The importance of building a simple yet effective skincare routine

Wondering how to build a great skincare routine? Here’s our failsafe guide on how to cleanse, tone and moisture like a pro


by Jazzria Harris |
Published on

Great skin starts with a great skincare routine but navigating the world of skincare products, ingredients and methods can seem daunting. What comes first, the face serum or the moisturiser? Do you know your clean beauty from your cruelty-free? And how do you really get rid of blackheads effectively? If any of these questions have passed through your mind when you wash your face and body, don’t worry, you’re most definitely not alone.

While many industry experts will proclaim the need for a 10 or even a 12-step skincare routine, a trend that began in Korean beauty, we argue it’s best to keep things simple, especially if you’re introducing a routine for the first time. This applies to both your face and body as it’s important not to neglect your skincare once it hits your chin, after all, nobody wants to be left with dry legs when dress season rolls around.

When planning your skincare routine it’s also important to consider the benefits you want to see on your skin. Alongside creating a more even complexion, ideal if you want to go make-up free or opt for an on-trend natural make-up look, different skincare ingredients can also boost radiance, prevent dryness or help combat breakouts. By targeting the concerns you want to treat you can tailor your routine to your skin’s needs to ensure you get the best results.

Wondering where to get started? Simply read on for our guide on how to build a skincare routine that’s sure to get your skin looking its best in no time at all.

How to build a skincare routine for your face

Step 1: Cleanse

Cleansing is an essential step in any skincare routine as it removes dirt, make-up and impurities that would otherwise build up on the skin, leading to clogged pores, breakouts and irritation. As a minimum you should single cleanse as part of your morning skincare routine and your evening skincare routine, however, this can be increased to a double cleanse to ensure your skin is squeaky clean. If you’re wondering what a double cleanse is, don’t worry, more on that later.

First up, it’s important to pick a cleanser that suits your skin type and targets your skin concerns. Dry skin sufferers will want to opt for a nourishing cleanser so cream, oil or balm-based formulas are a great option. These richer textures can be used alone, or you can follow with a lighter cleanser after to ensure all residue and build-up is removed from the skin. This is the double cleanse.

For oily and combination skin, a gel cleanser will purify and re-balance without stripping moisture. Look for added ingredients like niacinamide, which is known for combatting oil production.

For skin concerns, try a cleanser that treats as it cleans. Breakout-prone skin will benefit from a cleanser packed with salicylic acid while sensitive skin will want a fragrance-free formula.

To cleanse effectively, apply your product onto dry skin gently buffing it in to lift impurities. Then wash off with warm water. For added power, a muslin cloth or cleansing pad will help remove any unwanted residue and build-up.

Step 2: Tone

A toner is used to re-balance, prepare the skin for the products that follow and help protect its natural barrier. Toners should be applied on freshly cleansed skin and are left to sink in rather than being removed. The most common way to apply a toner is to saturate a cotton pad and pass it over the face, however, there are also formulations, like essences, that can be applied with your hands or mist applicators that can be sprayed to apply.

When selecting a toner, once again it’s important to consider your skin type and needs. For a simple-to-use everyday toner, opt for a calming formula packed with ingredients like green tea, rose water or chamomile. These are ultra-gentle and will leave the skin feeling refreshed.

For dry skin, a toner containing hyaluronic acid will help hydrate. If you suffer from dryness throughout the day a mist formula can be applied over make-up to top up moisture levels on the go.

An acid-based toner is a great option if you want to boost radiance. If you’ve been wondering how to exfoliate, this is an easy way to introduce the step into your routine. Look for an AHA (alpha-hydroxy-acid) formula and use morning and evening. An acid toner can cause skin sensitivity however so always finish your routine with an SPF to ensure your skin is protected.

Step 3: Serum

Serums are the powerhouse of your skincare routine, giving an intense hit of ingredients for your skin to treat and care for it. Most serums can be applied morning and night, however, there are some exceptions, like retinol, so double-check before you get slathering.

