By Rose Griesgraber
So you’re looking to start a skin routine? If you haven’t yet built a skin routine as an adult, that means you probably don’t have many skin problems. People with specific skin issues require specialized treatment and usually become skin care savvy pretty quickly. But even those with unproblematic skin may want to maintain a routine to achieve their best possible complexion and prevent premature aging.
The internet is swamped with hyper complicated 10+ step skin routines that can be very daunting to someone just starting out. This five step process is here to help with a super simple plan that can aid you in building up to a more sophisticated routine in the future.
Stage 1: The Basics
The essentials for any skin routine are: a cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunblock. There are two prime time slots for skin care, in the morning after you get up and at night before you go to bed. Get used to washing your face 2x a day with a gentle cleanser of your choice! After cleansing in the morning, it’s important to apply sunblock and protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Before bed, apply moisturizer after you cleanse to keep your skin happy and hydrated throughout the night. (Already feeling a little adventurous? Get a cleanser with a chemical exfoliant - dermatologists recommend daily, gentle exfoliation for healthy skin and anti aging!) If you wear makeup, make sure to remove it prior to the cleansing step with your product or method of choice.
Stage 2: A Happier Tone
You’ve mastered the basics, and now you’re ready to move to the next level of skinlightenment. This step will only add one product to your routine. A toner is key to balanced and youthful looking skin. Cleansing helps to remove dirt and oil from the skin but can leave it stripped and out of whack. Toner helps reduce pore size, restore pH levels, and protect the skin against harsh chemicals you might be exposed to in your daily life. Toners with alcohol are best avoided unless you have very oily skin, but choosing a product that works for you should take your specific skin needs into account.
Stage 3: Amazing Anti Aging (Serums and Treatments)
This is where you get creative and spread your wings with a little research of your own. There are many active ingredients that have anti aging properties to choose from. You can settle for just one night time product, or find things to do in both the AM and the PM. Lighter antioxidant serums are usually used in the morning while heavier, anti aging treatments are usually saved for the night. Products that sensitize the skin to light should be used at night to avoid any increased sun damage. Common night treatments are retinol and resveratrol whereas serums for the AM often include things like vitamin C, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and caffeine.
Stage 4: Sophisticated Moisturization
One moisturizer can work for most people, but if you want to get the most benefit for your skin, consider expanding your repertoire. In my previous blog, I explain how to get the best cocktail of moisturizers for your skin. In the morning, before sunblock, apply a light weight humectant and at night apply a thicker emollient or occlusive moisturizer. Humectants are moisturizers that hydrate the skin with chemicals that draw water in, while emollient or occlusives are oil based and lock in moisture to the skin by creating a protective layer. Consider adding an eye cream to your routine as the skin surrounding your eyes is especially thin and requires special attention for wrinkle prevention.
Stage 5: Experimentation
As you settle into your routine, feel free to change it up and experiment with new products or steps - see what your skin likes and doesn’t like. Craft your personalized skin routine with all your accumulated experience and pass on the knowledge to others too!