Ok, so biggest reason that most people give for not having a regular skincare care routine is time. Or lack thereof. So, we've heard your cries and by the end of this post, you should be able to easily put together a fuss-free skincare routine that's totally adapted to your skincare needs. Good skin is easily achievable with a little bit of sustained effort and doesn't require a bag full of products! The only thing you need to do is set aside 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 minutes at night every day. Not bad when the outcome is smoother, softer and more radiant skin.
Before you begin, you should first figure out your skin type and concerns by following our really easy previous guide. Once you've got a better understanding of your skin type and skin problems or targets then the fun begins! For really effective skincare, you will need to have a morning and evening routine. The essentials of both of these will always be to cleanse, tone, moisturise and protect. However, there are certain products that work better during the daytime and others at night. As a general rule, we think you should have a cleanser and toner which you can use both in the morning and evening, a Vitamin A (night) and C (day) serum as well as a moisturiser (this can be for both day and night depending on your skincare needs). You will also need to add in some SPF if it's not already in your moisturiser. This is a basic catch-all skincare routine that can be used every day all year round although there is still plenty of room to adapt it to how your skin is feeling.
Morning Skincare Routine
No one wants to spend ages getting ready in the morning when you could be tucked up in bed for a few extra minutes. However, resist the urge to push the snooze button and these 10 minutes will give you far more than the same amount of sleep. Its best to do your showering/bathing first as that will warm up the skin and bring the blood vessels closer to the surface hence improving blood supply to the skin. This is great because it makes it easier for your skin to benefit from and to increase absorption of products you apply. The skin will also be warm (unless you've opted for a cold shower for which we have no words....) and hence pores will be enlarged. Again this will make it easier to cleanse your skin properly.
The morning cleansing step only needs to be one step. Start by applying a hydrating cleanser to the skin like the Simple Kind To Skin Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser. If you suffer from breakouts or acne then try a purifying product like Bioderma Sébium Pain. For those whose main concern is ageing or dry skin then use a moisturising cleanser like Derma E Hydrating Cleanser. If you really want to work on scarring, rough texture, dull skin or deeper lines and wrinkles then introduce a glycolic acid cleanser like the NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash into your routine. This will need to be done gently and gradually as we've suggested in our previous guide to glycolic acid skincare.
Toning will help reduce the appearance of pores and can also help with specific skincare concerns like enlarged pores, acne, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, dry skin or rough texture. For most people, a good everyday hydrating toner like the Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner will do the job. If your problem is oily and acne prone skin try Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 which exfoliates, moisturises and helps maintain clearer skin. For dry skin or sensitised skin, you might want to try something gentle like Neutrogena Alcohol Free Toner. For rough texture and wrinkles, you can try something conditioning like Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic.
Serum & Moisturiser
Once you've toned your skin, its ready for a serum. This step can be cut out if you prefer to have a moisturiser with Vitamins and added skin boosting supplements in it. It is however far easier if you have serums separately since you can easily adapt your skincare routine according to your needs without buying a new moisturiser each time as you can simply swap in or out your serums. As a general rule, we recommend that you add Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin B in your morning skincare routine. If you want to use serums then massage a few drops of the serum to your face and neck. Do it in the order of Vitamin C first (as it can be a little irritating to skin), then Vitamin B and Hyaluronic acid. Give it a minute to fully absorb the serums then follow up with a hydrating moisturiser with SPF. Even without any makeup, your skin should now look more radiant and smooth.
Evening Skincare Routine
The evening skincare step is massively important because your skin cells turn over and regenerate at night. As such this step can be used to promote this process and revitalise your skin.
Cleansing & Toning
I'm afraid in the evening we must insist on a double cleansing step. This will remove all hints of dirt and makeup on your skin as well as offer a deeper clean of pores. Start by removing makeup and any residues of oil or grease with a cleansing oil like DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. Follow up with the same cleanser that you used in the morning for clean and purified skin. Toning is again all important here and the good news is you can use the same toner that you used in the morning step.
Serum & Moisturiser
Like the morning skincare routine, you should introduce skin boosters like vitamins and Hyaluronic acid. At night time, the most important Vitamin is Retinol (Vitamin A) if you're in your late 30's onwards. As we've discussed before, Retinol is fantastic for resurfacing skin and reducing lines or wrinkles over time. It also helps even out skin tone and generally gives greater radiance and luminosity. Massage a few drops of Retinol serum onto your skin and neck and follow up with Vitamin B and Hyaluronic acid for hydration, Finally apply your moisturiser which can be the same one as you used in the morning then go to bed and let it all sink in and work through.
This skincare routine is already enough to significantly enhance the appearance and quality of your skin. For an added boost, we'd recommend that once a week you add an exfoliating step and a face mask. Probably best on a lazy sunday morning. This is a great way to resurface and norish the skin so that you can enhance and build on this effect with your skincare routine. Its also great to troubleshoot and target specific problems like an outbreak, uneven pigmentation or sun damage. For more on exfoliating and masking, check out our posts on DIY facials.
That's literally all there is to it. Good skin doesn't take too much effort. A little love and attention for 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 minutes in the evening will leave you with fresh glowing skin all year round. All you need is a good cleansing oil, cleanser, toner, moisturiser and 2-3 serums. If you're feeling mega enthused, explore the rest of the blog for more beauty tips, guides and reviews.