Hey, you fascinating creature!
So we all know how absolutely essential a good skincare routine is for making sure that our skin a. improves and b. stays great. What we don’t usually get told is how on earth we go about finding this fantastic, life-changing routine. You know – the actually useful thing.
What is a skincare routine?
A skincare routine is a series of products and treatments that you apply and do to your skin consistently and periodically. This can be (and usually is) a morning-and-nightly skincare routine. Skincare routines consist of different “steps” and actions that you take.
Skincare routines can be as simple and quick as 1 step – “wash face with water” – and complex skincare routines can be as detailed as 13 steps (like Korean skincare routines).
Why Do I Need A Skincare Routine?
Skincare routines are used to improve and maintain quality of skin. If you’re suffering from skin problems such as acne or discolouration, you can use a skincare routine to heal. Much like working out can help you to lose weight or just be healthy and maintain your current gorgeousness (oh yeah, you pretty little thing, I noticed!) a skincare routine can be to tackle a problem, or it can just be to make sure that your skin is as healthy and beautiful as possible.
What Steps Are In A Skincare Routine?
The typical steps in a skincare routine are:
- Cleansing (daily)
- Toning (daily)
- Any serums or treatments (daily)
- Moisturising (daily)
- Face masks (a few times a week)
- Exfoliation (a few times a week)
Of course, those steps can be expanded and additional steps can be added in. Some people triple-cleanse their faces! Here’s my skincare routine and why I use what I use/how it helps me.
What Products Do I Need In A Skincare Routine and Why?
How Do I Perfect My Own Skincare Routine?
Okay, so I would love to be able to give you a quick, one-size-fits-all answer to this . . . but the truth is that it really depends on you and your skin. What I can do is help you figure out what’s best for you, though.
Figure out your skin type.
Oily skin is going to absolutely self-destruct if you’re using a skincare routine tailored for dry skin – and vice versa. You need to identify your skin type first.
Note down your problem areas and things that you want to tackle.
This will help you when identifying products that you can add into your routine; is your issue scarring? Acne? Oil-control? Dryness? Fine lines?
Look at reviews of people with your skin-type and issues.
Seriously – one of the greatest things about all the beauty bloggers floatin’ round out there is the fact that there’s so much information available. You can instantly find out which products are good for oily skin, which products help with eczema, which products are a total waste of money. There are detailed guides, reviews, walk-throughs, Youtube videos that you can look up to get a starting point.
Identify ingredients that you like and that your skin reacts well to.
Now, for all you beauty-junkies out there this will be easy – I can see you already listing off chemical components and whatnot. However, for us mere mortals . . . this can draw a complete blank.There are a lot of ingredients that are used in skincare. You’ve got your oils, your chemicals, your extracts – but what you need is to find the ingredients that work for you. For me, witch hazel and tea tree oil are my saviours, so anything with those in is a yes. The same goes for aloe vera. For some people, it will be something different. This can be slightly trial and error, but identify what the common ingredients are in products you like and kick off from there.
Buy a skincare set.
Now, there is an argument to be made for mixing chemicals. Mixing products can result in unsavoury reactions when the chemicals in the products don’t like each other; obviously, using a skincare range can help with this.
A lot of people find that sticking to one brand and range can help their skin a lot – but some people need a variety of products to tackle different issues.I recommend buying a base set for skincare (these usually have a mask, moisturizer and toner minimum) for a few reasons. One, it’s cheaper; you don’t need to worry about finding individual products yourself and you can usually get better value for money. Two, the products in skincare sets often work better in tandem. And three, it’s just so much easier!
I like to think as skincare sets as the perfect base. You can introduce other products in (such as serums, treatements, masks etc.) to enhance and perfect, but your skincare set is what’s going to be the real foundation for building better skin.
Slowly test and add in products.
Having a routine doesn’t mean never stepping out of the box when you find yourself tempted by, say, a new private label body butter; on the contrary, I think it’s important to try new things and introduce them into your routine. After all, if a product doesn’t work wonders for you – you’ve got a skincare routine guaranteed to get you back on track. And if it does work out well . . . well, you’ve got yourself a keeper.
Now, for me at least, I find that occasionally switching between products can help keep my skin on its toes. In my case, this is usually my toners, serums, moisturisers and face masks. There are two fail-safe products that I have for each, but I will occasionally swap them out. (For example, while I usually use Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturiser, sometimes I will swap it out for aloe vera.)
Don’t be afraid to give your skin a break.
This is something that I think can be really annoying to us all – but overloading your skin with products can actually be counter-intuitive. Laying off all the serums and treatments sometimes and giving your skin a little break can be just as good for it. If my skin goes through this, I usually just strip back down to water and moisturiser for a few days.
Consistency is key.
Look, kids – we all want great, glowing skin instantly. If I pay £30 for a product, I want to wake up the next morning with a new bloody face. I get this, but it’s an entirely unrealistic expectation most of the time. A lot of good skincare routines will take a few weeks to kick in and will require consistent use as they improve your skin over time.
Remember to keep your lifestyle and needs into account.
If you wear a lot of makeup, you will need a stronger cleaning step. You may want to invest in a cleansing brush (they’re amazing, I don’t even think you need to wear makeup to enjoy them) or a double-cleansing step because makeup can clog your skin. If you travel a lot for work, your skin can get dried out a lot easier and you may need a heavier moisturiser.
I toyed with having a “Products I Recommend” section of this post, but in all honesty I can only recommend products for oily skin . . . so I’ll save it for another post. I hope this was a useful post and that you got some inspiration on how to develop your own skincare routine. What’s in your current routine – do we use any of the same products? Do you have any tips? Let me know your thoughts down below!