Indoor heating, air-conditioning, a poor diet and not drinking enough water: these and other factors can play havoc with your skin. It may not be possible to go out for a facial at the moment, however, you can look after your skin even if you’re stuck at home, not to mention being the more affordable option.
Here is our guide to setting up your own at-home skincare routine.
Know Your Skin
Before you can set up your own skincare routine, you need to know your skin inside out. Everyone’s skin is different, and needs its own individual approach. Start by working out your skin type, if you don’t know it already.
The main skin types are:
- Dry: More prone to flaking and redness, dry skin often feels tight, particularly after cleansing.
- Oily: Prone to blackheads, larger pores and blemishes, oily skin tends to be shiny.
- Combination: Sometimes also called normal skin, combination skin type usually has medium-sized pores and a smooth-even texture. There are often oily areas in the t-zone and dry areas around the cheeks.
- Sensitive: Sensitive skin is more delicate and can be easily irritated or prone to allergic reactions, and tends to have fine pores.
Depending on your skin type, you will choose products that are designed for that particular skin type. There are certain products that are more or less appropriate for different skin types. For example, a good exfoliator will de-clog your pores if you have oily skin but may irritate sensitive skin.
Establish a Morning Routine
In order to properly look after your skin and achieve the best results, it is important to have a regular routine. Being consistent with your skincare routine will allow you to address any problem areas, and improve the quality and appearance of your skin overall. Ideally, you will have a morning and an evening beauty routine, but if this seems like too much of a commitment, start with a morning routine.
This beauty routine doesn’t need to be overly complex. At a minimum, your morning routine should include cleansing, toning and moisturising. We will go into these steps in more detail in the sections below. Make these an essential part of how you start your day, and schedule it into your wider routine: this will make sure you stick to your routine in the long term.
The first and most important part of your beauty routine is cleaning your skin. Cleansing your skin removes dirt, oil, and environmental pollutants that accumulate in the skin. Use lukewarm water and a small amount of gentle cleanser to wash your face. Cream cleansers are generally suitable for dry and sensitive skin types, while gel cleansers are great for oily skin. Choose a mild cleanser that is suitable for your skin type, and simply apply it with your fingertips. Then rinse the cleanser off with lukewarm water and gently pat with a towel to dry. If you don’t have time for the rest of your routine every day make sure you at least cleanse your face daily.
The second step in your beauty routine is to tone. Toner is important because it opens your pores, preparing your skin for the rest of your beauty products. Be sure to check the ingredients of the toner: some contain alcohol, which can dry your skin. Alcohol-free toner such as those made with micellar water, rosewater, chamomile, or green tea, is preferable for all skin types, but particularly for dry skin. Apply some toner to the palm of your hand and swipe it lightly over your face. At this stage of the routine, you can also apply serum, products which reduce the signs of ageing on your skin.
Moisturising is the important final step in your beauty routine, because cleansers remove the lipids, or fatty acids, from your skin. Moisturising, therefore, replenishes your skin with moisture, keeping it lush. This is important even for oily skin types, though for this kind of skin you should use a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser. For dry skin, use a thicker, richer moisturiser with deep hydration benefits. For your morning routine it is a good idea to use a moisturiser that also contains sun protection (with a minimum of SPF30). Using clean hands, lightly apply moisturiser all over your face and neck.
As you implement your at-home skincare routine it is important to have patience. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see instant results: skincare is a complex science and it takes time to work. Furthermore, you need to be consistent in your skincare routine over time in order to see the benefits. You will see the benefits of your new skincare routine if you give it time – so stick with it!