To design the ideal skincare routine for yourself you’ll need to start by determining your skin type and skincare needs. While there are additional skincare products you can add into your routine as needed, the basics include a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. A good skincare routine isn’t built overnight. You’ll need to take time to test out products and slowly create the perfect skincare routine for your unique needs.
What Does a Good Skincare Routine Consist Of?
The ultimate skincare routine, no matter your skin type, will include a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. But that’s where similarities vary. How you use those products and the specific ingredients in each should be taken on a case-by-case basis.
You should invest roughly six weeks of daily use into a product before deciding if it should stay in your collection or hit the road. Since six weeks is quite a bit of time to invest in a product you might hate, you should also do some upfront research on your new beauty staples. You’ll want to identify any specific ingredients you want to be included in your skincare routine. Some popular ingredients among skincare fanatics include:
- Aloe Vera
- Green Tea
- Activated Charcoal
- Kojic Acid
- Vitamin C
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your skincare, be sure to consult the ingredient label.
The thing is, while we can make generalities - everyone’s skin is different. (We can’t stress that enough.) This means your best friend’s go-to, must-have, can’t-live-without-product, may wreck your skin. Take the information in this guide and then take some time (six weeks, remember?) to test out different products.
Tip: Just because one product from a skincare line doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean another in the same line won’t. Each product is formulated with a different goal in mind. Over time you’ll start to pick up on the types of products that will probably work for you.
How Do I Know What Skincare Routine I Should Have?
You can decide on the types of products to include in your skincare routine based on the type of skin you have. Pretty much everyone is going to fall into one of the following categories:
- Dry Skin
- Sensitive Skin
- Oily Skin
- Normal or Combination Skin
- Aging Skin
The first step in designing your skincare routine is to figure out your skin type and learn about the products best suited to its needs.
Dry skin needs one thing above all else - hydration. If you’re on the hunt for products that will help with your damaged moisture barrier then you’ll want to look for cleansing lotions over soaps, eye creams, and hydrating moisturizers at night.
Tip: If you’re looking to exfoliate away the dead skin cell buildup, go for a chemical exfoliant instead of a facial scrub.
Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells with your skin? Is the slightest change in your routine causing a full breakdown complete with your skin is breaking out in a rash? You probably have sensitive skin.
Address your sensitive skin with nonirritating products and use gel-based masks to calm down your inflamed skin. You should also pay close attention to any fragrances in your skincare products. Sensitive skin usually plays best with fragrance-free skincare products.
Tips: Try a lactic acid-based serum for exfoliating purposes. Do not (we repeat, do not) use harsh scrubs on your sensitive skin.
Those with oily skin have the task of controlling the production of excess oil. This takes some light hydration with products that aren’t oily in nature. You should use a cleansing gel or foam twice (preferably thrice!) daily. You should also opt for an oil-free moisturizer and a zinc oxide sunscreen.
Tip: If you have oily skin you may be tempted to put your oil into pushing oil out of the picture completely. This is actually counterproductive. By overdrying your skin, you signal to your skin that oil production needs to be ramped up to accommodate the dryness. (Not good.)
Normal or Combination Skin
Combination skin generally indicates you’re dealing with multiple skin concerns. You’ll have dry spots and oily areas, and you’ll need to design a skincare routine that works for both. You should opt for face oils at night, toners like witch hazel, lightweight moisturizers (instead of oil-free ones), and salicylic acid or tea-tree oil serums.
Tip: Use a clay mask around your T-zone to fight off oily skin without drying out the rest of your face.
As your skin ages, your skincare routine should morph to adapt to your skin’s changing needs. You want to focus on products built to plump, lift, and get rid of dark spots. You’ll want to find a peptide eye cream, a moisturizer with SPF, and a cleansing lotion (not a gel or foam).
What Should I Include in My Skincare Routine?
Now that you understand your skin type and the unique skincare needs that go along with it, we can introduce you to the basics that should be in everyone’s skincare repertoire.
