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How to Build a Skin Care Routine

March 02, 2020 3 min read

How to Build a Skin Care Routine

You can find a skincare product to treat just about any skin concern. There are also endless options and come at a variety of price points for whatever type of product you’re looking for. With so much to choose from and everyone wanting flawless skin, you’ve probably ended up with a number of different products you might not actually be sure how to use.

Whether you’ve got a medicine cabinet full of products already or still have to figure out what you want to buy, knowing how to apply it can be complicated. If you have a cleanser and moisturizer, there’s no thinking about it, but what about when you have multiple steps? The order you apply these products can make a huge difference in how well they work. Some of your products might make it hard for your skin to absorb other products, so anyone looking to build a skincare routine should understand how to build it. 

Determine What You Need for Your Skin Type

When you look for new skincare products, you might pay attention to products that specifically advertise themselves as being good for certain skin types, like oily, dry, or acne-prone. What your exact skin type needs will affect the products you use, so your routine could end up looking a little different than a friends. 

Of course, your routine might change day to day, too. You might have to treat acne one week, which can add another step. Maybe you wear makeup some days and not others which might make you use makeup wipes or micellar water, which you wouldn’t normally need. Before you do anything to build your skincare routine, you should be sure of what types of products work for you. You don’t want to use several new products all at once because if something gives you a bad reaction, you won’t be able to figure out what did it. 

Find Products for Day and Night

With the perfect skincare routine, you would have one routine for daytime and another for nighttime. This might seem overwhelming if you’re new to skincare routines, but it really isn’t that much extra work or products to buy. Many of the products you use can easily be used both morning and night. For example, you might have a favorite heavy moisturizer or oil that does a great job at hydrating your skin, but feel too heavy or slick to wear out in the day. Products like this can be used best at night. 

There are also some products you might need only during the day, too, like sunscreen. If you’re a person who wears makeup every day, that might affect what type of product you’ll want to wear during the day. You might find that some of your favorite nighttime products don’t allow you to layer makeup on easily, or you might need an extra product that makes your makeup look better, like a certain serum or moisturizer that keeps your skin smoother. 

Figure Out the Best Order

Do you put your products on in any particular order? Some products might not have a specific spot on your routine, but there are ways of figuring out where they fit best. For example, you might have two different serums and aren’t sure which goes first since they’re so similar. For situations like this, many people recommend putting on the thinnest product first with the thicker one following it. 

A good order for a morning skincare routine is:

  • Cleanser 
  • Serum 
  • Moisturizer
  • SPF 


Whereas the recommended night routine is as following: 

  • Cleanser
  • Toner or Exfoliant
  • Retinol 
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer or oil

When you use multiple products, you also need to make sure that everything you’re using can be used at the same time. Not all skincare ingredients are meant to be mixed and can cause negative side effects together. How harsh the products are can also make a difference. For example, you might not be able to use an exfoliant and retinol on the same night, or else you can damage your skin. 

When you’re building a skincare routine, you also need to make sure you’re carving out time in your day for it. If this hasn’t been something you’ve prioritized in the past, you might not notice how much time it can actually take to do it properly. Some of your products might need to be layered together quickly if they work better together, but you’ll often need to take some time in between.