How to Build a Skincare Routine
Your skin goes through a lot. Every single day, it can be exposed to changing temperatures, unpredictable weather conditions, pollutants and impurities in the air, and so much more. Therefore, it’s only logical that we should shower our skin with lots of love and care to keep it happy, healthy, and clean.
Having a skincare routine is absolutely essential, and there are countless skincare products out there from which you can choose. There are so many of these products that choosing between them and understanding all the differences can be quite a challenge. That’s where this ultimate skincare guide comes in, helping you learn how to build a skincare routine in all the right ways.
Below, you’ll find all the information you need to give your skin the care it needs. With the right products and approach, you can keep wrinkles and imperfections at bay, slow the signs of aging, and give yourself the best possible foundation for applying quality makeup products and looking your best every time you step outside.
Understanding Your Skin Type
Before we get into the specifics of how to build a skincare routine and start looking at what separates serums, toners, moisturizers, and more, it’s important to first focus on skin types. In order to pick the right products and choose the best skincare for your future skin health, you have to know what kind of skin you actually have. Skin is typically divided into five primary types:
- Oily – The human body naturally secretes certain oils to help defend against infections and general cell health. However, some people secrete more of those oils than others, leading to excessively oily skin. Oily skin is often easily identified by a greasy feeling and quite large pores. People with this skin tend to need smaller doses of cleansing products and have to be careful with moisturizers and lotions.
- Dry – Dry skin is basically the exact opposite of oily skin. Rather than feeling wet and oily throughout the day, this skin type feels quite dry and fragile. It may also appear to be quite dull in appearance due to a build-up of dead cells. Skin naturally tends to get drier as we get older, which can also be a natural part of aging. Dry skin needs to be moisturized and exfoliated more regularly.
- Combination – Combination skin is one of the most common types and may also be referred to as ‘Normal’ skin. You should feel that your skin isn’t excessively oily or overly dry with this skin type but may have specific areas that feel slightly different from others. For example, the T-zone might be slightly oilier, while the cheeks are a little drier, but the overall texture is smooth and harmonious.
- Sensitive – As the name implies, sensitive skin can be quite delicate and react unpredictably to certain stimuli or products. It is usually quite thin and fragile, with fine pores, and it may turn red or get irritated after being exposed to certain elements. You have to treat sensitive skin with a lot of care, looking for skincare products made with gentle, soothing ingredients.
Understanding the Products
As well as knowing your skin type, you also have to understand the general differences between the various skincare products out there. Terms like ‘cleanser,’ ‘moisturizer,’ ‘toner,’ and ‘serum’ can often be misunderstood. Still, each of these products has its own specific benefits and ideal usages and understanding how they all work will help you put together the best possible routine.
Before you start to apply any makeup or other products to your face, you’ll want to make sure that the skin is clean and free of impurities. This is why cleansers are so important, and cleansing should always be the first step of any skincare routine.
In simple terms, cleansers are designed to clean the skin. They can help to get rid of all kinds of dirt and impurities that build-up over the course of the average day or night, from naturally-secreted oils and dead skin cells to dry makeup and pollutants picked up while out and about.
Cleansing should usually be done on a daily basis, once in the morning and once more in the evening, although you may want to cleanse more often if you have naturally oily skin or do a lot of activities that could make it dirty. To cleanse, all you need to do is follow your chosen product’s instructions, rinsing the cleanser away and patting skin dry with a towel to finish.
Next, let’s take a closer look at toners. Toning is usually the second step of your makeup routine, and it’s all about balancing the skin, unclogging your pores, adding some much-needed hydration, and also cleansing away anything that your original cleanser might have missed.
According to the product instructions, toners should be applied right after cleansing, and it’s often recommended to use a piece of cotton or a gentle pad to apply them. They need to be spread evenly around the face and neck, especially in those tough-to-reach spots like along the sides of the nose.
After application, a toner will refresh and replenish your skin with essential nutrients, giving it a brighter and livelier look and preparing it for the next step of your routine.
Next, let’s take a closer look at serums, which are becoming increasingly popular all over the world for the many benefits they can provide. Serums are typically applied after toners and can aid with all kinds of skin issues, from slowing the development of wrinkles to masking dark spots.
Serums work by penetrating the skin, going deep down into the lower layers, and offering various essential nutrients that can help with all kinds of common skin issues. They can brighten your skin, improve its overall appearance, strengthen its health, and offer lots of other advantages too.
There are all kinds of serums out there, with a wide range of ingredients, and it’s recommended to focus on those that are rich in vitamins, as well as key peptides that can help your skin make more collagen and elastin to strengthen cells and give your face a more youthful look.
Our skin cells need to be continuously hydrated to remain plump, healthy, and full of life. The body can’t always do this on its own, which is why countless people worldwide will also incorporate moisturizers into their routine.
These products are usually applied after toners and serums. Moisturizers are designed to hydrate the skin, making it feel softer and smoother to the touch, perfect for people with dry skin and essential for those with other skin types, too
The best moisturizers contain key ingredients that can work together with your skin’s own natural oils to provide the best hydration and protection, and they’re often divided into two main types: day creams and night creams.
As the name suggests, day creams are designed for use in the day and are made to work well with makeup. They may also have some sunscreen protection built-in. Night creams offer deeper moisturization and work well while you sleep to aid in the skin’s natural repair and regeneration processes.
Last but not least, we come to sunscreens or SPF products, which are designed to protect the skin from the sun’s rays. It’s vital to understand that the sun’s UV light can be one of the most damaging factors for your skin.
Skin that is exposed to too much sunlight without protection isn’t just at risk of burning, but can also dry out, age much more quickly, and look far less attractive over time. Going out on sunny days without protection also raises one’s risk of skin cancer.
For all these reasons, applying some sunscreen is critical, and this isn’t just important in summer. Depending on where you live, the sun can be dangerous at many other times of year too.