A skincare regime is almost like math, however, in this equation, the order of the factors (skin care products) DOES affect the result.
There is a morning skincare routine, nighttime skincare routine, and routines according to skin type. Some include cleansers, facial serums, and moisturizers, others treat oily skin or sensitive skin. There’s a lot to take in!
Over the years, many skincare gurus have claimed that they have found the ultimate skincare routine, however, most regimes are confusing or have way too many steps. I know that navigating through all those skin care tips may be overwhelming (especially if you have trouble understanding what each product is used for), that’s why I’ve built an easy guide to help all the beginners out there to rock your routine.
How many steps should your skin care regimen have? Moisturizer or hydrating cream? WTF are serums? Don’t freak out! Keep reading to unravel these and other questions!
The first step before building a skincare routine:
A skincare routine is a ritual that includes a certain amount of steps designed to clean, hydrate and address specific skin concerns. No matter your skin type, there are skincare products created for oily, sensitive, and even dry skin.
As I said before, there is a lot of information out there about which is the best guide to skincare or how many steps your regimen should have, however, the reality is that an effective skincare routine should only contain 3 main steps: cleaning, toning, and moisturizing, so the extras like applying serums, eye creams, or lip balm, are just additional steps.
Keep this in mind: a beauty routine is a way to celebrate and pamper your skin. The main goal of it is to make you feel like a god or goddess, so don’t chain yourself to a routine with too many steps if you don’t feel like it. Sometimes less is better!
Finally, before continuing with our guide, remember that your skin is unique! Perhaps the products that work for your favorite influencer or celeb will not work for you, therefore, this trip is about knowing your own skin and understanding its needs.
The proper skincare routine order
There are two types of skincare products: morning and night, that’s why you’ll need two skincare routines. This is how you should build your skincare regime:
Morning skincare routine
A morning routine should give you everything you need to protect yourself from UV rays, pollution, and all the external agents that can affect the skin’s protective barrier. Taking this into account, the perfect skin care routine for the day should aim to shield your skin.
These are the steps you should follow during your morning routine:
If you think that washing your face at night is enough, you are wrong! While you sleep, your skin is exposed to bacteria found on your pillow, sheets, and in the environment, so applying a facial cleanser is the first step in starting your ritual.
A gentle cleanser will remove dirt, dead skin cells, unclogging pores, and preparing them to absorb the products you apply next.
The variety of cleansers on the market can feel overwhelming. Some are for oily skin and are ideal to wipe out the excess oil off your face, and others are lightweight and perfect for sensitive or dry skin.
Next, take a cotton pad and apply toner to balance your skin tone and cleanse any other dirt that may be left on your skin’s surface.
Toners should be light and contain active ingredients like hyaluronic acid to treat wrinkles and fine lines, vitamin c for blemishes and dark spots, or salicylic acid to help with acne.
Bear this in mind: Some dermatologists say that applying a toner is not necessary, however, using this skin care product will prepare your skin to receive all the hydration and protection it needs to face the day.
Remember we said that serums are an extra step, right? Well, if you want to include these products in your skin care routine, you should apply them after the toner.
For your morning skincare regime, you should consider an antioxidant, like vitamin c or vitamin e serum, to treat dark spots. In fact, an antioxidant serum is ideal for darker skin tones affected by sun damage.
All skin types can use vitamin c serums, however, keep in mind that if you have delicate skin you shouldn’t use it every day.
4. Eye cream:
Now it's the turn of the eyes! The skin around your eyes is different from the rest of your face, which is why there are creams designed specifically for them. An eye cream will address specific skin concerns such as dark circles, puffiness, or bags under the eyes.
Note: This is another extra step, so if you're not a fan of eye creams, you can skip it.
Time to get some hydration in! As we age our skin faces a great enemy: moisture loss. This results in dry skin, full of fine lines and wrinkles. But fear not, moisturizers are here to help!
Moisturizing daily will make your skin feel and look oh-so-amazing because they are in charge of hydrating your face. Moreover, a daily moisturizer will seal your skin, retaining all the nutrients from the skin care products applied before.
Aim for a light gel moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to boost hydration. Also, there are special moisturizers for the day that include broad spectrum SPF to prevent sun damage, like SPF 30 or SPF 50.
Remember this: Moisturizers are a MUST! You shouldn’t skip this step unless you want to risk aging or don’t care about having dry skin.
