How to Build a Reliable Skincare Routine
type of products flooding the beauty market almost on a daily basis, it is easy to forget the importance of a well-established skincare routine. The constant switch between different products is not only stressful for the skin, but also for the bank account, so today I wanted to share my tips on building a reliable skincare kit. Throughout the years, it seems that I've tried it all to combat my skincare woes - think full-on routines consisting of purely drugstore products, wonders from the Asian skincare market, French pharmacy line-ups and even going natural with a selection of
skincare brands. Now, after doing a fair bit of research and properly testing things out, I feel like I'm in a good place to give a few tips on creating a solid skincare base that should suit every skin type (with a few minor tweaks, if necessary.)
- Cleansing (morning) - Kick-start your morning routine by washing away the combination of yesterday's moisturizer, oils and dust particles from the pillow. My recommendation here is to opt for a light, pH-neutral, non-foaming gel or cream cleanser to effectively cleanse the skin without stripping it. I've already made an in-depth post about the importance of pH-neutral cleansers (you can find it here). In short, cleansers with a slightly acidic pH level of 5.5 match the acidic mantle of our skin, thus helping it retain moisture while keeping the germs and bacteria away.
- Double cleansing (evening) - Essentially, double cleansing means that you wash your face two times. While a quick sweep of makeup remover or micellar water can suffice to remove the makeup, I'd suggest switching to an oil-based cleanser. The pros? Oil doesn't have a pH value, so you're not stripping your skin while dissolving makeup (and removing sunscreen!), plus you can fit in a quick, relaxing facial massage into your skincare routine. Now, you can follow up with a regular face wash, as the initial level of grime and dirt has been removed and now your cleanser is free to properly do its job.
- Moisturizing - Whether your skin is super oily or extremely dry, moisturizing both in the morning and in the evening is a step you shouldn't skip. My advice here is to find something that really works for your particular skin type. Something that's overly rich in texture will cause your base makeup to slip during the day while a lighter moisturizer on a dry skin will result in emphasized dry patches and fine lines. My current favorite pick is Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, which would probably make die-hard Caroline Hirons' fans gasp in horror, as it contains mineral oil (keep your eyes peeled for a full review on it later this week.)
- SPF - While a moisturizer with a built-in SPF is a good thing to have in your beauty stash, a separate tube of SPF may be a better option. Firstly, if you're going out and having pictures taken, products containing SPF can cause a flashback aka a white cast on your face. Secondly, the built-in SPF may simply not suffice in the warmer months. I'd suggest taking a look at Asian brands here, as they have the whole non-sticky-yet-effective SPF thing down to a tee. Again, I have a more detailed post on this topic here.
- Overnight mask - A hydrating overnight mask particularly comes in handy during the cooler winter months and long haul flights. Try to test out a sample-sized version of any overnight mask, as some of them have a tendency to clog pores and generally be overly rich for the skin,
- Cleansing mask - A good cleansing mask doesn't have to be drying or stripping - if you're a fan of clay-based masks, look for those, which don't dry down completely (for example, the Innisfree Jeju Clay Mask.) Alternatively, you can double your anti-inflammatory masks as overnight spot treatments.
- BHA/AHA treatment - Whether you want to combat the first signs of aging, even out your skin tone, reduce oiliness, fight breakouts and generally have a brighter complexion, BHA's and AHA's are your best friends. Offering a much more gentle alternative to physical exfoliants, these acids work wonders if used correctly. BHA's are perfect for those who struggle with acne, oily skin, blackheads and enlarged pores due to their ability to penetrate the pores, as they are oil soluble. If your skin ailments include sun damage, wrinkles, and dryness, opt for AHA's, as such acids are water soluble, which in turn makes them suitable for treating the surface layers of the skin. For acid products, I highly recommend checking out the Asian brand COSRX, as they have an incredible selection of gentle yet effective acid treatments.
- Face oil - You can easily swap your nighttime moisturizer for an indulgent face oil. People with dry skin will benefit from the extra boost of nourishment while those with oily skin will possibly find that oils have a magical ability to balance things out. My top pick would be rosehip oil, as, slowly but surely, it has made a visible improvement in my skin tone and post-acne scarring.
- Vitamin C - If you're looking for a quick miracle worker for evening out the skin tone and visibly lightening any scarring, try a vitamin C serum/treatment. I've raved about it countless times on my blog, so I won't go into much detail, however if you're interested in more information, this post might be helpful.
I hope you've found this helpful in some way! Feel free to share your skincare routine building tips and tricks.