A regular skincare routine can keep your body’s largest organ healthy and looking its best. Boosting your skin health is also an important self-care activity that can benefit your mental wellness — something that may be particularly helpful during hormone swings that can occur during pregnancy, menopause, or your regular monthly cycle.
But a 12-step routine with a multitude of products might cause more stress than good. Though morning and evening routines may vary based on your age and the season, in general, the following steps are all you need to maintain healthy skin.
Cleansing is Key
Washing your face gets rid of the germs, dead skin, and pollutants that may collect on your skin throughout the day. If you go to sleep without washing it, you are inviting those things to wreak havoc, making your skin more oily, prone to acne, and susceptible to skin diseases. Regular cleansing is one of the most basic skincare pillars to build from.
Ideally, wash your face each morning and evening with a cleanser that’s formulated for your skin type. For example, sensitive skin does best with hypoallergenic, fragrance-free formulas, while a non-comedogenic product is recommended if you have a tendency to have acne breakouts.
Keep in mind whenever you’re washing, that hot water can dry out your skin, leading to inflammation and a decrease in your natural, healthy oils.
Tune Up with Toner
Toning is a revitalizing but often overlooked step of skincare. In the past, toners may have received a bad rep for containing alcohol-based astringents that caused further irritation. But more current formulas available can refresh your skin without stripping away natural moisture.
In general, face toners prep your skin for moisturizing, while polishing off any excess oil and stubborn dirt or makeup that may have been left behind even after washing. They can easily be applied gently using your fingertips or a cotton pad.
Manage Your Skin with Moisture
Moisturizing is the final step in the most basic skincare trio. Regularly applying a moisturizer allows you to lock in moisture, which combats dryness and maintains elasticity.
Similar to cleansers and toners, you can find a variety of different moisturizers formulated for specific skin types. For example, people with overly dry skin may need a cream or ointment formula. If your skin tends to be oily, a gel version will be more lightweight. As you age, your skin produces less lubricating sebum over time, so your moisturizer may need to change along with the rest of you. But applying a lightweight moisturizer each morning and night can help your skin retain its suppleness at every stage.
Other Additional Steps
Once you’ve established a routine with the three basics, you can build in different treatments tailored to your needs and wishes. For example, increased amounts of dead skin cells during different seasons can create dullness and lead to clogged pores, but utilizing a gentle exfoliating product two to three times a week may brighten things up.
If it’s within your budget, an occasional facial can also help boost collagen production, increase blood circulation, and provide a deep clean beyond your standard routine. They’re also highly relaxing, and provide several benefits to boost your mood and mental health.
No matter what you’re doing to tend to your skin, sunscreen should always be a key component no matter the time of year. Use a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher, even in winter months, as UV rays are still strong enough to cause damage.