How To Build a Skincare Routine
Ready to start a solid skincare routine or simply want to make sure you’ve got your current one nailed? From which order to apply your products to the essentials everyone should include in their regimen, we’ve broken it down into an easy guide:
STEP ONE: Find out your skin type
Your skin type is genetic and understanding which type you have is crucial in order to help you choose products accordingly.
There are four main skin types that are used to categorise the skin, these are:
- Dry – Skin is lacking in oil and will experience tightness, rough texture, flaky patches and a small pore size.
- Oily – An overproduction of sebum (oil) causes a shiny/greasy appearance. Pores tend to be more noticeable and larger in size, you will also be prone to congestion, blackheads and breakouts.
- Combination – As the name suggests, this is a mixture of skin types and is the most common. Typically shown as an oily t-zone and balanced or dry patches on the rest of the face.
Balanced (aka normal) – The lucky ones! Skin is neither too dry nor too oily. It is pretty steady and doesn’t tend to change in texture or appearance. Texture is smooth and pores are fairly unnoticeable.
Contrary to common belief, dehydrated and sensitive skin aren’t skin types. Dehydration is a temporary condition that is caused by a lack of water in the skin. This can present as tightness, fine lines and in some cases, lead to dry skin and an overproduction of oil to compensate for the lack of water. You might also find that products (moisturisers in particular) absorb quickly and makeup disappears by lunch.
Depending on the cause, sensitive skin can be genetic or temporary. Think this might be you? Find out the most common causes here.
How to figure out your skin type:
An easy way to work out your skin type is to wash your face with a simple cleanser and then leave it for 30mins. How does it look and feel? Use the characteristics above to help you identify your skin type.
STEP TWO: Get the basics covered
Let’s get the essential steps of any routine established. The following products are the bare minimum you should be using daily:
- Cleanser – The first and most important step. Cleansing is needed in order to remove makeup, sweat and grime; helping to prevent congestion and breakouts, and preparing your skin for the rest of your routine. A single cleanse is plenty in the morning but when it comes to your evening routine, we recommend double cleansing. The first cleanse removes makeup/SPF and the second gets to work on cleansing your skin. Feel free to use the same cleanser twice (as long as it's not a face wipe/micellar water) or, if you have the budget, invest in two. The first cleanse being a balm or oil and the second a gel, milk or cream.
There are lots of textures to choose from and using the wrong one could throw your skin out of balance, so here’s the lowdown on the various types of cleansers available:
- Cleansing balm or oil – indulgent balm and oil textures that are super effective for make-up and SPF removal. Brilliant for a first cleanse but may be too heavy for acne-prone skin.
- Cleansing milk – a gentle cleanser that’s brilliant for sensitive skin.
- Cream cleanser – a lighter texture that can be aimed at all skin types.
- Gel cleanser – fantastic as a second cleanse and particularly great for combination/oily skin types
- Foam cleanser - often targeted to oily skin types and can be very drying and harsh on the skin. Formula is king, however, so there will be some exceptions.
- Moisturiser – Whether your skin is dry or oily, moisturising daily is important to help keep it hydrated, smooth and supple and promote a strong skin barrier. Choosing a moisturiser will partly be down to user preference but as a general rule, opt for lightweight, oil-free gel-cream formulas if you have an oilier skin type and emollient, rich textures if you’re on the drier side. This can be a bit of trial and error, but you’re guaranteed to find one that works for you.
- SPF (a minimum of SPF30) – Come rain or shine, SPF should be worn all year round to protect the skin from UV damage. When it comes to picking a sunscreen, the best one for you is one that you will enjoy using and wear consistently.
STEP THREE: Target any concerns
This is where your serums, exfoliants, toners and treatments come in. Once you have the basics covered, you can then start to target any areas of concern e.g., breakouts and hyperpigmentation. These steps are of course optional and if you want to keep it simple, you can skip this completely.
However, before you even look at targeting skin concerns, the first step should always be to address any dehydration and sensitivity. This is to ensure your skin barrier is in a good place to implement more targeted treatments and active ingredients. Particularly retinoids, exfoliating acids and vitamin C.
Think you might have sensitised skin? Check out our top tips to bring it back to balance.
When it comes to dehydration, the solution is a hydrating serum. Look for ingredients such as glycerin, urea, panthenol and hyaluronic acid. Apply to damp skin before locking in with a good moisturiser.
STEP FOUR: Be consistent
Just like all good things, nothing comes immediately and the same goes for skincare. You will see the best results from your routine if you’re doing it consistently. Commit to your routine and your skin will love you for it.
Which order to apply your skincare:
Now you’ve got your routine sorted, here’s the order to apply it in:
2. Exfoliator – if using
3. Toner/Mist/Essence – if using
4. Eye Cream
7. SPF – AM only, of course!
Facial oil – if you’re applying it at night, this would go after your moisturiser. If you’re using it in the morning, apply beforehand and allow it time to absorb properly before your SPF.
Looking for a full routine? Check out our Boxes.