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How to Create a Skincare Routine for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide


Jun 28, 2023

Taking care of your skin is an important aspect of self-care and overall well-being. Establishing a skincare routine can help keep your skin healthy, glowing, and protected from various environmental factors. If you’re new to skincare and feeling overwhelmed by the countless products and information available, fear not! In this article, we will guide you through a step-by-step process on how to create a skincare routine for beginners.

For beginners, we recommend starting with a basic three step routine—cleanse, moisturize, and apply sunscreen. Of course, this can be modified, and products can be added depending on your individual skincare needs. For example, if you’re struggling with acne, you may consider adding a spot treatment. No matter the case, the core three steps remain as the foundation of a successful skincare routine.

While it may be tempting to buy a lot of skincare products, keeping your routine simple will avoid overwhelming your skin. Plus, limiting your skincare routine can help you save money and avoid wasting products.

Skin types are determined by genetics. Your genes determine the amount of oil your sebaceous glands produce, the size of your pores and the texture of your skin. Each of these factors contributes to the overall dryness or oiliness of your complexion. While your skin type cannot be changed, it can be easily managed with proper skin care.

Skin types generally fall into one of five variations: 

  • Normal Skin
  • Dry Skin
  • Oily Skin
  • Combination Skin
  • Sensitive Skin

Normal Skin

  • “Normal” skin is best described as well-balanced. It has even moisture and hydration and uniform texture, with small pores and no apparent problem areas. Those with normal skin types may experience occasional dryness or oiliness as well as the odd breakout. Overall, normal skin looks and feels healthy but may experience mild dryness or oiliness as well as the occasional breakout, particularly when exposed to environmental stress.
  • For this reason, a normal skin care routine should focus on keeping skin healthy and protected. In addition to fortifying the skin with antioxidants, make minor adjustments to your routine depending on concerns and conditions of the moment. During periods of dryness, opt for products aimed toward dry skin; for oiliness and/or breakouts, choose products that will balance your complexion and target blemishes.

Dry Skin

  • Dry skin produces less oil than normal complexions. This skin type lacks the lipids needed to retain moisture and keep skin soft and supple. Skin feels dry and tight, and flakes sometimes appear on the cheeks, chin and forehead. Those with dry skin often have nearly invisible pores and may display more prominent fine lines around the eye and lip contour areas.
  • It is important to use moisture-rich products like oil or cream cleansers and daily moisturizers to replenish skin throughout the day as well as a rich night cream to repair skin while you sleep. Weekly moisturizing masks are also advised to plump and soften skin as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Oily Skin

  • Unlike dry skin, oily skin has overactive sebaceous glands which produce an excess of sebum. While sebum is necessary to lubricate skin and keep its moisture barrier intact, overproduction can lead to an oily complexion that has visible pores and is prone to spots and blemishes. Fine lines and wrinkles do not show as easily on this skin type, but it does need to be maintained to prevent breakouts and control shine.
  • The goal for an oily skin care routine is to control excess oil and maintain skin’s hydration. When dehydrated, skin will react by producing more oil; you can counteract this activity by hydrating skin with a lightweight moisturizer containing humectants like botanical hyaluronic acid. Also, consider adding an oil cleanser to your skin care routine. While it may seem counterintuitive, the oil in the cleanser will attract excess sebum, allowing you to rinse it away without stripping your skin.

Combination Skin

  • Combination skin is characterized by non-uniform oil production and appears neither overly dry nor oily. With more active oil glands in the T-zone and less active glands elsewhere, combination skin will tend towards oiliness on the forehead, jaw and nose, and dryness on the cheeks, jawline and hairline.
  • The best approach for combination skin care is often to divide and conquer, treating different parts of the face with different products and techniques. For morning, a gentle foaming cleanser will absorb excess oil. At night, a cream-based cleanser will replenish lost moisture. Multi-masking can be extremely beneficial for combination skin. This skin care technique involves applying two or more face masks, such as a clay-based mask and a cream-based mask, to different areas of the face so that multiple concerns are addressed at once.

Sensitive Skin

  • Sensitive skin is quite common and, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, affects 50% of people. This skin type has fine pores, can be easily irritated and is prone to redness. Often, it will react negatively to poor lifestyle habits, climate and weather changes, hormonal imbalances and harsh cosmetic ingredients.
  • With its wide variety of symptoms, sensitive skin does not manifest the same way for everyone, and its severity and frequency can vary. In general, sensitive skin should be treated with gentle and soothing skin care products that will heal skin and relieve symptoms. Opt for gentle peels to exfoliate without exacerbating sensitivity, and reach for calming natural and organic ingredients like chamomile and calendula to comfort reactive skin.

Cleansing is the foundation of any skincare routine. Choose a gentle cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and evening, to remove dirt, oil, and impurities. Use lukewarm water and massage the cleanser onto your skin in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly and pat your face dry with a clean towel.

Regardless of your skin type, moisturizing is essential to keep your skin hydrated and nourished. Select a moisturizer that suits your skin’s needs, whether it’s lightweight for oily skin or richer for dry skin. Apply the moisturizer to your face and neck, gently massaging it in upward motions. Make sure to moisturize both morning and night.

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays is crucial for preventing premature aging and reducing the risk of skin damage. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher as the last step of your morning skincare routine. Reapply throughout the day, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

Once you have established the basics, you can gradually introduce additional skincare products based on your specific concerns. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, consider adding a targeted acne treatment. If you’re concerned about signs of aging, incorporate a retinol or antioxidant serum. Start with one product at a time, using it consistently for a few weeks to gauge its effects before introducing another.

The skin around the eyes is delicate and prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Incorporate an eye cream or serum into your skincare routine to provide extra hydration and address specific concerns like dark circles or puffiness. Apply a small amount of the product around the orbital bone, using your ring finger to gently pat it in.

Consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Stick to your routine and give your skin time to adjust and respond to the products. It may take a few weeks to see noticeable results, so be patient and stay committed to your skincare routine.

As you become more familiar with your skin and its needs, feel free to adapt and modify your skincare routine accordingly. Pay attention to how your skin reacts to different products and adjust as necessary. Your skincare routine is not set in stone and can be adjusted based on the changing needs of your skin.

Remember, everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to listen to your skin, be mindful of any reactions or sensitivities, and consult a dermatologist if needed. With time, patience, and a consistent skincare routine, you can achieve healthy, radiant skin.

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