Creating the Right Skincare Routine for You
Building a routine for your specific skin and needs doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Here’s an easy five-step process to follow when trying to create a routine specific to you.
Step 1: Start with products designed for your skin type.
There are four main skin types: normal, dry, oily, and combination. Not sure which type you have? Well, let’s figure it out! Wash your face, pat it dry, wait 30 minutes to an hour, and assess your skin.
Which skin type are you?
Now that you've honed in on your skin type, we can talk about the starting place for all skin types: The Bare Necessities.
Think of it this way...cars have been around for 100+ years, and, while cars are much more advanced than they were back in Henry Ford’s day, if you break them down bare bones structurally, they aren’t that different. They still have 4 wheels, a frame, doors, windows, etc.
It's the same for skincare. Wonderful, new and innovative advancements are continually being made, but structurally, skincare always comes back to the same tried-and-true, foundational principles in order to be effective in the long run.
And just like you're not going anywhere if you don't have four wheels on your car, your skin isn’t going to make any progress if you’re not using the four core products—the essentials to long-term healthy skin across all skin types…
- An exfoliant – to deep clean pores and help your other products penetrate better
- An antioxidant – for healing and protection from free radicals
- A retinoid – for increasing cellular turnover, collagen and elastin production, and keeping premature aging at bay
- An SPF – the holy grail of topical skincare
Step 2: Choose products targeted to your skin concerns.
Each skin type, and every individual, has their own skin concerns, but there is a best overall method for approaching treatment to get the desired results your looking for.
Skin Priority Pyramid: From the Foundation, Up
1) Always treat the skin barrier first!
- A damaged skin barrier can be caused by trauma, redness, rosacea, perioral dermatitis, over exfoliating or incorrect skin products for your skin type, etc.
- Repairing the impaired skin barrier will protect and strengthen the skin.
- If you consider yourself to have sensitive skin, start here because your skin barrier needs to be repaired.
- Many people confuse their dehydrated skin for dry skin.
- Dry skin is caused by fewer oil-producing glands. Dehydrated skin is due to lack of water.
- If your skin is 'dry' and acne-prone, it's most likely dehydrated, not dry.
- First treat inflamed acne and then non-inflamed acne. Acne is an inflammatory condition.
- Inflammation must be control before it can be treated.
- In order for "anti-aging" treatments to be effective, we must treat the other concerns first so that the skin barrier is intact and healthy.
- This will ensure the skin has the tools it needs for skincare products and treatments to be most effective.
Step 3: Apply products thinnest to thickest.
Once you determine the products you’re going to try for you skin type and concerns, how you layer them matters!
Thinnest to thickest is the golden rule. That’s because the thinner the product, the faster it gets absorbed into the skin. Other tips for product layering? Products are better absorbed on damp skin and you don’t have to wait between applying products (unless you're experiencing sensitivity and want to wait a few seconds for each to dry.) Mind blown, right?!
Here's a sample routine of how to order your products on a daily basis:
Step 4: Exfoliate often.
Exfoliation is a key building block when establishing a skincare routine. There are two main types to know about:
We prefer chemical exfoliation because they are less abrasive than physical exfoliants and can penetrate deeper into the skin providing a more effective exfoliation.
Step 5: Use SPF daily.
SPF is the MVP of all skincare routines. So much in fact, that building and using a full skincare routine full of creams and serums is all for nothing if you don’t actively protect from sun damage and environmental stressors every.single.day.
Most SPFs protect for only 6-8 hours, when not exposed directly to UV rays for an extended amount of time, or 2 hours max if you are outside. Reapplication is crucial for proper protection!