One of the most important routines to establish is a skincare routine. You’ve probably heard this term plenty of times and generally know what a good skincare routine consists of. Something involving soap and lotion – right?
Skincare can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like to make it. Whether you enjoy setting aside time each day to turn your skincare routine into a self-care moment, or you’re a busybody with barely any time to splash your face in the morning, there’s a skincare routine out there for you.
There are three basic elements to skincare: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Below, we put together a variety of ways to accomplish these essentials. You can pick and choose the steps that work best for you depending on your skin, time, and resources!
Establishing a Skincare Routine
The first part of establishing a skincare routine is, well, making it routine! Select a time each day to take care of your skin. This can be just a few minutes to complete the essentials in the morning, or a longer period of time before bed to practice skincare and unwind.
Once you’ve picked your time, stick to it. It takes time to see the effects of a new skincare routine, so keep it up and you’ll start to reap the benefits!
Step 1: Cleansing
Eliminate dirt, grime, dead skin, and excess oil by cleansing your skin. This will not only prevent clogged pores (which can lead to blackheads and pimples), but it will also adequately prime your skin for the latter steps of your skincare routine.
Since every skin type is different, it’s very important to find a cleanser that’s right for you. Here’s a quick guide that can help to get you started:
- Oily skin: use foaming liquid cleanser to help break down excess dirt and oils from pores.
- Dry skin: use a creamy cleanser formulated with moisturizing elements like shea butter to gently wipe away impurities.
- Sensitive skin: use oil (argan oil is a great choice) as a cleanser. It might sound strange, but oil absorbs oil! This is a lightweight, moisturizing, and non-irritating solution to cleansing.
Psst..don’t know your skin type? Check out our guide to find out!
When it comes to cleaning your face, we generally recommend starting by applying warm water or steam to the skin. This helps to open up the pores in preparation for cleansing. With open pores, your skin is ready to receive cleanser and release dirt and grime.
You can apply cleanser with clean hands and gently rub it into the skin using an upwards-circular motion. Avoid harshly scrubbing your face with a towel as this can dry out the skin, making it more prone to flakiness and clogged pores.
Rinse the cleanser from your skin with cool water. Unlike warm water, cool water closes up your pores, helping to prevent dirt and grime from readily getting back in.
Step 2: Toning
Toners serve the purpose of adding extra nutrients to your skin. They’re a thin liquid that can contain things like hyaluronic acid (to boost hydration), antioxidants (to protect the skin from aging), and hydroxy acids (to remove dead skin cells). Those are some key ingredients to look for in a toner.
A common way to apply toner is by first applying it to a cotton pad, but you can lose a lot of the product that way. Instead, we recommend placing a few drops of toner onto your fingers, then rubbing it gently onto your face.
While most toners can be used both day and night, toners with exfoliating acids like alpha and beta hydroxyl acid should not be used more than once a day – you might even want to consider only using them every other day. They’re wonderful for removing dead skin and minimizing dullness, but overdoing the exfoliating factor can cause irritation.
Step 3: Moisturizing
One of the common causes of pimples or blackheads is excessively dry skin. This might seem counterintuitive, but the reason why dry skin can create more blemishes is because those dead skin cells can clog your pores just like dirt and grime can. For this reason, it’s extremely important to moisturize your skin after cleansing and toning.
Just like with choosing a cleanser, you need to pick the right moisturizer for you. You’ll likely find that your face requires a different moisturizer than your hands, which require a different moisturizer than your legs, etc. Be sure to do your research and find a face moisturizer that works well with your skin type. Here’s a quick guide to point you in the right direction:
- Oily skin: use a gel moisturizer, as it’s water-based, lightweight, and will absorb quickly.
- Dry skin: use a cream moisturizer, as it’s more oil-based and heavier than a lotion.
- Combination skin: use a lotion, as it feels more moisturizing than a gel but also absorbs more quickly than a cream.
Look for products that contain mineral oil or petrolatum to trap in moisture, botanical oils like jojoba or coconut to nourish and soften skin, and antioxidants like green tea or licorice extract to shield your skin from the environment.
Pro tip: go the extra mile and use a moisturizer that contains sunscreen for the daytime, while picking a different moisturizer that focuses on repairing the skin during the nighttime. Protecting against UV rays is essential for the longevity of your skin!
Additions to Your Skincare Routine
- Serums: repair and restore your skin using serums. There are different types that serve different purposes but the most common include acne or rosacea treatment, exfoliation, or anti-aging.
- Eye Cream: the skin around your eyes needs special care. Use eye cream to protect and nourish this delicate skin.
- Exfoliate: if you don’t use toners or serums for exfoliating, consider adding an exfoliating scrub to your routine to remove dead skin. Apply it gently to leave your skin feeling smooth and fresh.
- Fun Facemasks: use a Facemask to peel out blackheads, moisturize skin, or to leave your face glowing. It’s a wonderful addition to your self-care routine!
A Routine That Goes Beyond Skincare
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