If you’re new to the world of skincare and you’re looking for a simple routine to help you take proper care of your skin – the following article is for you.
There’s a lot of noise in the skincare world. It’s only natural to get lost in it as a beginner, or even worse – feel overwhelmed and sold to at every corner you turn.
I’ll introduce you to a basic skincare routine for beginners and tell you everything you need to know about making the first steps on your own.
In the following sections, I cover:
- The purpose of a skincare routine – is it a marketing gimmick just aimed to grab our money or is there actual use?
- Basic morning & evening skincare routine steps – the foundation for every beginner;
- How to build your skincare routine as a newbie;
- How to choose the right products for your specific skin type;
- How to then go one step further and introduce serums and other beneficial skincare;
- Answers to some of the most asked questions on skincare routines for beginners.
Let’s dive right into it!
What is the purpose of a skincare routine?
The skin is one of the largest and most important organs in the body. It shields the body from external pathogens and requires care to function at its fullest potential.
A skincare routine helps keep the skin healthy and in good condition.
But that’s not all.
It also supports the health of the skin barrier, helps to prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, therefore slows down aging, and helps avoid dark spots, dirt accumulation, dead skin clogging the pores, excess oil, and more.
An appropriate routine for your specific skin type and conditions can help you minimize and aid a range of problems such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne, and more.
Plus, there are plenty of mental health benefits to implementing a skincare routine. This has to do with the fact that you’re forming a self-care habit that makes you feel good in your skin (pun intended).
This results in increased awareness of your skin needs, an improved connection with your body, and helps form a relationship with like-minded individuals with a similar interest in skin care – hello My Beauty Clan! The skincare community is awesome, diverse, and very knowledgeable, which makes it not only beneficial but also bonding.
Setting up a skincare routine is neither easy nor hard. It simply takes some time and persistence.
Let’s see what you need to know about the basic AM and PM skincare routine.
Basic morning skincare routine steps
When it comes to creating a basic skincare routine for beginners, it’s important to introduce you to an important separator – the morning skincare routine and the evening one.
In the morning hours, your skincare routine helps you to prepare your skin for your daily activities and protect it against harmful UV rays, pollutants, oxidative stress, and more.
The AM skincare routine includes the following basic steps:
- Cleansing the face
- Applying an SPF
Your morning routine aims to prep your skin for the day by moisturizing and protecting it from the sun. If you’re using makeup, the skincare routine will lay out a blank, and cared-for canvas for everything you apply on top.
You can also add other products like serums, toners, and more in between the cleansing and hydrating steps. This will enrich the skin with extra valuable nutrients, and you’ll get another level of hydration or potentially even treat certain skin conditions if you’ve selected the appropriate products for the cause. Later we’ll expand more on how you can do this.
Basic evening skincare routine steps
So what are the steps to a skincare routine in the evening? Your evening routine will allow the skin to cleanse from the daily debris, juice up on valuable nutrients that help it regenerate and heal, and will provide sufficient moisture, helping the skin receive the hydration and rejuvenation it needs while you’re asleep.
When it comes to the PM skincare routine, the basic steps are:
- Cleansing the face
Your evening skincare routine is meant to cleanse your skin from all that you’ve gone through during the day and prepare it for a good night’s rest. Now is the time to add any treatments (I dig into this in more detail below) to treat specific skin conditions.
The cleansing step of your evening routine is especially important and should not be skipped. It will help you get rid of any excess sebum, sweat, dead skin cells, makeup, and other debris. This will prevent your pores from clogging.
Just like in the morning routine, you can add extra products to your evening regimen. In the PM hours, I recommend opting for exfoliating treatments. They’re ideal for this time of day as they can sensitize the skin to the sun if used in the morning.
How to build your basic skincare routine?
1. Identify your skin type
The very first step to creating a basic skincare routine for beginners is getting to know your skin type. This will help you determine the most appropriate skincare products for your routine.
Here are the different skin types and how to identify them:
- Normal skin type – if you have normal skin, it won’t feel too dry or too oily. It will feel perfectly balanced and you won’t suffer from any breakouts, skin flaking, greasiness, or tightness. Normal skin types usually enjoy a normal pore size (small pores), smooth texture, and no sensitivity.
