There are items in your shopping bag.

How to Build Your Perfect Skincare Routine

Picture this: you're ready to step out in style, but when you check the mirror, you notice flaky skin or oily spots on your face. Updating your skincare routine is just as important as updating your wardrobe. 

When it comes to effective skincare practices, it's essential to establish daily routines that promote long-term benefits. From cleansing to moisturizing and all the steps in between, we've put together a comprehensive guide on crafting your ideal skincare routine for both day and night. 

By first gaining an understanding of your unique skin type, you'll be empowered to choose the best skincare products that cater to your specific needs, allowing you to create a soothing and rejuvenating daily skincare regimen.

Understanding Your Skin Type

Your skin is as unique as you are. Understanding your specific skin type will help you achieve healthy, radiant skin through a tailored skincare routine. Identifying your skin type can help you choose the best skincare products for your needs. 

Because different skin types are prone to unique concerns, knowing your skin type allows you to address issues effectively. From cleansers and moisturizers to serums and treatments, selecting products formulated for your skin type can prevent irritation and contribute to healthy skin. 

As we explore recommendations for each skin type, remember that everyone has different skin challenges. What works for someone else might not work for you so it’s best to consult a dermatologist for personalized advice.

Normal Skin

  • Characteristics: Well-balanced and typically free from excessive oiliness or dryness. Smooth texture, even tone, and minimal blemishes or imperfections

  • Causes: Often genetic and can also be a result of effective skincare practices

  • Considerations: 

    • Gentle cleansing/moisturizer with hyaluronic acid

    • Always use sun protection

    • Avoid overuse of products

Dry Skin

  • Characteristics: Tends to feel tight, rough, or flaky. May appear dull and lack moisture

  • Causes: Insufficient production of natural oils (sebum) by the skin's sebaceous glands, environmental factors, or aging

  • Considerations:

    • Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser to avoid stripping natural oils

    • Apply a rich moisturizer to lock in moisture

    • Look for products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides for hydration

Oily Skin

  • Characteristics: Appears shiny, especially in the t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). Prone to acne and enlarged pores

  • Causes: Overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands

  • Considerations: 

    • Use a gentle foaming or gel cleanser to control excess oil

    • Use lightweight, oil-free, or mattifying moisturizers/products with salicylic acid or niacinamide to manage oil and acne

Combination Skin

  • Characteristics: Exhibits features of both dry and oily skin. Typically, the t-zone is oily, while the cheeks may be dry

  • Causes: A combination of genetic factors, hormones, and environmental influences

  • Considerations:

    • Use a mild cleanser suitable for both dry and oily areas, a lighter moisturizer on the oily parts and a richer one on the dry areas

    • Customize your routine to address specific concerns in different areas

Sensitive Skin

  • Characteristics: Prone to redness, irritation, burning, or itching. Can react negatively to certain skincare products

  • Causes: Genetic predisposition, allergies, or skin conditions like rosacea

  • Considerations:

    • Use fragrance-free and hypoallergenic products

    • Perform patch tests when trying new products

    • Avoid harsh exfoliants and limit exposure to extreme temperatures

Acne-Prone Skin

  • Characteristics: Susceptible to frequent breakouts, including pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and sometimes cysts. May also exhibit redness and inflammation around acne lesions

  • Causes: Caused by a combination of factors, including excess sebum production, clogged pores, bacteria, hormonal fluctuations, and inflammation

  • Considerations: 

    • Use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser that won’t clog pores to remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup without stripping the skin's natural moisture

    • Look for products containing salicylic acid to help unclog pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, and reduce acne

    • Avoid touching or picking your skin

Setting Your Skincare Goals

Skincare goals provide direction and motivation for your daily routine, helping you track progress over time. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for skincare. Instead, you can create a personalized skincare routine in order to accommodate your personal goals and skin concerns. 

With the endless options of skincare products on the market, having clear objectives will help you make informed decisions. 

Let’s take a closer look at common skincare goals that you can focus on in your routine: 

  • Anti-aging: For those focusing on reducing the signs of aging, retinoids, antioxidants, peptides, and collagen-boosting ingredients can help. These types of products help enhance skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. 

  • Acne control: To prevent and treat acne breakouts, look for products including salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and niacinamide. These skincare products can be effective in controlling oil production, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation. 

  • Hydration/Fixing skin barrier: Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin, and natural oils help in hydrating the skin and restoring its protective barrier, helping you achieve your hydration goals. 

