I am a Pharmacist, not an experienced aesthetician or dermatologist. I write about my personal experience and opinion, along with some science facts and professional knowledge. Read my full disclaimer.
I have written about a couple of my skincare routines (eg. here), but in all fairness I have never told you how I created a routine in the first place. In this day and age there are so many products out there and so many people recommending a panoply of things, that is easy to get confused and a bit overwhelmed.
I will not dwell on the extensive amount of options according to age, skin type, particular medical conditions, budget, etc. This will just be a brief guideline that intends to help those feeling a bit lost.
So regardless if it’s a morning or evening routine, there are 3 main steps you should include in your routine:
- Moisturise + SPF
Choose a cleanser according to your skin type, but I always suggest not to use a harsh one even if you think your damn pimples will have to come off anyway. It will just irritate your skin and make it worst. Milk and gel cleansers are very gentle and refreshing in the morning.
If wearing makeup (and/or sunscreen) you should double cleanse, i.e. remove your makeup with a first cleanse and then clean your skin with a second cleanse. There are lots of makeup removers out there, from milks to oils to balms. Your pick!
I can’t stress how important it is to cleanse. You wouldn’t sleep on your clothes that get rained on and sit on the tube, so why would you sleep on your makeup and all the air pollutants that build up in your skin throughout the day?
This is when things can get complex. This is the step where I include acid toners, mists, serums and oils. Confused already? Please don’t, it’s quite straightforward. Firstly, I am not the one to suggest people to go out their ways and buy a myriad of products that they’ll use for a week and then get bored and put them aside because it takes too much of their time. You should have a routine which is feasible for you so you can stay consistent and also don’t go bankrupt.
With this said, in this stage you should focus on which condition you would like to prevent or treat. Either if it’s acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, redness, etc. You name it, and there will be something to help.
Then there is the product consistency: when layering your skincare always start with lightest and finish with the thickest. If you’re unsure because two products have similar consistency check their first ingredient. Water based products should go in first as water and oil don’t mix and if you layer with an oil based product the water based one won’t efficiently penetrate the skin.
Eye cream goes first since the eye area has thinner skin and is more sensitive. You want your eye product to penetrate the skin, so whatever you put on your face after will have a higher difficulty in passing through.
Moisturise + SPF
The end of your routine is when you provide your skin with an emollient to seal the products you’ve previously used. Your moisturiser must have your skin type into consideration: light emollients for combination & oily skin and thick emollients for dry skin.
Don’t forget your sunscreen. The sun is your worst enemy. Don’t take this personally, it’s everyone’s worst enemy when it comes to skin. If you spend most of your time indoors you can layer up your sunscreen before heading out for work. However, if you spend most of your day outdoors you should reapply your facial sunscreen the same way you would when you are at the beach. Some countries are sunnier than others, it’s a fact but the sun is still there. The worst sunburns happen on the cloudiest days because people often think the sun is just taking a rest behind a cloud.
Realistically the majority of people just use a moisturiser after cleansing. If this is your case, try to find a moisturiser that suits your skin condition and type, and make an effort to use sunscreen or buy a product that has sunscreen in it.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how to create a skincare routine, and most importantly I hope you found it useful. In case you would like me to elaborate on a certain step or give examples for each step please let me know on the comments below. You can watch my video on how to fight dehydrated skin, it’s not a routine but it features some products that I like.BeautySkincareskincare routine