- Sensitive skin type – people with sensitive skin are more prone to inflammation and can feel sensitivity when exposing the skin to different temperatures or applying certain skincare products. Sensitive skin often suffers from redness, itching, irritation, and other discomforts.
- Dry skin type – dry skin both visibly appears to lack moisture and feels tight and dry. Sometimes, dry skin can flake and itch, depending on how severe the dryness is. Dry skin tends to feel more sensitive, so it’s normal for you to think that they overlap.
- Oily skin type – this skin type is characterized by excess production of sebum, causing a greasy look, clogged pores, and often – acne breakouts. Your skin might get oilier as the day progresses.
- Combination skin type – people with combination skin usually have some oily areas on some parts of their face, yet dry skin in other areas. In most cases, the t-zone is rather oily-prone, while the cheeks, jaw, and the area around the hairline are dry.
Have you identified yourself as one of these skin types? Let’s move on to some of the most popular skin issues as they’re the next step to your skincare routine formation.
2. Plan for your skin concerns
Skin concerns are your normal noticings on how your skin appears. Those are problem areas for you that you probably want to deal with in one way or another. When building your beginner skincare routine, it’s good to take measures to solve these concerns.
I outline the most prevalent skin concerns below and explain what to look for in your skincare products.
Acne can happen to anyone but it’s most typical for people with oily skin as it usually produces more sebum, which can clog the pores. However, acne can be a problem for other skin types too as it doesn’t strictly form just because of oiliness and clogged pores. It could be a result of hormonal imbalance, an inappropriate diet, and more.
The condition takes place once bacteria, dead skin cells, excess oil, and other debris block the pores, clogging them. As a result, pimples, zits, or blemishes form, which we call acne.
There is a range of different pimple types you can get, like blackheads and whiteheads. No matter which type you’re suffering from, the bottom line is that neither are pleasant nor comfortable. They can be very painful and can cause long-term scars.
Some of the skincare ingredients to look out for if you want to prevent or minimize acne include:
- Salicylic acid – a beta hydroxy acid, which goes deep into your pores and helps to unclog them;
- Azelaic acid – has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the production of keratin, which causes clogged pores;
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) – remove dead skin cells from the topmost layer of the skin, and tackle inflammation. At the same time, they minimize the appearance of acne scars and promote skin renewal;
- Vitamin C – vitamin C or ascorbic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and helps calm down acne-prone skin;
- Benzoyl peroxide – one of the most-effective acne treatments, it kills Cutibacterium acnes – the acne-causing bacteria, and unclogs blocked pores;
- Tea tree oil – an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent that reduces acne and prevents acne scars;
- Sulfur – products like sulfur spot treatments and sulfur soap are great for acne-prone skin as they remove the excess oil and dry the skin, preventing breakouts.
Enlarged pores are another common skin occurrence that can be seen throughout all ages. Highly prominent pores can be a result of excess sebum production, hair follicle size, loss of skin elasticity as the skin ages, and sun damage. It can also be a consequence of using comedogenic products, which clog the pores and lead to increased pore size.
Large pores and acne often go hand-in-hand, as inflammatory acne can enlarge your pores.
To treat large pores, it’s essential to exfoliate the skin regularly and purge it of any unwanted things. Some of the ingredients on your list should be:
- Beta hydroxy acids – like salicylic acid, which I introduced you to in the previous section;
- Polyhydroxy acids – for example, lactobionic acid and gluconolactone, which protect the skin barrier and gently exfoliate even the most sensitive skin;
- Mandelic acid – helps regulate sebum production and unclogs pores;
- Willow bark extract – contains salicin, which clears the pores and reduces pore size;
- Green tea – helps clear the pores;
- Clay – clay is well-known for its sebum absorption properties and is an ideal ingredient for pore size reduction. I highly recommend a good clay mask;
- Niacinamide – helps regulate sebum production and reduces pore size.
Hyperpigmentation (acne scars, discoloration)
People who suffer from hyperpigmentation experience skin discoloration, scars, and dark spots.
