The Only Things You Need for a Good Skincare Routine

When it comes to skincare, it can be tempting to purchase every product that comes into sight. As soon as you walk into Sephora or the skincare aisle at the drugstore or wherever you go to get your fix, it can be easy to get lost in the endless amount of products. From rich sleeping masks with empty promises to transform your skin overnight to that rose water face mist that you’ve seen every Instagram model rave about. Modern marketing techniques, as well as the rise of influencer culture, have led us to believe that we need every single product on the market. The truth is, you don’t really need all of that to have good skin and a healthy skincare routine.

Of course, it's a nice extra touch of “fluff” that can make your routine more exciting, but not at all necessary. Believe me, as a religious skincare junkie, I have fallen for the trap too and have spent countless amounts of money on products that were definitely not necessary, from lavender-infused facial essences to luxury eye creams promising to instantly shed the lack of sleep from my under eyes. Also, for some people these “fluff” products can even be too much due to the excess amounts of products they are slapping onto their sensitive skin, leading to dilemmas such as acne, redness and irritation.

Sometimes, you just need to go back to the basics to make sure your skin is getting what it really needs, which can honestly be summed up in just a total of five products, four if you don’t wear makeup. So the next time you go to buy your skincare, ask yourself: do I need this to maintain good skin health or do I just want this because it sounds cute? Trust me, it’ll save you so much money and also save your skin. The only things you really need are listed right here:

Makeup Removing Micellar Cleansing Water

If you wear makeup on a daily basis, one of the worst mistakes you can make for your skin is forget to take it off before going to sleep. Doing this will most likely result in a breakout or two and a dull complexion with clogged pores. And while makeup wipes have been all the rave in recent years, they are actually not all that great for your skin. Wiping can be too abrasive and can tug on the skin if you’re not gentle, promoting wrinkles and tugging the wipes near the eye area can be irritating. Also, wipes only remove makeup at the superior level, they don’t really get into your pores and cleanse, in essence being quite pointless. You are tricked into thinking that all of your makeup is coming off because you see it transfer onto the wipe, but in reality you’re not seeing all of it and the rest of it is still trapped in your pores, clogging them up. I find that the best makeup removing solution is the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, which not only does an excellent job at removing makeup, but also hydrating and soothing the skin at the same time. All you do is pour it onto a cotton pad and gently rub all over your skin until you see that all makeup is removed. This is available at nearly any drug store at a super affordable price point. Toss out those wipes and get on Micellar water girl!

Woman Lying on White Textile With Sliced Cucumbers on Her Eyes Breakingpic from Pexels

Cleanser

After you remove your makeup, you must always follow up with a cleanser, no exceptions. Washing your face is the bare minimum you need to do to take care of your skin and to maintain healthy, clean skin. It goes a step further than your makeup remover, cleansing deep into your pores removing any leftover makeup, oil and residue. Any cleanser will do the job but some of my favorites include the Youth To The People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser or CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser for a cheaper alternative. Just make sure you’re following the #60secondrule to get all of the benefits from your cleanser.

Chemical Exfoliant

Exfoliation is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of skincare, which is unfortunate because I see it as the most important. In essence, exfoliating is literally removing all the dead skin cells from your face, which is a huge requirement for clear skin. Before I incorporated a chemical exfoliant into my routine, I didn’t understand why I still had those little bumps all over my face, which were just clogged pores. Chemical exfoliation completely smoothed my skin and got rid of my texture problems, while also giving me a glow and brighter complexion. Unlike physical exfoliation which comes in the form of scrubs (which you should stay away from because they are way too abrasive and can cause microtears in the skin), chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells with the use of chemicals to aid in skill turnover. Since chemical exfoliants do not involve rubbing the skin, they are generally safer than many physical exfoliants. Hydroxy acids (BHAs and AHAs), such as salicylic and glycolic acids, have the ability to penetrate the skin for deeper exfoliation. My absolute favorite chemical exfoliant of all time is the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

Moisturizer

Moisturizer is definitely my favorite part of my skincare routine. After spending so much time cleansing my skin, nothing beats the feeling of adding back that much-needed moisture into the skin, leaving it feeling plumped, nourished and soft. It’s like a gulp of water for your skin, and definitely necessary for good skin health. When it comes to moisturizers, you want one that is fragrance-free and preferably infused with Hyaluronic acid, which offers intense weightless moisture to the skin while also benefiting it with its antioxidant properties to protect your skin from the environment, sun exposure and harsh chemicals.

Sunscreen

Sun exposure is the number one cause of early skin aging. Its beams cause fine lines, wrinkles and age spots that make skin look prematurely older. This alone should make you go get your sunscreen from the closet where it is thrown somewhere with all the beach stuff. Not only does it cause premature aging but it is a leading cause of skin cancer, so lather up! There are a ton of non-comedogenic sunscreens out there that won’t break you out so there’s really no excuse.

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