Skincare is often looked at like a luxurious, beautifying process that you can use to pamper yourself a bit, much like makeup or fashion. While it can be an extra self-care moment if you want it to be, it’s also a part of overall health and wellness that everyone can invest in. Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and taking care of it is a part of treating your body well, just like exercising and eating a healthy diet.
While it may seem like there’s a lot to learn when it comes to skincare, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Sure, plenty of people have facials once a month and indulge in nine-step Korean skincare routines every day, but that’s not necessary. Skincare is for everyone — men, women, old, young and everything in between.
Whether you’re a bar soap and go type of person or you’ve been using the same Neutrogena face wash for the past five years, you may be ready for an overhaul. It’s easy to find a skincare routine that works for you.
1. Learn Your Skin Type
Your skincare routine and the products that will work best for you depend on your skin type. You’ll fall into one of five categories: oily, dry, combination, sensitive or normal. You can determine your skin type by washing your face with a gentle cleanser, waiting for it to dry and noticing the moisture levels.
2. Go for the Three-Step Routine
For many people, a basic three-step routine is all you really need to start off. The three steps are cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. While the exact products you use will depend on your skincare needs and concerns, everyone needs to stay clean, lock in moisture and protect from sun damage.
3. Avoid Fragrances
While some people may not be sensitive to fragrances, they don’t do anything for your skin’s health. Ingredients like fragrant essential oils, perfumes and undisclosed fragrances are easy to spot on ingredient labels, and you should avoid them at all costs. Brands like CeraVe, Cetaphil, The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice tend to formulate without fragrance.
4. Always Moisturize
You need to moisturize, even if your skin is as oily as a slice of sizzling pizza. There’s a common misconception that those with oily skin shouldn’t apply moisturizer, but the reality is quite the opposite. Oily skin is dehydrated, which leads to excess oil production. While those with dry skin will need a heavier, more hydrating moisturizer, those with oily skin should use a gel or light cream that combats transepidermal water loss by locking moisture in.
5. Protect From the Sun
It’s vital to use sunscreen even if you rarely burn. You must protect against UVA and UVB rays to prevent premature aging and sun damage, which is not always visible to the naked eye. Using sunscreen on your face every morning can do a ton of good, with many professionals citing it as the most important step in any routine.
Sticking to It
Now you’ve got your routine, but how do you make sure you stay committed and don’t slip? While everybody has their moments and nobody can be perfect all the time, there are a few ways to make sure you stay on top of your skincare.
1. Make It a Self-Care Step
Nothing can make you commit to a routine quite like enjoying it. Make it a relaxing part of winding down at night and a joyful way to wake up in the morning.
2. Wash Your Face in the Shower
The jury is still out on this one. While some skincare enthusiasts caution against washing your face in the shower, plenty don’t see a problem with it so long as the water isn’t scalding. If it helps you stick to your routine by knowing that you’re nearly half-done by the time you step out of the shower, then go for it.
3. Leave Your Products Out
Having a consistent reminder can work wonders, especially if you tend to go on autopilot during those groggy mornings or as you wind down to sleep. Seeing all your products laid out makes it easy to reach for them.
4. Get a Micellar Water
Micellar water might just be the skincare world’s best and most treasured secret. It’s a cleansing water that you put on a cotton pad to get the dirt, oil, makeup and sebum off your face in the evening. People who employ the double cleanse system will often use it before washing their face with a gentle cleanser, but it can do so much more than that.
If you get super lazy at night or have a particularly late evening, you can quickly pass over your face with micellar water and moisturize before you hit the hay. Keep it by your bedside if you need to. It works for all skin types and helps keep your skin clear and healthy — no wash required.
5. Keep It Simple
It can be easy to go wild and try out all different serums and treatments, but having a cluttered vanity doesn’t always mean you have better skin — or that you’re more likely to take care of it. Keeping your routine short, sweet and simple is the best way to ensure you’ll stick with it time and time again. That three=step routine could work for years.
Caring for You
Skincare might seem intimidating at first, and while there’s so much to learn, you can find a simple routine that works for you and stick with it. You don’t need to be an expert to care for your skin. All you have to do is put in a little time and care, and soon, you’ll be glowing.
Mia Barnes is a health and wellness writer interested in overall health, lifestyle and beauty. She is also the Editor-in-Chief at BodyMind.com where you can find more of her work.