How to Build a Skincare Routine

Building a skincare routine from scratch can be intimidating, especially if you only wash your face with a store-bought cleanser once a day. However, it doesn’t have to be. With this guide, you can establish a skincare routine that helps you achieve a complexion you can feel confident about in just a few simple steps.

Step 1: Find Out What Skin Type You Have

First things first, you need to determine which skin type you have as this will determine which products you need and how best to care for your complexion. There are generally three skin types: oily, dry, and combination. Here’s how you can determine which type of skin you likely have:

  • Oily: People with oily skin often have a shiny complexion due to an overproduction of oils. If you have oily skin, you want to use a lighter moisturizer and exfoliate more often (several times per week) to avoid build up of dirt and bacteria that clogs your pores.
  • Dry: People with dry skin often experience tightness and flaking. If you have dry skin, you’re going to want to use products with gentle, non-abrasive ingredients and a thicker moisturizer.
  • Combination: People with combination skin often experience dryness on their cheeks and an oily sheen across their t-zone (the mid-section of their forehead, nose, and chin). People with this type of skin can typically use most products.

If you’re unsure about your skin type, you can also schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to be sure.

Keep in mind that on top of your skin type, you may also have sensitive skin. If you do have sensitive skin, watch out for words like “fragrance”, “PABA”, and “alcohol” in the ingredients list.

How to Build a Skincare Routine

Step 2: Determine Which Products You Need

If you’re just using an over the counter cleanser, you need to rethink your skincare routine—which is likely why you’re here. While there are virtually endless products you could incorporate into your skincare regimen over time, these are some the basics you should start with:

  • Daily facial cleanser (you may need two face washes—a gentle cleanser for daily use and an exfoliating cleanser to use several days a week)
  • Toner
  • Moisturizer (you should consider purchasing a moisturizer with sunscreen in it to protect your skin from the sun throughout the day)
  • Face masks

As you become more advanced in your skincare routine, you can add in other products like an organic CBD tincture and rejuvenating eye cream, as well as special tools. Keep in mind that the type of skincare products that you should use may vary based on the season. For example, you typically want to use a thicker moisturizer during winter than summer.

How to Build a Skincare Routine

Step 3: Set a Budget

Skincare can be expensive, but it’s usually worth the investment. It’s important to consider the advantages of different products, rather than strictly their price points, like the quality of different ingredients.

That said, for practical reasons everyone has their own budget that they need to stick to. When creating your skincare budget, think about how you can integrate the new products you need over time. While you might start with basics at the beginning, you can set aside money to upgrade one of your essentials when it runs out. This also gives you more time to do your research.

Step 4: Plan Out Your Routine

Now that you have your skincare products, it’s time to start using them.

  • Wash your face with lukewarm water, gently moving the product in a circular motion on your skin.
  • Spritz your toner on your skin. You may need multiple sprays to cover the entire surface, but don’t go overboard.
  • Apply your moisturizer. For thinner moisturizers, you can apply an even layer over your entire face. If you’re using a thicker moisturizer, you may want to focus most of the product on dryer areas like your cheeks.

For many people, it’s beneficial to wash their face twice a day to avoid buildup like dirt and bacteria. If you wear makeup it’s especially important to make sure you wash your face thoroughly before bed.

In addition to your regular daily routine, you should plan to exfoliate two or three times per week and use face masks throughout the week. Korean sheet masks are a popular option with a variety of formulas for different skin concerns.

Step 5: Maintain the Habit

Now for one of the hardest parts of establishing a skincare routine, keeping up your good habits. The key to maintaining your skincare routine is making it manageable according to your lifestyle, keeping it simple, and making it convenient for yourself.

One thing that may make it easier is keeping your skincare products at eye level in your medicine cabinet so you’re reminded every time you open it.

With these tips in mind, you can create a skincare routine that works for you. Just keep in mind that it may take some trial and error, but in the end it will be worth it when you have clearer, glowing skin.