Where to start when building a basic skincare routine, what products to use, and why.
Something I am asked about regularly on Instagram is basic skincare; what products to use when you’re starting from scratch, why, when, and in what order.
This post will cover each step, the benefits, and a list of products (suitable for all budgets) that I recommend for each step.
Step 1. Cleansing. Every day, once in the morning and twice in the evening. To remove makeup, SPF, and to clean your skin. Cleansing your skin effectively can help balance the skin, reduce breakouts and help your other products work better. Cleansers should always be gentle, not drying or stripping, and leave your skin feeling clean and comfortable. There are lots of types of cleansers available; balms, gel cleansers, milk-based cleansers, foaming cleansers, and water-based cleansers. Whatever product you prefer/decide to use, you should always try and cleanse your skin for a minimum of one minute. I’ve linked to some of my favourites cleansers below (and there’s more info in this Skincare Chat I did on Instagram).
Step 2. Eye Cream. Every day, once in the morning, once in the evening. Eye cream works wonders at hydrating and depuffing the delicate skin under your eyes, and helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Use a pea-sized amount, after cleansing, and before any other products, and tap it underneath your eyes, at the edge of your eyes and on the bone of your eye socket underneath your brow. Keep it in the fridge for extra cooling and depuffing action (and check out my post about eye care and why I also use eye gels every week).
Step 3. Exfoliation. Twice a week is a good place to start, at night. Exfoliating your skin is so incredibly important; it gets rid of dead skin cells, helps reduce breakouts, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps your other products work effectively as they’re penetrating a new layer of skin. There are lots of different types of products to choose from when it comes to exfoliation; toners, cleansers, masks, facial pads, etc. I personally prefer using a toner, or exfoliating pads, as they’re quick, easy, and effective. I have linked to some fantastic all-rounder exfoliating products below.
For more in-depth information about exfoliating, the different types of exfoliating acids available, and which ones are better for certain skin issues or skin types, take a look at my Skincare Chat about acids.
Step 4. Vitamin C. Every day, in the morning. This is the most powerful anti-oxidant you can use on your skin; it hydrates and brightens, reduces the appearance of scarring and pigmentation, balances skin tone, and encourages cell regeneration, along with many (many) other benefits. It’s available in many different formats; serums, masks, moisturisers, and so on – but I have always used it as a serum as I feel it penetrates the skin deeper. There’s more info in my Skincare Chat about Vitamin C here.
Step 5. Hydration. Every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. The benefits of using a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum are wide-ranging. Think of it like a big drink of water for your skin. It plumps and protects, improves elasticity, it’s non-irritating, soothing, and by helping main moisture levels in the skin, it can add volume and improve firmness, too! It’s also a humectant which means it helps regulate moisture in the skin; resulting in ongoing hydration throughout the day.
Step 6. Moisturiser. Every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Moisturiser is the last (very important) step in any skincare routine, as it locks in all the serums that you applied, and seals everything in.
Step 7. SPF. Every day, in the morning (and reapplied throughout the day where necessary). A minimum of SPF30 or higher should be applied every day after moisturiser. SPF protects skin from UVA and UVB rays, prevents pigmentation, reduces premature aging and the development of fine lines and wrinkles, and lowers the risk of skin cancer, among many other benefits. SPF should be worn even when you’re indoors as UVA rays can penetrate glass.
Now, let’s recap.
Daytime skincare: Cleanse, eye cream, antioxidant serum, hydrating serum, moisturiser, SPF.
Nighttime: Double cleanse, eye cream, exfoliate (only twice a week), hydrating serum, moisturiser.
On a budget? Here are the products I recommend for a simple, effective skincare routine, that covers all bases. In total this complete set will set you back about €70.
I hope this post is helpful.
Follow me on Instagram for more skincare chats ♥