For different people, having a skincare routine could mean many different things. For some, it could mean a 10 step routine with a face mask, jade roller and toner, but for others, it could just mean a quick application of a lotion in the AM. The truth is that it could be both—your skincare routine is individual to you, and no way is better than the other. If you are a beginner at skincare, here is the most basic and least intimidating guide to help you create a routine

Step 1 – Cleanse

Cleansing is the very first step of creating a skincare routine, whether you are a beginner or an expert. Washing your face is non-negotiable, and dermatologists say it is the most important skincare step, bar none. You’ll want to use a cleanser of your choice in the AM and at night (unless you have super dry or sensitive skin, in which just plain water works for the morning) and make sure you’re getting off all the grime, makeup, dust and pollution. Most cleansing products have some kind of surfactant, which emulsifies to break down and absorb oil and dirt so it can be whisked away. But note that it doesn’t have to leave your skin squeaky clean—just balanced.

When choosing a cleanser, you’ll want to look for one that’ll work for your skin type.. For most skin types, oil cleansers work as a great first step, particularly if you’re double cleansing. The concept of putting oil to get rid of oil may not make sense, but oil attracts oil, so it is a gentle way of removing pore-clogging debris—including waterproof makeup—without drying your skin. These are the second step cleansers you’ll love.

Skin Type Cleanser Type Ingredients to Include
Dry Cream Barrier-boosting Ceramides and Glycerin
Oily or Acne Prone Gel or Foam Purifying, deep-cleansing Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid 
Dehydrated Cream, Lotion or Gel Humectants like Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium PCA

Step 2 – Moisturize

When you put it on, a moisturiser or hydrator will plump up your skin, leaving it looking softer, brighter and more supple. In the long run, these products prevent moisture loss and bolster the skin barrier, making skin more elastic and less prone to fine lines. For those with dry skin, this step is non-negotiable. But pros say that it is just as important to balance oily skin—no matter how greasy or acne-prone you may be, dehydrated skin is always irritated. If your face wash or toner over-dries your skin, your skin will compensate by producing more oil in return.

Most balancing products contain these ingredients, all of which have different functions:

  1. Humectants pull water from the surface of the skin and the environment into the deeper layers, so it acts like a moisture magnet. The most common ones are hyaluronic acid and glycerin. 
  2. Emollients—like cocoa butter and shea butter—fill in any cracks in the epidermis. 
  3. Occlusives (like lanolin and cetyl alcohol) form a protective barrier to prevent transepidermal moisture loss. 

If your skin feels parched, tight or irritated, it’s likely craving hydration. Serums, ampoules and essences with humectants can tackle water loss at the deepest level, after which a rich, whipped emollient cream and an oil can keep it all in. If your skin is oily or combination, look to light serums that hydrate, and non-comedogenic lotions or creams that’ll feel silky, light and comfortable.

Always protect

Sunscreen is, hands down, the most important skincare product of all in your AM repertoire. You’ll want to slather it on everyday—whatever you have planned—so the formula you choose should be one you really love. Chemical sunscreens work like a sponge to absorb UV rays and break them down to make them less harmful. Physical sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin and deflect the sun’s rays, while combination formulas have the benefits of both. You can read more about why we think SPF is the star of the show.

Add in actives

Once you have your basic skincare steps down, you can add in actives that work to brighten, mattify and anti-age. An exfoliator is a good addition, so you can include an alpha hydroxy acid, beta hydroxy acid or retinol into your routine one to four times a week to slough off excess buildup on the skin’s surface. Need a boost of brightness? Add in a Vitamin C serum. Struggling with fine lines? Reach for a retinoid to tighten and improve collagen production. It is best to layer these in slowly, and allow your skin to get used to all the newness before adding too much in too quickly. Trust the process—you’ll want to take it as slow as possible to see the best results.

Skincare can be so confusing. We are happy to help you create a skincare routine from scratch! Reach out to us anytime by using our WhatsApp button!