Written by Ellyn Louise Ahlemeyer.
For some people, daily skin care is as routine as brushing your teeth. For others, not so much. Personally, I struggle with knowing how often I should exfoliate, when I should moisturise, what the best cleansers are, and so on. So, I decided to do my own research and create a simple, universal daily skin care routine that will take you from morning ’til night.
AM Routine: You wake up, the sun is shining and your skin is about to glow. After you stumble into the bathroom, here’s what to do. Gently wash your face with warm water and pat dry with a towel. Then use a micellar water or any kind of toner on a cotton pad to dab onto your face (this is optional but recommended if you feel you’ve accumulated excess dirt overnight). You can skip the cleanser in the morning but if you do wish to cleanse, opt for an oil-free version. To finish, rinse your face with a splash of cold water. This tightens the pores and gets your face make-up ready.
Make-Up Routine: Now, you’ve poured your morning coffee. You’re feeling fresh, vibrant and ready to apply your make-up. But before you start, don’t forget that product every dermatologist is urging you to use: sunscreen. Most dermatologists recommend using a specialist facial sunscreen that contains at least 30++ SPF. Some well-regarded brands include Aveeno, Dermalogica and CeraVe. It’s best to go with a sunscreen that’s good for sensitive skin, and if you can find one that’s also a make-up primer (my go-to is Neutrogena’s Better Than City Block) then that’s a bonus (and the perfect segue into the rest of your make-up routine). It’s debatable whether or not you should put on your sunscreen or moisturiser first, so finding a combination moisturiser plus SPF is a great compromise. Check out Neutrogena, La Roche-Posay, Supergoob! and CeraVe for moisturisers which feature a good quality SPF.
Night-time Routine: This is the most important time of day for your skin care, and most dermatologists agree that skipping a night-time facial cleanse can be detrimental to your skin. As you prepare to wash the day away, I find that it’s fun to make your evening skincare ritual more spa-like than the morning. Start by simply steaming the skin, either by having a hot shower or preparing a hot towel, which opens the pores. Next, take a gentle cleanser and wash your face using circular motions with your fingertips. Rinse thoroughly and lightly dab dry with towel. Once your face is cleansed you can choose to exfoliate if you wish (don’t over-exfoliate, once a week is ideal) or use a detoxifying face mask. At night it’s recommended to use a calming, scented mask such as lavender or tea tree (save the vitamin C masks for the AM). After completing the mask, gently rinse with cool water and dab dry once more. Now apply any additional moisturiser or prescription lotions you may have.
There you have it, a day in the life of your beautiful skin care regimen. Remember, the best self-care habits start with a consistent routine. Happy cleansing!