It can take years to perfect your skincare routine, with products coming and going and skin needs changing in tandem with the seasons. But that’s not all there is to contend with. Skincare is confusing and it can be difficult to navigate the uber-saturated market to shop for exactly what your skin needs. Everyone has an individual skin type and requirements they want their products to specifically target, but this helpful routine guide helps establish the correct order to apply your products, so you can get your glow safe in the knowledge that it’s being performed in the right sequence. Unleash your inner-professional with an at-home facial in no time.
AM & PM: Cleanse
A clean base is the foundation for a consistently clear complexion, so cleansing is paramount. Cleansing essentially revolves around removing your makeup, but advanced formulations on the market today can expertly remove pollution residue and protect against environmental aggressors from penetrating the skin too. Formulations range from lotions that are perfect for in-shower application to luxury cleansing balms that recrate a spa-like facial experience. It’s recommended to double cleanse for best results. Properly cleansing is the alternative to using makeup wipes, which not only fail to remove dirt from the skin effectively but are also damaging to the environment once disposed of.
AM & PM: Tone
Toning offers gentle exfoliation after cleansing, brightening the complexion and revealing inner radiance. A good toner will simultaneously hydrate the skin. Toner can either be applied to a cotton pad and swept over the face, while some are in mist form so you can spritz on-the-go. Toning morning and evening ensures the rest of your skincare can work as effectively as possible at a deeper layer. Don’t be put off using a toner based on old-school formulations notorious for leaving skin feeling stripped – new-gen formulations lightly exfoliate for an overall smoother texture.
AM & PM: Eye Cream
Applying eye cream is essential towards protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, which typically shows the first signs of skin ageing. Eye cream should be applied before any heavier moisturiser formulations so it can effectively get to work, cooling and hydrating the area. Use an eye cream with SPF in the AM to prevent sun damage. You may find your normal moisturiser is sufficient and you can therefore skip this step, but if you suffer from dry skin this additional product can result in brighter undereyes and renewed firmness.
AM & PM: Moisturise
The golden rule: even if your skin is oily, moisturiser is essential for protecting the skin barrier and maintaining healthy skin. Again, a formula with SPF included is recommended for AM application – you can apply your makeup as normal on top of this. A thicker ‘night cream’ formulation may be preferred for your pre-bed routine depending on your skin type – dry skin types will relish the extra layers of moisture. Massage moisturiser into your skin to stimulate blood flow and plump the skin, in turn promoting a glowy natural finish.
PM: Retinol Serum
Retinol can be daunting if you’re not experienced in using it and are instead familiar with some of its negative associations. However, keep an open mind and consider incorporating it if any of its benefits target your concerns. The multitude of benefits from use includes increased cell turnover, clearer blemish-free skin and the reduction of fine lines and dark spots. If retinol products are on your skincare menu, always ensure you apply them in the evening. Retinol, a product of Vitamin A, makes skin more sensitive to sun damage after application, so AM use is advised against. The key to successful retinol use is to start slow – apply a small amount to start with, assess how the skin reacts, then build up the amount over the course of a few weeks. This will prevent against any drastic peeling or initial irritation sometimes caused by the product for newbie users.
AM & PM: Oil
Facial oil should be the last step in your routine. Nothing can penetrate through an oil once it has been applied to the skin, so ensure this is the final product to go on. An oil will lock in everything else you’ve applied up until that point, while also providing additional moisture. As well as strengthening the skin barrier, facial oil doubles up as a primer for underneath makeup, helping you achieve a dewy finish. Don’t be afraid of using this if your natural skin falls under the oily type or if you’re worried about encouraging break-outs – the purpose of an oil, rather, is to instantly hydrate and nourish.