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Beginners Guide: Building A Skin Care Routine You’ll Actually Stick To

Building a skin care routine seems like it should be a pretty simple task, but when you actually try to get started, it can get kind of overwhelming.

What exactly is a toner? Is daily exfoliation necessary? Is it alright to mix and match products from different brands? Do you apply a serum before or after moisturizer? What is an essence? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, don’t worry – every skincare newbie has been there.

Whether you are a newbie to skincare or if you are a pro but are still looking for ways to improve your skin care regimen, we offer some tips that will help you build a skincare routine (one that you will actually stick to). 

Know Your Skin Type

The right skin care routine starts with knowing and understanding your skin type. Skincare products that are one-size-fits-all rarely work because your skin needs tailored products based on your exact skin type. Not sure what your skin type is? Here’s a basic guide to help you. 

  • Oily Skin. Oily skin is typically shiny with larger pores. Oily skin is more prone to skin blemishes and blackheads. 
  • Dry Skin. Typically, dry skin feels tight; particularly after cleansing. You are more prone to skin redness, flaking, fine lines, and wrinkles.
  • Sensitive. Sensitive skin is more delicate with fine pores. The skin is easily irritated, causing allergic reactions such as a rash.
  • Normal/Combination. Normal/Combination skin type has medium sized pores, and tends to have a smooth, even texture with a healthy color. Oily areas tend to appear in the T-zone area, while dry areas typically appear around the cheeks. 

Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize

The secret to a good skin care routine and radiant, well-hydrated skin is the daily use – morning and evening – of a high-quality cleanser. Don’t take shortcuts with your cleansing routine! Using a targeted, high-quality cleanser ensures that you are using the right cleanser, and most importantly, the texture most suitable for your skin type – whether that’s a cream, a facial wash, or a balm. Cleansing can help remove dirt, oil, and other unwanted elements on your skin. Additionally, cleansing can help boost your skin’s hydration. 

If you want, you can also follow up with a toner. A toner can be used to remove any impurities leftover after cleansing. The majority of toners are water-based liquids composed of specific active ingredients, including essential oils and plant extracts; they are tailored to tackle a variety of skin types. A toner’s effectiveness can vary from one product to another, but they normally improve the skin’s surface by providing additional cleansing, unclogging pores, and hydrating the skin. 

Next is moisturizer. Even if you have very oily skin, moisturizing is one of the best things that you can do for your skin. Proper hydration ensures that your face is plump, glowing, healthy, and it keeps dryness and roughness at bay. The main purpose of a moisturizer is to hydrate your skin and leave your skin feeling soft to the touch. Furthermore, some moisturizers have SPF, which provides protection from the sun. 

Wear Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen is a non-negotiable part of your skin care routine. Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays which come in two forms: UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are typically associated with skin aging; it causes age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines that make the skin look prematurely older. UVA rays have the ability to pass through glass which means that your skin is exposed to them even while you are driving and sitting or standing in front of windows with the blinds open. On the other hand, UVB rays are typically associated with sunburns. Unlike UVA, UV rays cannot pass through glass. Note that both UVA and UVB rays are carcinogens, which is why you should use sunscreen that offers protection against both types. Even if you have darker skin (as most Filipinos do), skin cancer is non-discriminatory and can be diagnosed for any gender, age, or skin type. 

Here are some tips when choosing and applying sunscreen:

  • Wear sunscreen every time you spend time outside – even on cloudy days. 
  • Experts recommend using a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum, and waterproof.
  • Apply about 1.0 ounce to all exposed areas of your skin at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Don’t skip your scalp, ears, and feet – all of which are susceptible to both sunburn and skin cancer. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating heavily. Note that even if you are wearing waterproof sunscreen, it still needs to be reapplied regularly.  
  • Throw out expired sunscreen or if you notice any changes in its consistency and/or color. 

Take Off Your Makeup at Night

We’ve all had one of those days – one where we get home so exhausted we can barely keep our eyes open and all we want to do is lie down and sleep. During those nights, the last thing that anyone wants to do is stay up even later to remove their makeup and do their skin care routine. However, taking off your makeup at night and washing your face are extremely necessary. 

The mix of makeup, oils, dirt and pollution that have accumulated and settled onto your skin during the day can clog pores. Allowing these things to stay on your skin overnight may even lead to oxidative damage! So, as soon as you get home, take your makeup off. It means that when it’s time for bed, you can actually just go to sleep and not worry about your skin care routine. Whatever you do, never sleep with your makeup still on. Neither your pillow nor your skin will thank you for it.

Stay Hydrated

You have probably heard it enough times before, but we will say it again: stay hydrated. Given that our bodies are composed of more than 50% water, it comes as no surprise that H20 is one of the most important energy sources for your body. We lose large amounts of water every single day and these fluids need to be replenished on a regular basis. Staying well-hydrated provides numerous benefits for the body, including fighting fatigue, reducing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, assisting in joint cartilage and repair, and more. 

However, did you know that your skin needs proper hydration just as much as your body? The skin is an organ – the largest one in our bodies – that requires adequate hydration to perform at its best. Keeping your skin well-hydrated can help improve the appearance of your skin, fight oil and acne, rid your skin of toxins, help maintain your skin’s elasticity, and slow premature skin aging.

The Bottom Line

Building (and sticking to) a skin care routine doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remember these basic tips that we have given you, and enjoy healthy, glowing skin!

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