Everyone needs to take care of their skin, but no two people have the same skin care needs. However, don’t let that intimidate you. A dermatology degree is not needed to create an effective skincare routine that helps you maintain your youthful glow.
You can do it yourself in three simple steps. Let’s get started!
Step 1. Put Together a Daily Morning and Night Routine
Skincare is broken down into two categories: morning and night. The morning is mostly about prepping skin to handle daytime stressors (sun, weather, etc.) and night is all about recovery.
One step you can’t skip is face washing. As simple as it may seem, 80% of Americans wash their face incorrectly. You may be one of those people if you use hand soap to wash your face or skip washing at night. While washing your face after waking up isn’t essential (and for some skin types it’s not recommended), washing before bed is a must.
Wearing sunscreen is another critical step in skincare. No matter how dark your complexion is, free radicals from UV rays can damage skin to the point that cancer develops. And let’s not forget about premature aging.
Here are recommended steps you may want to include in your routine are:
- Wash (with a facial cleanser)
- Light moisturizer or serum
- Sunscreen (it should be reapplied every two hours)
- Treat (with your preferred skincare product that targets specific needs)
Keep in mind that your routine will change over time as your skin changes. You’ll also discover tricks and products along the way that could influence your daily skin routine. For example, new retinol serum products are quickly becoming an essential step for many women since it combines two proven skincare products – retinol and a serum base. Using combo products can help minimize the cost and save space in your medicine cabinet.
Your skin type also plays a big role in your routine. People who have dry skin may need to skip the morning wash to help retain moisture. Those with sensitive skin only need to exfoliate 1-3 times per week. It’s a different process for each person.
Step 2. Choose Your Skincare Products Carefully
Now that you’ve outlined a skin care routine you’re ready to start choosing your products. Skin type will also influence which products you use.
There are four primary skin types:
Most people fall into the combination skin category, which means you may get a little oily in the T-zone but that’s it. Some people are born with sensitive skin, but others can develop sensitive skin after using certain products. Prescription-grade retinol is a perfect example. It’s known to make skin more sensitive to the sun and exfoliation.
Regardless of skin type, all the products you use should be non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores. It’s also a good idea to look for products that are hypoallergenic meaning they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. If you have sensitive skin, less is more. Try to stick to products that are fragrance-free, dye-free and soap-free.
Another factor that can influence your product selection is the season. During dry winter months, you may need to use a thicker moisturizer or a gentler face cleanser to keep skin supple. Likewise, in the humid months of summer, you may need to switch to a lighter moisturizer or a new kind of treatment to keep skin balanced.
Step 3. Stick to Your Routine for a Week and Reevaluate
Consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Your routine needs to become a daily habit that you don’t skip. Even on those late nights when all you want to do is get in bed, stop by the bathroom first for a quick wash. If needed, keep a few backup products on hand, like moisturizing face-cleaning towelettes, for those lazy days.
You never know how your skin may react to a new product. Combining products can also have unexpected outcomes. That’s why it’s important to reevaluate your skincare routine after a week. Two things to watch out for are irritation and dryness. Even if things are going well, continue to evaluate how things are going from season to season.