  • Evening skin tone/Reducing hyperpigmentation: If your goal is to reduce dark spots, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation, ingredients like vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and niacinamide can help brighten skin and reduce pigmentation. 

  • Redness reduction: For those looking to calm and soothe irritated or sensitive skin prone to redness, add products with green tea extract, chamomile, and aloe vera to your skincare routine. 

  • Firming and tightening skin: Ingredients like peptides, retinoids, vitamin C, and collagen-boosting compounds can help promote skin firmness and reduce sagging.

Keep in mind that seeking professional care from a dermatologist or skincare professional will help you tailor your skincare routine steps even more. They can provide personalized advice and help establish realistic skincare goals based on your skin type, condition, and any underlying issues. 

When it comes to working towards skincare goals, remember that consistency is key. By establishing a regular morning and nighttime skincare routine, you give products and treatments time to work. Over time, you can adjust your skincare routine steps based on your skin’s response and evolving needs. 

Choosing the Right Products

Once you’ve established your skin type and goals, it should be easy to select skincare products to fit into your routine. Here are some common skincare products you’ll see on the market and how they work. 

Common skincare products and their uses


A cleanser serves as a fundamental step in any skincare routine by effectively eliminating dirt, excess oil, and impurities from the skin. It plays a vital role in preparing the skin for the rest of your routine, preventing clogged pores and ensuring you have a fresh face to work with. 

Here are some common types of cleansers you can choose from: 

  • Foam cleanser: Creates a rich lather to effectively remove excess oil without leaving a residue. Suitable for oily or combination skin types. 

  • Oil cleanser: Dissolves stubborn makeup, dirt, and sunscreen and often contains nourishing oils that leave the skin feeling moisturized. Suitable for dry or sensitive skin types. 

  • Gel cleanser: Provides a thorough cleanse without stripping away too much natural moisture from the skin. Sustainable for oily or acne-prone skin. 

  • Balm cleanser: Melts upon contact with the skin, effectively removing makeup while leaving the skin feeling soft and hydrated. Suitable for dry or mature skin types. 

  • Micellar water: Gentle, water-based cleanser that doesn’t require rinsing. Suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. 


Moisturizers are designed to replenish and maintain hydration levels, preventing dryness and supporting a healthy skin barrier. Cream moisturizers are thicker in consistency and perfect for people with dry skin. 

For those with normal to slightly dry skin, lotion moisturizers are a great option because they are lighter and absorb quickly. Gel-based moisturizers are perfect for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin because they provide hydration without a greasy feel. 

Serum moisturizers are highly concentrated and often contain active ingredients like hyaluronic acid to penetrate deeply into the skin. 


Sunscreen is an essential skincare product that protects skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause sunburn, skin damage, and contribute to skin cancer. Regular use of sunscreen can also help prevent premature aging. 

There are two main types of sunscreens:

  • Chemical sunscreens: Contain chemical compounds that absorb UV rays.

  • Physical or mineral sunscreens: Contain active mineral ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier on the skin.

How to choose the SPF level for sunscreen in your skincare routine? 

Here’s a general guide for SPFs: 

  • SPF 15: Provides moderate protection against UVB rays

  • SPF 30: Offers high protection against UVB rays and is recommended for daily use

  • SPF 50 or higher: Provides very high protection and is beneficial for extended sun exposure, especially during intense sun exposure and outdoor activities


Serums are potent skincare products formulated with high concentrations of active ingredients designed to target specific skin concerns. You’ll find special serums in various formulations to address issues like fine lines, hyperpigmentation, dullness, and more. 

The most widely used serums include: 

  • Vitamin C: Crafted to help brighten the skin, fade dark spots, and even out skin tone, Vitamin C serums promote a firmer and more youthful appearance.

  • Hyaluronic acid: Designed to attract and retain moisture in the skin, hyaluronic acid serums provide intense hydration, help plump the skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Retinol (vitamin A): Made to combat aging, retinol serums accelerate cell turnover, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and enhance skin texture.

  • Antioxidant: Containing beneficial ingredients like green tea extract, niacinamide, or resveratrol, antioxidant serums protect the skin from free radicals and environmental stressors.


Toners are another skincare product designed to help balance the skin’s pH. A balanced pH level contributes to healthy skin and can prevent issues like dryness, excess oiliness, and sensitivity. Most people incorporate toners in their morning skincare routine to prepare the skin for other products as it allows for better absorption. 

Many toners are formulated with hydrating ingredients to provide an extra layer of moisture to the skin. Common ingredients in toners also offer soothing and calming effects, helping reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation. 


