Ever wondered how to create a skincare routine? When it comes to achieving your skin goals, having an effective regime is one of the best ways to maintain overall skin health, but also to help prevent ageing further down the line.
With an overwhelming number of products on the market, knowing how to nail a bespoke routine that works for you is no simple task. To discover products that truly deliver every time, focus on the ingredients you should be using every day that are clinically proven to work.
In this article, we guide you through the vital steps to take when creating a simple skincare routine and help you get to grips with how to layer different products for optimal effect. Despite the seemingly long list, simplicity is key, with the best routines using as few products as required.
AM - MORNING SKIN ROUTINE
In the morning, the focus of your routine should be to cleanse away any dirt from overnight and to prepare it for the day by protecting the skin from the elements. Environmental aggressors such as pollutants and free-radicals, as well as UVA and UVB rays from the sun, are all known to rapidly increase skin ageing, and your morning routine should help defend skin against these.
STEP 1 - Cleanse
One of the most important steps in your routine is cleansing. It should be the first step in your AM routine and the first step in your PM routine. In the mornings, start by using a simple, gentle cleanser to remove any build-up of oil, dead skin cells or sweat from the night before. Alongside cleansing your skin, this also helps you prep for the following steps and allows for optimal absorption of any products you use next.
STEP 2 - Serum
Now it is time for the first layer of protection by using a serum. Think of serums as a concentrated cocktail of specific active ingredients for the skin, with you selecting whichever one best fits your needs.
Firstly, a Vitamin C serum should be a staple in everyone's routine. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralises free-radicals (known to cause cellular damage and speed up the ageing process). Vitamin C also works to brighten the skin, fade hyperpigmentation & acne marks, whilst increasing the production of collagen and elastin, responsible for keeping the skin looking plump and super firm.
Packaging is key for this unstable ingredient. Look for Vitamin C serums in airless dispensers, or opaque/ dark glass bottles as it can begin to oxidise and degrade in the presence of light or air, and by doing so, will not work effectively.
Other types of popular serums might include hyaluronic acid, to deliver a potent hit of increased skin hydration, or a clarifying serum which might include ingredients such as salicylic acid or skin-strengthening niacinamide.
STEP 3 - Moisturise
Moisturisers help the outer layer of your skin to function properly by protecting it from irritants and inflammation, and also helps keep the deeper layers of skin hydrated by creating a barrier to lock water in.
This step applies to everyone. Oily or acne-prone skin types may have previously wondered “should I moisturise oily skin?”. And the answer is a huge “YES”, given the vital role they play in maintaining skin health and hydration.
Key ingredients could include humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which are known to keep things feeling plump and reduce water loss from the skin throughout the day.
STEP 4 - SPF
Step four is to use an SPF that offers both UVA and UVB protection. Long gone are the thick, pore clogging sunscreens of years past that, come the end of the day, leave your face looking like an oil slick. Formulations are much more sophisticated these days and a lot of them play well under makeup. If you’re serious about anti-ageing, using an SPF everyday come rain or shine is imperative. UVA and UVB rays are well documented to rapidly cause skin ageing, DNA damage and increase the risk of skin cancers. Always aim for an SPF of 30 or higher to ensure you are getting optimum protection and don’t forget to bring the product down your neck. As a rule of thumb, treat your neck as an extension of your face when applying skincare. Your future self will thank you.
PM - EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE
Evenings are a time when your skin is not having to defend itself against sunlight, dirt and pollution - so they’re the perfect opportunity for skin healing and rejuvenation.
STEP 1 - Cleanse
Start with a thorough cleanse to effectively remove SPF, makeup and build up of oil, pollution and dirt from the day. Follow with a second cleanse to deep clean, particularly important when using products like SPF in the day. A double cleanse also adds a little luxury to your routine, making it more of a ritual.
STEP 2 - Treatments
There are many different types and strengths of retinoids out there, but proceed with caution, as this wonder ingredient can also be highly sensitising if used incorrectly. Choose a product with a low dosage to start, and one suited to your needs, then use only a few times per week until your skin becomes accustomed to the effect. If you’re concerned with irritation, you can dilute with a hydrating serum or moisturiser to act as a “buffer”.
A few super important points to note - it’s hugely important to wear SPF daily when using retinoids, as they increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight due to the increased cell turnover which reveals fresher more delicate skin. Most importantly, retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and are therefore not suitable for those that are pregnant or breastfeeding.
On days when you aren’t using retinoids, you could look to use exfoliants such as AHA’s & BHA’s. We strongly advise against using them together due to the likelihood of irritation and compromising the skin's barrier.
This is when it would be perfect to use a treatment mask with active ingredients for targeted results. A great example of this is our Radiance Ritual Glow Mask which is loaded with liquid exfoliants glycolic acid & salicylic acid to illuminate your complexion, and skin-loving hydrators including squalane, prickly pear seed oil and Vitamin E to leave your complexion plump and glowing.
Or you may wish to use an AHA or BHA toner, gently patted into the face with a cotton pad, for a quick application on the days you don’t use the mask.
STEP 3 - Serums
Similarly to your morning routine, you can use serums to customise your routine in the evening too, focusing on different active ingredients specific to your skin goals. A word of warning - don’t over do it with the actives. Start gradually and build up, so as not to sensitise your skin.
Acne-prone? Opt for ingredients like salicylic acid or niacinamide 2-3 times a week to unclog pores and soothe blemishes.
Want to amp up brightness? Glycolic acid, azelaic acid or lactic acid will be sure to boost radiance and even texture.
In need of a dose of hydration? Look for serums rich in hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerine to quench thirsty complexions.
STEP 4 - Eye creams
STEP 5 - Moisturise
WHICH ORDER SHOULD I APPLY MY SKINCARE PRODUCTS IN?
As a rule of thumb, products should be applied in order of thinnest consistency to thickest. But to take the guesswork out of it, we have outlined our perfect skin routine sequence below:
AM - MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE
- (Eye cream - optional)
PM - EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE
- Treatments - Retinoids or exfoliants
- Eye cream
- Moisturiser and/ or facial oil
If that’s given you some serious inspo to add a glowy weekly treatment to your current regime: enter, our Radiance Ritual Mask.
Already a fan? We’d love to see how you’re using it in your routine right now. Remember to tag @Luneia and #LuneiaMuse