Building a Skincare Routine

During this pandemic, and quarantine, many of us have been introduced to new trends and influencers that made their way onto TikTok, Youtube and other social media platforms. One such influencer you might’ve heard of is Hyram Yarbro, a skincare guru who has helped spark people’s interest in skincare. Hearing about Hyram, and other influencer’s skincare journeys, inspired me to learn more about skincare. I even joined a skincare club at UC Irvine this past fall, which made me realize how much I didn’t know about taking proper care of my skin and its needs. Since then, I’ve been trying to simplify and re-build my skincare routine, but this can be quite overwhelming and intimidating because of how many products and brands there are. However, I’ve been able to break down the process in a simple, straightforward way that makes skincare seem more manageable through these five steps. 

   1. Find Out Your Skin Type

The first step to building a skincare routine is figuring out what skin type you are. There are four main skin types: dry, oily, normal and combination. There’s also some other features that can go with your skin type, such as sensitive, acne-prone and hyperpigmented. For example, I have oily and acne-prone skin. I find that oil quickly builds up after I’ve washed my face, and I often get breakouts on my chin, nose and forehead. Figuring out what type of skin you have is very important because it’ll help determine which products would work best for you, and more importantly, which products to stay away from. In my case, I know to stay away from oil-based moisturizers and opt for oil-free or hyaluronic acid instead. It’s also important to keep in mind that everyone’s skin is unique and will react differently to products. Something that works for me might not work for you, and vice versa. So, if you ever see products being promoted on social media or hear someone praising a skincare product, remember that it might not work the same for you. Focus on what you need, rather than rely on someone else’s skin care journey, which brings me to the next step in building a skincare routine. 

woman with white towel on head and face mask Photo by Polina Kovaleva from Pexels

   2. Decide What Your Skin Needs and What You Want From a Routine

After finding out your skin type, the second step is to figure out your skin needs and what you really want to get out of the routine. This is key because it will help you narrow down the search for skincare products and make you “listen” to your skin so you know what it needs. Given that I have oily and acne-prone skin, I knew my skin would need some oil control so my face didn’t shine like a disco ball throughout the day. I also wanted a routine that would help get rid of my acne and prevent scarring. It can be difficult to focus on your needs when you are overwhelmed with so many appealing products.  I’ve seen many products being promoted by influencers on social media that make me want to buy and try them, even though most of these products are not suitable for my skin type or skin needs. It’s very tempting to buy every product that you see on TikTok or Youtube, but don’t get too carried away or distracted with others’ routines. It’s best to focus on yourself and your own unique skincare journey! 

   3. Start Your Routine With a Cleanser 

Once you’ve figured out your skin care needs, you can start building a simple routine by first finding a cleanser that suits your skin type and fulfils your needs. Although your skin type and needs helps narrow down the search, you still might be stuck on deciding which one to use. I recommend starting with a light cleanser that you can use both day and night, which will help keep your routine simple at first and easy to change if needed. If you’re building a routine for the time, it would probably be best if you started with a gentle cleanser so it’s not too harsh for your skin. From there, you can incorporate a scrub or mask that you can do a few times a week, to give your skin a little extra boost if needed. Again, each person’s skin is unique so you might have to try a few cleansers before finding the right one for your skin. Skincare journeys are often a process of trial and error until you find the right products that work best for you! 

The honest company products The Honest Company

   4. Find a Good Moisturizer

After you’ve found a cleanser, the next step is looking for a moisturizer to incorporate into your skincare routine. Some people skip this step altogether, however don’t underestimate its power as moisturizing is key to keeping that face glowing and healthy! Finding a good moisturizer is probably one of the hardest steps because of how many different kinds of moisturizers there are that can work for you and your skin type. It’s definitely something that I’ve struggled with, and continue to struggle with today. I would say this step requires the most trial and errors, since you have to see how the moisturizer does throughout the day and which ingredients seem to have the best effect on your skin. In my experience, moisturizers will work well for me for several months, or years even, but after that, it just doesn’t seem to have the same effect anymore. It seems like my skin becomes too used to the product and I have to end up switching to a new moisturizer. I feel like each person has their own struggle with finding the right moisturizer, but even if you haven’t found the best one, make sure to keep using a moisturizer until you do. Your skin will thank you for it.

   5. Use Sunscreen

The final, and perhaps the most important, step of your skincare routine is sunscreen! This is crucial for maintaining healthy skin in the long term, yet it is often an overlooked step. People may think it is not necessary, especially if you don’t go outside often, however, it should be used everyday regardless of how much time you spend indoors. Using sunscreen protects your skin from sun damage like wrinkles, sun spots, uneven complexion and skin cancer. The sun’s UV rays are actually quite harmful and damages our skin even if we might not see it right away. Incorporating sunscreen into my skincare routine is something I have forgotten and ignored because I didn’t realize its value or importance. The only time I would have sunscreen on is if one of my makeup products happened to have some SPF. Although any SPF is better than none, I wasn’t consistent or intentional with it. It was only recently that I started using sunscreen specifically for my face, and I feel so much better knowing that my skin is protected and taken care of. Sunscreen is so important in preventing damage, and wearing it can make your skin feel and look healthier overall, so make sure to incorporate it into your skincare routine!

woman applying lotion Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

This might seem like an insufficient routine compared to some influencers, but the truth is, you don’t need an elaborate, seven step routine. As long as you have the three key steps of cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen, you will have a strong foundation of a skincare routine. From there, you can add on more products or steps as you see fit, always keeping in mind your skin type and skin needs.

Above all, have fun with it and make sure to treat yourself after getting through those midterms! 

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay glowing!