The Beginner's Guide to a Skincare Routine
Ever been asked “So what’s you daily skincare routine?” by a smug, flawless looking sales assistant when browsing the beauty isle? Only to reply with a blank, confused and dazed expression as if you had just been put on the spot during the chemistry class that you had, up until then, been day-dreaming in. Yup. This was me, until a couple of years ago. I have always had a burning passion for beauty but this was more centered towards cosmetics and haircare/styling. The skincare world had always seemed a little daunting to me with its vast range of serums, masks, gels… the list is nearly endless! So, I had always steered clear, only doing the bare necessity to get by. Since the age of 12-20, my ‘skincare routine’ consisted of a little moisturizers pre-makeup application (although, admittedly, not always) and a makeup wipe to take it all off when the day was done. I know, it’s almost misleading to even class it as a skincare regime, as there was no careful thought or planning that contributed towards what felt like a mundane day-to-day task. It also makes me wonder, would my teenage skin have been as bad had I taken a little time to consider what was helping my skin and what was detrimental to it? In hindsight, I don’t think I can blame it all on hormones!
Having researched many beauty blogs, vlogs and articles now and advice from makeup experts, skincare really isn’t that intimidating at all. Whilst there is a lot of products and opinions within the industry, it is important to find out what works for you and your skin. I have finally found a base routine of my 3 essential products that I have been using daily. The regime is super simple and very cost friendly, so there’s really no need to splurge (especially as personal beauty routines require a lot of self-trial and error!). Below are my go-to products which make for an all rounded skincare regime that is easily adaptable.
Everyday Face Wash
An everyday face wash should be considered regarding the following: it is the first thing you put on your face in the day and one of the last things you will use before you go to sleep. For me, this means I needed to use something that was gentle to my skin. For years I had been using a concoction of exfoliating, spot-busting, perfumed washes (sometimes all in the one bottle) day and night on my skin. Now, such formulas aren’t a terrible idea in the instance of a bad break-out, but on an everyday basis it just unnecessary. I have pretty normal skin, not too much oil and not too much dryness but I am prone to pretty consistent breakouts. In a panic I would always reach for the face wash that would promise to fight acne and blemishes, when in reality it was too strong to be using for my skin, especially every day. I’ve found now that is much better to use a simple wash daily, and during the time problem times switch to washes that concentrate on fighting breakouts once or twice every few days. The key being not to put too much stress on your skin. Right now I am using a foaming face wash with witch hazel and tea tree oil, both famous for their cleansing, anti-bacterial properties. It’s the perfect wash my skin needs to wake up and power down after a long day.
A cleanser is included in my essential beauty routine because I wear makeup almost every day and it is the guaranteed way to relieve my pores of heavy cosmetic products. Regrettably, most of my worst breakouts are from not taking my makeup off properly or at all, either through being too tired, lazy, or as a result of spilling in my house at 3am on a Sunday morning, cause, you know. There’s nothing quite like the moment when you wake up post night-on-the-town with the realisation that you still have 25 different products on your face including last night’s lashes. I’m looking at you setting spray. And thus, the timer begins for the formation of the Himalayas to appear on your chin. The horror! Yes, I have learned the hard way that cleansing your face cannot be put off (especially until the morning after) as our poor pores need to breath in order for our skin to look and be healthy. I have been using Micellar Water for the past two years to take off my makeup as I find that is super easy and you don’t need to dampen your cotton pad beforehand, meaning less mess (and effort, woo!). This is a much better option than the go-to makeup wipe. Cleansing wipes are easy, yes, but they are in fact reaaaally bad for your skin. The harsh wipe often strips more than just the makeup off your face like your skins essential oils. A gentle cleanser is both kinder to skin and more effective for makeup removal – double win. However, taking your makeup off is better than not at all so, as a precaution, stash some cleansing wipes beside your be before pre-gaming and thank me in the morning.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m still learning how essential a good everyday moisturizer is for your skin. I always used to equate moisturizing with increasing my chances of an oily complexion. This resulted in me avoiding moisturizing indefinitely during my time of the month. In my mind, I thought this was only adding fuel (or in my case, more) to the fire. Oh how wrong I was. It is important note that moisturizers serve to hydrate your skin in reference to its water, not oil, content. Moisturizing also helps to even out skin tone, smooth areas of dryness and depending on the formula, act as an effective anti-aging product. Like a face wash, a moisturizer tailored to your skins everyday needs is a must. To put it simply; you’ll only get the most out of moisturizing if you take the time to consider you want your everyday moisturiser to do. As I mentioned previously, my skin is normal in terms of oil content and I’m only 22 (don’t be fooled, I wasn’t this candid during my last month as a 21 year old) which means I can get away with using a pretty simple moisturizer. I don’t need an ultra-heavy or super concentrated formula with anti-aging ingredients, just a product that will replenish my moisture levels post makeup removal and help to even out my skin tone. Every day before primer and before I go to sleep I apply a light moisturizer to my face, which is enough to hydrate my skin. For those who feel their skin it’s quite dry perhaps should opt for a hydrating moisturizer. The beauty market is bursting at the seams with its variations in moisturizers, you just gotta find the one. My advice: keep it simple!
You see? It really isn’t that tricky, especially when you keep the products simple. Importantly, this basic skin care regime is easy to follow and maintain. As the products included are so few and simple, it won’t take long for you to suss your own 3 go-to’s you will wish you had been acquainted with sooner. One of my favourite things that this beauty routine offers, is that these 3 simple steps morning and night eat up no more than 5 minutes of your day and can serve as a guide to all skin types because they are, from my point of view, the fundamentals of facial skincare. Although it may take some trial and error to finally find those 3 products that make you feel like a queen, I promise you, once you nail it, it’s as easy as 1-2-3.