Updated: Jun 17, 2019
Beautiful skin is not just a matter of DNA — your daily habits and routines, in fact, have a big
impact on what you see in the mirror. Between figuring out your skin type, finding the best products you need, and deciding which enhancements to make, starting a modified skin care routine can feel like a scary task. Thankfully, by following a few key steps, placing together a skin care routine can be a breeze. Below we outline everything you need to know to construct your own personalized skin care routine today.
DETERMINE YOUR SKIN TYPE (AND SKIN CARE NEEDS)
The first step in building your own skin care routine is defining your skin type. Ask anyone with good-looking skin and chances are they will tell you that they use products specially formulated for their skin type and concerns. To do this quickly you can consult a dermatologist who can quickly evaluate your skin and give you a rundown of your skin type and major concerns.
THE PRODUCTS YOU NEED IN YOUR ROUTINE
When it comes to a skin care routine there are a few non-crossable that must be a part your routine no matter your skin type or concerns.
A gentle, water-soluble cleanser removes oil, debris and most makeup without disrobing your skin and disrupting its all-important protective barrier. Do not use bar soap; it’s too drying, dulls skin, and can block pores. When you mildly clean your face morning and evening, it allows the other products you use to work even better. You’ll have less dryness and even fewer breakouts (research has shown that being mild on skin benefits all skin types). Keep in mind that it may take some research to discover which products and frequency of application work best for you.
The most basic function of a moisturizer is to soften and hydrate the skin. Essentially, moisturizers assist in stopping water loss through the outer layers of skin. They can also balance the naturally found protective oils and other building blocks within the skin, such as ceramides. Skin naturally loses the ability to retain moisture as we age and regular activities, such as washing, can band natural hydrators from the surface.
Your moisturizer can already have sunscreen in it. But it's a good idea to use separate defense, too. The sun can harm your skin in only 15 minutes. Look for a sunscreen that gives broad-spectrum guard with an SPF of at least 30. Wear it daily, even if it's not sunny and even if it's cold. Reapply every 2 hours.
SKIN CARE ROUTINE ENHANCEMENTS
Once you pick out your non-negotiable it’s time to add to your routine to help to address some of those personalized skin care desires or concerns. Your routine can be as basic or as multi-step as you want it to be, which the beauty of modifying your own regimen is. And, with so many great products available, there’s no shortage of improvements. Remember, your routine may need to change with age as skin care needs in your 20s can much differ from those in your 40s. Take a look at your routine every so often to make sure it contains everything you’ll need to get the results you’re after. Below we share a few of our favorite skin care routine enhancements.
Toners should be use after cleansing and before putting on anything else. The traditional use method is to saturate a cotton pad and pass it over your face. Applying toner with clean hands is the most effective. Just pour a few drops in your palm, and then swipe it on. Or if you prefer, you can pull apart a cotton pad so it’s not so thick before putting toner on it.
Serum or Facial Oil
Skin gets dry for many reasons including seasonal changes and health problems. Rather than changing your moisturizer, add a serum or booster loaded with nourishing and hydrating ingredients to rebuild the skin’s barrier, which will regenerate and restore your skin’s moisture. The best ingredients for this are non-fragrant plant oils, omega fatty acids, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and antioxidants (you can never get enough antioxidants). These can turn dry, dehydrated skin around instantly.
While many will list an eye cream as an important, for those with a more basic routine it’s more of an add-on. However, if you have the starts of crow’s feet or under-eye dark circles wrinkles, or puffiness, an eye cream should definitely be a part of your routine. Look for one that’s formulated to address your particular concerns.
One to three times a week, raise your skin care routine with a face mask. From and clay masks to peel-off masks, charcoal masks, and sheet masks, there are so many different face masks you can select from to personalize your regimen. You can even further modify your experience by trying multi-masking which utilizes multiple face masks that are places on different areas of the face depending on the concerns in that area.
This is maybe the most dramatic skin-changing step you can take. A gentle leave-on exfoliant eliminates built-up layers of dead skin that can’t shed like they did when we were younger. When you find the right alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) for dry skin or beta hydroxy acid (BHA) for combination/oily skin, you will see a flatter, visibly less wrinkled, firmer, and hydrated surface practically overnight. It will also reduce clogged pores and improve skin stains, and it gets better with time.
From lip scrubs to lip balms and hydrators, if you want a flawless-looking pout you’ll want to care for it properly. Just like dead skin can build up on the surface of the skin, it can build up on your lips as well. Exfoliate your lips as often as needed—especially if you want them to look their best for the season’s hottest matte and metallic liquid lipsticks—and instantly follow up with a hydrator. What’s more, keep lip balm formulated with SPF with you at all times and apply and reapply often to help to defend your pout from the drying effects of the sun.
Pay close attention to your skin and its needs and regulate your routine accordingly as time goes on.