Here Are Some Products To Try If You Want To Start A Skincare Routine But Aren't Sure How
Perfect if you're just not sure where to begin.
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Before we begin, let me just say that I'm not an expert (just someone who's really, really into skincare.) Not all products are suited to everybody, and you will def have to visit a specialist for more complex skin conditions like cystic acne, psoriasis, eczema, and more.
Like everything else you apply to your skin, it's important to patch test products before you start using them directly on your face. Also, if you're completely new to a product (especially if it's got some powerful active ingredients), try to introduce it into your routine slowly, as using too much too soon can sometimes lead to bad reactions from your skin.
1. Step one of skincare is cleansing. Taking off the makeup, pollution, and general dirt from your day is really important!
Before you can apply any other products to your face, it's important to make sure that the base is clean. There are loads of products on the market that claim to do this for you, and lots of them offer all kinds of features (like fragrances, microbeads, and more). In reality though, a lot of these add-ons are actually harmful to your skin (fragrances can irritate, while plastic beads are bad for the environment AND your face as they can create tiny tears on your skin called microdermabrasions). Even though they sound a bit less exciting, a lot of really good cleansers are often quite plain-sounding – but this is good news for your skin! Cleansing is supposed to leave your skin clean and neutral before you apply other, more active products later.
If you wear makeup, you should start your skincare routine by taking it off (I mean, you probably knew that already). This micellar water from Bioderma is very skin-friendly, but that doesn't stop it from being really effective too.
Or, if you like, you can try an oil cleanser to remove your makeup instead. It's great for most skin types, including sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, and (even though it sounds counter-intuitive) oily skin. This one from Simple is really, well, simple!
This cleanser from Cetaphil is a great follow-up to makeup removal, or a fab first step if you spend the day barefaced.
2. After that, you can tone. This step makes your skin look (and ideally feel) rejuvenated and smooth!
Perfect for smoothing your skin out and preparing it for the serums that follow, toners can have a range of additional functions too, like exfoliating and hydrating. Again, there are lots of toners around that claim to do things like reduce your pore size, but be careful – some of these can be very drying, and might even cause inflammation. Steer clear of parabens and drying alcohols in your toners (like with all your other skincare)!
This glow toner from Pixi is a cult product for a reason. It's lightweight and contains calming aloe vera and exfoliating glycolic toner.
Or, if you're after a hydrating toner, this rosewater-enriched one from Sukin will sort you out.
This witch hazel toner is anti-inflammatory and calming, and it's great for sensitive skin too!
3. After toner, you might want to add a serum. These contain the active ingredients that really tackle specific areas in your skin, and there are different types available. It's the part of your routine you'll really want to customise to fit your own needs!
Serums are often what confuse people most about skincare – there are loads of them out there, and it can be hard to work out which ones are actually best for your skin. If you haven't really got any skin problems beside the occasional spot, you probably won't need to use specific serums often. Even if you do have stuff you really want to target, you likely won't benefit from using too many of these, as overdoing some products (such as chemical exfoliants) can damage your skin even further. We've included some basics below!
Some vitamin C will brighten and exfoliate your skin.
Struggle with blackheads? Salicylic acid is a really good chemical exfoliant that might just help you out.
Retinol is a strong chemical exfoliant with anti-ageing and smoothing properties.
Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that can help to reduce the appearance of clogged and enlarged pores, uneven skin, and dry skin.
Lactic acid may help with your skin texture, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation or dark spots.
4. Moisturiser is really important for your skincare routine, even if you've got oily skin (I promise it won't make your skin produce more sebum, and a good one won't make you look shiny either).
The biggest secret to great skin is hydration, hydration, hydration. Moisturised skin is more likely keep its skin barrier intact, meaning you won't become as affected by irritants and your sebum levels are actually more likely to remain at a healthy level for your skin. A great moisturiser will give you a dewy finish in the short term and hydrated, plumper skin in the long term. We've suggested some incredible products for each skin type below!
HydroBoost Water Gel is actually a really effective moisturiser for all skin types (including oily skin). It's lightweight, packed with hyaluronic acid, and it's surprisingly inexpensive too!
I love CeraVe's moisturising lotion for my dry skin! It's got a rich, cream formula that feels really indulgent.
Squalane oil is a lightweight formula that suits pretty much all skin types, and because it's a product our body naturally produces, it's absorbed really easily into the skin.
5. The last step of your skincare routine should always be SPF. You need it for all weather (yes, even when it's cloudy), and all skin types can benefit from a good sunscreen.
Okay, I know, I live in a cold, wet country too. It can be really hard to motivate yourself to apply sunscreen every day, but it's super important. UV rays can age, dry, and cause premature wrinkles on your skin.
The Body Shop do an SPF 30 lotion that dries quickly and contains glow-enhancing vitamin C!
This SPF claims to protect you from UV rays for up to ten hours, and it has over 3,720 reviews with a 4.5-star average!
6. And then there's all the other fun stuff, like weekly treatments, peels, facemasks and more!
Not every product is going to be a part of your everyday routine, but that doesn't mean they don't have their uses. Peels, masks, and more can be an indulgent skincare experience that will help to compliment your everyday routine!