The hyperpigmented areas can look grey, black, red, pink, or brown, depending on the skin and the level of discoloration. Although not painful, hyperpigmentation is often a nuisance as it can look like you have active acne but for a prolonged amount of time. Dark spots can also be itchy and are certainly a reason for low self-esteem in many individuals.
The skin condition arises when skin cells are damaged or inflamed. This problematic area on your skin starts to overproduce melanin, thus dark spots get formed.
Some of the key ingredients available in OTC skincare (over-the-counter, non-prescription) to use for treating hyperpigmentation include azelaic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, alpha-arbutin, salicylic acid, and vitamin C. At the same time, you can use:
- Kojic acid – a hydrophilic fungal ingredient that minimizes hyperpigmentation by reducing the production of free tyrosinase;
- Retinoids – a range of skincare ingredients that help to replace old skin with new skin, therefore treating hyperpigmentation.
When creating your skincare routine, make sure you opt for some of these ingredients if you suffer from hyperpigmentation.
Overly dry, sensitive skin
Sensitive skin is not only a type of skin, but also a skin condition that causes several challenges, problems, and concerns. If the skin is also dry, this means it doesn’t lock in enough water and oil, causing itching, flaking, peeling, cracking, irritation, and burning.
It’s important to aid your skin and try to soothe it. Opt for products that contain:
- Aloe vera – contains water, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that are vital for the skin’s healthy condition and hydration. It’s a popular soothing and healing ingredient that is super cheap and readily available.
- Ceramides – they are the building blogs of our skin so having an addition of those in your skin products will help you to replenish the skin.
- Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) – a popular moisturizing agent that also protects the skin and soothes any irritation. It’s widely used in wound healing.
- Centella Asiatica (also known as Tiger Grass, Gotu Kola) – another great skin moisturizer with anti-inflammatory properties. In Asia, the ingredient is regarded as a golden standard in soothing inflamed skin.
- Allantoin – another hero in the group of skincare ingredients that soothe irritated skin, soften it up, and promote its healing.
- Goat milk – offers specific fats that are nourishing for the skin and prevent irritation. The ingredient protects the skin barrier and contains vitamin A and lactic acid.
- Lactic acid – a natural, active substance that soothes the skin and gently exfoliates, supporting the natural moisture factor of the skin.
Many other compounds are useful and soothing and calm sensitive skin, but the topic is too broad and deserves a dedicated article.
As the skin ages and starts to produce much less collagen and elastin, it starts to lose volume and shape.
It also loses out on some of its natural brightness and moisture.
You start to notice fine lines, wrinkles, skin dullness, dryness, uneven skin tone, a damaged skin texture, large pores, and more.
So what should your skincare routine focus on if you want to help your skin age more gracefully?
I have recommendations for the different age groups.
The truth is that signs of aging can start appearing as soon as the twenties. If you’re in this age group, stick to a high-quality cleanser, sunscreen, antioxidants, and retinoids. These will help you maintain the condition of the skin and enjoy enough elasticity and collagen production.
If you are in your 30s and 40s, I recommend adding peptides to the mix. Peptides are amino acids that are part of specific proteins that the skin requires. For example, collagen is built based on three polypeptide chains. Adding peptides to your routine will stimulate collagen production.
If your skin is more mature, I strongly advise introducing chemical peels. People aged 40+ have a much slower rate of natural skin exfoliation, so this group of people will see benefits in terms of bright, young-looking, smooth skin if they start to exfoliate more often.
3. Think about your skin conditions
Skin conditions are different from skin concerns in that they are more permanent and less treatable with skincare.
When creating your skincare routine, you should also consider existing skin conditions, if you have any.
Some ingredients in skincare products can make certain skin problems worse, while others can dramatically improve them. Being aware of the state of your skin is critical for an effective routine.
Some of the most popular skin conditions include psoriasis (flaky patches on the skin), dermatitis (skin irritation that often causes itchiness, dryness, and rashes), rosacea (causes blushing or flushing, red patches on your skin), melasma (excessive skin pigmentation that occurs when triggered, appears mainly on the upper cheeks, near the eyes, but can be seen elsewhere too) and others.
