letsFACEit.: How to Build Your Skin Care Routine in 5 Steps
There are a lot of personal things in life & your skin care routine is one of them. What works for some, may not work for all & that is okay. A skin care routine can be anywhere from 3 to 10 steps, even more, depending on your goals and how extensive your products are. Adding eye creams, serums and treatment masks are beneficial additions to your routine, but won't be included in these steps. This routine is a good start for someone interested in taking better care of their skin, but doesn't know where to start.
The first thing to know is that sequence matters. Applying products in the correct order makes sure that you receive the full benefits of that product for your skin. For example, applying a cream-based product before a serum would stop the serum from penetrating fully due to the weight of the cream-based product. Applying a water-based moisturizer over a sunscreen can water down the sunscreen which would dilute its efficacy. An easy rule to follow is to apply products from the thinnest consistency to the thickest, whether it's night or day. Save all of the specialty products (serums, eye creams, masks) for the night time.
Now, let's talk about the routine itself.
Step 1: Cleanser
As the first step in all skin care routines, your cleanser gently clarifies pores and removes impurities. It should be used every morning (to remove sweat & extra oil build up) and night (to remove makeup and dirt from the day).
Step 2: Exfoliator
Exfoliators are essential in keeping skin radiant by unclogging pores of dry skin and dirt. You can choose from mechanical (skin brushes & products with granules/seeds/beads) or chemical (acids & enzymes) exfoliators. Mechanical formulations work to remove surface level impurities, while chemical exfoliators work on a cellular level to promote collagen production and speed up cell turnover and regeneration. Hello, glow! We recommend exfoliating in the evenings.
Step 3: Toner
Toners are responsible for delivering astringent and/or hydrating properties to skin (depending on its ingredient formulation) and this water-like texture tends to instantly absorb into the skin. Toners are also known to restore pH-balance to the skin or help remove left over residue from your cleanse. Keep in mind that each type of toner is intended for a different skin issue, so it’s important to use the right kind for your skin concern.
Step 4: Moisturizer
Your moisturizer is an emollient (cream, oil, gel) that acts as a protective barrier to the skin. Its main purpose is to lock in moisture to smooth and soften the skin, but certain formulations will address other concerns such as anti-aging, pigmentation, and radiance. When choosing a moisturizer, look for key ingredients like glycerin (or glycerol), hyaluronic acid and ceramides, to name a few. The best time to apply a moisturizer is when the skin is still moist to lock in the hydration.
Step 5: Sunscreen/SPF
Sunscreen is a spray, cream or gel that provides protection against the sun’s harmful ultra-violet A (UVA) radiation, which causes cellular-level damage, and ultra-violet B (UVB) radiation, which causes surface-layer sunburns and pigment changes. This should be applied as the final step in your routine, every morning. Keep in mind that sunscreen only lasts 2-3 hours and should be reapplied.
It's amazing how many people don't realize that sunscreen is required all year and not just in the summer time. The sun is out all year, right? Yes. Therefore, year round protection is an absolute must.
You've made it. You now have a basic skin care routine that will start giving you the results you're looking for. If you have serums and eye creams, they can be applied before your moisturizer. Your moisturizer will lock everything in. Masks can be applied and removed after your exfoliator. Always be gentle when applying anything to your face and remember that a little goes a long way. I'll attach a picture for reference.