Exfoliators remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and help improve overall skin texture. When choosing an exfoliator, keep your skin type, sensitivity, and specific concerns in mind. Excessive or overly aggressive exfoliation can irritate the skin, so be sure to exfoliate in moderation. 

The two main categories of exfoliators are: 

  • Physical: Scrub exfoliators contain granules, beads, or particles that physically scrub away dead skin cells. They can help remove dry, flaky skin, leaving your face smoother and more radiant.

  • Chemical: AHAs and BHAs exfoliators work by dissolving dead skin using acids. AHAs work on the skin’s surface, improving overall texture, while BHAs penetrate deeper into pores to help reduce breakouts.

Eye Cream

Eye creams are specially formulated to address the delicate skin around the eyes, offering targeted solutions for dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

When selecting an eye cream for your nighttime skincare routine, look for ingredients like peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid.

Peptides can aid in stimulating collagen production, improving skin elasticity. Antioxidants like vitamin C or green tea extract can brighten the under-eye area while hyaluronic acid helps hydrate and plump the skin. 

Facial Masks

Whether you're hosting a spa night or just looking to shake up your skincare routine, facial masks are versatile products with an array of benefits. 

Here are different types of facial masks to try: 

  • Sheet masks: Pre-soaked sheets that come in individual packets and are designed to fit the face. Choose from different varieties offering hydration and active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, aloe vera, or botanical extracts.

  • Clay masks: Containing mud-based ingredients like kaolin, bentonite, or charcoal, clay masks work by drawing out impurities, excess oil, and toxins from the skin. 

  • Overnight masks: Sleeping masks or night masks are meant to leave-on overnight, making them a great addition to your nighttime skincare routine. Throughout the night, they deeply moisturize and revitalize your skin so you wake up feeling refreshed.

Lip Balms

When it comes to skincare products, don’t forget about your lips! Lip balms are specifically designed to provide hydration, protection, and relief for the delicate skin on the lips. Because the skin on the lips is so thin, it’s more prone to dryness and chapping. 

Lip balms containing moisturizing ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and lanolin help lock in moisture. Some lip balms even contain soothing and healing ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, or calendula to help repair damaged lips.

Don’t forget to invest in minis of all your favorites, so you can keep up skincare while you travel.

Building a Morning Skincare Routine

With all the different products we’ve covered so far, you’re probably wondering what order to apply skincare. First off, it’s important to start your day with a consistent morning skincare routine to prepare your skin for the day ahead. 

Basic skincare routine

The general rule of thumb for skincare order is to apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency. This allows the lighter products to be absorbed first, followed by thicker ones. You can always adjust these steps to fit your personal needs and habits but here’s our recommended skincare routine steps: 

Step 1: Cleansing 

Start your day off right by using a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, or residue from the night before. This freshens up your skin and ensures you start your skincare routine with a clean canvas.

If you are concerned about getting rid of oils from the night before, particularly if you have dry skin, consider using micellar water as the first step in your routine. 

Step 2: Toner

While using toner is not a necessary step in a basic skincare routine, it can be a great addition for refreshing skin and balancing your natural pH. If you choose to incorporate toner in your routine, use it directly after cleansing your face. 

Step 3: Serum

Serum comes next in the order of your skincare routine. While serums are not a required step for a basic routine, they can be extremely helpful if you’re targeting specific skin concerns. Typically, people use vitamin C serum in the morning to help reverse natural skin damage. It can also help combat hyperpigmentation. 

For those looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, anti-aging serums can be a great addition at this step in your skincare routine. 

Step 4: Moisturizer

The next important step in your morning skincare routine is applying moisturizer. Everyone should incorporate moisturizer in their routine to lock in moisture and provide a protective barrier. Choose from an array of moisturize options, from thick creams to lightweight formulas, to accommodate your individual skin type. 

Step 5: Sunscreen

People often wonder where sunscreen fits in your skincare routine order. It’s typically recommended to finish your morning routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreen is a non-negotiable step in the morning routine

If you’re heading to the beach or on a cruise, wearing sunscreen is an essential. Even if you’re planning to stay indoors, UV rays can penetrate windows so don’t skip on sunscreen. 

The importance of SPF

Building a Nighttime Skincare Routine

Throw on a cozy pajama set and your favorite slippers to get ready for your nighttime skincare routine. Nighttime skincare is essential because the skin undergoes a natural repair and regeneration process while you sleep. Following these skincare routine steps before going to sleep can help with cell turnover and collagen production. 

