Skincare routines can be confusing, whether simple or complex. The first step in building a skincare routine is understanding what each product does and how to layer products to maximize the benefits of the formulas and ingredients. A general rule of thumb is to apply them from the thinnest to the thickest consistency. Thinner formulas contain smaller molecules that absorb into your skin quicker.
The main pillars of any skincare routine are clean, treat, and protect.
A day and nighttime routine will slightly differ because you’re exposed to different environments. At night, the environment is more controlled, so this is the time for treatments. SPF is not necessary during the night but essential for the day.
Step 1: Cleansing
Before applying any products, starting with a clean canvas is essential because it improves the effectiveness of other products. A cleanser removes dirt and oil from your skin without damaging your skin barrier. This is possible through surfactants. Not only does a cleanser remove impurities from your skin, but it promotes normal exfoliation.
How often should I cleanse? Twice per day.
Step 2: Exfoliating
Exfoliators remove dead skin cells from your skin, which helps promote skin cell turnover. This means it helps reveal fresh, new skin cells underneath. This gives the skin a smoother, brighter, and more youthful appearance. Think of this as “part two” of your face wash that you only do two to three times per week. If you use retinol products, we recommend exfoliating in the morning because of the effects of retinol in the sun and the exfoliating component of retinol. Exfoliating at night can be beneficial after a long day's exposure to pollutants and environmental aggressors.
Tip: Exfoliate before shaving.
How often should I exfoliate? Two to three times per week.
Step 3: Serum
Serums are the treatment step of the routine that directly target a specific issue. They have a higher concentration of ingredients with a lighter consistency to penetrate deeper into the skin. Although serums can absorb deeper, they need to be “locked in” by a moisturizer to maximize the effectiveness of the ingredients.
Step 4: Moisturizing
A moisturizer serves two purposes: hydration and protection. A moisturizer hydrates the skin using humectants, which pull water from the environment to your skin. Emollients and occlusives lock in the hydration preventing transepidermal water loss. This creates an outside barrier for your skin to protect against environmental aggressors while keeping nutrients in the skin. Think of a moisturizer as a shield for the skin.
How often should I moisturize? At least twice a day.
Step 5: SPF
UV rays from the sun are one of the leading causes of skin damage due to free radical damage in the skin. Broad Spectrum SPF products can protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are associated with aging, and UVB rays are associated with burning. Whether it’s a sunny day, a rainy day, or a day inside, UV rays can still reach you. SPF is a MUST in any skincare routine.
How often should I apply SPF? Every morning.
A good skincare routine involves several key steps that work together to promote healthy, radiant skin. Starting with cleansing to remove impurities, followed by exfoliating to promote cell turnover, then treating specific skin concerns with a serum, and locking it all in with a moisturizer. That’s it. Clean, treat, and protect.
Keep in mind, it's important to follow the recommended frequency for each step and customize the routine based on individual skin needs.