Hyaluronic acid is super hydrating making it a great serum for those with dry skin as well as those with dehydrated or normal skin. It sinks below the skin’s surface to nourish deeply and effectively.

Treat oily skin with a niacinamide serum. It balances oil production as well as reducing shine and fighting breakouts.

For radiant skin, a vitamin C serum for the face is the go-to. Used daily, it brightens skin for a serious glow.

Lastly, for fine lines and wrinkles, you want a retinol serum. This wonder ingredient increases cell turnover to create a smoother complexion. However, it’s important to note, retinol can increase sensitivity so isn’t advised for those with already sensitive skin. It should also only be used at night as part of your evening skincare routine and followed with an SPF in the morning to ensure skin is protected. As an alternative, bakuchiol serums are a sensitive skin-friendly solution, giving effective results without any irritation.

Step 4: Moisturise

A moisturiser is the final step in your skincare routine giving a layer of hydration to soothe and nourish skin. Alongside different ingredients, you can also opt for different textures of moisturisers depending on the finish you want to achieve.

A rich cream or facial oil is ideal for those with dry skin as they feel intensely moisturising. These are also great for use during the colder months when skin can become dryer and in need of an extra level of hydration.

For a lighter texture, a gel-based moisturiser is ideal. These sink in quickly providing a hit of hydration without any greasiness or weight on the skin. For oily skin, you can also take it a step further and opt for an oil-free gel moisturiser to help combat any shine that may arise throughout the day.

When it comes to moisturizing some areas require extra care, like the delicate eye area. Using a cream designed specifically for the under-eye is best as they glide on easily and don’t weigh down the area with excess product. Apply by gently dabbing with your ring finger to prevent pulling or tugging.

SPF also plays a key role in caring for your skin and this is where it can be added to your skincare routine. Opt for a moisturiser with added SPF to keep things simple.  It’s important to wear an SPF year-round, even when the sun is not shining, as UV rays from the sun can still penetrate causing premature ageing and sun damage. We suggest applying at least an SPF30 year-round and upgrading to an SPF50 during the summer months for ample protection.

How to build a skincare routine for your body

Step 1: Exfoliate

If you suffer from dryness or if you’ve been wondering how to get smooth skin, introducing a body exfoliator into your skincare routine will help. For the DIY savvy, it’s easy to create a homemade body scrub using items usually found in your kitchen, or, head to the shop and invest in one that’ll feel just as good. For a great all-round exfoliating body scrub, try a sugar scrub. The granules gently buff away any dead skin cells to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. Apply with your hands rubbing in circular motions then wash off before following with step 2.

Step 2: Cleanse

Similarly to your face, it’s important to cleanse your body regularly to remove grime, sweat and bacteria. This is most likely something you’ve been doing for years when you reach for your shower gel, however, your body can reap extra benefits by switching your regular body wash for a supercharged skincare-focused one.

There are lots of great options that offer added benefits alongside cleaning the skin. If you suffer from dryness look for a formula that contains nourishing shea butter or vitamin E. This will lock in moisture as it cleanses.

If you suffer from body acne, ensure you’re using a body wash packed with salicylic acid. It will gently exfoliate and treat the skin to prevent and fight blemishes.

Step 3: Moisturise

Lastly, after showering, apply a moisturizer to lock in moisture and ensure your skin looks and feels healthy and hydrated. There are many different formulas of body moisturizer depending on your needs so don’t be afraid to try a few until you find the one that’s right for you.

A cream formula is the most common form of moisturizer and adds a light layer of hydration to the skin. Allow it to sink in fully before getting dressed to avoid transferring onto your clothes.

If you like your skin to look extra glowy post-shower, opt for a body oil. These not only hydrate the skin but also give it a delicate sheen, ideal for your next night out.

For dry skin, a body butter is the answer. This extra-thick cream gets to work on fighting dryness quickly by providing a long-lasting hit of hydration.

So, whether you’re hoping to improve your skin texture, add radiance or fight blemishes, we’ve spilt the beans on how to achieve it. Your journey to your best skin ever starts now.

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