6. Sun protection:
We can’t stress this enough: WEAR SUNSCREEN!
This is the final step of your morning regime and you should take it seriously. Sun protection is no joke, being exposed constantly to the UV rays can result in skin irritation, aging, and even skin cancer, so you can’t skip your daily sunscreen *yes, even if you work inside and never go out*
You should choose light chemical sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and wait for the skin to absorb them before applying makeup. The most common sunscreens are SPF 20, SPF 30, and SPF 50.
P.S.: The only excuse to skip this step is if your moisturizer already contains SPF.
Nighttime skincare routine
If the morning routine is designed to protect your skin, the evening routine will repair the damage caused during the day, provide nutrients, remove dead skin cells, and help rebuild the skin barrier.
Let’s enter into repair mode with the ultimate skincare routine for nighttime:
1. Cleanser *yes, again*:
During the day your skin is exposed to pollution and dirt, so washing your face with a cleanser is the first step in your nightly regimen to remove face oil and get rid of clogged pores
If you wear makeup, apply a few drops of makeup remover first to get rid of the cosmetics on your skin, and then use your favorite facial cleanser to make sure you have clean skin.
You can apply the same toner you used during your morning skin care routine. The toner formula is really light, that’s why you should apply this product first and then go to the thicker ones.
For this step, you should not use the same vitamin c serum that you put on during the day. Instead, you can opt for products full of active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycolic acid.
In this case, glycolic acid is jam-packed with alpha hydroxy acids, which can eliminate dead cells, treat acne breakouts, and encourage skin cell turnover.
Can you use more than one serum? YES, ABSOLUTELY!
Apply serum generously to your face and allow your skin to absorb all the nutrients before moving on to the next step
4. Spot treatments:
From dark spots to acne scars and blemishes, there is a spot treatment for every skin concern.
To eliminate scars and get rid of blemishes:
Use products rich in niacinamide, lactic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids. Keep in mind that some of these products could irritate your skin, so you should try them before choosing the one that works best for your skin type.
To avoid breakouts:
If your skin type is between oily and combination, you must be prone to having acne breakouts and pimples. To treat this problem, products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide will work miracles on your skin during the night and will help you avoid face oil.
5. Eye cream
You can apply the same eye cream that you used in the morning, this will help you get rid of circles and show off well-rested eyes the next day.
The next step in your nighttime skin care routine is to apply the inescapable moisturizer *stress mark in inescapable*. Just like in the morning, skipping moisturizer is a big no, so you should use a non-SPF moisturizer full of hydrating ingredients to seal your pores and avoid losing moisture.
Moisturizer could absolutely be the last step in your regime, so feel free to stop here!
Retinol is a little tricky because there is no exact answer on who can use it safely. For instance, some dermatologists affirm that every skin type can use retinol-based products, however, other experts suggest that people with sensitive skin should stay away from retinol.
Our recommendation? Check with your dermatologist or apply retinol every other day to test if your skin is irritated
This ingredient is a magical product loved by many celebs and influencers because it is basically the fountain of youth, able to smooth wrinkles, get rid of blemishes, treat acne and clear the skin up.
8. Night cream
Unlike a moisturizer, a night cream is specially created to be used at night, since they contain ingredients formulated to get the most out of your beauty sleep.
P.S.: Night creams are not mandatory, you are good to go with a moisturizer!
9. Sheet masks:
Sheet masks are the last step if you want to end your regime with a cherry on top of the cake!
Here you have many options: from sheet masks to clay and gel masks. They will help your skin to renew itself and will prepare it for the next morning.
How can you build your ultimate skincare routine? Let us help you out!
There are many places where you can find skin care products: from local stores to online skincare e-commerce! However, if you are a fan of Asian products *just like us* and dream of having the skin of your favorite K-pop idols and k-dramas actors, you have come to the right place!
Visit our shop and get started!
Guide to skincare: Our last thoughts
As we have said before, your skincare regime is a magical ritual to honor and treat your skin. Both morning and night regimes are important if you want to have glowing, healthy-looking skin, so you should follow the proper order and enjoy every step.
Remember that not every step is mandatory and building a skincare regime will always depend on your goals and how much time you want to invest in them.
Moreover, you should bear in mind that good skin will also depend on your daily habits, so drink water and eat healthily, that way you will complement your regimen.
Now go, celebrate your skin, and get ready to enjoy your dream skin! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!