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When I first started getting into skin care, I used to think there was just cleansers, exfoliators, and moisturizers.

Turns out, there are way more skin care products out there and more are being created all the time.

When it comes to choosing products, you want to make sure you’re choosing products with actually beneficial ingredients (You can download a free handbook of good natural ingredients here!)

Along with picking the right products, the order they’re applied is also important. Depending on your skin type, however, you may choose to not use one or two things. For example, if you have oily skin, you may find that using a moisturizer has no benefit for your skin.

Below, I have put together a basic rundown of common skin care products in the order they’re applied.

 

Click the image below to pin for later!

 

CLEANSER

Use a mild, gentle cleanser so you can use it every day without causing any irritation. Do not use soap.

Opt for a cleanser that doesn’t have any special ingredients that need to stay on your skin to work. For example, a salicylic acid cleanser won’t do you much good if it’s going to be rinsed off right away. Save your money and use a cleanser that just cleanses (and maybe hydrates too).

A lot of people choose to double cleanse. Double cleansing is very beneficial for any skin type and it’s very effective.

Double cleansing, defined by Elle, is “using a cleansing oil, balm, or micellar water to break down make-up, SPF, and sebum [the skin’s natural moisturiser] on the surface of your skin first, then following it with a deeper water-based cleanse.”

The way it works is the oils in the cleansing oil/balm and the cleansing ingredients in the micellar water attract the oils in the makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and excess oil on your face and then removes them.

This makes double cleansing great for oily skin because it removes excess oil and it’s great for dry skin because using a cleansing oil is very moisturizing.

 

EXFOLIATOR

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to keep your skin smooth and reduce any chance of your pores clogging. It also makes your complexion brighter because it removes the dead cells to show the new ones underneath.

There are two types of exfoliators:

1. Physical exfoliators which are scrubs that use small particles to loosen up dead skin cells so they slough off.

2. Chemical exfoliators which are acids that break down the glue holding skin cells together (it’s not as scary as it sounds). These are things like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid.

Which type of exfoliator is better? Chemical exfoliators. Here’s why:

  • They’re more effective.
  • They exfoliate more evenly.
  • They’re not so harsh on the skin (scrubs can cause micro-tears).
  • They do way more than just exfoliate. Glycolic acid also hydrates and boosts collagen production, salicylic acid exfoliates inside the pores too to prevent acne, and lactic acid hydrates and is gentle enough for sensitive skin unlike scrubs.

 

MASKS AND PEELS

Masks and peels are a great way to boost your skin. They provide your skin with extra treatment.

Masks can provide extra moisture, absorb excess oil, and give treatments to the skin to fight different skin care concerns.

To absorb excess oil, use a clay mask.
To clear pores, use a charcoal mask.
To hydrate, use a sheet mask.
To soothe, use a cucumber mask.

I have personally used each one of these masks and I love them all, especially the sheet mask. When my skin was so dry that it was flaking, I used that sheet mask and it helped so much.

Peels such as this one from Derma E exfoliate by gently removing the top layer of dead skin cells to smooth the complexion. They also even out your skin tone, smooth out wrinkles, and clear pores.

 

TONER

Toners are completely useless unless you get one with good ingredients such as:

 

SPOT TREATMENT

Spot treatments are just that – they are applied directly onto any blemishes or “spots” to treat them.

Spot treatments are most effective at night since that’s when the skin is renewing itself through cellular turnover (the skin’s natural exfoliating process).

Some great spot treatments:

 

SERUM

Serums are highly concentrated products with active ingredients in them that target certain skin care concerns.

The most important serum you should have in your routine? An antioxidant serum.

Antioxidants fight free radicals that cause premature wrinkles. Free radicals destroy anything in their path so it’s important to stop them.

Some antioxidant serums you should include in your routine:

 

EYE CREAM AND NECK CREAM

Eye creams are meant to deliver ingredients that fix the problems seen around the eyes such as wrinkles and puffiness.

Neck creams are usually meant to tighten and lift the neck to smooth out wrinkles.

However, eye creams and neck creams are marketing schemes.

Your eyes and neck need the same ingredients as the rest of your face. So use your usual skin care routine on both and save your money.

 

MOISTURIZER AND NIGHT CREAM

Keeping your skin hydrated is very important for the skin to keep it from being irritated and painful and to keep it glowing and healthy.

Plus, when your skin is hydrated, this reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because your skin is plumped up.

When getting out of the shower, apply moisturizer when your face is still damp. This will lock in the water, hydrating your skin even more.

Night creams are thicker than regular moisturizers so they moisturize more effectively since you lose a lot of moisture through your skin overnight. A lot are also meant to fight wrinkles.

But night creams are another marketing scheme. Save your money and either use your usual moisturizer or grab some rosehip oil. It’s very moisturizing and it’s a natural source of retinol which reduces wrinkles.

 

SUNSCREEN

Every morning, you should be applying a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to your face no matter what the season and no matter what the weather’s like.

Sun protection is so important for the skin to prevent aging, sun damage, and skin cancer.

Opt for a mineral sunscreen (or this one for dryer skin). They’re more effective and they’re gentler too.

 

What products do you use in your skin care routine?

 

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4 Comments

  1. Haley Chisholm

    Wow there are so many helpful tips on here! I struggle with organization and skin care and I agree that purging a lot of things at home helps reduce stress and gives you more time for important things 🙂 As far as skin care I have easily agitated skin and I am vegan so it is very hard to find products that work for my lifestyle and skin type. Is there any tips you can give me for vegan, sensitive skin care products and routines?

    Reply
    • Jenna

      Thank you so much! I will be posting many helpful skincare products, most of which are natural and vegan since they contain mainly plant extracts! I will also have a whole post dedicated to sensitive skin since it’s very common and tricky to deal with so stay tuned for those posts! Thanks again for the feedback 🙂

      Reply
  2. Gaby

    This was super helpful! I love your blog and all of your skincare help❤️☺️
    ~Gaby:)

    Reply
    • Jenna

      Thank you so much, Gaby! That means a lot and I’m soooo happy my blog is helpful to you!

      Reply

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