It’s important to note that these skin conditions are to be identified by an experienced dermatologist, who will be able to prescribe proper treatments and guide you on the ingredients that you should avoid.
Being aware of your skin issues will help you avoid known irritants and triggers when choosing skincare, even if you don’t use any skincare!
Although you can aid your condition with OTC (over-the-counter) products, a more effective and fast way of treating and caring for skin conditions is to visit a derm.
Pregnancy and your skincare routine
Pregnancy is often accompanied by certain skin changes. During this time, you may notice pregnancy-related acne, excess sebum production as a result of hormonal changes, and even hyperpigmentation. And although pregnant women should avoid certain products throughout the pregnancy, they should also be cautious during breastfeeding too.
For example, some of the absolute no-nos for pregnant women include:
- Retinoids – isotretinoin, tretinoin, tazarotene, spironolactone, and adapalene are off limits during pregnancy as they can negatively influence the ectoderm development in the fetus (the external tissue layer);
- Brightening ingredients – specifically hydroquinone, which can affect fetal development;
- Phthalates – negatively affect the endocrine system.
The above is not an extensive list of things you must avoid, so it’s best to consult with your physician.
At the same time, if used in moderation, you can rely on glycolic acid, topical antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, and resveratrol, azelaic acid, coconut oil, cocoa butter, peptides, and hyaluronic acid.
I strongly encourage you to always check with your doctor about what is safe for you during your pregnancy.
People of color and your skincare routine
If you have melanin-rich skin (Fitzpatrick 3 and over), the truth is that you’re probably more exposed to skin concerns related to hyperpigmentation (melasma and post-acne spots being the most popular cases). Furthermore, if you’re suffering from acne, eczema, or psoriasis, if your skin is darker it may develop scars and hyperpigmentation.
This is one of the main challenges that you have to think about when setting up your skincare routine.
Hyperpigmentation is a challenge to tackle for darker skin.
Luckily, some topical treatments can come in handy. For example, products containing vitamin C and azelaic acid are highly recommended.
Also, I’d like to add that sunscreen is still a must for darker skin tones. Don’t miss out on this vital component in your skincare routine. Blue light protective sunscreens will prove the most beneficial to you.
How to choose a cleanser for your skin routine
The face wash that you choose for your skincare routine will ultimately come down to your skin type and needs. Here are my recommendations for the different skin types.
Choosing a face cleanser for dry skin
You should be very cautious when selecting a cleanser for dry skin as aggressive cleansers can strip the skin from its protective oils and damage the skin barrier.
The cleanser you choose should be gentle and should contain moisturizing ingredients and fatty acids. Some of the substances that work well include petrolatum, lanolin, and mineral oil. They leave behind a thin layer of moisture and hydrate.
Opt for oil-based cleansers, milk cleansers, and cream cleansers as they’re more hydrating. Also, ensure the product is fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, free from irritating compounds such as essential oils and alcohol, and non-foaming.
Two of my favorite cleansers for dry skin include La Roche-Posay Toleraine Hydrating Gentle Cleanser and Aveeno Calm + Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser.
Choosing a face cleanser for oily skin
If you have oily skin, the goal is to remove as much excess sebum as possible, yet again, not strip your skin from anything valuable and dry out your skin barrier.
The perfect cleanser in this case will contain surfactant ingredients and moisturizing ingredients.
Salicylic acid is also a wonderful ingredient in a cleanser as it clears out the pores deeply and prevents blockages.
Although you’re looking for a slightly drying effect to get rid of the greasy feeling, don’t forget that the cleanser shouldn’t leave your skin feeling dry, tight, and squeaky clean.
In terms of product consistency and formulation, go for a foaming gel as it guarantees a better cleansing effect.
My skin is oily, and acne-prone, and I love using La-Roche Posay’s Toleriane Purifying Cleanser and the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser – both are great at deeply cleansing my face while not drying it out.
Choosing a face cleanser for sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin, you probably experience irritation, itching, redness, and other discomforts from a poor choice of cleanser. Opt for a super gentle cleanser that doesn’t contain any fragrance, essential oils, stripping soap, strong actives, or alcohol.
