If you’re looking to glow up this 2020 and beyond, it’s time to build a skin care routine.

It may seem daunting: What products do you buy? How do you know they’re good for your skin? Are pricey products the only ones worth buying?

And if this is your first time building your skin care routine, the questions are normal. Luckily, it’s not that complicated once you nail the basics.

With a little time and a little effort, you too can start building a skin care routine that helps you unveil your clearest, healthiest skin yet.

Looking to get started? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create the skin care routine of your dreams.

Steps to build a skin care routine

1. Know your skin type

Different products are more often than not made for different skin types. To make sure you get the best products for your skin, familiarize yourself with your skin type.

As a quick refresher, here are the different skin types and their characteristics to help you identify yours:

  • Normal skin typically has no oily/shiny or dry spots and patches.
  • Oily skin can be characterized by a shiny or oily zone. The most common oily zones on the face are along the cheeks, nose, forehead, and even chin.
  • Dry skin is characterized by patches of dehydrated skin, often accompanied by a stretched-out feeling. These typically can occur along the jawline or at the sides of the face.
  • Sensitive skin is often characterized by redness, irritation, or even breakouts when using certain products. You might not think you have sensitive skin until you either consult your dermatologist or notice your skin constantly getting irritated when you use non-hypoallergenic or not-safe-for-sensitive-skin products.
  • Combination skin can refer to any combination of skin types discussed above. So somebody can have combination oily/dry skin when they have an oily T-zone but dry patches along their jawline.

When in doubt, visit a dermatologist or aesthetic clinic for a skin type consultation. They should be able to help you identify not only your skin type but even your problem areas. This will come in handy later as you

2. Understand the basics

Unless you’re going for a complete Korean skin care regimen, you only need to know the very basics in order to get going.

Here are a few things you should know when you’re still starting out:

  • Cleansing is all about removing impurities, like makeup or dirt, from your skin. Some people prefer to double cleanse (makeup remover plus a facial wash), while others prefer one step (facial wash only).
  • Toning is considered as the last step of cleansing as it often removes any leftover impurities that your cleansing method might not have picked up. But it also has another, arguably more important role: it balances your skin’s pH, prepping your skin for additional treatment and products.
  • Treatment addresses specific skin concerns you might have. Common ones include acne, red spots, or bumps on your skin. Many products are formulated specifically to address these specific concerns. For example, a vitamin C serum might be concentrated enough to brighten dark spots caused by previous breakouts.
  • Moisturizing is an important step in any skin care routine. Your skin is stripped from its natural oils when you cleanse, so restoring moisture helps prevent breakouts and helps you achieve that supple, glowing look.
  • Last but not least, your skin care routine will need something that adds a layer of protection, be it from free radicals or from UV rays from the sun – both of which can cause premature aging and wrinkles. As an additional note: sunscreen is one of the most important steps to have in your skin care routine. You can skip most everything else except sunscreen.

3. Keep it simple

As you’re only starting to start to build your skin care routine, it’s important to keep things simple at first.

It’s tempting to suddenly want to start doing a 10-step (or even 20-step?) routine the likes that Koreans invented, but remember that it might be overwhelming to commit to.

Besides, it’s also expensive to buy all kinds of products all at once. You aren’t sure which products might work well on your skin – you don’t want to buy an assortment then not be able to use half of them, do you?

Start small at first. Then build it up as you get more comfortable.

4. Choose the products that match your skin type and budget

Next, you’ll want to start looking for actual products to help you get the results you want to achieve. Not all skin care products are made equal, and what works for someone might not work for you.

Start with your skin type. Choose products that address any skin concerns you have. It’s great to look at different common skin care actives to see what they do. This can be a great way to narrow your search.

Also, consider your budget. While pricier brands often get to charge premium prices because of their wide fanbase (including celebrities) or expensive ingredients, you may be surprised by some budget-friendly finds that pack a punch.

Pro-tip: when you’re trying a new product for the first time, try doing a patch test at the store to see if your skin may be allergic to any ingredients. Try asking for trial samples from store employees. Alternatively, purchase the smallest size (normally travel-sized) first before buying the full-sized versions.

5. Apply the products in the proper order

When it comes to skin care, the proper order of application matters nearly as much as the products you use.

As a rule of thumb, apply products from thinnest or most watery to thickest. So after you’ve cleansed, toner is typically applied first. Then you can move on to any concentrated serum before moving on to moisturizer, then heavier lotions, creams, or masks.

6. Have a separate routine for day and night

Your morning skin care routine may have a few differences from your nighttime routine.

For one thing, you’ll only need to apply sunscreen only during the day. You can also reserve tinted products, like a tinted moisturizer, for daytime use as well.

At night, you can use your heavier creams and lotions, as they’re usually too thick to wear throughout the day. This is why night creams are often thicker than daytime moisturizers.

There are products that work best while you’re sleeping and your cells are regenerating. Aside from the aforementioned night creams, these also include lip masks and eye creams.

7. Consistency is the key

Last but not least, to really reap the rewards of your skin care routine, you’ll have to stick to it. Commit to your morning and evening routines as best as you can.

And remember: at most, it’ll only be a few minutes a day. Not a bad investment for healthy, glowing skin for as long as you live, don’t you think?

Start building your skin care routine at home

And that wraps up all the steps you need to know for building your own skin care routine at home. Use this guide to help you start narrowing down the best products for your skin type, which steps in the routine you want as your basics, and how to make sure you make the most of your routine for best results. Get glowing!



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