how to get into skincare
I’ve already done a post about how to get into makeup, and one about how to get into SFX, so I figured I might as well make one for skincare. I have extremely sensitive, extremely acne-prone skin, so when it comes to skincare products, I’ve literally tried everything. It’s gotten to the point where I’m the “resident expert” that all of my family and friends come to when they need help figuring out which products to use.
I think a lot of people don’t take proper care of their skin because they have the misconception that it’s time-consuming and/or expensive. Honestly, I spend less than two minutes on skincare on most days, and I only use affordable products that are available at drug stores. No matter who you are, you can afford to take good care of your skin.
product names you’re likely to see, and what they mean:
- cleanser is just soap that’s gentle enough for the delicate skin on your face. It comes in liquid, cream, and even powder formulas, but all you need to know is that if the label says “cleanser,” then it’s just face wash. If you’re only going to use one skincare product, this is the one you should invest in.
- Note: You should NEVER use bar soap on your face! The skin on your face is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body, and most bar soaps will damage it. There are some cleansers that come in bar form, but as a general rule you should never use a product on your face that wasn’t made specifically to be used on faces.
- moisturizer is probably the second most commonly-used product, after cleanser. This is exactly what it sounds like – it’s basically lotion that is specially made to be used on your face. No matter what your skin type is, you should be moisturizing daily. (Proper moisturization actually helps cut down on oily skin in most cases.)
- toner (sometimes also called astringent) is a product that is usually applied after cleanser, but before moisturizer. It’s called “toner” because it tones your skin, as well as cleansing any dirt or grime that your cleanser missed. Not everyone needs to use toner, but if you have oily or acne-prone skin, I’d recommend it.
- a face mask is any product that is made to be used occasionally to give your skin a little extra love. A lot of them are made to address certain issues, like acne, dryness, or dullness. Usually, you apply it and let it sit on your face for a few minutes before you wash it off. I personally try to use a mask on my face once or twice a week whenever I have the time, but they’re more of a treat than a necessity. (And you probably shouldn’t use them every day.)
- exfoliators or exfoliating scrubs are products designed to buff away dead skin cells. Usually, they have some kind of gritty texture to them (like sugar grains) that scrubs off the dead skin. Like face masks, they’re more of a treat than a necessity, but unlike with face masks, too much exfoliating can actually hurt your skin. You should never exfoliate more than 2-3 times a week, and never, ever exfoliate two days in a row.
- pore strips are kind of like waxing strips for your face, but instead of removing hair, they remove blackheads and other junk clogging your pores. I would not recommend pore strips to someone who is new to skincare, and like with exfoliators, using them too often can really damage your skin. If you’re going to use them, you should never use them more than once every three days.
There are other product names that you might see floating around online (like “essence” or “facial oil”), but these are the basic products that you need to know about. Honestly, if you have a good cleanser, toner, and moisturizer (plus maybe a face mask or two for occasional pampering), then you don’t really need any other products, because those three will get the job done.
how to build your own skincare routine:
- The first step is to understand your skin type. The three most common types are: dry, oily, and combination (in between dry and oily). Shop for products that are designed and labelled for your skin type. (If you have a lot of acne, look for products labelled “acne care” or something along those lines. If you have a lot of skin allergies, or if your skin doesn’t react well to harsh chemicals, look for products made for sensitive skin.)
- Go to the nearest Walmart, CVS, Walgreen’s, ect. with $20, and find the skincare aisle. Keeping your skin type in mind, look for a good cleanser and a good moisturizer. (If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you might want to pick up a toner as well.) If you can, look for generic brands (I know Walmart carries one called Equate) that make products with the same ingredients as name-brand products, but significantly cheaper. (If you’re looking for cruelty-free products, check out the brands Burt’s Bees and Yes To.)
- If you want to make things easier, you can buy all of the products you need in a pack. (Like this, or this.) These usually contain a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer.
- Every morning when you first wake up, wash your face with the cleanser and pat it dry with a clean towel. Then apply the toner, if you bought one – you do not wash this off. Then (after waiting a few seconds for the toner to take effect), apply your moisturizer. That’s literally all there is to it. If you’re a morning shower person, you can save time by washing your face in the shower, then applying toner and moisturizer after you get out.
- Every night before you go to bed, do the same thing. (Of course, if you wear makeup, you’ll have to remove it, either with makeup remover or with warm water, before you wash your face.)
- Right before bed is a good time to use face masks/exfoliators/pore strips, if you want. I always wash my face first, then skip over my toner and go straight into applying the mask/exfoliator/strip, and let it sit for as long as the directions on the packaging indicate. After I wash it off, I use my moisturizer like always.
- Congratulations! You now have a skincare routine!
This post goes into detail of all the products and tricks I use in my own personal routine, if you’re curious.
I hope this post was helpful! If you have any questions about specific products, or about treating specific skin conditions, feel free to message me and I’ll try to help in any way I can.
masterlist (there’s more beauty/skincare tips on there, if you’re interested)