Building your daily skincare routine takes time and oftentimes products have to be changed with the seasons. What I personally use in the Spring and Summer is different than what I use in the Fall and Winter. Most of the time I use different products for each season. However, my routine always remains the same. Below are morning, nighttime, weekly, and monthly routines followed by some tips and tricks.
- Wash your face.
- Blot dry with a clean towel.*
- Tone using a cotton ball or cotton round sweeping the product up or in a circular motion.*
- Put on a serum.*
- Put on moisturizer also sweeping the product up or in a circular motion.
- Put on eye cream.*
- Finish with SPF 30 made specifically for the face.*
- I also put lotion on my body immediately after showering. I blot my skin dry, put lotion on and then spray on SPF...EVERY single day of the year no matter what the weather is like.
- Use a pre-cleansing oil to dissolve makeup.*
- Wash your face.
- Blot dry with a clean towel.
- Put on a serum.
- Put on nighttime moisturizer.*
- Put on eye cream.
Once a Week-
- Put on a mask.*
Once a Month-
- Get a facial OR do an at-home facial.*
- Drink lots of water and cut way back on sugary beverages or cut them out of your diet entirely.*
*Never rub or scrub your skin dry as you can cause damage such as couperose which are broken blood vessels in your skin. Couperose is very common around our nostrils from blowing and wiping our noses too hard, but you can also get it on your cheeks. This is not just something you can get from extreme temperatures or through heredity. You can damage your skin by scrubbing it too hard. Treat your skin like the skin on a tomato. If you rub it too hard it tears. Always be gentle with your skin especially when drying it or using a manual exfoliator. More on exfoliating below.
*Toner is essential because it restores the pH of your skin after cleansing which throws it off balance. Toner also removes any remaining makeup, oil, and debris while soothing, nourishing and hydrating your skin. Having a balanced pH is how you will have healthy, glowing skin. When applying toner or products you want to do so in an upward or circular motion to really clean out your pores.
*Serums are great as they can target many different skin concerns and they penetrate deeper into your skin than a moisturizer does. This is great for clearing up skin concerns and helping it to heal! Some can be used day and night and others only recommend using them once a day. You can cut this step out if you do not want to add one more product to your routine or if you do not feel it is necessary. However, they do make a big difference in your skin's appearance so I recommend it at least once a day.
*Eye cream is wonderful as there are so many out there for all of your undereye concerns. Dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. The skin under our eyes is very fragile and more prone to dryness. They also easily show signs of age and fatigue. Eye creams can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as to reduce the fluids that collect under the eyes which cause puffiness or dark circles. It is also great to put on so that your concealer lays nicer.
*SPF is a MUST every single day whether it is Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall. Whether you are going to be inside all day or not. SPF only needs to be worn during the day, but it needs to be worn every single day. You get damage being in the car, you can get damage from the lights inside, etc. You also get blue light damage from screens (phone, computer, tv). Always protect your skin with SPF with both UVA and UVB protection and not just on your face. Even if it is raining. If it is daytime then you should be wearing it. 90% of ALL aging concerns are due to the sun. Also, you do not want to rely on other products having SPF in them as the efficacy of the SPF is greatly reduced when added to another product such as a CC cream, moisturizer, foundation, etc.
*Using a pre-cleansing oil at night is essential before washing your face. Not only does this dissolve your makeup, but it dissolves the pollution and oils, etc. that you get throughout the day. So even if you don't wear makeup a pre-cleansing oil is important for dissolving dirt, etc. prior to washing your face. If you have combination or oily skin do not be afraid of using an oil. It is great for all skin types. It will not make you oilier. In basic chemistry you learn that like dissolves like. So using an oil will help to dissolve extra sebum in your skin.
*Nighttime moisturizers are great because they are meant to hydrate your skin throughout the night, help with the renewal of skin cells while nourishing your skin, produce collagen, provide better circulation, prevent your skin from sagging, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, restore elasticity, keep your skin soft and supple, etc. etc. There are many benefits to using a night cream. It works while you sleep!
*Exfoliating is very important as it removes the dead skin cells that build up on your skin. That dead skin can leave your face looking dull, rough and dry. Putting foundation over that just enhances it which is why your skin can look cakey or dry. Exfoliating once a week will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy. If you don't exfoliate then the build-up of dead skin cells can cause excess oil production, clogged pores and even lead to acne and blemishes. Do not exfoliate more than once a week as your skin doesn't produce dead cells fast enough to necessitate doing it more than once a week. When exfoliating you want to be very gentle if you use a manual exfoliator. Manual exfoliators are those with beads in them so let the beads do the job and don't rub hard. Chemical exfoliators also do the work for you but do not have beads in them. These type of exfoliators are applied to the skin, left on for a little bit and then taken off. The chemical in the exfoliator will dissolve the dead skin cells. These exfoliators generally use ingredients such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids as well as enzymes such as pineapple, papaya, etc.
*Masks are great as they can address many concerns. I have dry skin so I love using hydrating masks. I usually do a mask once a week after I exfoliate so I remember to do it.
