How To Build The Perfect Skin Care Routine
A solid skin care routine is a must if you want to maintain healthy, glowing skin at any age. Even if you’ve never really bothered with skin care before, it’s never too late to start putting a good skin care regimen together.
Read on to learn why it’s so important to have a skin routine that works for your specific skin concerns and lifestyle. Plus, some recommendations on which types of products will work to your best benefit.
Do You Really Need A Skin Care Routine?
Good skin care is essential to your health. As your body’s largest organ, your skin plays a huge role in protecting you from environmental pollutants and other irritants. That means, it does require regular cleansing and protection from sun damage.1
Here’s a good way to wrap your head around building a skin care routine: Focus on the steps of your daily routine and what each can do for your skin — cleansing, fortifying, and using skin-boosting key ingredients to help protect it from further damage.2
You can consider extra steps later on, but these three — and the corresponding products that go with each purpose — should be your top priority.
With that framework in mind, it could be easier to build a basic routine to help optimize your skin health — whether you have oily or acne prone skin, mature skin, dry skin, or anything in between.
What Do I Need To Know Before I Begin?
A skin care routine is highly personalized, and skin care in general can be a lot of trial and error. What works for your friends (or that product your favorite celebrity swears by) might not give you the same results. What’s important is you start with simple products and give them a try, paying close attention for any negative effects or any allergic reaction. Discontinue use right away if you observe any excessive redness, breakouts, or other irritation.3 Give each product about two weeks in your rotation to see how they fare and fit in.4
Now that you’ve managed your expectations, here are the basic steps included in a simple skin care routine, and the products you’ll be needing for each.
What Are The Basic Steps Of A Skin Care Routine?
These steps are universal, but they may need a little tweaking given any special skin concerns you might have. If you have any existing skin conditions, or a particularly troublesome skin issue, it may be best to consult a dermatologist before starting a new skin care routine.
This step includes double cleansing with a makeup remover or cleansing oil if you wear a lot of heavy makeup regularly. If you don’t, a single cleansing step every morning and evening should be enough. Whether for morning skin care or night, use a gentle cleanser to remove any product residue, sweat, grime, and excess oil from your face. Not sure which one to get? Look for a pH-balanced, hydrating cleanser formulated with nourishing ingredients like glycerin to help maintain your skin barrier, but one without any parabens, phthalates, or added irritants that might strip your skin unnecessarily.5
Moisturizing your skin post-cleanse is essential to maintaining hydration. Well-hydrated skin is healthy skin. Keeping your skin’s moisture levels up helps reduce visible signs of aging, fortifies its protective powers against the elements, and counteracts the drying effects of certain skin care ingredients you may also be using (like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide).6 Plus, moisturizing is key for giving your skin a supple, “plumped from within” look that makes wrinkles look less noticeable.
Now, you might be wondering how to choose a good moisturizing product? Choose a mineral oil-free, lightweight moisturizer that’s least likely to irritate even the most sensitive skin types. Key ingredients that may help maintain your skin’s moisture barrier include the well-known “moisture molecule,” hyaluronic acid which helps skin cells retain moisture.7
Skin-Enriching With Targeted Skin Care
Cleansing and moisturizing are bare-minimum healthy habits that benefit your skin. But if you want to see a visibly improved skin condition, include any of the following steps to your skin care routine.
A popular three step routine when it comes to skin care is to cleanse, tone, and moisturize.
A hydrating toner may be beneficial for dry skin, a glycolic acid based toner or essence may act as a safe chemical exfoliant for clogged pores and dead skin cells, or a witch hazel toner may help control oiliness. Generally, a toner can help prime skin for further product application while delivering a targeted dose of active ingredients your skin needs the most.8
A facial serum can help deliver a more concentrated dose of essential nutrients to your skin. These often contain potent doses of beneficial active ingredients and natural extracts that can help resolve any skin problems you may be facing (like fine lines, wrinkles, or dryness).
Marine extracts, plant-based antioxidants, and peptides are huge trending ingredients when it comes to skin care. They target a wide range of skin concerns from wrinkles to dark spots to dehydrated skin. Choose serums that contain high concentrations of any of these ingredients for best results.
You’ve probably heard this beauty buzzword often, and with good reason. A safe type of retinoid, retinol is one of your best-bet ingredients if you want younger, smoother-looking skin. A retinol-fortified rich moisturizer, serum, or even spot treatment may help support collagen, help lessen the appearance of fine lines, and reduce pore size appearance.10
Protecting With Sunscreen
After cleansing, moisturizing, and using targeted skin care products, it’s key to protect your skin from further damage. Sun protection should be the final step of your basic skin care regimen because you need a protective barrier shielding your skin from UV damage. Remember, even if you’re indoors most of the day, UV rays can penetrate windows — there’s no excuse to skip applying a broad spectrum SPF product. Plus, there are numerous lightweight options in the market today, so no worries about having a white cast on your face.11
Start Your Skin Care Routine Today
Even if you start simple — like shifting to a gentle skin cleanser more suited to your skin type, or being more selective with your choice of daily moisturizer — you want to begin building the foundation of a good skin care routine as soon as possible. By following the sensible steps above, you’ll be showing off clearer and healthier looking skin in no time.