A basic routine usually includes removing makeup, cleansing your face, applying a spot treatment for any blemish, using sunscreen during the day, and putting on moisturizer. Either way, you'll be happy to hear that experts tell us that a truly honest skincare regimen only needs a few important elements. And in fact, most of us would probably be better off staying at the simpler end of things. The basic steps of a skincare routine are a mild cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, Emily Newsom, M, D.
Seriously, that's all you have to do. In fact, there are very few situations where people need to use a lot of products, Temitayo Ogunleye, M, D. While there's no inherent problem with using a ton of products if you enjoy them and they're not irritating, she says, “first you have to try these very simple things and then we'll see. You'll need a cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, excess oil, dead skin cells and environmental impurities that end up on your face naturally throughout the day.
The moisturizer will help keep the skin's protective barrier working properly and keep the skin feeling smooth and soft. And arguably the most important element, sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and cosmetic sun damage. In the morning, wash with a cleanser, then apply moisturizer and sunscreen (or combine with a moisturizer that has a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher). At night, wash again with the cleanser and apply the moisturizer.
Yes, you can use your SPF moisturizer at night if you want, Dr. You may find that you prefer something thicker at night, but there's no rule against using the one with SPF before bed, he says. From there, it is important to pay attention to how the skin reacts, both immediately after using the product and in the following days. Do you notice tightness, grease, redness, or breakouts? If it's on the oily side, you may need to moisturize less often or use a lighter formula, for example.
If you're on the dry side, you may need to use a thicker moisturizer. If your skin is very dry or sensitive, you may only need to wash your face with a cleanser once a day at night while rinsing with water or micellar water in the morning. But if your skin is especially oily or you wear a lot of makeup, you may need to clean yourself more often or even clean yourself twice at the end of the day. If your skin is sensitive, you may notice some irritation (redness, itching, flaking), which is a sign that you should withdraw and call a dermatologist.
You may need to be careful in the future to avoid products with certain ingredients, such as fragrances, that may be irritating. However, everyone still needs to apply sunscreen every day. Here's how to find one you don't mind using. You may be surprised how, after a few weeks of taking these basic steps, your other skin problems calm down.
But if they don't, your next steps will depend on your skin's specific needs, Dr. If you have acne, you may want to change a salicylic acid cleanser, a mild chemical scrub, or the occasional spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide. For wrinkles, fine lines, or sun damage, you may want to add an over-the-counter retinoid to begin with (and maybe a prescription version later). Are you interested in controlling hyperpigmentation? Brightening agents such as hydroquinone or vitamin C can work.
But make sure to add only one product at a time, Dr. Newsom says, and give it at least two weeks before adding anything else. If you add several things at once and you have a bad reaction to something, it will be impossible to know which product was responsible without a patch test, Dr. Or if you see positive results, you won't know which product was responsible for the change.
It's also important to avoid adding too many products that do the same. If you already have a retinoid or exfoliating acid in your line, you may find that adding another one doesn't help and is actually more irritating. In addition to using too many products, Dr. Ogunleye says one of the biggest mistakes rookies make is giving up too easily.
But, as SELF explained earlier, both over-the-counter and prescription treatments take weeks or months to produce noticeable changes. Ogunleye says it's important to adjust your expectations and be prepared to offer new products two or three months before you get discouraged and give up on them. If you're trying to find gentle day-to-day products and you can't seem to fall for one that works with your skin, it's time to talk to a dermatologist, Dr. Alternatively, if you're trying to address a specific skin problem (such as acne or hyperpigmentation) and don't see any improvement, a dermatologist can help you resolve the problem and possibly prescribe a stronger medication that may be more effective.
And of course, if you find that your skin reacts poorly to products and you're not sure why, definitely talk to a dermatologist. They can help you determine what might be causing that irritation and give you guidelines on how to avoid it in the future. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended to replace medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
We have been independently researching and testing products for more than 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process. You probably already know that cleansing means washing your face and moisturizing your skin, but what does the treatment entail? Well, in addition to keeping your complexion in top shape, the goal of any good skincare routine is to focus on problem areas.
