
Here’s a little more on each element.
In general, the skin will respond better to a gentle, fuss-free cleanser that isn’t too drying. Avoid cleansers that include substances like alcohol or essential oils as these can be too harsh on the skin and irritate it. The aim of a cleanser is to remove dirt and grime from the face, not strip the oils off your skin, so find a simple product with gentle ingredients.
If you have problem skin, it’s better to use other products such as serums to combat the issues rather than your cleanser.
Just like your cleanser, opt for a simpler moisturizer rather than one that’s meant to work wonders. If you have oily skin, opt for one that’s lighter in texture, whilst dryer skin will need a slightly thicker, hard-working moisturizer. But don’t go too heavy, or it could cause other issues with your skin, such as acne.
When you build a skincare routine, never forget the sunscreen! It’s estimated that around 90% of skin aging is caused by sun damage, so a daily sunscreen can help keep you safe from wrinkles, age spots, and of course, cancer. Make sure to use sunscreen for your face that doesn’t leave a white cast and has a high SPF.
If your moisturizer or foundation has an SPF, don’t be fooled into thinking this is enough! You’d need to use far more of the product than you normally would (around a nickel-sized dollop) to get the coverage you need, so this sun protection isn’t very effective.
Extra Elements For Your Routine
If you have problems with your skin that need a little extra TLC, there are plenty of additional products you can add to your routine. Here are some great ones for you to look into.
If you suffer from acne, switch out the harsh, spot-fighting cleansers for a gentle cleanser and add niacinamide to your routine. This is excellent for fighting acne and reducing redness from blemishes. Add it to your face after you’ve washed it, and your spots should start to fade.
A good chemical exfoliant will have plenty of benefits, including fighting acne, slowing signs of aging, and creating a more even skin tone. It’s also much gentler on the skin than a physical exfoliant, which can be too harsh and increase your chances of irritation.
Retinol or Retinoids
Retinols or retinoids are amazing anti-age products that have been proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Find retinol or retinoid sold as is rather than one that’s incorporated with face cream for better results.
Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a miracle for dry skin! If your skin could use a little extra hydration to make it more plump, dewy, and youthful, this should do wonders.
Dont’s of Skincare
When making your routine, it’s not just about what you should do, but also what you shouldn’t. There are plenty of mistakes you can make when putting together a skincare routine. Here are some of the most common that you should avoid.
Don’t Use Toner
Although there’s nothing particularly wrong with toner, you don’t need it. Your cleanser should be removing all of the dirt and grime from your face. If you notice dirt left on cotton pads when using toner, your cleanser isn’t working properly, and you might need to double-cleanse.
Don’t Use Too Many Products
You don’t need ten different products in your routine. This is just going to overload your skin and reduce the effectiveness of the products you use.
Don’t Use PM Products in the Day
If your product directs you to apply it during the evening, don’t put it on during the day. It will probably contain products that work best in the dark or can cause harm during the day. For example, applying retinol during the day can make your skin more sun-sensitive.
Create Your Easy Skin Care Routine
If you want youthful, healthy, and happy skin for years to come, you need to take care of it! Create an easy skincare routine with simple but effective products and be consistent with your application of products. Trust us. Your skin will thank you for it.
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Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.