It’s safe to say that you’re aware that a good skin care routine is one of the keys to looking and feeling your best. But what goes into a skin care regime that makes a real difference?
Apart from using the best products for your skin type, you should also apply them in the right order to ensure they do their job.
Here’s how you can get the best results from your routine.
Your Morning Skin Care Routine
Think of your morning skin care routine as giving yourself a wake up KISS—keep it simple and straightforward.
A good idea is to use the three-step, three-product approach of cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer, although you can expand on that if your skin needs a little extra TLC.
1. Start With Cleanser
It’s best to start your morning skin care routine with a good cleanser. Don’t limit this step to using a couple of cleansing wipes on your face unless you’re traveling or if washing your face with water is difficult.
If your skin is sensitive, use a gentle cleanser designed for sensitive skin. If your face is dry, don’t use foaming cleaners, as they’ll make the issue worse. A pH-balanced facial cleanser that’s soap- and sulfate-free is a great option.
Choose the best cleanser for your skin type:
- Acne-prone skin: Gentle foaming cleanser with benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or sulfur.
- Dry skin: Cleanser with hydrating botanical oils, ceramide, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid.
- Oily skin: Foaming cleanser with ingredients such as niacinamide or salicylic acid.
- Sensitive skin: Ultra-gentle cleanser such as micellar water.
2. Use Toner
Toner is an optional step in your morning skin care routine, so you can totally leave it out if you aren’t a fan or if your skin doesn’t actually need it. Use toner if you want to give your skin some added refreshment, balance the pH, or remove residual debris.
Modern toners are packed with ingredients that have skin-boosting benefits. Choose the best toner for your skin type:
- Acne-prone skin: Toner that contains hydroxy acids such as lactic or salicylic acid to support cell turnover.
- Dry or sensitive skin: Hydrating toner with ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Avoid toners that contain skin-parching alcohol.
- Oily skin: Astringent toners made with alcohol or witch hazel.
- Combination skin: Toners with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea, and with gentle exfoliants and hydration boosters.
3. Apply Serum
Serum is another optional morning skin care routine step. If you choose to include serum in your morning routine, make sure you read the label carefully, as some serums are better for daytime use, while others are best used at night.
An antioxidant vitamin C-enriched serum is the best one to use in the morning. Vitamin C helps to reverse skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, and it can reduce hyperpigmentation (dark spots) on darker skin tones.
4. Use Eye Cream
Eye cream isn’t a morning skin care routine essential. But it does make a great occasional treat for the delicate skin around your eyes, as that skin can age faster than the rest of your face. Consider including eye cream if you’re worried about dark circles, bags under your eyes, a lack of firmness, or fine lines or wrinkles.
Choose the best eye cream for your needs:
- Dark circles: Eye cream with niacinamide, vitamin C, or vitamin K.
- Puffiness: Eye cream with caffeine.
- Sagging and wrinkles: Eye cream with peptides, retinol, or hyaluronic acid.
- Multiple eye issues: Cream that contains a combination of the ingredients that target your particular eye issues.
5. Apply Sunscreen
Sunscreen should be an essential part of your morning skin care routine. It’s one of the three must-have products. You can skip toners, serums, and eye creams after cleansing, but don’t leave out sunscreen.
But it’s not enough to use a moisturizer with SPF. Instead, use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day, even in winter. If you’re going to spend a good amount of time outdoors use SPF 50 sunscreen or higher. If you’re worried about the consistency of regular sunscreen, look for a tinted mineral sunscreen.
6. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Using moisturizer is another essential step you should never leave out, especially considering our skin gets drier as we get older. A good moisturizer replaces some of the moisture your skin loses with age. Choose a moisturizer that contains ceramide and hyaluronic acid and apply it as the last step in your regimen.
Your Evening Skin Care Routine
As with your morning routine, your evening skin care routine can focus on a few essential steps and products. That said, you can always add a few steps if your skin needs it.
1. Start With Cleanser
Start your evening skin care routine with a good cleanser to wash away the remnants of the products you used in the morning and the day’s dirt and grime. Again, choose the best cleanser for your skin.
2. Use Toner
Just as in your morning routine, toner is optional. If you want to use toner on your skin, apply it after cleansing.
3. Apply Moisturizer
If you’re serious about supporting your skin’s health, don’t limit using moisturizer to your morning routine. Apply a night-specific moisturizing cream after cleansing or using toner. Regular moisturizers improve your skin’s natural moisture barrier, while night creams contain ingredients that do more than simply adding moisture to your skin.
4. Apply Products With Retinol
Your evening skin care routine is the ideal time to use skincare products that contain retinols such as vitamin A and retinoids, which are derived from that vitamin. It’s best to use these products at night as some of them can be deactivated when exposed to sunlight. Retinols and retinoids increase cellular turnover, which results in your skin having a healthy glow.
5. Use Eye Cream
If you want to incorporate eye cream into your evening skin care routine, now’s the time to do it. Apply your preferred eye cream after moisturizing or after using retinol-containing products.
6. Sort Out Pimples
If you have any pimples, tackle them after you apply eye cream (if using) or moisturizing. By ‘tackling’ we don’t mean scratching, squeezing, or popping! Dab some benzoyl peroxide cream or retinoid cream on them to dry them out. Alternatively, use tea-tree oil.
7. Apply Face Oil
Applying face oil isn’t essential. However, it’s a great inclusion if your skin feels parched. A good quality face oil locks in moisture, nourishes your skin, and leaves it feeling gorgeously soft and silky. Apply the oil by pressing it into your skin once the rest of your leave-on skincare products have dried.
There you have it. Skin care made simple.
As a growing number of men take an interest in their skin, everyone needs to know what order to apply their products in. This advice is for everyone and if you follow these steps, you’ll have happier, healthier skin that looks and feels good.