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Back to the Basics: 14 Tips for Improving Your Skincare Routine

Improving Your Skincare Routine

You’ve got your simple 3-step skincare routine on lockdown, and you’re ready to take it to the next level but don’t know where to start. If you’re looking to level up your skincare game in the new year, here are 14 tips for improving your skincare routine:

Layer your products correctly.

Putting on your skincare products in the right order is essential for letting them absorb properly and making sure you’re getting the full effects. If you try to put a toner over a face oil, it’s not going to be able to penetrate the thicker layer created by the oil. As a general rule, you should apply your products from thinnest to thickest to ensure proper absorption.

Learn your skin type.

Do you know your skin type? Even if you think you do, you might be surprised by what you find out with a simple at-home skin type test. For instance, you can have dry skin in addition to being acne prone, even though many people with acne struggle with oily skin. Determining your skin type will help you pick products that will give it the support it needs.

Get to know your skin’s preferences.

Everyone’s skin can tolerate different ingredients. As an example, some people are extremely sensitive to fragrance, while others can essentially dump a bottle of perfume on their face and be fine. As you sample more skin care products, take note of what your skin does and doesn’t react to so you can figure out what ingredients work best for your skin.

Get to know your skin’s preferences

Patch test new products.

You should always patch test new products before applying them to your face, especially if they control active ingredients that are known to cause irritation. Patch testing allows you to test for adverse reactions and will prevent you from developing very visible symptoms on your face if you do turn out to be allergic to a product.

Start double cleansing.

Double cleansing refers to the practice of removing makeup, anti-aging sunscreen, dirt, and other impurities using a two-step cleansing process: first, a cleansing balm or oil cleanser, followed by your regular facial cleanser. This two-step process ensures that you remove everything from your face without stripping the skin or rubbing it too hard for a gentle yet effective cleanse.

Choose your face wash wisely.

Face washing can be one of the most stripping and drying steps in your whole skincare routine, which is why it’s important to choose a face wash that works for you. If you have dry, sensitive skin, then a super harsh exfoliating cleanser is going to leave your skin feeling dry, red, and tight — a gentle milk or cream cleanser would probably be a better choice for you.

Hydrate immediately.

After you cleanse your face or get out of the shower, you have a very small window to apply skincare products and lock in the natural moisture. Immediately after cleansing, pat away the most noticeable water droplets, and then apply your skincare as quickly as possible. This trick seems very simple, but it really will make a difference in your skin.

Hydrate immediately

Add a toner or essence.

Toners and essences are by no means necessary, but they can take your skincare routine to the next level. These products have a watery consistency and should be applied directly after cleanser your face as the first step in your routine. They can offer multiple benefits, ranging from hydration for dry skin to shine control for oily skin.

Figure out your active ingredients.

“Actives” in skincare refer to powerhouse ingredients that are intended to treat specific problems. Our favorite actives to incorporate into skincare routines include a vitamin C serum in the morning to protect against pollution and free radicals, a retinol serum on some nights to encourage skin cell turnover, and a chemical exfoliator on the other nights to clear away dead skin cells.

Don’t skip moisturizers.

Even if you have very oily skin, wearing a moisturizer morning and night is essential for keeping your skin balanced and ensuring that it doesn’t get dried out. Those with oily skin will benefit from a lightweight gel moisturizer, while those with dry skin will likely prefer a thicker cream moisturizer to boost the natural oils in their skin.

Choose products with multiple benefits.

There’s no need to choose three separate serums that feature niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and peptides when you can get one super serum that contains all three. Sometimes less really is more, and choosing products that offer multiple benefits at once will ensure that you are giving your skin the support that it needs without overwhelming it with unnecessary products.

Choose products with multiple benefits

Turn down the water temperature.

Hot showers are one of life’s delights, but unfortunately prolonged exposure to hot water will sap the moisture right out of your skin. To combat this, keep the water temperature no hotter than lukewarm and try to limit your showers to 8-10 minutes at the most. This matters especially during winter when your skin is already dried out from the harsh weather.

Use a separate towel.

We hate to break it to you, but your regular bath towel is probably covered in bacteria. To avoid cross contamination, use a separate washcloth to dry your face only and switch it out for a fresh one every couple of days. This will help to keep your face clean and dry and may also help to reduce acne and other conditions that are caused by bacteria on the face.

Swap things out seasonally.

Your skin’s needs change with the weather, which is why you should update your skincare routine seasonally. The exfoliating facial cleanser and gel moisturizer that were perfect for summer won’t cut it in the dead of winter! Once fall or spring hits, start slowly switching out ingredients to prepare for cooler or hotter weather as needed.

What are your other top tips for leveling up your skincare game? Let us know in the comments below!

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