04 May 2016

Why You Should Have A Skincare Routine

Skincare routine

The media tells us we need this product and that product. Lotions upon lotion and new products constantly being released everyday, it's hard to keep up with it all. Are you confused by which product to use when and why you need it at all? Keeping reading to find out. 

A few weeks ago, I was visiting my sister and she asked me to help her with a few skin concerns she was having. She is dealing with a lot of hormonal changes currently and it was showing on her skin. After discussing some of the ingredients I thought could help her, we started talking about the products she was currently using and it became clear she was a little confused on the order in which to use some of these. And thus, the idea of this post came about. Thanks Sam, for the encouragement to write this. 

I will try and keep this generalised but there is so much information in the world of skincare and so many variants depending on peoples skin type and concerns, so bare that all in mind. I've tried to explain each step the best I can as well as listing them in the order you would do them.

Why you should cleanse

Makeup Remover: If you wear makeup, this is your first step in the evening. I'm sure everyone knows that by leaving makeup on over night, you are stopping your skin from being able to breathe and repair itself (most repair happens over night). This also can lead to congestion, oiliness, breakout and puffiness. 

There are many different types of products on the market such as make up removers and makeup wipes, but you can also use a cleanser. If using a cleanser I'd suggest either a cleansing oil or cleansing water as they are gentle but also very effective at breaking down makeup. 

Why cleanse your face

Cleanser: A cleanser's job is to remove dirt and impurities, resulting in clean pores and preparing the skin for the rest of your skincare products and can be used morning and night. 

A little note on double cleansing. Some people will say you should double cleanse every night. However, I personally don't feel it is necessary, unless you are wearing makeup or have been sweating a lot that day or just feel particular grimy. If you do double cleanse the makeup remover step as mentioned above can count as the first cleanser and this step as cleanse number 2. 

Do you need a toner

Toner: This is a step I sometimes do, and I sometimes don't. To be honest for a long time (and still to some extent now) I've thought of this step as a bit pointless and have never used a toner that has made any difference. I do however want to explore toner's more and will report back with how I go. 

Toners used to be mainly used to bring the pH level of the skin back to a normal level after cleansing as cleansers used to be a lot harsher. However, a lot of research and development has gone on over the years and most cleansers are now gentle enough that they do not strip your skin (at least they shouldn't). So to me this benefit that many toners still claim to have is irrelevant. 

However, in saying all that, toners now offer many other benefits. Often being used purely as a form of hydration, they also moisturise and soothe the skin and some also offer clarifying or purifying benefits for oily skin types. They are usually applied to the skin via a spray or pouring some of the product on to a cotton pad and gently wiping over the skin with it. 


Exfoliator: This step is usually only done once to a few times a week, not every night (there is such a thing as OVER exfoliating). The main purpose of an exfoliator is to remove dry, dead skin cells to reveal younger cells, that give a smoother and softer appearance and feel to the skin. It also promotes cell turnover (the rate at which cells go from being "born" to dying and falling off) which slows down as we age and increases circulation and unclog pores. Which all result in a healthier, younger looking skin which we all want.

There are two main types of exfoliators: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliators  are probably what most people are familiar with. These products contain grains or beads thays physically remove dead skin cells by rubbing them across the surface of the skin. Chemical exfoliators on the other hand, dissolve the dead cells and the "glue" that holds them to the skin, by using ingredients such as AHA's. The best way to think of chemical exfoliators is of little pacman's eating up the dead skin. 

What does a mask do

Mask: Another step which only needs to be performed a couple of times a week. Masks have a higher concentration of ingredients and are left on the skin for a period of time in order to allow the product to penetrate the skin. Masks are usually intend for a particular skin condition, such as a purifying mask would be aimed at someone with a lot congestion and an oilier skin type. Most commonly, mask come in a wash off formula or as a sheet mask. 

Skincare order

Serums: Serums are usually the most expensive product in a skincare regime, however there is good reason that, and this really is where you want to be investing. Like masks, serums contain concentrated amounts of ingredients and target particular skin conditions. They are specially formulated to allow the product to penetrate the skin deeper and this is what makes them so effective. 

It has become a bit of a trend lately, to layer serums, in order to target different conditions and concerns, which is totally fine in my books (just don't get carried away there's probably no reason to be layering 4 or 5 serums in one go). If you do choose to layer your serums, just make sure you are applying the lightest formula first, before heavier ones, heavier formulas are most likely oil based and have larger molecules which will prevent a water based serum from penetrating through. 

Eye cream

Eye Cream: The skin around the eyes is much more delicate then the rest of the face, so in order to protect the area, an eye cream that has been specifically formulated for this area should be used. Eye creams can assist in de-puffing the area, hydration and also many target anti-aging concerns. When applying products to this area, be very gentle and don't tug at the skin. 

Face moisturiser

Moisturiser: A moisturiser is used both morning and night. As the name suggests, it's purpose is to add moisture and hydration to the skin, whilst also sealing in the previous products. They can also include ingredients that target specific skin concerns. Generally, if you have an oily skin type go for a lightweight moisturiser, and if you are on the dry side go for a heavier formula. 

Sunscreen: This is the final step and is only performed in the morning. I don't think I need to go into too much detail as to why a sunscreen is so important to use everyday, there has been a lot of other posts and information regarding the damaging effects of the suns rays. 

You can either choose to use a day moisturier or foundation with an SPF or choose a separate product altogether, but whatever you choose just make sure you are putting some form of SPF on. Everyday, no exceptions!


I know that may seem like a lot, remember not all steps need to be performed everyday. But if you are just starting out, get yourself in the habit of cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising and of course applying a sunscreen, and slowly build your skincare routine from there. 

One more little note before I go, always read the instructions on your product, to find out how the brand suggests the best use of the product is. This will often tell you how many times to use it and also when in your routine. Especially for treatment products (such as acne treatments) these can sometimes be recommended to use after moisturising while others should be used before. 

I really hope this helps. Let me know what steps are in your skincare routine and if you have any suggestions for toners let me know.  


  1. Thank you it really is a confusing world when you're new to it all

    1. When there are so many different products on the market, I think even people who are really into skincare can find it confusing sometimes. Thanks for the inspiration behind the post 👍🏻

  2. There are lots of people who are now turning to more natural products and in particular more natural skincare products. Tips for beauty

    1. There sure are. Personally I haven't found a natural brand I like, however I haven't tried too many.

  3. If you research the types of ingredients used in the skincare products you try, then you will greatly increase your chances of finding an effective product. This article will discuss some things that can help you in your search.
    collagen cream


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