Beauty is skin deep. Building a consistent skincare routine is the key to keeping your skin looking young and to tackle issues like acne and hyperpigmentation. It’s never too early to start building a skincare routine. Our skin goes through a lot every day, between blue light damage and environmental factors. Your skin needs a little extra TLC to keep it healthy and to prevent premature ageing. When you first enter the world of skincare, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to show you to build a skincare routine and what products you need to get started.
Determine Your Skin Type
Before you start to look at products, you want to figure out your skin type. While every skincare routine will have the same four parts, your skin type will determine which type of products to use or avoid. The most popular skin types are normal, oily, dry, and combination skin.
Here’s a quick rundown of these skin types:
- You have a normal skin type if your skin is neither dry nor oily and you have a balanced t-zone, meaning you are not prone to breakouts.
- You have an oily skin type if your skin produces excess sebum, usually in your t-zone. If your skin looks shiny or you’re prone to breakouts, it’s usually a tell-tale sign of having oily skin.
- You have a dry skin type if your skin is dehydrated, and you suffer from dry-patches or have a rough texture to your skin.
- You have combination skin if you suffer from both oiliness and dryness. You might have a shiny t-zone and dry skin on cheeks.
Your skin type can also be sensitive, along with being one of these three. You’ll know your skin is sensitive if certain products turn your skin red or cause a reaction.
When you’re looking through products to add to your routine, you’ll see that there are products marketed to each skin type. These products will be formulated with active ingredients to help you target your specific skin concerns. If you have dry skin, you’ll find products which focus more on hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides to replenish your skin’s moisture levels.
No matter skin type you have, there should be four elements to every skincare routine. Ideally, you should do your routine twice a day, in the morning and night-time. While you can use the same products for both, it’s a good idea to have a few specific night-time products. When you’re sleeping, your skin is working overtime to repair and recover from the previous day, and it’s when your face can best absorb the active ingredients in your skincare products. You might decide to add an extra serum or swap out daytime your moisturizer for a night-time formula.
Step One: Cleanser
The first step to your skincare routine is to use a cleanser. You want to clean your face before you go in with the rest of your products. Every day, you shed thousands of dead skin cells, which can clog your pores and result in breakouts. A cleanser can help open your pores and remove these dead skin cells, along with other bacteria. You also want to use a cleanser to get rid of makeup, dirt, and sweat.
If you’re someone who wears a full face of makeup, it’s a good idea to double cleanse. While this method might add an extra minute or two to your routine, it can make all the difference. You can use micellar water to remove your makeup and the first layer of impurities from your skin. Using a second cleanser can deep clean your skin and leave it ready to better absorb the active ingredients in your routine. If you decide to go with the double cleanse method, it’s a good idea to use two gentle cleansers to avoid irritating or drying out your skin.
Cleansers come in an array of consistencies. You can use a cleansing balm if you have sensitive skin or opt for a gel or foam cleanser if you have oily skin. If you have dry skin, it’s a good idea to look for hydrating cleansers to help protect your skin’s moisture levels.
Step Two: Toner
Toner is one step people overlook as they think it’s unnecessary, but it plays an essential role in your routine. Your toner helps to catch any left-over residue or dead skin cells that your cleanser missed. If you have oily skin, a toner can help minimise the appearance of large pores. It also balances your skin’s pH levels to prevent excess sebum production. You want your skin to be in a slightly acidic state to stop acne breakouts.
You’ll want to consider your skin type when choosing your toner. If you have dry or sensitive skin, avoid any alcohol-based toners. Toners with active ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) work best for oily skin as they help tackle acne breakouts and reduce hyperpigmentation.
PSA: Leave a minute or two between cleansing and toning to avoid irritating your skin. You can use this time to brush your teeth or scroll through Instagram!
Step Three: Serums / Face Mask
This third step is where you can personalise your skincare routine. Dermatologists recommend that you shouldn’t use more than two serums at once, but you can change these out for your morning and night-time routine. It’s easy to layer serums as most of them are lightweight, but you’ll want to keep an eye on active ingredients so that you don’t accidentally irritate your skin. For example, you want to avoid using a retinoid serum alongside vitamin C serum.
Step Four: Moisturizer
You should always finish up your routine with a moisturiser to give your skin an extra hydration boost and to seal in the rest of your skincare products. Whether you have dry or oily skin, moisturising can help prevent future problems, and it’s the key to keeping your skin looking plump and firm to prevent premature ageing. If you want to achieve a healthy, dewy glow for your skin, you want to make sure you’re using a moisturiser.
For your night-time routine, you can use an overnight moisturiser to aid your skin’s renewal process and keep it protected during the night. Night-time moisturisers have a thicker consistency with a higher concentration of active ingredients to nourish your skin.
Building your skincare routine can take a little trial and error. These hour steps are the foundations of any routine. The secret to getting results is to make sure you’re consistent. Results don’t happen overnight, and it can take a few weeks before you start to see a change in your skin. Trust the process, and your skin will thank you!