Building the perfect skincare routine (if that even exists) can seem like a mammoth task, but really, all it takes is understanding what products you need and what order to apply them in. To give us the full breakdown, I’ve enlisted the help of dermatologist Sonia Khorana—but first, let’s cover the basics.
If you’re wondering why you even need a skincare routine in the first place, Khorana explains that there are a number of reasons. “Firstly, your skin is your first line of defence from environmental pollutants,” she says. “And secondly, protecting and looking after your skin can help prevent damage to its skin barrier.” For context, environmental pollutants are a main cause of skin ageing, and the skin barrier is responsible for keeping bacteria and pollutants out. “It’s important to have healthy skincare habits in your twenties and thirties, as this can strengthen and prepare your skin for those effects of ageing,” she adds. “Skin conditions can manifest and worsen if you don’t look after your skin, and on a separate note, skincare helps carve out time for self care.”
Now if you are totally new to skincare, don’t worry, we’re not about to prescribe you a 20-step routine. “To get the most benefit out of a regular skincare regimen, you only need to follow a few simple steps—cleanse, moisturise and protect,” explains Khorana. “Sticking to this simple, stripped-back routine can help keep your skin healthy and happy.”
“You can build on this routine and add a step we call ‘treat’ to address any skin concerns with ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, AHAs, BHAs,” she adds. This step can be incorporated via products such as face mists, serums, toners, and oils, and will help you to address specific skin concerns, such as breakouts, dryness, sensitivity, scarring, redness, and signs of ageing.
To get to grips with what a perfect skincare routine might look like and to understand which steps really are the essentials, scroll down for our ultimate guide to building a daily skincare regimen. It’s also worth mentioning that what works for you might not work for me, as everyone’s skin and needs are different. So with that in mind, feel free to use this as a guide to finding your perfect skincare routine, as opposed to hard and fast rules. Enjoy!
The first step in your morning skincare routine? A good cleanse—and don’t be tempted to skip it. “Cleansing in the morning helps you to start your day with a clean slate,” explains Khorana. “If you don’t do it, this could cause build-up of oil and dirt that may make you more prone to fungal or bacterial overgrowth, more prominent pores, and sometimes even inflammation.”
When it comes to choosing the best cleanser for your skin, Khorana advises keeping your skin type front of mind. “If you have dry skin, look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, squalane, glycerin and panthenol,” she recommends. “For oily or acne-prone skin look for gel or foaming cleansers that contain BHAs like salicylic acid. AHAs can also be a good addition if your skin is sensitive but oily—look for lactic acid or mandelic acid.”