How to create a skincare routine for your skin type

by adelfamarr

Photo: Sharmili (@sharmtoaster)

Environment, food, stress, hormones, genetics and a skincare routine affect our skin daily. Although we can’t control our genes or the environment, we can try to keep stress levels low, eat healthy foods and use the right products to keep glowing on the inside as well as the outside. Starting a routine can be trying, especially with all of the products that are out there, but here are some tips to find the right routine for your skin type.

The main three steps of a skincare routine are cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Cleaners do just that – cleanse the skin, toning helps remove excess oil, balance your skin, and shrink your pores, and moisturizing helps keep your skin hydrated and soft. Incorporating these three steps into your daily routine can help keep your complexion at its best.

Incorporating a skincare routine into your day will not ensure that you’ll have perfect, glowing skin the very next day. It takes time to get the full benefits, so patience is key. Try to give your routine at least six weeks of a trial period to notice a difference in your skin.


CLEANSING:

Our skin is affected by pollutants, dirt and many other factors daily, so washing your face is an essential step in any skincare routine. Washing and cleansing your skin twice a day helps avoid clogged pores, acne, breakouts and lackluster skin.

Here’s what to look for in a daily cleanser based on your skin type:

Skin Type

Cleanser Type

What It Does

Oily/Acne-prone Skin

Foam cleansers

Stronger type of cleanser which is ideal for removing makeup, oil, and breaking down dirt

Dry Skin

Lotion or cream cleansers

Gentle cleanser which removes dirt and makeup while hydrating the skin

Sensitive Skin

Oil cleansers

Oil attracts oil, this cleanser absorbs impurities while nourishing the skin

Combination Skin

Gel based or mild-foaming cleanser

Cleanse the skin while keeping the dry areas hydrated and controlling sebum production

Normal Skin

Balancing foam cleansers

Simple cleansers that aren’t too heavy on the moisturizing and/or exfoliating.

TONER:

Although toner is optional, it's a great way to keep your skin balanced, shrink your pores, remove excess dirt and add specific ingredients that other products may not have. Toners should be used after cleansing and before any other product. Most formulas can be used morning and night, however, if you’re using a toner with exfoliating acids, switch to using it once a day or every other day. To save product, ensure your hands are clean, pour two-three drops into your palms and swipe across your face.

SERUMS: 

Serums are concentrated doses of active ingredients. Serums are used as treatment methods for the skin. Some may look to treat dark spots, hyperpigmentation, loss of hydration, dull/lackluster skin, redness and more. However, if you don’t have any targeted issues, an antioxidant serum is great for protecting the skin from daily environmental effects.

Skin Concern

Ingredient to look for

What it does

Dry skin, moisture loss

Hyaluronic acid

Seals in hydration and strengthens moisture barrier

Dull skin, dark spots

Vitamin C

Brightens skin and helps with dark spots over time

Aging, sagging skin, fine lines

Retinol, Vitamin B3

Stimulates collagen production

Redness, irritation, acne

Niacinamide

Decreases inflammation and irritation, calms redness, antimicrobial

 

MOISTURIZER:

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Everyone, even those with oily skin, needs moisture. The kind of moisturizer will vary depending on skin type and concern.

Skin type
Moisturizer type
Why it’s good
Oily skin
Gel moisturizer, oil-free moisturizer
Lightweight, easily and quickly absorbed, usually water-based
Normal/Combo skin
Moisturizing lotion
Absorbs well, a bit more moisturizing than a gel
Dry skin
Cream, soft creams
Heavier than a lotion, oil based
Sensitive skin
Moisturizing balm
Cream-like with a heavier texture, hydrating


SUNSCREEN:

Sunscreen is the most crucial step of the skincare routine and everyone needs it! Sunscreen helps prevent textural imperfections, certain skin cancers, fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage. The easiest way to remember sunscreen is using a moisturizer with a built-in SPF of at least 30.