With a nighttime routine, you can change it up night to night. Some nights you may choose a clay mask or sheet mask for deep hydration. Other nights you might focus on exfoliating. Switching up your nighttime routine is a great way to help your skin recover as applying too many products at once can be bad for your skin. 

When you get a new product, take your time to incorporate it slowly into your routine and try patch testing to avoid skin purging and mild breakouts. Here are the key skincare routine steps for nighttime:

Step 1: Makeup Removal

Begin your nighttime routine by thoroughly removing makeup with a gentle makeup remover or cleansing oil. Before moving onto the next steps, ensure your skin is free from makeup, sunscreen, and impurities. 

Step 2: Cleanser

Follow up with a cleanser suitable for your skin type for deep cleaning. An effective cleanser will remove any remaining traces of makeup, dirt, and excess oil accumulated throughout the day. 

Step 3: Toner

As with your morning skincare routine, toner isn’t entirely necessary for your daily routine but can help balance the skin’s pH levels and prepare it for better absorption of subsequent products. 

Step 4: Serum

Nighttime serums often include specific ingredients, like retinoids and peptides, to maximize their benefits. Retinoid serums are known for their anti-aging benefits, while peptides help boost collagen production, making both great options for a nighttime skincare routine. 

Step 5: Moisturizer

Make sure to include a moisturizer again in your nighttime routine. When determining what order to apply skincare, remember that heavier products like moisturizer should come after toner and serums. Before bed, use a richer, more nourishing moisturizer so it can work overnight to replenish and repair the skin.

Step 6: Eye Cream

After moisturizing, focus on the eye area by applying eye cream formulated to address fine lines, wrinkles, or puffiness. 


When it comes to exfoliation, you don’t want to overdo it. Use an exfoliator 2-3 times a week for best results and start by introducing this product slowly so your skin has time to get used to it. 

Where does exfoliation fall in the skincare order? Exfoliate after cleansing but before applying other treatment products. If you’re using a chemical exfoliator, it’s typically used after toner. 

It’s essential to avoid over-exfoliating, as it can lead to irritation and sensitivity. Pay attention to your skin’s response and address irritation by reducing the frequency of exfoliating or switching to gentler formulas. 

Facial Masks

Facial masks require more time, so people typically use them 1-2 times a week. Masks provide an extra boost of hydration while also creating a relaxing self-care experience. Consider using masks in the evening or on weekends when you have more time for an indulgent skincare session. 

Bathroom counter with towel and a tray with skincare products on it

Additional Skincare Treatments

If you want to take your skincare efforts to the next level, introduce intensive treatments from time to time that go beyond your daily morning and evening routines. Specialized treatments can boost your regular skincare routine steps, addressing specific concerns and enhancing overall skin health. 

Here are some beneficial treatments to add to your skincare rotation: 

  • Facials: Professional facials can be customized to your individual needs and typically include cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, massage, masks, and hydration for an elevated, soothing experience. 

  • Hydrafacials: Hydrafacials are a non-invasive treatment that helps improve skin texture, unclog pores, and enhance skin radiance through deep cleansing and hydration.

  • Chemical peels: By applying chemical solutions, chemical peels provide controlled exfoliation and shedding of dead skin cells, revealing smoother, brighter, and more even-toned skin. 

  • Microdermabrasion: Another non-invasive treatment, microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin using a handheld device to gently remove the outer layer of the skin.

Other Ways to Improve Your Skin

Along with regular skincare routines, you can implement a variety of habits into your life to improve your skin. Focus on staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet to improve your skin from the inside out. You can also incorporate regular exercise to improve blood circulation, helping nourish skin cells and flush out toxins. 

Reducing stress levels and getting high-quality sleep are other ways to take care of your body and skin. You can even use a humidifier to improve skin health, especially in dry climates. 

Woman just out of shower rubbing two facial pads on her face

Achieve Your Best Skin Ever with a Personalized Routine

Establishing and maintaining a consistent skincare routine is a powerful investment in your skin health. By understanding your specific skin type and concerns, you can craft a targeted skincare regimen that seamlessly fits into your lifestyle. 

From boosting hydration to preventing premature aging, a thoughtful selection of skincare products and treatments will help your skin flourish. 

Embracing a morning and evening routine including cleansing, moisturizing, and targeted treatments sets the foundation for healthy and vibrant skin. Listen to your body, adapt your routine as needed, and seek professional guidance from dermatologists for personalized advice.