Clear, healthy-glowing, and blemish-free skin is a dream for many. And with time, taking care of your skin is no longer a luxury. Rather, it's become a necessity now — for long-term results.
But if you are buying celebrity skincare products or following every other regimen that promises you to enter the world of Korean skin. You are doing injustice to your skin.
Though everyone has a different skin type that comes with various issues, concerns, and goals — there isn't a one-size-fits-all skincare routine that works for everyone.
That's why it is recommended to know your skin type, follow a personalized daily care routine and stick to it.
The basics of a skincare routine for beginners
Another truth about skincare is their variety of new ingredients and unlimited formulations, which can be overwhelming for a newbie.
If you are unsure about your skin, don't worry. This expert-backed guide will help you build your skincare routine in 2023 that applies to novices and experts alike.
In this article, we have put together the perfect 6 universal skincare steps that swear to keep your skin looking its best.
Cleanse your skin
First, always cleanse your face thoroughly with a twice-daily rule — once in the morning and once at nighttime. You can even replace your face wash with cleansers too.
Cleansing in the morning will remove sweat or unnecessary oil left from last night.
The only exception is for dry skin. You can skip this part and only wash your face with plain water.
However, irrespective of any skin type, cleansing before bedtime should never be compromised. At day end, it’s important to wipe not only the makeup but also remove dirt, pollutants, excess oil, and dead skin cells that build up on the skin over time.
Exfoliate your skin
After cleansing, you need to exfoliate your skin. Exfoliants are necessary as the accumulation of dead skin cells can cause acne and blemishes.
But remember, too much or harsh scrubbing will lead to unwanted disturbance, redness, dryness, and inflammation.
Keep your exfoliation at a minimum to see the benefits and keep your skin safe from irritation.
Use only mild exfoliator 1 to 2 times weekly to slough away dead skin cells to reveal brighter and more radiant skin.
Rub your skin gently for a minute in a circular motion and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
Use a Tonner
Want an instant glow on your face? Toner is your go-to friend.
After cleaning your face, the next best step is to tone your skin with a refreshing toner. As a natural toner, you can use rose water instead of chemical-treated ones.
The toner is effective for multiple uses. It generally smooths the skin surface by unclogging pores and providing additional cleansing, reducing pore size and hydrating your skin.
Toner also provides a clean and cleared skin surface for further product application. That’s why it is recommended to follow the CTM routine (cleansing, toning, and moisturizing), where toning is sandwiched between cleanser and moisturizer.
You can also carry this in your workplace. Whenever your skin feels dull and lifeless, take out that magic potion, spray, and witness the results of skin tightening and lightening within no time.
Use Vitamin C Serums
Boost your skincare routine with at least one serum. For this, it is the best step, where your skin is cleansed, toned, and fully prepared for any treatment before sealing it into moisturizer.
Serums contain a higher % of active ingredients; thus, they’re very effective for treating specific skin concerns, such as acne, pigmentation, or dark spots.
Among all the different serums, Vitamin C serum stands first to reduce dark spots, breakouts, wrinkles, and fine lines on your face by regenerating skin cells and enhancing collagen production for a youthful look.
Apply serum on your entire face and smooth it out with gentle patting with your fingers. After applying the serum, allow it to absorb into your skin before moving on.
Moisturize your skin
Skin professionals agree that moisturizing your skin is crucial to your routine. Like cleansers, always use a hydrating moisturizer with the twice-daily rule – once after morning face wash and before bed.
Apply an even quantity of moisturizer all over your skin using a swirling motion until the moisturizer seeps down into the inner skin layer. For a smooth and flawless look, let the moisturizer dry before any makeup.
People with oily skin feel the urge to skip moisturization. But the truth is, using the right moisturizer according to your skin type can maintain the right balance of your skin.
If you are still worried that moisturizer will clog your pores, then look for oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizers.
Another important consideration, use moisturizer right after salicylic acid. It is present in cleansers and toners and is known for drying out the skin.
Protect your skin from sun
Last but not least, sun protection is hands down the most crucial step in your year-round skincare routine, regardless of any season outside.
Sunscreen is the first line of defense and protects you from harmful UV rays, skin cancer, and early signs of aging. Without it, every skincare routine is in vain.
In the final step of your skincare routine, finish off by covering with a sun blocker 30 minutes before going out. Apply on your face, neck, and back of your hands, even when it’s cloudy or rainy. During summertime, remove and reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours.
Always choose SPF 30 or higher. If you want to make things easier, use a daily moisturizer with SPF instead of applying separately.
Treat your skin gently
Caring for your skin is simply personal. Everything from how you moisturize your skin to protecting it from UV rays is a choice. But treating your skin 'gently' is essential.
If you want to avoid overwhelming your skin with a multistep superfluous skincare routine, keep it simple with a gentle cleanser, an oil-free moisturizer, and a good sunscreen. That's it.
- Less is more.Over-cleansing can take a toll on your skin. It removes all the oils from your skin and leaves it dry. Limit your washing or cleansing time once a day — rather than twice.
- Avoid harsh products.Apart from the number of times, ingredients of products can also strip off natural oil from your skin. So always go for mild cleansers and gentle exfoliators.
- Be patient while consistent.After setting your skin goals and starting on products, don’t switch. Give it at least 3 months to show complete results.
Also Read: 10 Monsoon Skin Care
Choose products suitable for your skin type and concerns
Ignore the noise of endless marketing of the 100-billion-dollar skincare industry. Instead, identify your current skin problems (dark spots, hyperpigmentation, or dryness) to protect your skin from overly treating. You can also set your skin goals (brightening, glowy skin) and work on them.
It will help you navigate the sheer volume of products in the market. Remember, you don’t need fancy products or extensive skincare. But finding the right products that suit your skin type and address your concerns is the key.
People with oily skin are more likely to pop pimples on the face because excess oil clogs hair follicles. Using a water-based cleanser — prevent excess oil buildup and acne. But those with dry skin can benefit from an oil-based cleanser.
If you try to overcomplicate it with double-cleansing, it will only cause double trouble for your skin. So next time, before you work hard, you just have to know your skin instead.
Follow a basic morning and evening skincare routine
In your a.m. routine, the basic CTM (cleansing, toning, and moisturizing) can help you look and feel your best. That is finally layered with broad-spectrum SPF to protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation.
For serum, skip retinoid in the daytime, as they break down in sunlight and cause irritation for sensitive skin. In contrast, Vitamin C serums brighten your complexion and protect the skin from free radicals lurking in the environment.
After a hectic day, it’s easy to get lazy and fall into bed with makeup and mascara on. For a good night skincare regimen, take your time to take it off completely.
Repeat each step of the a.m. routine, but skip the sun protection and add retinoids. Irrespective of the time of day, you must ensure your skin is perfectly clean to avoid future acne breakouts.
Stick to this 10-minute or less AM-PM routine to keep your skin healthy and happy.
Though everyone’s skin is different — and with different skin comes different concerns and goals to achieve. Therefore everyone requires different skincare products and routines tailored to their skin types.
However, as a general rule of thumb, certain skincare routines and practices work across the board. Whether your skin is oily, dry, or a weird combo of both, or maybe you have a lazy baby three-step routine or a full-fledged nine-step regimen, there’s one thing you can do to improve your skin is to apply products in the right order.
Start cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser, then exfoliate and tone your skin. After preparing your skin, apply the concentrated active ingredients to lock in moisture — and finish it with sunscreen in the daytime.