Throw conflicting advice into the mix and you have a recipe for confusion! But, don’t worry, we’ve broken it down, step by step, to help you develop a daily skincare routine that works for you, no matter your skin type or lifestyle habits!
Consider this the ultimate guide to developing a tailored skincare routine.
Step 1: Cleanse your skin
Firstly, it’s important to wash your face twice a day. This keeps the skin clean and clear. In the morning, cleansing will clear any overnight sweat from the skin (and it also has the added bonus of waking you up!)
In the evening it removes the dirt and makeup remains and leaves your skin ready to absorb any moisturisers or treatments.
If you’ve been wearing an SPF and/or makeup, then you need to double cleanse — to ensure you clear any remaining traces of product.
Avoid using wipes — they never fully remove makeup and they spread bacteria around the face, creating a breeding ground for breakouts. They also tend to be laden with chemicals to stop them drying out.
Step 2: Tone
A good toner will rebalance the pH level of your skin and act as a humectant, maintaining moisture in the top layers of the skin.
Try to avoid alcohol-based toners. Alcohol dries out the skin, which will then produce more oil in order to compensate.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate our skin. It’s a factor that’s often forgotten when it comes to your skincare routine, but exfoliating can significantly improve your skin health.
If you’re unsure on where to start, follow our step-by-step guide to exfoliating.
A few of the many benefits of exfoliating include: reduced breakouts, minimised pores and glowing skin.
Over-exfoliating can cause dryness, flakes, and redness, so limit exfoliating to 2–3 times a week at the most. If you have sensitive skin, try exfoliating just once a week. And be gentle – the skin on your face and neck is more delicate than the skin on your body.
Step 4: Moisturise
Moisturiser is vital factor in your daily skincare routine! It hydrates the skin, keeping it nourished and supple. It also forms a protective layer between your skin and the elements.
In the morning opt for a light day cream that’s nourishing, yet easily absorbed. This will moisten the skin and protect if from external pollutants.
In the evening you should opt for something a little richer that can deeply moisturise and rejuvenate your skin. Your skin will feel the benefits more when it’s not covered by SPF, make-up and is clear of everyday pollutants.
Step 5: Protect Your skin
Never underestimate the importance of using an SPF on your face and neck.
Sun damage accelerates the ageing process and can even lead to skin cancer in serious cases (most skin cancer is caused by UV light, the main source of which is sunlight).
In spring and summer a dedicated SPF of 30+ will shield you from both UVA and UVB rays.
However, you should incorporate SPF into your daily skincare routine all-year-round. Look for a moisturiser that contains SPF, this way application is simple, efficient and your skin will thank you for it!
Replace your SPF every year to ensure the ingredients don’t expire and your skin stays protected.
Factors to Consider When Protecting Your Skin
Skin typeYour daily skincare routine will also be affected by your skin type. Knowing how to care for different skin types will enable you to tailor your routine in the best way for your skin.
If you have dry skin:
• Avoid strong soaps and harsh cleansers
• Gentle exfoliation can help flaky skin, just try not to over-exfoliate and cause further irritation
• A rich, hydrating moisturiser will help to nourish dry skin
If you have combination skin:
• Use a gentle cleanser to nourish dry patches without upsetting oilier areas
• You could consider using two different moisturisers for different parts of the face, or use an oil-free moisturiser in the morning and something richer and a little more hydrating at night
If you have oily skin:
• Use a light, gentle cleanser
• Don’t be tempted to cleanse more than twice a day — this will cause excess oil production as the skin tries to replenish lost moisture
• A good moisturiser will offer hydration, reduce sebum levels, and allow the skin to retain its natural oils
If you have sensitive skin:
• Ensure you moisturise regularly to keep your skin nourished
• Don’t over-exfoliate, and avoid exfoliation altogether if your skin is particularly sore
High stress levels can negatively affect your skin. The outer layer of skin weakens as stress levels increase, leading to dryness and in some cases eczema, so it’s important to keep stress to a minimum. Easier said than done, we know!
For some tips, take a look at our post on how to relieve the effects of stress on your skin.
Getting 7–8 hours of sleep a night, eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh produce and healthy fats, and reducing the amount of caffeine, alcohol and sugar you consume will all improve your stress levels — and your skin.
Sleep deprivation can cause dehydration, which results in skin dullness and flaky patches. It also increases the skin’s inflammatory response, which can lead to blemishes and breakouts.
It’s not always easy to sleep when stressed, but try turning off technology an hour before bed, avoiding caffeine and rich foods in the evening, and getting into a bedtime routine. This should improve your ability to sleep at night.
Smoking is terrible for your health and that includes the health of your skin. Smoking reduces the skin’s levels of Vitamin A, which can cause dryness, and gives you a sallow, grey complexion.
Smokers often develop wrinkles before non-smokers of the same age, particularly around the mouth (the skin puckers every time you purse your lips to take a drag of a cigarette).
Quitting smoking can be challenging but there are plenty of services available on the NHS, including nicotine replacement therapy and sessions with an advisor.
Follow the steps above and you’ll develop an effective daily skincare routine, helping to keep your skin nourished and looking younger for longer!