Staring at skincare counters, entering the skincare department of stores and looking at all the different products on shelves can be quite overwhelming. There are so many products thrown at you when you enter the skincare realm and so much confusion around what you should be buying, where you should be spending your money and how to get started.
I’ve had my own share of issues with my skin. Mine range from dryness, sensitivity, easily aggravated/prone to allergic reactions, hyper pigmentation, the lot! It helps to understand what type of skin and what type of issues you have with it. Most people know instantly, skin can be something that many of us are insecure about and it’s ok. Nobody is perfect! You might as well accept it for what it is because it’s the only one you’ve got for the rest of your life.
I really wanted to talk about how to structure a skincare routine because it was something that overwhelmed me when I first started. Lots of research later, I found one that works and I wanted to share it. Before you try anything new, please do consult a doctor and know if certain changes are right for you.
I don’t have to say this but for the sake of it … If you don’t drink enough water, you will have dehydrated tired skin. Drinking lots of water is the FIRST step to glowing skin. My philosophy on skincare is that your skin is a reflection of what you put inside your body, it all starts there.
How-To Structure a Skincare Routine
Step 1: Cleanser
I like to think of all skin as sensitive skin. After all, even if you have normal skin and even if it can handle harsher products, why put abrasive products on it? I found the key to a good cleanse is simplicity. This is the part of your skincare routine that you should be spending the least amount of money on but very crucial.
AM – All I use is a milk cleanser by Caudalie. Even if you have no makeup on your skin when you wake up, you must wash it. There are lots of oils that you don’t want just kicking around.
PM – I use either Bioderma or any Baby oil to remove my makeup with a cotton pad. Both are great for sensitive and this is my first cleanse. Then I go in with another cleanser by Origins to get a deeper cleanse.
Step 2: Acid Toner
Acid Toners help exfoliate the skin on a daily basis. They use chemical exfoliants like AHA’s (Alphahydroxy Acid) or BHA’s (Betahydroxy Acid) in small amounts to get into the layers of the skin and remove the guck and dead skin, inside out. Some common ones you should look out for on ingredients lists are: Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Critic Acid. I’m going to go into details of this in a future post. These exfoliants will aid in the removal of dead skin, cell regeneration, combat free radicals and many other features. It can be harsh and you must use sun screen with this. Money wise, you don’t want to cheap out on exfoliants. If you can afford a high end one, go for it.
AM/PM – I use the First Aid Beauty Facial Pads morning and night. Some people suggest doing this everyday. I found it’s too much for my skin because I have very sensitive skin. I would suggest trying it out twice a week and increase or decrease depending on how your skin reacts to it.
Step 3: Treatment
Treatments are serums and oils.This is the area of your routine that you should spend the most amount of money on. Treatments target your specific skincare issues i.e. dryness, aging, acne, etc. A lot of treatments will also have AHA’s or BHA’s in them (YAY) so you get a double dose of cell renewal!
AM/PM – I use the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I layer this with my moisturiser on top. Every night I use this, I wake up with baby skin the next day.
Step 4: Eye Cream
The skin around the eyes is the most thin and therefore, most sensitive. Most people start wearing eye cream when they start aging to combat wrinkles. I think your twenties is a good time to start to prevent it! I have very dry under eyes and eye cream has greatly helped me in hydrating it.
AM and PM – I use the Origins GinZing eye cream before I put my moisturiser on. Putting your eye cream on first allows it to stay put and not blend with the moisturiser on top.
Step 5: Moisturiser
Moisturisers keep your skin hydrated. Even if you have oily skin, you must hydrate. Having oily skin does not mean that you have hydrated skin, it simply means that your skin has a natural disposition to create more oil. In the mornings, you can use an oil-free moisturiser.
AM – I use the Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone Cream. If you have a problem with oxidisation, wait a bit before putting on your makeup.
PM – I believe in layering thin layers of the treatment/eyecream/moisturizer at night. Night time is a great opportunity to do a more thorough routine.
List of Products in this post:
Bioderma Miceller Water
Caudalie Gentle Milk Cleanser
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Face Cleanser
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum
Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone Cream
Origins GinZing Eye Cream
A Last Note
You know your skin better than anyone. Do all these steps but organise how often you do them to your needs. Some of it may be too much, some of it not enough.
What I do
AM – Cleanse/Eye Cream/Moisturizer
PM – Double Cleanser/Acid Toner/Treatment/Eye Cream/Moisturizer
Cleanser – Whether you are male or female, I suggest two gentle cleanses at night time, one in the morning.
Acid Toner – The AHA and BHA in Acid Toners help with regeneration and getting rid of dead skin. Do this everyday, twice a week or more.
Treatment – Oils or serums that target your skincare needs.
Eye Cream – Assists with anti-agin and hydration. Very important and skin around the eyes is very sensitive.
Moisturiser – Important to use day time and night time.