Skincare 101: How and why to create a skincare routine

To me, skincare is a form of self care. And with the social distancing that’s been going on, I’ve had a lot of time to focus on said self care and have upped my skincare game

That being said, in my opinion, a skincare routine doesn’t need to have 12 steps in order for it to be effective. It can be as basic as you want, or as complicated as you have the time or want it to be.

The most important thing when it comes to a skincare routine however, is routine. Meaning making it a habit because the most impactful way you can of improving your skin tone and texture, is by sticking to a steady habit. By keeping to a routine, and repeatedly using the products that you have- which on average take a few weeks to have an impact on your skin- you’re several steps closer to better skin

Now onto what actually consists of a skincare routine.

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Treatment
  4. Moisturizer/SPF

Cleanser

This is incredibly important because as we go on about our daily lives, our faces are exposed to so many pollutants, oil, dirt, and grime and that buildup could potentially clog our pores and lead to future breakouts. Using a cleanser also helps manage the PH levels of our skin. It refreshes the skin enabling it to be able to retain water and the products that come right after cleansing! Since your cleanser doesn’t spend more than a few minutes on our face, I recommend a basic cleanser from the drugstore like the CeraVe cleanser which has great ingredients and removes buildup without disrupting the skin.

Toner

I’ve always been a fan of toning because it’s where you can remove any dirt that your cleanser didn’t get with your soaked cotton pad. It also adds back in a lot of the moisture that you may have washed away when you cleansed. Toners are also a way for us to prep our skin to get it ready for the next ingredients. There are so many types of toners out there now and I use a traditional toner and an essence to treat my skin concerns. The first one is a treatment and contains mainly glycolic acid to even my skin tone, and the other is for hydration and contains hyaloronic acid. Choosing a toner is very personal but I recommend choosing a hydrating one that can add back in some moisture. Again, don’t go too crazy, there are a lot of affordable options in the drugstore.

Treatment

This is the most important step to any skincare routine. If you are ever in a pickle and unsure where you should spend your money, this is it. Serums are more potent that moisturizers and typically carry active ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A or Retinols, which are the ingredients that actually make an impact on your skin. They are lighter in consistency than moisturizers and because of the way they’re created, are more easily able to penetrate the skin. My favorite brand for treatments/serums is The Ordinary. They make so many amazing affordable single or multi ingredient serums that you can customize to fit your skin concerns. For e.g. I have hyperpigmentation so I use their Alpha Arbutin and L Ascorbic Acid serum in the mornings, and their Niacinamide and Retinol at night. Never mix Niacinamide and Vitamin C because they could destabilize each other. If mixing your own treatment isn’t your cup of tea, Neutrogena and UrbanSkinRx have some effective serums that don’t break the bank.

Moisturizer and SPF

This is the last step and it’s a way of adding an extra layer of hydration if your previous steps were lacking. It’s also great because it seals all the great ingredients you put on through your serum. I use a very hydrating moisturizer and use a lot of of it especially at night because I have oily combination skin.

SPF is very important because it prevents sun damage which is the leading cause of aging. It is also very important to use SPF if you’re using active ingredients like Retinol and Vitamin C because they cause the skin to be more susceptible to UV rays. To me having a routine without using SPF in the daytime is like creating a beautiful painting then putting it in the garbage. It’s pointless.

Extras

  • Eyecream
  • Cleansing devices
  • Face massagers

These aren’t necessary but I find them fun and another way of getting my products to penetrate deeper into the skin.

So there you have it. The basic steps you need to create a skincare routine. Nothing complicated or over the top.

I’m very curious to hear, does your skincare routine consist of four or more steps?

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