11 Skincare tips that’ll change your routine for good
Finding a skincare routine that works for you can be daunting. There’s so much information out there that it can be hard to know where to start, especially because everyone’s skin type is different. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all routine to follow, but there are several dermatologist-approved skincare tips and tricks that can help you get your skin looking its very best.
Your skincare routine doesn’t have to be an hours-long, several-step process. You also don’t have to break the bank to find products that work for you. Whether you have five minutes in the morning or an hour to yourself at night, taking care of your skin (your largest organ!) is an act of self-care and a great way to start the morning and unwind at the end of the day.
The first step to creating a skincare routine that’ll make you look and feel like a million bucks is identifying what type of skin you have. There are five skincare types: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. Here’s what to look for and how to optimize your routine for the best results. There are four skin types: normal, dry, oily and combination. Sensitive is a concern.
Skincare tips for normal skin
Verwell Health reports that normal skin is free of breakouts, isn’t easily irritated, and is “a lot less problematic” than other skin types. Normal skin also has minimal oil, flakiness, and is generally pretty low-maintenance Here’s how to make sure it stays that way.
- Good news! Your normal skin doesn’t require too many intense products because it has minimal issues. But in order to protect it, always use an SPF of at least 15. The experts at the Mayo Clinic suggest re-applying every two hours, especially if you’re going to be in the sun. Sun damage? Not today.
- No matter how tired you are at the end of the day, sleeping with your makeup on is a major skincare no-no. “Makeup can trap dirt and environmental pollutants inside the skin, and this type of environmental stress can result in increased free radicals which can cause DNA mutations, collagen degradation, and, over time, can result in premature aging,” Dr. Sue Ann Wee of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC told Byrdie. It can also result in unwanted acne, dryness, and inflammation. Yikes.
Skincare tips for dry skin
Shawnda Dorantes, RN, BSN and co-owner of Beauty Lounge Medical Spa told Healthline that dry skin can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, medical conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism, the environment, and even the quality of your tap water. The external factors (the ones you can control) are the easiest to treat. According to Healthline, you’ll know you have dry skin if it usually feels tight or flaky, and WebMD reports a dull, rough complexion and red patches are also both tell-tale signs.
- Use a sulfate-free cleanser, as sulfates can dry up your skin and remove essential moisture.
- Double-moisturize with both a hyaluronic acid, and a natural, vitamin-packed moisturizer that can help give your skin the hydration it needs. Do this twice a day — once in the morning, and once in the evening.
Skincare tips for oily skin
Verywell Health reports that oily skin often looks shiny and feels greasy to the touch, resulting in more frequent acne breakouts. Stress, hormones, genetics, and humidity can all contribute to oily skin, but there are a few ways to control it.
- Don’t use oil-based or alcohol-based cleansers. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, these types of cleansers can irritate your skin. Instead, reach for something labeled oil-free and non-comedogenic. Wash your face twice a day — in the morning, and in the evening — but no more than that, as that can worsen your oily skin.
- Choose oil-free or water-based makeup. It goes without saying that oily makeup might make your already-oily skin, well, oilier. Avoid that by choosing base makeup that’s lightweight and matte.
- Just because your skin already has loads of natural moisture (which helps preserve the skin and give you fewer wrinkles, btw!) doesn’t mean you don’t have to include moisturizer in your routine. After all, you don’t want to deprive your skin of helpful moisture and thus, prompt it to produce even more moisture, aka oil. Moisturizing can help keep your skin plump and hydrated — just make sure you pick a product that’s gentle, lightweight, and fragrance-free.
Skincare tips for combination skin
According to Byrdie, combination is the most common skin type. You might be dry in some spots and oily in others (particularly the T-zone — your nose, forehead, and chin — which is more prone to oiliness), and see changes in your skin depending on factors like the weather, your environment, and of course, your menstrual cycle. Here’s how to take care of your combination skin for best results.
- Exfoliating is important! Dr. Michelle Ferber, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group, told Byrdie that exfoliating with an AHA/BHA wash or exfoliant pad can help control excess oil or flakiness. Just be careful to avoid your skin’s dry patches, so you’re not irritating them further.
- Introduce hyaluronic acid, which can increase skin moisture, smooth texture, and even reverse signs of aging with regular use. A serum with hyaluronic acid can help brighten and hydrate dull combination skin that could use a little TLC.
Skincare tips for sensitive skin
“Having sensitive skin falls into a bit of a skincare gray area,” said Dr. Peter Katz, board-certified dermatologist at Forefront Dermatology. “There isn’t a definitive checklist that dermatologists use to define sensitive skin.” However, pay close attention to how your skin looks and feels after wearing makeup, sun exposure, and/or trying new products. If it doesn’t react well most of the time, and if you notice that it’s red, dry, rashy, and prone to breakouts, you probably have sensitive skin. According to Self, if you know you have rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema, those are all types of sensitive skin. Here’s how to keep it in check.
- Less is more
- Self recommends using as few products with as few ingredients as possible. Avoid anything too harsh and always go for cleansers and moisturizers labeled “natural” and “gentle.”
- Patch test
- When you do want to try something new on your skin, patch test it on a small part before going in on your whole face. Because your skin is so sensitive and you don’t know how it’ll react, it’s better to err on the side of caution and only “risk” a small patch. Shari Lipner, M.D., dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, told Self she recommends patch testing on the inside of your arm overnight. “If you have no reaction in the morning, then it is safe to apply to your face