*Getting facials monthly can do A LOT for your skin and are necessary for truly cleaning out your pores as well as addressing many different concerns. Facials are not just great for removing blackheads, they can also be very relaxing and be a much-needed respite from daily life. If you're unable to go to a spa once a month or even quarterly for a facial then I suggest doing the next best thing, an "At Home Facial" as laid out below.
*Drinking water not only aids in digestion but it is important for circulation, absorption, and excretion. Our body is an organ made up of cells. Those cells are made up of water. Without water, our organs do not function properly. If your skin is not getting enough water then it will show it by turning your skin dry, tight, and flaky. Dry skin also has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. Drinking water gives you a radiant, healthy, and younger looking complexion.
Monthly At-Home Facial Routine:
- Pre-cleanse. I use my pre-cleansing oil for this.
- Apply cleanser all over your face avoiding your eye area.
- Steam. This is the most relaxing part and is very important. You can buy an at home steamer pretty inexpensively OR put hot water into a large bowl or pot, put a clean towel over your head, and place your head about 6 inches from the hot water. I like to steam for at least 10 minutes. If you can't do it for 10 minutes straight then do it in 2-3 minute intervals. Steaming loosens dead skin cells, dirt, and oil.
- Exfoliate for a few minutes.
- Put on a mask for about 10 minutes or however long your product suggests.
- Treat. This is where it is good to use a serum, retinol (only at night), or other products you may use for treating various concerns such as hyperpigmentation, dehydration, acne, rosacea, etc.
- Eye Cream. Use your ring finger and lightly dab on eye cream under your brow bone, eyes, and even in the inner area by your nose.
- Last, but not least, moisturize.
As far as figuring out which products to use, this is where I do suggest getting a facial from a professional Esthetician. Even if it is the only facial you ever get. When you get a facial the Esthetician will look at your skin under a magnifying lamp AKA mag lamp. This allows them to figure out your skin type and also determine what skin concerns you may have that you can't see without a mag lamp. I notice that a lot of the time people think they have one skin type when they actually have another. For example, most of the time people think they're oily when their skin is actually dry or dehydrated and is overcompensating by producing oil to hydrate it. During your facial, your "Esthi" will be able to recommend products based on your skin. Below are some of my favorite products. I have dry/combination skin so these work great for me!
- Pre-Cleanse- Hy-OL by Babor or Pre-Cleanser by Environ.
- Face Wash- This product is to be used overtop of the Hy-OL by Babor. It is a great addition to it. You want to look for the Phytoactive product for your skin type. This is the one I use. Phytoactive Hydro-Base. I also love Meder NRJ-Net Cleanser.
- Toner- Babor Thermal Toning Essence or Thayers Witchhazel Toner (great for oily or combo skin).
- Daytime Moisturizer- Babor Daily Moisturizing Cream or Embryollise Lait-Creme Concentre (can also be used as a mask).
- Nighttime Moisturizer- Babor Intense Revitalizing Cream.
- Eye Cream- Laura Mercier Repair Eye Serum or Babor Reactivating Eye Cream.
- SPF- Supergoop. I love this company and they make quite a few different SPFs depending on what you want. Go with a product that is JUST SPF with nothing added as explained above.
- Exfoliator- Babor Gentle Peeling or Laura Mercier Face Polish.
- Mask- Babor Comfort Cream Mask or Meder Hydra-Fill Sheet Mask which is a favorite of Zac Posen.
- Serums/Treatments- Babor Ampoules, I love so many different ones so my suggestion is to look them up on the Babor website and pick one based on your needs. These are treatments used daily for a week. I do this once every 3-4 months. Babor Ampoules penetrate deeper than a serum and can be used in place of a serum while using it or underneath one. Another great product is by Kypris and is a natural retinoid that refines the texture of your skin, enhances cellular renewal, evens out your skin tone, etc. However, it is only to be worn after the sun has gone down and should be washed off as soon as you wake up. The product is called Moonlight Catalyst.
- Lip Care- Sara Happ Perfect Pout in a Box This product is GREAT! Especially for those with dry or chapped lips. It is a 3 step routine. First, there's a sugar lip scrub to exfoliate. Then a mask followed by a thick hydrating lip balm. I love using this during facials and carrying the lip balm in my purse to use throughout the day. A little bit of the lip balm goes a very long way so don't use too much.
Keep in mind these are just some recommendations of products I love and have used or currently use. You want to make sure you find products you love which is why it is important to know your skin type or you won't get the benefits of the products you're buying. When trying new skin care products give them about 4-6 weeks to see results before you decide it isn't right for you. Skincare is an investment and your makeup is only as good as the canvas underneath it so make the investment count.
Also, taking care of your skin isn't just about having beautiful skin. This is a chance for you to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Taking time each day to do a proper skincare routine is great self-care, and self-care is important for your psyche. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others. This routine doesn't take long despite the multiple steps and products involved. My AM and PM routine take me about 10 minutes each. The weekly routine is about 15-20 minutes per week. Your mask can set while you do other chores. Or use it as an excuse to completely unwind. The monthly facial is about an hour of your time. Not bad for gorgeous skin and much needed "me time." Make time for you!