Facial skincare routine: The foundations
Know your skin type
First, it’s important to understand your skin type. Knowing if your skin is oily, dry, sensitive, or a combination thereof, allows you to choose the correct products for your face. If you aren’t sure what your skin type is, take our short skin type quiz.
Cleanse, tone, moisturize
You may have heard it before but cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, in that order, is the foundation of any solid skincare routine. At the very minimum, cleansing and moisturizing are non-negotiables. Cleansing clears the skin of impurities and grime, keeping pores clean. Toning helps remove any residue and dirt left behind after your cleanser, and moisturizing hydrates your skin, giving it a plump, dewy appearance. Cleanse, tone and moisturize twice daily, when you wake up and before you go to bed.
Always apply that SPF
The sun is the most damaging factor for skin and the leading cause of skin cancer. That’s why using a moisturizer that contains SPF or applying sunscreen after your moisturizer is key for protecting your face from the sun’s damaging UV rays and maintaining a youthful and healthy visage. Apply SPF of at least 15 to your face for the daytime, using a higher SPF if you anticipate heavy sun exposure throughout the day. Don’t forget to re-apply every few hours as it wears off.
If you do nothing but these four steps, your skin will already be in good shape. But if you want to go further, you can build upon these fundamentals with some additional skin treatments we’ll go over below.
Facial skincare routine: The extras
Facial masks give your skin an extra boost when it needs a little pampering. Masks can range widely in ingredients and properties, from clay masks that detoxify to collagen sheet masks that reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but they should all work to quickly hydrate and replenish your skin. Consider adding this to your routine once a week to minimize pores and give your skin an added boost of hydration.
Exfoliators are excellent tools for removing dead skin and clearing out pores so that your products can reach the deeper layers of your skin. Whether using a chemical exfoliator or a mechanical one (such as brushes or scrubbing granules), an exfoliator will help stimulate skin cells and circulation, giving your complexion a rosier look. Depending on your skin type and the exfoliant you choose, the frequency of use varies. Most dermatologists recommend exfoliating no more than two to three times a week in order to avoid irritating your skin. Always be sure to exfoliate first, before cleansing or any other step.
Never heard of a serum? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to Into the Gloss, a serum is “a skincare product you can apply to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly into the skin. Serum is particularly suited to this task because it is made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients.”
Serums are good for tackling specific skincare concerns like wrinkles or age spots, depending on the formula. They are thin, gel-like and absorb quickly into your skin. Depending on the type, you can usually use a serum every day after cleansing and toning the skin, apply your moisturizer after.
With these basics under your belt, you can now settle into your daily routine and, when and if you feel up for it, dive even deeper into the world of skincare.