7 Tips for a Great Skincare Routine

Need a better skincare routine? We're here to help. Use our tips to improve your skincare regimen

reflection of woman applying moisturizer on her face in round mirror

Use our tips to finesse your skincare routine

Maintaining supple and soft skin is rarely effortless, especially as you grow older. We all know that having a great skincare routine is essential to combat aging and to keep us looking healthy and fresh. What we don’t always have a handle on is how to create that routine in the first place.

Unless you’re obsessive about your dermatological health, you may only know the basics. Here are some tips and tricks to fine-tune your skincare routine and make it work better for you.

1. Start Taking Care of Your Skin Now

It’s never too early to have a skincare routine. Ask your baby-faced or ageless-looking friends when they started taking care of their skin and they may tell you they started young with great skincare habits. If you didn’t start early, though, the best time to start is now.

Making huge changes in your skincare routine after decades of ignorance or lack of motivation will help, of course. But remember that it will take a long time for your skin to catch up to the baseline of people that have been constantly moisturizing, nourishing and protecting their skin.

2. Remove Your Makeup Before Sleeping

This tip is common sense and one we’ve heard or read over and over. Why is removing makeup before sleeping so hard for some people to do?

If you’re a regular makeup user, even doing this one thing could be the gateway to clearer, cleaner and healthier skin. Sleeping with your makeup still on your skin may clog pores and encourage irritations and blemishes to form.

3. Invest in the Three Main Steps: Cleanse, Treat, Moisturize

Your entire twice-daily skincare routine can be thought of as split into these three acts, no matter how many products you end up using. You will always need to wash your face, treat your skin, and then finish with a moisturizing agent.

Choose a cleanser that fits your skin type and make sure that it doesn’t strip your face of natural oils and leave your skin too dry. Should you want to use an exfoliating scrub to brighten your skin, do so only once a week.

Toning is the first and sometimes only part of the treatment part of your skincare routine. Toner should be applied right after cleansing and before any other serums, creams or wellness products. Its function is to balance and soothe your skin, while removing the gunk that may not have been cleansed away, leaving an absorbent surface for other products to permeate effectively.

Your ideal moisturizer should also play well with your skin type. Consult a dermatologist or follow product labels to find out if you should use a cream, oil, or something else.

4. Apply Products from the Thinnest Consistency to the Thickest

This tip applies to the middle part of your skincare routine. Think of your skin as an absorbent surface that will need to soak in everything that you’re applying. Not only will you need to wait a few minutes between applications of different products, but you will also have to apply in order of increasing product texture.

After your toner you can start with watery essences, then serums, followed by lotions and creams. Save oils for last, as they can render anything applied after useless and unabsorbed.

5. Use Sunscreen Every Single Day

Sunscreen is the most crucial skincare product. Excessive sunlight on the skin can cause cumulative damage, premature aging and even some forms of cancer. You should be using sunscreen every day, no matter what the weather conditions are. Use one with an SPF of 30 at the very least. If your skin feels dry or tight, you may need a higher SPF.

Many daytime moisturizers you can use in your morning skincare routine come in SPF-inclusive formulas. If using a typical chemical-based sunscreen, apply to clean skin before any other treatments. Remember that sunscreen should be used 30 minutes before exposure to the sun and should be applied to all uncovered areas, like your neck and arms. If you’re going to be under the sun all day, reapply every two hours.

6. Extend Your Skincare Routine Beyond Your Face

It’s not only sunscreen that should be applied to other portions of the body. Your entire skincare routine should cover your face, neck, and parts of your chest. Some skincare creams and serums are even advertised for non-face areas.

Looking to follow a simple but effective routine? Stick to daily sunscreen and moisturizer for your neck and chest. Apply sunscreen to your legs as needed. Use body lotion or coconut oil all over after baths.

7. Develop Healthy Eating and Sleeping Habits

What you eat and drink is reflected in your skin. For example: Dairy can cause acne, while avocados can supply your skin with healthy fats and nutrients to keep it supple and glowing. Drinking a green juice or simply more water daily can reduce puffiness underneath the eyes.

Sleep helps because it is a stress reliever and a time for your body—including your skin—to relax, rejuvenate and regenerate. Fewer hours spent on shuteye means more accumulated stress and less skin repair.

Resources—Allure, Bustle, Byrdie, Self, The New York Times

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