It’s imperative you pick a cleanser that’s right for your skin type. You should be using this once in the morning and once at night. (Oily skin? Freshen up with cleanser midday as well.)
There are a number of toners to meet all sorts of skincare needs. While old toners were harsh and irritating to the skin, newer toners help move active ingredients into the skin. With the sheer number of toner types, it will take some experimentation to decide which option is right for you.
Tip: Be sure your skin is not becoming irritated, dried out, or excessively oily. This could be a sign the toner isn’t right for you or that your skin just doesn’t need the help of a toner.
Serums are concentrated and nutrient-dense, specially formulated to address specific skincare needs. You’ll want to select a serum designed for your skin type or specific skincare woe. You should use serums in the morning following cleanser and toner, and at night after applying any specific treatments to your face.
Serums come in many types. Your morning routine should lean into hydrating, weightless formulas. At night you can turn to serums with repairing ingredients.
Moisturizer is everyone’s friend (yes, even those with oily skin). Extra hydration can shield our skin from environmental stressors. Try locking in moisture by applying your chosen moisturizer while your skin is still damp after applying your serum.
If you’re looking for a moisturizer to get started with, check out HYDRATE. This luxury skincare product is formulated with green tea leaf extract, Emblica, vitamin E, and ferulic acid. This antioxidant, moisturizing cream helps with collagen renewal and is perfect for aging skin.
In the mornings you should be applying sunscreen. While many of your cosmetic and makeup products will boast of UV protection, you shouldn’t rely on the little UV protection they provide. While it’s great to have extra protection, a dedicated sunscreen applied as the final step in your morning routine is the way to go.
We recommend a physical sunscreen with zinc for the best protection.
How Will Your Nighttime Routine Vary from Your Morning Routine?
You can’t copy and paste your morning routine to the end of your day. Your skin will need a different routine at night than it does to get through the day. For example, you don’t need a moisturizer with SPF at night since you won’t be in the sun. You should keep the following in mind when differentiating your morning and nighttime skincare routines.
Take Off Makeup
It’s a no brainer that you shouldn’t be heading to bed with a full face of makeup. While you’re snoozing each night your skin is hard at work renewing itself. When you leave your makeup on you prevent your skin from renewing itself.
You should wash your face at least once each night with the cleanser of your choice. You can also take an extra step by using makeup removing oil or cleanser first then following up with your face wash.
Save the Retinols For Nighttime
Retinols (part of the retinoid family) is used for its anti-aging benefits. While some skincare brands may suggest you double up on retinol in the am and the pm, science suggests that isn’t the best course of action.
Retinols are photo-unstable. This means they will break down in the sunlight. So unless you plan to spend your days completely sun-free, it’s better to save retinol products for the evenings.
Besides the degrading issue, retinol can also make your skin more susceptible to burning. While you should be wearing SPF every day anyway, it’s still better to cut back on chances of unnecessary burns by keeping your retinol contained to your evening routine.
Use a Facemask (But Not Every Night!)
Regularly using facemasks can introduce a number of benefits. You can refine your pores, purge impurities, and absorb excess oil and dirt among other things. Every face mask is different so it’s important to pay attention to the instructions on the packaging. You’ll find most masks average at about 10 to 15 minutes but there are some with active ingredients that require less.
Try using a face mask at least once a week and up to three times a week. But no matter how often you decide to use a facemask, it’s important to select one that will meet the needs of your skin. Watch out for labels and make sure it addresses your skin type.
Finding What Works for You
Chances are, what works for your friend’s faces won’t work for yours. It’s important you take time to experiment with different types and brands of products to find what’s right for your skincare needs. You should also determine the goals of your skincare routine from anti-aging to acne control. You can learn more about our skincare line on our products page.
Looking for a new addition to your skincare routine?
Shop our entire collection of collagen rebuilding skincare products.