Therefore, treating means incorporating serums or creams packed with beneficial skin care ingredients, such as vitamin C, retinol, alpha hydroxy acids and others, depending on your skin type and the results you want to see, explains Dr. Magovern. Adding an intermediate step between cleansing and moisturizing components is very important, Dr. It can make a big difference over time and in the health, appearance, and aging of your skin.
Good things come to those who wait and that includes skincare routines. Even the best skincare products take a long time to work, so don't expect results overnight. If you follow a consistent daily routine, you're likely to see some benefits within six to 12 weeks, and it can often take at least three to four months to know if your new routine is really working. Facial cleansing should be the first step in any skincare routine, as it removes impurities and excess oil that can clog pores and dull skin.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, try washing only at night and rinsing your face with water in the morning. Toners are a water-based skin care liquid that is applied to dry skin after facial cleansing with your fingers, a cotton ball, or cloth, and before using other leave-in skin care treatments, such as serums and moisturizers. A good toner can help ensure that your skin is completely clean and dirt-free, as well as giving you an extra dose of active ingredients. A serum that everyone can benefit from in the morning? An antioxidant serum, which will prevent the formation of free radicals and reduce signs of aging over time.
And the reference antioxidant serum is vitamin C. For darker skin tones, hyperpigmentation can be a common problem, and using a vitamin C serum in the morning can also help mitigate dark spots, says Jennifer David, D.O. Eye creams are different from facial creams because they are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area, which ages faster than the rest of the face and therefore also falls into the category of treats. If you're worried about fine lines, wrinkles, lack of firmness, dark circles, or bags under your eyes, an eye treatment product is definitely worth it.
First, remove the makeup and grime of the day. Start by applying a separate makeup remover, if necessary, to remove cosmetics. Follow with the same cleanser as in the morning, working from the inside of the face up, then out and down along the hairline and perimeter to just below the chin, she suggests. If you choose a tonic, apply it the same way you would in the morning.
Because they are liquid, tonics should be applied before heavier formulas, such as serums and moisturizers, so that they have a chance to be absorbed. Night is an ideal time to use products with ingredients that work to remove dead skin cells or stimulate cell renewal while you sleep, such as alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid or retinol, Dr. These soft textures brighten and minimize pores. Some serums can be used day or night; follow package directions.
Apply a little of your serum or facial treatment, or a separate eye cream, if you also use it in the morning, around your eyes. Hydration is especially crucial at night, as it creates a barrier that seals the skin's natural moisture and any active ingredients to counteract moisture loss that occurs while you sleep. But while you can use that SPF-free daytime moisturizer at night, using a specific nighttime formula will have specific anti-aging benefits and repair the damage of the day. While regular moisturizers focus only on improving the skin's natural moisture barrier, night creams contain active ingredients that help improve skin beyond adding moisture, explains Tonya McLeod, MD, D.
So which product goes above what, you ask? An easy rule of thumb to follow is to apply products with the thinnest to the thickest consistency, or liquid to cream. In the morning, start by splashing your face with warm water or, if necessary, wash with a mild facial cleanser designed for your skin type. Most people choose to skip toners, partly because there is a persistent assumption that most tonics are harsh and irritate the skin. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.
While they don't physically “shrink pores”, the new generation of tonics can serve multiple purposes, such as acting as a delivery system for antioxidants, vitamin B derivatives and even toning acids. In addition, each type of tonic is designed for a different skin problem, so it's important to use the right type for your skin problem. However, if you've lived your entire life without using a toner and your skin looks healthy, Dr. Rogers says there's no need to start using one.
That said, if you have a toner that you like to use, there's nothing wrong with sticking with it. Board-certified dermatologist Annie Chiu, it's vital to apply an eye cream at least every night, if not twice a day, starting at 20. Improving the quality of the skin in this area from the start ensures that the eyelid skin does not easily lose laxity and its smooth appearance later on. According to Dr.