Sensitive skin usually reacts very well to cream cleansers as opposed to very foamy ones. Make sure the product is hypoallergenic.
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser or the La Roche-Posay Toleraine Hydrating Gentle Cleanser are great choices for sensitive skin.
Choosing a face cleanser for mature skin
If you’re looking for a cleanser for mature skin, I recommend going for a rich cream cleanser that promotes collagen production and cell turnover. Keep in mind that mature skin can also be divided into different skin types.
Select the cleanser based on your skin type. For example, for dry mature skin, choose a product that contains ceramides, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and natural oils like jojoba and avocado. Stay away from products with alcohol as it can additionally dry out your skin.
Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm (Amazon, Glow Recipe) is a great cleanser for mature skin as it helps to exfoliate the skin gently, but you can also use any of the other recommendations that I’ve listed so far.
Choosing a face cleanser for acne-prone skin
To prevent acne breakouts, look for cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide, AHAs like glycolic acid or lactic acid, or BHAs, like salicylic acid. They will help you keep oil production and acne under control.
For salicylic acid-based cleanser, I like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin and the CeraVe SA Cleanser.
How to choose a moisturizer for your skin routine
Selecting the right moisturizer for your beginner skincare routine is equally important. Again, let’s separate the topic into different skin types.
Choosing a moisturizer for dry skin
Dry skin normally requires a more substantial, quenching moisturizer. Moisturizers with thick ointment perform exceptionally well for this skin type. Some of the ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid and dimethicone, which are powerful hydrating agents. Proteins, urea, propylene glycol, and glycerin are also useful as they retain water in the skin, just like lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum.
Some options for you include the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra Dry Skin and Vichy Aqualia Thermal Face Cream Moisturizer for Dry Skin. Both have superior hydration while not being too heavy, especially under makeup.
Choosing a moisturizer for oily skin
If you have oily skin, you’ll benefit most from a water-based moisturizer that is light on the skin. I recommend choosing a reliable lotion or gel cream, as they’re usually the lightest moisturizing product and are based on water.
Some great options, again from personal experience, are Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel and the Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer. Both are super lightweight, yet deeply hydrating, which is crucial for people with oily skin as this type tends to overproduce oils.
Choosing a moisturizer for sensitive skin
Sensitive skin types respond best to soothing moisturizing creams that contain hydrating and calming ingredients like aloe vera, allantoin, ceramides, Centella Asiatica, niacinamide, and chamomile extract. The moisturizer should definitely be free from fragrance to avoid irritation. In addition, make sure the product is hypoallergenic.
My favorite recommendations include La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide Protective Moisturizer and Avene Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Cream.
Choosing a moisturizer for acne-prone skin
For acne-prone folks, it’s important to moisturize the skin while not clogging it. Make sure that your moisturizer of choice is non-comedogenic. I strongly suggest avoiding moisturizers with lanolin, mineral oil, waxes, shea butter, or coconut oil, as they can clog the pores.
Choosing a moisturizer for mature skin
Aged skin certainly needs a more occlusive moisturizer to offer the necessary hydration. Aging skin can benefit from a moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides that protect the skin barrier, niacinamide, which brightens the skin, and retinol, which fights off many signs of aging, including wrinkles.
Antioxidants and peptides also fall in the category of valuable ingredients for mature skin.
How to choose a sunscreen for your skin routine
We’ve come to the trickiest part of your routine.
Before I tell you all about the different skin types and sunscreen, let’s get one thing right.
There’s a single rule to follow here: choose a sunscreen that you’ll enjoy so that you can be motivated to use it every day!
The rest is just trial and error as sunscreen is one of the most subjective skincare products out there. It’s also, in general, one of the pricier items, though that’s not always the case.
You need to apply and reapply your sunscreen as needed throughout the day, every time you get exposed to the sun.
Choosing a sunscreen for dry skin
Since dry skin can benefit from extra moisture, so even if you have applied a moisturizer, a hydrating SPF can also help.
Opt for a sunscreen with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or other powerful humectants.
