The Perfect 4-Step Skincare Routine for Beginners
In my early twenties, I told myself that soon I would need to start a skin care regimen to help protect my face from symptoms of aging. My hope was to actually have one established by the time I turned 25.
But at 28 I was still partying, still being under the sun, and still going to bed with makeup on. Soon after that, I started becoming paranoid. Was that a wrinkle underneath my eye? I was beginning to see little dark spots on my cheeks that were never there before!
The very first thought I had waking up one morning with smudged eyeliner all over my eyelids was, “Oh, my god. It’s too late.” I spent way too many years going to bed without committing to a skincare routine and it was starting to show.
In my late 20’s, all I knew for certain was that my face was oily as hell and I didn’t know a way to stop or slow it down. Time flew, alright.
Fast forward two years and I’ve finally done my research to learn what my skin needs to feel replenished and stay that way. Here are the main things that you can also keep in mind when thinking about buying great skincare products to add to your face care.
What does it mean to have great skincare?
Ever felt like your skin is acting up? Too dry, too red, too oily, or maybe even itchy? There are ingredients we can feed into our skin that will help ease these symptoms — not erase them — just calm it down a bit.
The thing is, it’s very important for your skin to be compatible with the ingredients it comes into contact with.
What will work for oily skin may not work for sensitive skin, so it’s a good idea to first get to know the type of skin you have before you establish your skincare routine. Needless to say, different types have different needs.
Face care is not only about anti-aging, after all. It’s also about what you do to keep it comfortable under different environmental stressors and what keeps it protected.
4 Simple Steps to Begin a Skincare Routine
Before we go any further, I want you to keep in mind that your neck should be part of your skin regimen because it happens to be most susceptible to aging, as well as your hands.
This is because it has fewer sebaceous glands than your face, causing your neck to show age faster than your face.
So please don’t neglect to treat your neck to some good ol’ skincare lovin’. I think you might be pleasantly surprised with its benefits in the long run.
Once you’ve figured out your skin type, it’s time to start putting into practice a few simple steps for a good daily beauty routine:
This should be the very first thing your face touches before any other product. Before you head to sleep, when you wake up, and especially before you start putting on makeup, you need to wash your face with the proper cleanser.
One way to tell if it’s doing a good job is to see whether your skin feels tight when you smile after washing. If it does, the cleanser has likely stripped away the natural oils from your skin and it is not happy.
Tip: Try not to wash your face more than twice a day. I recommend doing so only in the AM and PM. Washing too often will disrupt your moisture barrier, which is what you’re trying to prevent in the first place.
This is our second step and here’s why it’s important. Toners prep the skin to better absorb serums and skin food just from having a clean surface.
Be careful, though, since not all toners are skin-friendly. Some contain alcohol and may irritate your skin instead. We don’t ever want that. Alcohol-free witch hazel will do the job.
All you need to remember is that toners should be able to help maintain your pH skin balance and clean the dirt and dust that your face has collected throughout your day.
3. Moisturizing and Nourishing
The third step is to start enforcing the moisture barrier of your skin and help keep it healthy. This can be done by feeding it vitamins which usually come in the form of serums. This is my favorite step of my entire routine, actually.
When you’re using the correct facial product, you’ll experience your skin absorbing the nutrient without the effects of redness, dryness, or extra oiliness. It can help balance out your skin type and keep it well-nourished especially throughout the night as you’re resting and your skin cells are repairing themselves.
Your skin will thank you in the morning.
Tip: This is the step where you apply Vitamin C treatment, which can lighten up dark spots with consistent use.
Here is our very last step and why it’s easy enough to follow through to the end.
We all need some sun but not too much where you’re frolicking under the rays for hours on end. The best thing you can do is apply some SPF 30 sunscreen — especially if you’re just out running errands.
If you’re planning on staying out in the sun for a while, then that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours or so.
Getting into the habit of this facial care will help you in the long run because too much sun is what’s going to age your skin faster, and form those tiny little dark spots on your face.
If anything at all, cleansing your face and putting sunscreen on before leaving the house might be two of the things you’ve already been doing since your teenage years. Definitely keep that up!
Tip: Because of COVID-19, many of us have mostly spent the majority of our time indoors but skincare expert, Joanna Czech, explains that the continuous use of sunscreen every single day while being indoors is counterproductive. Doing so prevents us from naturally absorbing Vitamin D from the sun, causing a deficiency.
So while I am very much pro-skincare, I also suggest alternating days of sunscreen use.
Beginner Products for Great Skincare
It’s undeniable that there are thousands of products out there that claim they are what’s best for your skin.
When you start to look for a reliable brand, make sure you know who represents it and why you feel you can trust them. Not all influencers know what they’re talking about. Most of them simply base their preference on what works for their skin and remember — not everyone has the same skin type.
Here are some dermatologist-approved brands to help you get started:
Do your research to stay aligned with the correct ingredients that are well-suited for you so it will yield the best results.
Now, I know there are tons of facial products out there and it can be overwhelming. Don’t let the bright and colorful packaging grab at your attention and fool you into buying an item. Shoppers often gravitate to these items because they are easy to spot, and tend to grab your attention when walking into an aisle.
This is a great marketing strategy for a company but not for the person trying to find a solution to a problem.
Stick to what you’re looking for while keeping your skin type in mind as well as the ingredients that will go best with it, and you’re on your way to beautiful, healthy skin.