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Basic (and Affordable!) Skincare Guide for College Students

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NYU chapter.

When beginning a skincare routine, it is always a smart choice to figure out your skin type then using products that specialize in treating your skin types problems.

There is normal, dry, oily, and combination skin. The best way to test this is to rinse your face and wait for an hour to see the state of your skin texture. Whether it’s flaky, producing excess oil, or a little bit of both, it is never too late to pick up a skincare regimen and fit it into your daily routine. You can always revise or cut some steps to pertain it to your needs, like only rinsing your face with water in the morning.

Overall if you follow a somewhat structured regimen to treat your face, I guarantee you’ll see results for whichever skin issue you are treating in less than two months.

We all know that around this time of the school year is when our course loads tend to get a little heavier. Our schedules become more tight, we have deadlines to make, and certain times to head out the door to start our everyday routines. Whether it’s classes, jobs, or other extracurricular activities we’re attending, it’s always best to keep up with taking care of ourselves and practicing proper grooming.

Just because we’re not at home doesn’t give an excuse to forget all self care. We can always still make room for it even at our busiest of days. Skincare is highly important to maintain healthy and glowing radiance to protect our skin. It is one of the most sensitive parts of our body. We must give back by doing our own part to tend to it.

For facial care, it’s always a recommendation to at least have a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen in your routine. While a cleanser is understandable, moisturizer is necessary afterwards in order to retain the moisture that was stripped away by the water. All of this is pointless without sealing it in with an SPF product, preferably at least SPF 30. A routine might as well be useless without it as it protects from further damage from the sun as the face is the most exposed part of our body.

Excessive sun damage over the years can lead to sun or age spots, worsening hyperpigmentation, and skin cancer if there is continuous lack of sun protection being utilized. To treat other unique skin issues, I recommend adding an antioxidant serum to your skin, or something rich in nutrients to help brighten up your skin for the day.

One that is my personal favorite is vitamin C serum. It can be pricey but is worth it as it adds extra protection against the sun and carries special nutrients for your skin to be revived in the early hours of the day. For the night time, it’s cleanser, optional serum, moisturizer) but sunscreen is not needed.

Instead, try trading it out for “double cleansing” Double cleansing is what is known as going in with an oil based cleanser to remove surface impurities like sunscreen and makeup left over from the day and dirt picked up on the face from the environment.

If you wear light makeup or just sunscreen, I recommend micellar water but if it’s a full face, I’d look into cleansing balms that are oil based to properly remove the makeup.Then go in with a water/gel based cleanser (similar to the classic one used in the morning routine) and getting the bacteria from below the skin surface.

This is also the time to add any special skin treatments to your face like retinol or any spot treatments if you have unique skin issues like acne, hyperpigmentation, or inflammation.

Differin Adapalene gel or the Faded serum from My Topicals are some very trendy and effective treatment products. I do stress to not use any of these products with vitamin C as they’ll react badly when mixed. Trade this serum out with another antioxidant, like Niacinamide or vitamin B3 for example.

Also, exfoliating is important, 1-3x a week. Sometimes, your skin needs a deep cleanse to get rid of the old rough skin cells that have been gained throughout a stressful week of cramming. A physical exfoliant scrub or chemical mask a few times a week will do.

Lastly, toning is optional but a great way to even the pH of your skin back to normal at the end of the day and get rid of any remaining impurities. My favorite brands to choose from for my skincare collection are from affordable brands that are easily accessible.

The Ordinary is probably where I’ve built my whole collection. This brand consists of all the products that fulfill each of the steps in the day/night routine with most items less than $10. The brand is usually found at Ulta or Sephora.

If you’re really on a budget, drugstore items work well too! Brands like Cerave and Cetaphil are some of the best dermatologist approved facial cleansers, along with the Neutrogena brand which has a wide selection of products to try from. My personal favorite from them is the Hydro-Boost Gel Cream.

Hi my name is Egesi Iheduru and I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona but am now studying Psychology and Cinema Studies at New York University! I love to watch all types of movies, ranging from indie art films to superhero franchises (forever Team Marvel!). Some of my hobbies include cheerleading, gymnastics, singing, and shopping at the mall. In the near future, I see myself working in either political psychology or screenwriting/acting in feature films. I'm very excited to be joining Her Campus to share some of my wisdom I've learned throughout my college experience.