Skincare trends have taken over social media and the Internet in general over the last twenty years. From facial steaming to jade rollers, you can see many skincare trends on social media. You see beauty influencers using tons of beauty products in their routines, and you may find it confusing. And believe me, this is perfectly understandable.
You might be lost because you have lots of information about skincare out there. And you don’t know who you can turn to because the abundance of information and products to use can be overwhelming.
That’s why I decided to write this beginner’s skincare guide for you. Whether you’re a real beginner ou you want to revamp your routine, this article is there for you.
Soon, you will realize that building a skincare routine doesn’t need to be complicated. All you need is to know your skin type, set up your routine with simple basics, and be consistent. Also, you mustn’t forget that your skincare routine is linked to your global self-care habits.
What is skincare by the way?
Skincare is the basic care of your skin. Did you know that your skin is your largest organ and plays an important role in protecting you from outside pathogens? Moreover, your skin holds all your internal organs in place.
Consequently, you must have a skincare routine for both medical and cosmetic purposes. A good skincare routine will help you protect your skin against all sorts of diseases and conditions, especially:
- skin cancer
Know your skin type
First and foremost, you must know your skin type before choosing the products you need in your skincare routine. Indeed, not every skin has the same needs. Indeed, oily skins need light moisturizers with magnifying ingredients. On the contrary, dry skins will need thicker moisturizers and generally avoid harsh ingredients.
One easy way to determine your skin type is just to observe it during the day. Does your skin become oily? Is it very dry? Does it shine at specific areas of your face? I’ll write an article on this topic very soon, so stay tuned!
According to your observations, you can classify your skin among the following skin types:
- Oily skin: your skin looks shiny because of an overproduction of oil
- Dry skin: your skin is dry and flakey, and feels tight
- Sensitive skin: your skin has red and irritated areas, and is painful to touch
- Combination skin: your skin has a combination of dry and oily areas: the latter being located on the “T-zone”: forehead, nose, chin
- Normal skin: your skin is even and doesn’t have specific issues
Once you have determined your skin type, you may start building your skincare routine.
Build your skincare routine
Now is the moment to start building your skincare routine and to choose your daily basic skincare essentials. As a general rule, your skincare routine has three main steps: cleanse, moisturize, and protect. However, you may add other steps, according to your skin needs.
Step #1: Cleanse
The first step to a skincare routine is to cleanse your skin twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. The cleansing step will help you remove all excess sebum, bacteria, makeup, and other dirt that builds up on the skin.
When you cleanse in the morning, you get rid of all the sweat and oil debris that might build up during the night.
During your morning skincare routine, you can use micellar water, or a gentle soap/cleansing gel, according to your skin type. However, soap is generally shunned at, unless you like vintage skincare routine like me!
However, for your evening cleanse, most skincare professionals recommend a “double cleanse”, especially fi you wear makeup during the day. The first cleanse will help you get rid of all your stubborn makeup. You can use an oil or a cleansing balm for this purpose. Then, you will carry out your second cleanse with a gentle cleanser to remove any excess build up remaining on your skin.
Step #2: Moisturize
Next, you must moisturize your skin to add hydration back to your skin. Also, a well-moisturized skin is healthier, heals better, and has an improved tone and texture.
All skin types must follow this step, even if it seems counterintuitive for oily skins. Did you know that sometimes, your skin becomes oily because it tries to compensate the lack of hydration?
Consequently, you must choose a moisturizer adapted to your skin type. For instance, an oily skin will fare well with lightweight and oil-free moisturizer that won’t add more shine to their skins. On the contrary, people with dry skin will choose a thicker and richer moisturizing formula.
Finally, if you have a normal skin, you’ll just have to be careful about seasonal changes. Thus, use a lighter moisturizer in summer and a thicker moisturizing formula in winter.
Step #3: Protect
This step is essential because UV exposure is the number one reason of premature aging. The main damage occurs when you’re young, although you notice the real effects of sun damage only when you’re older. Therefore, when I see some women not putting sunscreen in their daily routine, I really want scream sometimes!
A good sunscreen will protect your skin from sun damage thanks to SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Indeed, SPF is very important to protect your skin from premature aging, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, you must choose sunscreen rated SPF30 or higher to protect you against UVA and UVB sun rays.
Consequently, ensure that you put sunscreen on your face, neck, and chest before going out. Also, put some sunscreen on your arms during summertime if you go out with bare arms.
Step #4: Add optional treatments according to your skin needs
Although you have a solid 3-step skincare routine, you may add specific treatments in your routine, according to your skin needs. These treatments involve specific products containing active ingredients such as vitamin C, AHA/BHA, retinol, hyaluronic acid, or niacinamid.
Whether you need extra hydration or brightness, or if you want to fight wrinkles or redness, there will always be a treatment catering to your skin needs.
