Great makeup starts with good skin. Foundation and concealer can work magic, but products always sit better and last longer if you’re giving your skin the TLC it deserves. A fresh, radiant complexion not only helps your makeup appear flawless, but it also boosts your confidence too.
I know building a skincare routine can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the whole idea. But it doesn’t need to be complicated. My advice for anyone building a new skincare routine always focusses on sticking to the basics and keeping things simple. Consistency is key. If you create a routine you can stick to and enjoy, you can always build on it, adding new products as and when you need to, for example when the seasons change, or you want to see certain results. Remember, the aim is healthy skin, not perfect skin.
Romanticise Your Life
Skincare is rarely a quick fix. You need to do the right things consistently over time to feel the benefits. If you want to create a routine you can stick to, it needs to be an experience you’ll enjoy. I’m a big believer in romanticising daily habits so they become something you look forward to rather than yet another thing on your to-do list.
Doing your skincare shouldn’t feel like a chore. It’s a few minutes every morning and evening where you can think about your day, set intentions, reflect and relax. It’s also the perfect way to kickstart your evening routine. Light a candle, play some music – whatever makes you feel good.
How to Build a Skincare Routine
If you’re new to skincare and building a routine from scratch, I generally recommend starting with cleansing and moisturising followed by SPF during the day. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can add additional products and steps. Remember, you’ll always see better results from a simple 3-5 step routine you do every day than a 10-step routine you do once a week.
To get you started, I’ve outlined an ideal morning and evening routine below. The elements I consider essential are marked with an asterisk. Everything else can be incorporated as your confidence grows and your routine becomes a habit.
AM Skincare Routine
As a general rule, when it comes to layering things like serums, oils and moisturisers, you should apply your products in order of consistency from thinnest to thickest.
Cleanse* – Cleansing should form the foundation of your skincare routine. It’s essential for removing makeup, excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells. There’s no point investing in fancy serums and moisturisers if you’re not cleaning your skin properly first.
Toner/acid/exfoliating product – This can be an everyday addition to your routine or something you do a few times a week, depending on your skin and how long you’ve been using acids. If you’re new to this step, start slowly and see how your skin responds.
Hydrating mist – Look for glycerine or hyaluronic acid in the ingredients. Products absorb better when applied to damp skin so spritzing and then adding your serum/oil/moisturiser is very beneficial.
Eye-cream – As a rule, always apply eye cream before moisturiser. There’s no need to take it close to your lash line. Eye cream can migrate as it absorbs, so along your orbital bone is perfect. Any higher and you may find it makes your eyes water or feel sensitive.
Serum/oil – There are many different types of serums to choose from. Depending on the ingredients, they can help brighten your skin, reduce blemishes, boost hydration or combat signs of aging. Some serums work better in the morning, while others work best applied in the evening, so always read the directions.
Moisturiser* – It’s a common misconception that only dry skin needs moisturising. All skin needs hydration. Yes, even if it’s oily! Just make sure you pick the right product for your skin type and any skin concerns.
SPF50+* – As well as protecting against things like skin cancer, shielding your skin from the sun helps reduce signs of premature aging. A good SPF is even more essential when using active ingredients within your morning or evening skincare routine. SPF30 is the absolute minimum you should use, but I prefer SPF50+ all year round, in every season – not just summer. And no, SPF15 in your makeup isn’t enough protection!
PM Skincare Routine
I’m the kind of person who likes to change into loungewear as soon as I walk through the door at the end of the day. For me, the feeling of removing my makeup is unmatched, so I approach my evening skincare in the same way. Rather than waiting until bedtime, I like to start my routine when I get home.
Double cleanse* – Your first cleanse is what you use to remove your makeup. They may be quick and easy to use, but makeup wipes aren’t an effective method for removing makeup or cleansing your skin. They’re also really bad for the environment. Instead, I prefer using a Face Halo*. I’ve tried so many other brands, but these are my favourite. You simply add water and that’s it, they’re magic! They’re also reusable, easy to wash and good value for money. Your second cleanse should be a balm, oil, or gel consistency – whichever you prefer.
Vitamin A (also known as retinoid) – This is such a great step to add to your skincare routine. It helps resurface the skin, boosts collagen, improves skin tone, reduces fine lines and increases turnover of skin cells.
I use Skin+Me personalised skincare for this step (more on this below). It’s designed for daily use, but other retinoids may only be intended for use every other night or a few times a week, depending on their strength and how your skin handles them. If you’re using acids/exfoliators elsewhere in your routine, you may want to alternate with retinoids so you’re using them in a cycle over the course of a week rather than together on the same day. Retinoids should always be applied to dry skin. Wait 10 minutes for the product to be absorbed before continuing with your routine.
What is Skin +Me?
Skin+Me provide personalised daily skincare delivered to your door every month. It’s quick and easy to set up – you simply complete a questionnaire and take some photos of your skin for the dermatology team to review. They’ll then create your bespoke prescription featuring the combination of skincare ingredients that are right for you.
You’ll receive your daily doser in the post to apply every evening. You cleanse before and moisturise after and can add other skincare steps if you want to. The doser distributes the exact amount of product needed so you’ll never waste product or use more than you need. You can update or amend your daily doser ingredients as and when you need to and it’s easy to pause or cancel subscription.
If you’re keen to give it a try, the code LAURENW7TTD will give you the first and fifth month daily dosers for just £3.50. Visit Skin+Me for more information*.
If you’ve already built a routine that works, don’t rush to change it, however tempting it may be to splurge on new products! If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Reserve your skincare switch-ups for products you’re not loving or enjoying as much as you know you could.
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(*Links marked with an asterisk are affiliate which means I’ll earn a small amount if you use them to make a purchase. This does not affect the price you pay. Thank you for supporting my small business.)