Step by Step Skincare Routine: Skincare 101 Series


Want more information on specific products for your own skin type? Stay tuned for new articles in the upcoming series: “The Ultimate Skincare Routine Guide for Every Skin Type.” If you’re building a new skincare routine, start with these 6 foundational steps for a step by step skincare routine, learn which products work for you over time, and build these steps into a daily habit. Remember, consistency is key in the success of any health-related endeavor, including a skincare routine.


Here’s the foundation 6-step routine for most great skincare routines: 

1. Cleanser 

What it does: A cleanser is an important first step of a skincare routine to wash off dirt, excess oil and sebum, debris, and bacteria from your face. This step also sets the foundation and provides a clean face for the rest of your routine to work effectively. The cleanser you choose will vary by your skin type, current skin issues, and preferences, and you may want to use a different cleanser morning or night. If you wear makeup, use a cleanser ONLY after you have removed your makeup with a makeup remover or double-cleanse method. 

How to apply: Once any makeup is removed from your face, gently wet your face with lukewarm water. Apply a small amount of cleanser to your fingertips and gently work it around your face in a circular motion, for between 30-60 seconds.


2. Toner 

What it does: This step isn’t necessarily critical for everyone, but is a nice addition to remove any dirt that wasn’t removed with the cleanser, and toner can have additional soothing properties or ingredients that can address your current skincare issues. Because it removes this extra debris from your face, it can also help to clear out and minimize the appearance of pores over time.

How to apply: After cleansing, drench a round cotton pad with your toner and gently apply around your face.  


3. Serum 

What it does: Serums are high-concentration formulas of various skincare ingredients that can penetrate deep into the skin’s layers to have a strong impact. The types of serums you use will vary widely by your specific skincare needs, so make sure to first check out “The 8 Most Important Skincare Ingredients” first, followed by the article for your skin type from our collection: Skincare Routines 101: The Ultimate Guide to a Skincare Routine for Your Skin Type”. Note that the ingredients in many serums (such as retinol) may make your skin more sensitive, and so you might not want to start out using every serum every day. For example, you might use a retinol serum 3-4 nights a week instead of every night.

How to apply: Apply the recommended amount of serum from your specific product to either your fingertips or palm and spread it around your face. I would recommend waiting between 20-30 seconds between applying different serums, if you’re using more than one. 


4. Eye Cream 

What it does: Eye cream is a type of moisturizer, and is generally higher-density, thicker, and or/gentler than a regular moisturizer, that is designed specifically for the delicate skin around our eyes. Like most products, the type you choose will depend on your skin type and concerns. In general, eye cream helps to keep the skin under and around our eyes hydrated and firm over time so our eye area can appear fresh, tight, and glowing. I think a solid eye cream is a really important part of a long-term, anti-aging skincare routine, as our eye area is often the first to show signs of aging, and taking proper care of it can make a huge long term difference.

How to apply: Apply a small amount of eye cream on your ring finger, and gently apply it under your eye and up to the corners of your eye (and if directed on the product, onto your eyelids).


5. Moisturizer

What it does: A moisturizer hydrates your skin by enhancing your skin barrier’s ability to retain moisture. Many moisturizers contain ceramides and/or hyaluronic acid, which are designed to do exactly that, but there are tons of great moisturizers out there. As always, the one you choose will depend widely on your skin type so make sure to see our Skincare Routine Guide for your specific skin type.

How to apply: Apply a small amount of moisturizer (as directed by your specific product) to your fingertips and apply it around your face. If it’s morning and you’re following with SPF, give the moisturizer 30-60 seconds to set into your skin before moving onto SPF. 


6. SPF (Morning Only)

What it does: SPF is the holy grail for anti-aging. The sun is one of the most damaging factors to your skin’s health over time, so you should apply SPF every single morning without fail. Even if you’re staying inside all day, the sun’s rays can still have an impact on your skin through windows, so just be safe and wear your spf! 

How to apply: Add the directed amount of your SPF to your fingertips and spread it all over your face. Be sure to apply to your neck, as well. 

Note: Some moisturizers contain SPF in them, so if you prefer to use one of those, you can have these last two steps in one. Just be sure the SPF product you use is broad spectrum (that it protects against both UVA and UVB sun rays). I also don’t recommend the use of SPF at night, so if you’re using a moisturizer at night, try one without SPF. 


Common Questions:


When do I apply these products? Morning or night? 

For most people, I would recommend Steps 1-6 (Cleanser through SPF) in the morning, and then Steps 1-5 (Cleanser-Moisturizer) at night. However, the products you use may end up being different in morning or night. For example, a Vitamin C serum and a Retinol serum generally shouldn’t be used at the same time, and a retinol serum causes extra sun sensitivity so you should only use that at night. The Ultimate Guide to Combining Skincare Ingredients provides a breakdown of what products can be combined and what products can’t be, so you can decide whether a product should be in your morning vs. night routine. 


What about masks? 

Masks are a great weekly addition to a skincare routine. They aren’t included in this list because this is focused on the daily routine steps, but I recommend adding in a weekly mask to give your skin an extra boost of exfoliation, or targeted towards your specific skincare needs. A weekly AHA/BHA peel can be a great way to deeply exfoliate your skin of dead skin cells and built up debris. See the Skincare Routine Guide for your specific skin type for more info on which types of masks might work best for your skin.


How do I know which ingredients to use and when?
Check out out Ultimate Guide to Combining Skincare Ingredients. There are SO many skincare ingredients in the world, and it’s critical to understand which ones you can use and which other ones they can be combined with.

You May Also Like

답글 남기기

이메일 주소는 공개되지 않습니다. 필수 필드는 *로 표시됩니다