It’s true. Creating a skincare routine that works for you is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome when planning out your daily and nightly regime. Many just become overwhelmed at all the options. However, the beauty of creating your own skincare routine is that it can be as simple or as involved as you want to make it.
What is a Skincare Routine?
At its core, skincare is really self-care. Skin is the largest organ in your body. it's designed to be a protective barrier between the outside world and your organs, bones, and muscles. A healthy and strong barrier ensures your safety, while a weak and damaged barrier makes you vulnerable.
Additionally, skincare does not only involve the face, although most of the skincare products are targeted at facial skin. Skincare can also include taking care of the skin on the rest of your body, though you may need to invest in different products for different areas.
Benefits of Having a Skincare Routine
Even if you have perfectly healthy skin, without any issues; it’s still advisable to practice a skincare routine. Maintaining the quality of your skin requires different skincare products, depending on certain factors. These factors include:
- Skin conditions or other underlying diseases
- Changes in the type and quality of your skin over time (dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin)
Assess your skin type and its requirements before choosing any type of skincare regimen for yourself. There’s no point in wasting time or energy on products that simply won’t work for you. Granted, you may still have to kiss a few frogs before finding the best products for your skin, but once you do, creating your skincare routine becomes an almost sacred act of self-love!
Prevention is always better than a cure. It’s necessary to take the right steps to maximize the youthfulness of your skin for as long as possible. No one escapes aging, but by using the right skincare products—according to your skin type and situation—may prevent many skincare issues and delay the onset of other signs of aging.
Your skincare routine should include ingredients intended to solve skincare issues you may have. Any damage to the skin throughout the day needs to be properly addressed at night. Spot treatments work great for many skin problems and are a quick and easy way to care for your skin.
Positive Mood Effects
The final argument to making a good skincare routine part of your everyday life is that not only does it improve your skin, it just feels darn good! It positively affects your mental health and boosts your mood so that you start your day off on the right foot and end it on a high note. Self-love, self-care, it’s all a necessary part of life and hey—you’re worth it!
The Best 3 Step Skincare Routine
Although you can include as many products as you want into your skincare routine as long as they suit your skin type, you really only need a few. There are three fundamental skincare steps that pretty much encompass and will cater to most of your skin needs. These primary steps are:
Using Your Perfect Cleanser
The first step in any skincare routine is cleansing. Whether your skin is covered with makeup, or covered in layers of dead skin cells, dirt, debris, and oil accumulated through the day, cleansing is required. The top four types of cleansers used most often in skincare routine steps include:
- Foam cleansers—these are lightweight but they can over-dry your skin and strip it of its natural oils due to the foaming agents in it, so use them with caution.
- Gel cleansers—these are designed for deep cleaning, and are mostly gentle on the skin. They are best suited for removing clogged pores, excess oil from your skin, and cleaning off germs and bacteria from your skin’s surface.
- Cream cleansers—these are another common type, and arguably the gentlest and mildest of them all. They are typically infused with moisturizing ingredients like oils to make sure they don’t dry out the skin. Cream cleansers may also include milk or lotion formulas.
- Oil cleansers—these have become popular in the last few years. They are a gentle way of removing layers of debris, dirt, and oil, while also cleaning away thick layers of makeup relatively easily. This is because the oil cleanser helps melt down even waterproof makeup, without forcing you to expose the skin to harsh chemicals in the process.
Applying Your Perfect Moisturizer
Moisturizing is an essential step in all skincare routines. Your skin simply cannot thrive and be its best without a daily moisturizer. There are three types of moisturizers most commonly used.
- Humectants—these work to draw water molecules into the skin from your surroundings and reduce the loss of moisture. Not only do they increase the water-retention of your skin, they also store away spare water until it’s needed.
- Emollients—these moisturizers are designed to soften your skin without actually increasing the moisture or hydration content in your skin. This is done by filling in the gaps between cells to restore cracks and dry spots, making the skin more flexible and smooth. Emollients are of two types; water-based and oil-based. Oil-based emollients are heavy and thick, with a greasy after-effect, and are ideal for people with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, since they are soothing to dry skin. Meanwhile, water-based emollients are lightweight and non-greasy, which makes them better suited for normal skin types.
- Occlusives—these form a coating on the skin that prevents any moisture from seeping out, much like a barrier between your skin and the environment. Most occlusives are oil-based, since oil is naturally water-resistant. However, the heavy occlusives can leave a waxy residue that may clog your pores and hair follicles. This can result in acne and breakouts, so use with caution.
Applying Your Perfect Sunscreen
Sunscreens are skincare products designed to keep your skin safe and unmarred from UV exposure. It also can decrease the risks of associated skin conditions like sunburn, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer. There are two major types of sunscreen products currently in use.
- Chemical Sunscreen—these sunscreens absorb into the deep layers of your skin to combat the UV rays. They work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat, and then releasing the heat from your skin. Although chemical sunscreens are very effective, they can have some adverse effects on sensitive skin, especially those with underlying conditions like rosacea, acne, and hyperpigmentation. This is largely because chemical sunscreens often will clog pores and cause breakouts.
- Mineral Sunscreen—these sunscreens sit on the surface of your skin instead of absorbing deeply with the help of chemicals. Moreover, it acts more like a physical barrier between UV rays—both scattered or deflected—and your skin. Mineral sunscreens provide full protection from UV rays—both UVA and UVB--and even better, they don’t clog your pores and hair follicles.
Apart from these three steps, everything else in your skin care routine is related more to your desire to improve other things about your skin, but they probably are not a necessity. The one exception to this rule might be spot treatments which help to deal with temporary skin concerns like zits or acne marks.
Advantages to a 3 Step Skincare Routine
Well, time, for one thing. When you only have three steps, it’s pretty easy to breeze through, especially if you have a packed schedule. Additionally, it covers the bases vital to keeping your skin healthy and supple. You also save money since you don’t need multiple different products, which is a bonus if you’re thrifty or on a budget. There’s really not a huge downside to keeping your skincare routine order short and sweet. If your skin care products work for you, stay with it!
For more specific skin concerns including scarring, hyperpigmentation, sun spots, dark circles, or fine lines, using treatments like serums, exfoliators, masks, or other types of products of that nature are best suited for your needs.
As long as you're hitting the most important things, a simple routine is better than no routine and it’s a wonderful way to start if you’re new to caring for your skin on a daily basis. As time goes on you may find yourself incorporating more steps to treat specific concerns that are unique to your skin. The beauty of skincare is that it is as adaptable as you are!