Choosing a sunscreen for oily and acne-prone skin
Mineral and non-comedogenic formulas are perfect for oily skin types. Those are more mattifying and can handle the extra production of oils during the day.
If you have acne, you’ll want to select a sunscreen that won’t make your acne worse by clogging your pores. Choose a product with non-comedogenic ingredients and one that has a proven track record.
Some great options for oily skin include La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra-Light Face Sunscreen SPF 50, Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Sunscreen SPF 50+, and NeoGen Dermalogy SPF50 Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen. All of these are lightweight and non-greasy.
Choosing a sunscreen for sensitive skin
Choose a mineral sunscreen that doesn’t contain any comedogenic ingredients. Also, stay away from alcohol and fragrance-rich products. Don’t be afraid of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide – sensitive skin types usually tolerate these ingredients.
Some great recommendations for sensitive skin include COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 and Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+.
Choosing a sunscreen for mature skin
Aging skin needs an extra level of protection when it comes to harmful UV light and oxidative stress. Make sure your sunscreen is at least SPF 30.
Besides that, any hydrating sunscreen will do you good. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Tinted SPF 50 is a great option but feel free to check my recommendations for other skin types above to find something suitable for yourself.
How to choose treatments for your skincare routine
So far, we’ve looked at setting up a basic skincare routine.
I’ll now help you take things to the next level with a few suggestions that are not essential, but are still very useful for your skin, especially if you have the goal of not only maintaining your skin in a good condition, but also tackling some issues like acne, pigmentation, pores, and more.
Introducing targeted treatments in the form of serums, essences, toners, and more, is a great way to get a hold of any skin concerns that you have.
Studies have shown that a more advanced skincare routine brings about more benefits to your skin.
There are a wide array of different types of serums and skin treatments you can introduce to your routine, including:
- Hydrating serums – these aim to give superior hydration to the skin and prevent moisture loss. In most cases, hydrating serums contain hyaluronic acid or other moisturizers and humectants.
- Brightening serums – these types of serums are great to deal with hyperpigmentation as they minimize discoloration, brighten the skin, and even out the complexion. There are many brightening ingredients, with some of the most popular being vitamin C, niacinamide, arbutin, azelaic acid, and more.
- Exfoliating serums – these serums are made to eliminate the dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. A high-quality exfoliating serum can help clear out the pores, brighten the complexion, and improve the work or topical treatments. These serums can be manual or chemical exfoliants and they rely on substances that destroy the bonds between skin cells to promote shedding. Popular ingredients for these products include glycolic acid, citric acid, mandelic acid, malic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid (PHAs, AHAs, BHAs).
- Anti-aging serums – serums that tackle fine lines and wrinkles, but also skin tone, texture, and volume. They promote faster cell turnover and often include a type of retinoid. Retinol is a popular ingredient and is a powerful anti-aging agent that boosts elasticity, improves texture and tone, and gives a youthful flow to the skin. Other popular anti-aging ingredients include vitamin C for increased collagen production, bakuchiol for additional anti-aging benefits, and many more.
This entire section can be expanded as a separate topic in itself, so if you’re interested in learning more about how you can upgrade your basic skincare routine, do drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll know that you’re interested in the topic.
General tips for your basic skincare routine
Now, let me share with you some must-know tips on how to build and maintain a simple skincare routine:
- Be consistent with your skin-care routine – to do that, start a basic routine and change it only as needed on the go. The more simple your routine, the higher the adherence will be. And to see great results, you need consistency.
- Have patience, because some of the products in your skin routine can take weeks, even months to show results. As I said, consistency and adherence are key.
- Expect that there will be a level of trial and error – this is normal, there is no size fits all skincare routine, and you’ll need to work out one that is good for your specific skin, for your lifestyle, and for your own needs and wants.
- Change up your routine and cancel out products or introduce new ones if something isn’t working well for you. Be attentive to your skin and to how you feel in your own body. If something is not working for you, find a replacement or alternative.
- Always introduce one product at a time. This will allow you to identify any potential problems connected to a specific product. Moreover, this will not overwhelm your skin with various new ingredients and actives, which is very likely to happen if you introduce multiple products at once and go all in.
