New Year, New You: Tips for Building the Best Skincare Routine
The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to reset your skincare routine or build one from scratch. If you’re not sure how to get started, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of 22 tips to help you build the best skincare routine.
Get to know your skin type.
Before you do anything else, you need to understand your skin type. If you don’t know this already, try this simple test: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, pat it dry, and leave it for 30 minutes (don’t apply any products). After the half hour is up, examine your skin. If it feels flaky or tight, you have dry skin. If it feels greasy and shiny, you have oily skin. If you have red or irritated patches, you have sensitive skin. If you have none of the above, you have normal skin. And if some patches fit one description, but other parts match another, then you have combo skin. Once you know your skin type, you can choose products that match it accordingly.
Set your skincare goals.
Besides your skin type, you also need to understand your skincare goals. You might want to get your acne understand control, treat hyperpigmentation, get started with anti-aging skincare, or any other number of goals. We recommend focusing on one skincare goal at a time to prevent overloading your routine. For instance, you can worry about acne scarring once you reduce your active breakouts.
Follow a 3-step foundation.
At Lancer Skincare, we’re huge fans of the 3-step skincare method: polish, cleanse, and nourish. These three steps form the basis of The Lancer Method and are a great starting point for the best skincare routine. Once you master these three steps and get in the habit of using the products regularly, you can look into adding more steps to your routine if you want to.
Remove your makeup first.
If you wear makeup, we recommend removing it before you use your cleanser. That’s because facial cleansers aren’t really designed to break up heavy layers of cosmetics and will leave product behind on your face. There are many different makeup removers to choose from, including makeup wipes, micellar water, cleansing oils, and cleansing balms. Typically, the more makeup and sunscreen that you wear, the more powerful a makeup remover that you will need.
Choose the right cleanser.
Cleansing can be the most stripping part of your routine, which is why it’s essential to choose the right cleanser. Oily skin types benefit from foaming or gel cleansers that help to remove excess oil, while dry skin types usually prefer milk or cream cleansers that nourish this skin. Normal and combination skin types can use either, depending on the season and climate. Sensitive skin types should seek out gentle, hydrating cleansers.
Exfoliate the right amount.
Depending on how much your skin can tolerate it and how strong your exfoliating product is, exfoliating daily with the right polish can be great for your skin.
Don’t skip moisturizer.
Moisturizers are a must because they seal in water and oil and help to prevent moisture loss. Dry skin types usually prefer to use heavier cream moisturizers, while oily skin types prefer a lightweight gel moisturizer that soaks in quickly. Normal and combination skin types often enjoy using a midweight lotion that moisturizes the dry areas without smothering their more oily patches. Applying moisturizer should be the final step in each skincare routine to seal in the other products.
Wear sunscreen every morning.
We know that we just said moisturizer should be the last step, but in the morning you should follow up your moisturizer with another product: sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen every day is one of the best things that you can do to prevent signs of aging and keep your skin looking healthy and young. Some sunscreens are even thick enough to act as moisturizers on their own, allowing you to combine those two steps into one and simplify your skincare routine.
Add in treatment serums.
If you’re looking to get results from your best skincare routine, then you need some serums packed full of active ingredients like vitamin C and retinol. These powerful ingredients offer lots of benefits to the skin and can make a big difference when used consistently. To avoid overpowering your skin, we recommend using one treatment serum per routine and occasionally giving your skin rest days to recover.
Try an eye cream if you’d like.
Eye creams aren’t strictly necessary (or you can just use a regular moisturizer around your eye area) but they can be a fun addition to your routine. If you want to use actives such as vitamin C and retinol around your eyes, then we recommend choosing eye creams specifically formulated for the delicate skin around that area. Products that you use on the rest of your face may be too powerful and irritate your eyes.
Use spot treatments when necessary.
If you have acne blemishes, using a clarifying spot treatment can dry them out and help clear your face faster. For best results, we recommend applying these treatments only to the blemish itself. Spot treatments tend to be very strong and can cause dryness or irritation when applied to unblemished skin, so it’s best to use them sparingly.
Experiment with a face oil.
People with very dry skin sometimes benefit from using a face oil, which creates an occlusive layer on top of the skin to stop moisture loss. You can either apply a few drops of the oil on top of the moisturizer, or mix it directly into the moisturizer and then apply it to your face. We recommend that oily skin types stay away from these products, however, as adding extra oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Have fun with face masks.
Face masks are another completely optional step, but they can be really fun to add to your routine. Face masks can offer many different benefits, from hydrating to exfoliating to brightening to soothing, depending on the ingredients. They also come in different formats, such as a wash-off mask and a sheet mask, so you can choose the one that works best for you. We suggest applying a face mask to a clean, dry face after cleansing but before the rest of your routine.
Don’t skip your neck and chest.
The skin on your neck and chest is very delicate, and you should absolutely be treating it with your skincare products! You do need to be careful with products that are potentially drying, like retinols and exfoliators, since you have fewer oil glands on your neck and chest than on your face. But you definitely can and should be applying gentle, effective skincare products on these areas, as well as sunscreen whenever your skin is exposed in the daytime.
Apply products in the right order.
Let’s say that you decide to go all-in and use all the products we’ve described here. In what order should you apply them? First, start with a makeup remover followed by a facial cleanser, then a face mask if you want to do one. Next, apply your serum, and top it off with a moisturizer and then either a sunscreen in the daytime (not optional) or a facial oil at night (optional). If you get stuck, just remember that leave-on treatments should be applied from thinnest to thickest and you’ll be golden.
Look for multipurpose products.
Overwhelmed by the idea of using this many products? There’s nothing wrong with a simple skincare routine. To cut back on the number of products that you are using, look for multipurpose products that offer multiple benefits and active ingredients in one. This will make your skincare routine more efficient and help stop your skin from being overwhelmed with too many products.
Introduce one new product at a time.
Whenever you get a new skincare set, it’s tempting to start using all the new products at once. However, we highly recommend introducing only one product at a time and giving your skin at least a week to adjust. This will make it easier to identify the cause if a new product triggers an allergic reaction. You may want to keep a log of how your skin reacts to each new product so you can track your progress over time and identify if you have any sensitivities to common ingredients.
Change your routine with the seasons.
The weather and climate have a big effect on your skin, which means that you will almost certainly need to change up your best skincare routine along with the seasons. That lightweight gel moisturizer that is perfect for summer may leave your skin parched and dry come wintertime, so don’t be afraid to pay attention to how your skin feels and switch things up as the year goes on.
Be patient with results.
Topical treatments take time to work, especially if you are using over-the-counter products with lower ingredient concentrations (as opposed to stronger prescription strength topical treatments). If you want faster results, you may need to visit a dermatologist or aesthetician office for professional strength treatments.
The best skincare routine is the one that you can stick with every day, or nearly every day. If you find yourself skipping days or weeks because you have too many products, pare things down to the 3-step method we talked about above, plus a sunscreen in the morning. Using a few skincare products consistently is much more effective than using many different skincare sporadically or not at all.
Practice other healthy skin habits.
Healthy skin doesn’t start and stop with your best skincare routine. Other healthy habits — such as drinking enough water, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough sleep every night — also contribute to glowing, smooth skin. Once you’ve got your skincare routine on lockdown, try incorporating these other habits into your daily routine to give your skin even more of a boost.
Ready to get started with your best skincare routine? Order products from Lancer Skincare today and get free, fast shipping on your U.S. order today!