Skincare routines are one of life’s mysteries. We all know we need to have one, but it can often be confusing to know what order to apply products in, which products to use, how to apply them, when to apply them, etc. Some skincare routines range from 3 steps all the way to 11! So what do we really need?

Skincare routines are tailor made for individuals, and need to take into consideration: Age, areas of concern (blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, etc.), and skin type (oily, dry, dehydrated, or combo,). Some steps are optional whilst some steps are necessary. Perhaps one of the biggest issues, is what order to put your skincare products on in. If you do not apply skincare in the correct order, you will not receive the maximum benefits for each product used. For example, according to Kate Tart, lead esthetician for Derma E, “If you applied a cream-based product first followed by a serum, the cream’s emolliency would prevent the serum from reaching the skin. Many moisturizers also contain water, and if you apply a moisturizer over a sunscreen, you would in effect be watering down your sunscreen and diluting its efficacy.”

Overall, most of us do not have time to do an 11-step skincare routine morning and night, or we simply just do not need the additional products based on our own individual skin concerns. Generally, most people would benefit from a 6-8 step skincare routine.

Basic Skincare Routine-Morning

Step 1: Cleanse
In the morning it might seem like we don’t need to wash our face, but during the night we slough off dead skin cells, and can accumulate oils or other impurities, so it is essential that we wash our face first thing in the morning. There are many skincare brands that offer great cleansers such as: Clinique, Neutrogena, and Murad.

Step 2: Exfoliate
Experts have differing opinions on this step. Some say it’s fine to exfoliate every day while others maintain that you should only exfoliate a couple times per week. In most cases 1-2 times per week is plenty, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin. When exfoliating err on the side of caution. If after daily exfoliation your skin is red or irritated drop it down to once or twice a week.

Step 3: Tone
Toners are designed to rebalance the skin’s pH after cleansing and exfoliation. If you have sensitive or dry skin make sure to look for a toner that does not have alcohol or witch hazel in it, as these can be irritants. Clinique makes a great cleanser that is free from both.

Step 4: Prescription Skin Medications or Spot Treatments
This is an optional step needed only if you are using prescription medications such as for acne, or spot treatments for blemishes. A great blemish spot treatment is the GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD™ Clearing Treatment.

Step 5: Serum
Serums are often used to target specific skin concerns. For example, if you have issues with fine lines, wrinkles, or skin discoloration board-certified dermatologist Jennifer Linder, M.D recommends using a serum rich in Vitamin C.

Step 6: Eye Cream
Eye cream is formulated for the delicate thin skin of the eye area, do not use a facial moisturizer on this sensitive area. When it comes to eye cream application there is a very specific way in which to apply it in order to prevent irritation. Eye cream should only be applied on the skin under the eyes (where the top of the socket is) up to the bone at the top of the cheek. Using a pin head size amount, apply in gentle patting motions using your ring finger. Do not put it on your eyelid, or right beneath the lower lash line. Eye creams are quite heavy so they tend to migrate. If put in the aforementioned areas, it can get into your eye and cause irritation, or even an infection.

Step 7: Moisturizer
When choosing a moisturizer, you need to choose one that is specifically formulated for your skin type. Do you have oily, dry, dehydrated, or combination skin? When applying moisturizer don’t skip your neck or décolletage. Those are two very important areas that should not be neglected.

Step 8: Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen is essential and should not be skipped unless, according to dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, “Your moisturizer doubles as an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen — and you’re spending the day indoors — you can omit the additional sunscreen.”


Basic Skincare Routine-Nighttime
The nighttime skincare routine follows the same sequence as the morning skincare routine with small variances in the types of products used.

Step 1: Cleanse
If you wear makeup it is best to remove your makeup first with a makeup remover such as a lotion, or a makeup removing balm. Both can be either washed or wiped away. Then cleanse your skin with your regular cleanser.

Step 2: Tone

This step is the same as the day routine.

Step 3: Prescription Skin Medications or Spot Treatments
Some medications such as Retinoids can only be applied at night. According to dermatologist Audrey Kunin, the reasoning behind this is that “Sunlight can degrade retinoids, rendering them powerless,” and they can also, “Increase your risk of burning by thinning your outermost layer of skin.”

Step 5: Serum
One serum that is best applied at night is a peptide serum. According to Dr. Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, “Peptides are most useful at night when the skin is in renewal mode because they heal and regenerate skin, and can even rebuild collagen.”

Step 6: Eye Cream
Night eye creams are formulated without SPF, and application is still the same as daytime.

Step 7: Moisturizer
According to Dr. Jeaneyte Graf, “At night, the skin’s pH is lower, which means dead cells shed more easily. Microcirculation is higher, allowing the skin to make new cells and mend old, tired ones.” Nighttime creams are specially formulated to help enhance this process.

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