- Always patch-test a treatment with more potent active ingredients to ensure that your skin can handle it. Sometimes our skin can’t deal with a specific product or ingredient, so we need to make sure that it can before going all in.
- Always start from the lowest percentage of actives and increase as your skin builds tolerance. Higher percentages aren’t always connected to better results (in fact, they can sometimes cause problems).
- If you use any actives (like retinoids, AHAs, and BHAs), expect some purging at first – it’s normal and it’s nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s a good thing – it’s simply your old skin and skin concerns being pushed out to make way for new, clearer skin, because of the increased cell turnover. You only have to cope with it for about a month until this side effect subsides.
- If you have a reaction that lasts more than a month, stop the product causing it and let your skin recover before trying out anything new.
Common questions about skincare routines for beginners
Now that you’ve learned the basics, let’s cover some of the most popular questions when it comes to creating a skincare routine for beginners.
Is skincare really necessary?
The bottom line is that yes, skincare is a must. The skin is affected by so many different factors, causing damage, irritation, or poor functioning, that without proper skin care – it will not look and feel the best it can.
Furthermore, aging is a natural process, which none of us can escape. But at the same time, there are reliable measures to take that can help you slow down the process and enjoy youthful and healthier skin for longer.
At what age should I start a skincare routine?
Have you been asking yourself “what age should I start a skincare routine”? Should you start a skincare routine if you’re a teen or in your twenties? Should it be in your thirties?
In my opinion (and according to research), the sooner – the better. Don’t wait for the signs of poor skin condition or skin concerns to appear to start taking measures.
At the same time, people have started their skincare journey even at an old age and have been happy with their lives, so don’t stress.
Usually, people begin forming a skincare routine in their teens, however, due to the specific problems they face at that time (acne or oiliness due to hormonal changes) they often choose products that are not very appropriate for them, mostly out of lack of knowledge. They often opt for stripping skincare that leaves the face squeaky clean in a bad way. Furthermore, most don’t use sunblock, when it’s an absolute must for all ages.
This is why a proper beginner skincare routine is a must for everyone. The sooner you start, the better.
How long does it take to adjust to a new skincare routine?
Adjusting to a new skincare routine usually takes between two and eight weeks. During that time, the skin gets used to the new skincare products and ingredients. You can start seeing results in a week, but sometimes longer.
Until your skin gets used to the new compounds, there’s a chance that you may experience negative effects on your skin (like dryness, redness, and spots). Don’t stress, just remember that this is part of the skin’s natural purging and adjustment process and it’s completely normal.
What should I incorporate into my skincare routine?
The three fundamental steps in a skincare routine are cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF (only when exposed to the sun). However, you can add more in the form of serums, toners, essences, and more.
You can also skip your moisturizer in the morning, as most facial sunscreen products are formulated with moisturizing ingredients that can significantly moisturize your skin throughout the day. Adjust your basic skin care regimen as needed.
How can I motivate myself to do a skincare routine?
Knowing how to start with a skincare routine is the building block of your motivation. As a beginner, it’s a must to have a simple skincare routine to which you can adhere. Once you get into the habit and the pleasure of using skincare, you can gradually expand your routine to include more useful and fun products.
What matters most is that you’re fully present when doing it and observe the positive results and the way you feel after showing your skin some love and attention.
After all, skincare shouldn’t be a chore but an enjoyment.
If you have sensitive or easily sensitized skin, chances are you get irritated by alcohol in skincare. So, a face moisturizer without alcohol is a must for you. Luckily, these days brands don’t put denatured alcohol a lot into face creams, so the range of products...
A popular myth is that teens shouldn’t use a face cream because their skin is too oily and acne-prone anyway, so why add anything else to aggravate it? Untrue. Teenage skin, just like any other skin, requires sufficient moisturization in order to stay healthy and...
So, you’ve tested several Naturium products and fell in love so hard, you now want to build a complete skincare routine? I can relate. I first tried their salicylic acid body spray when I had blackheads on my chest area and got hooked so hard, I now have at least two...