Diane De Fiori, dermatologist at the Rosacea Treatment Clinic, prescription medications and treatments for acne spots should be applied as close to the skin as possible to maximize their benefits. Because the active ingredients in treatments for acne spots differ, check the product packaging or consult your dermatologist to find out how best to apply it. Prescription benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient for treating acne spots, has a working time of one to three hours, according to beautician and acne specialist Ashley Wiley. Remember that treatments for acne spots can dry out the skin, so always apply it only to areas where you need it.
Yes, everyone needs a moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. Most experts recommend that the best time to apply a moisturizer is while the skin is still moist, so the sooner you apply the serum and treatment, the sooner you can retain much-needed moisture with your moisturizer. If you're using an acne spot treatment, you may want to skip those areas when applying the moisturizer to make sure that the ingredients it contains don't interfere with the active ingredients in your blemish treatment. Rogers recommends using a physical sunscreen with zinc and applying it after the moisturizer.
To remove dirt, grease and makeup of the day, some experts recommend removing your makeup first with a specific makeup remover before washing your face with a mild cleanser. Better yet, try double cleansing, which involves first using a cleansing oil to dissolve makeup and then washing your face again with the usual cleanser. If you use a tonic, apply it as you would in the morning. In addition to treating crow's feet and dark circles, eye creams can also help protect the delicate eye area from other skin care products.
Some people use the same moisturizer during the day and night. However, night moisturizers or night creams are generally thicker and heavier and are designed to absorb over the course of several hours. Choosing a cleanser specifically formulated for the face (rather than the body) is the essential first step in a basic skincare routine. But how do you choose the best one? It's a common myth that people with oily skin don't need moisturizer.
In fact, using a non-comedogenic moisturizer can help reduce skin's natural oil production. If you skip this step, your skin will continue to produce excess oil to maintain the moisture barrier. The third and final step in a basic and effective skincare routine is sunscreen. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with more new cases each year than all other cancers combined.
The more you expose your skin to the sun, the higher your risk of developing skin cancer, but it's not just long days at the beach that put you at risk. Every time you walk your dog, travel between your car and the grocery store, or sit in front of a window, your lifetime UV exposure increases, increasing your risk of cancer. Using sunscreen every day, whether you're going to be out all day or not, is a great way to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer. In addition to preventing skin cancer, using sunscreen can also prevent premature aging.
UVA rays from the sun don't cause sunburn, but they do penetrate deep into the skin and cause wrinkles and fine lines. If you want to keep your skin soft and young for as long as possible, then a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection) with SPF 30 or higher may be the best anti-aging product you can use. Retinoids reduce collagen breakdown to improve skin thickness and elasticity. They do this by accelerating cell renewal, which encourages the skin to produce new collagen-filled cells faster.
Retinoids make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation, so it's best to use them at night and follow up with sunscreen during the day. Taking care of your skin is as simple as using a cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. Although there are a million products to choose from, keep it simple and your skin will thank you. If you want personalized recommendations for your skincare routine or want to take it to the next level with a prescription antioxidant serum or retinoid, contact us.
We'd love to help you create the perfect basic skincare routine. Heather Rogers, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatological surgeon, who applies her skin care products in the right order ensures that your skin receives the full benefits of each product. But you'll want to read the labels carefully, because some serums are best used in the morning, while others are ideal for the evening. This is why most specific skin care treatments, such as prescription medications (tretinoin, creams for acne and rosacea), retinol creams, exfoliating treatments (pads and masks), and anti-aging serums (infused with peptides, growth factors, and others) biologically active ingredients) are best used at night.
The science behind skin care products has come a long way, but there is still no such thing as an instant solution, it takes time to reap the benefits, says Dr. At night, some people also like to apply various types of skin care enhancers, which you'll see as mists, essences, beauty waters, or moisturizing serums (hyaluronic acid). And if you're looking for additional benefits to purify and brighten your complexion, today's toners are much more advanced than the drying formulas based on alcohol and astringents of yesteryear, packed with skin-improving benefits that can leave you radiant. However, if the chemical sunscreen is applied before the moisturizer, the moisturizer will also not work as well because the skin is covered with chemical sunscreen.
Rogers recommends antioxidant serums, which provide a variety of benefits, from mitigating the skin's inflammatory response to neutralizing damage from UV rays and environmental pollutants. . .