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How to Build a Skincare Routine

A step-by-step process of how to assemble the perfect routine just for you.

Jordan Harper with a lineup of Barefaced products

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Bare Necessities
Bare Necessities
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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?

Normal–no significant redness or shine
Dry–dry, flaky, dull and tight all over
Oily–looks and feels shiny all over
Combination–t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) are shiny, while cheeks are dry and tight


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 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…

      1. An exfoliant – to deep clean pores and help your other products penetrate better
      2. An antioxidant – for healing and protection from free radicals
      3. A retinoid – for increasing cellular turnover, collagen and elastin production, and keeping premature aging at bay
      4. 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.
      2) Nourish and hydrate the skin.
        • 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.
        3) Treat breakouts.
          • First treat inflamed acne and then non-inflamed acne. Acne is an inflammatory condition.
          • Inflammation must be control before it can be treated.
          4) Treat aging.
            • 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.

           Skin priority pyramid

          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:

           Infographic sample routine

          Step 4: Exfoliate often.

          Exfoliation is a key building block when establishing a skincare routine. There are two main types to know about:

            • Mechanical: physically loosens and removes dead skin cells from the surface (i.e. wash cloths, body scrubs).
            • Chemical: chemical reactions used to loosen the bonds between dead skin cells so they can shed more easily (i.e. AHAs and BHAs found in Toning Pads and Glow Peel Pads).

          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

          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 when actively outside. Reapplication is crucial for proper protection! 



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