Added treatment #1: Toner
Using a toner is a great complement to your cleansing step. Indeed, the toner removes all the impurities and dirt that your cleanser couldn’t. A daily use of a toner has the following benefits:
- restoring your skin’s pH level
- smoothing your skin
- refining your rough patches
- improving and enhancing your skin tone
If you choose to use a toner, just soak a cotton pad with the liquid. Then, apply it to your face after cleansing and before moisturizing. Repeat it twice a day to reap your toner’s benefits.
Added treatment #2: Serum
A serum is a skincare product made of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into your skin. Thus, it can deliver you a high concentration of active ingredients that target specific skin concerns, such as wrinkles, dullness, or dark spots.
For this reason, serum has been a very popular skincare staple in many women’s bathroom these last years. Indeed, you can tailor serum to your specific needs and get great results. Do you need a brighter and smoother skin? Then, a vitamin C serum is just what you need. This active ingredient will protect your skin, reverse sun damage and brighten your skin in the process.
On the contrary, if you need more hydration, then a serum with hyaluronic acid will be your best ally. Indeed, it will add hydration and plumpness to your skin, leaving it radiant and youthful.
If you want to add a serum to your skincare routine, you must use it after your cleanser and toner, and before your moisturizer. However, please keep in mind that a serum is not mandatory if you don’t need it, despite what shrewd marketing campaigns tell you.
Added treatment #3: Exfoliation
Exfoliation helps you removing dead cells from your skin and clear out your pores. There are two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical.
The physical exfoliants use scrubs made of beads, salt, or sugar to exfoliate the skin. As they are harsh and cause micro tears on the skin, many skin experts recommend to avoid them. Instead, they tend to favor chemical exfoliants made of AHA or BHA, because they are gentler on the skin.
Use exfoliants once or twice per week, depending on your skin type. Don’t overdo them, otherwise your skin will become more fragile.
Added treatment #4: Face mask
Just like serums, face masks are useful to target specific skin needs. Indeed, they help hydrate your skin, remove excess oils, and improve the appearance of your pores. Also, you can have a wonderful relaxing spa experience in the comfort of your own home!
The benefits of face masks depend on the active ingredients they contain. For instance, clay masks purify and clarify your skin, whereas exfoliating masks remove dead skins and improve your skin tone thanks to their hydroxy acids.
Apply your face masks once to twice per week, just after an exfoliant.
Added treatment #5: Eye cream
Eye cream is not an essential staple in your skincare routine. However, if you have dark circles around your eyes, or if you have puffiness in this area, then eye cream will be a good add-on in your routine. Also, eye creams will brighten dark circles or smooth fine lines around your eyes.
You may apply your eye cream in the morning and in the evening, according to your needs.
Added treatment #6: Retinol
Do you want to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and lines on your face? Are you looking for a smooth skin texture? If you answer yes to these two questions, then you need to add retinol in your skincare routine.
Retinol is a version of vitamin A that will really transform your skin in the long run. However, since it is a very strong ingredient, there are some precautions to take when you use it.
First, you must always use retinol at night and apply sunscreen during the day, because retinol makes you skin more sensitive to sun exposure. In addition, you shouldn’t mix retinol with hydroxy acids. It’s better to alternate products with these two ingredients in your routine.
Added treatment #7: Acne treatment
If you have acne, you will use specific products to treat and heal your skin condition. Most acne treatments come in the form of serums, toners, specific creams, or stickers.
If your acne treatment contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, avoid using retinol in the same time. Indeed, this combination may cause irritation on your skin. Rather, you may use a soothing moisturizing cream on your skin after your acne treatment to keep your skin in control.
Keep your routine super simple
In the skincare department, less is more. Contrary to what is shown on social media, you don’t need many products to keep your skin on top. Stick to products that work on your skin and don’t rush on the last skincare trends. Thus, you will save your skin…and your wallet as well!
Be patient and consistent
Have you adopted a skincare routine that suits you? Congratulations! Then, you just have to carry on and be consistent with your skincare routine everyday, morning and evening.
Indeed, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results right away. If you want to hav e noticeable and lasting results, you must follow your skincare routine faithfully during at least six weeks. According to Arizona Dermatology, it is the amount of time your skin needs to complete cycle of renewing itself with new skin cells.
Include your skincare routine in a global self-care strategy
Did you know that a good skincare routine can reduce your stress levels and increase your self-confidence? That’s why you must include skincare in a global self-care routine that encompasses your spiritual, mental, and physical needs.
Summary: what is the ultimate beginner’s skincare guide?
If you are a beginner, your skincare routine must follow the rules below:
- know your skin type
- build a consistent skincare routine
- keep your skincare routine super simple
- be patient and consistent
- include your skincare routine in your global daily self-care strategy
Well, that’s it for today! What do you think about our beginner’s skincare guide? Do you apply the mandatory three steps? Have you included some add-ons in your skincare routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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