There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when trying to find the right skin care routine. The way you care for your skin should be personalised and made to suit your individual needs. While something may work for someone else, it might not work the same for you. Everyone’s skin is unique – so, why should your daily skin routine be any different?
When looking for the best skin care routine, it’s a good idea to start by identifying what type of skin you have. For example:
- Oily skin – your skin is typically greasy with some shine to it.
- Dry skin – your skin can be rough and flaky.
- Combination skin – a combination of both the above. Your skin may be oily in some places and dry in others.
- Sensitive skin – you’ll know if you have sensitive skin if you react badly to certain skincare or makeup products. Keep an eye out for rashes, itching, or burning sensations.
- Normal skin – you’re one of the lucky ones! You don’t have any dry or oily spots and don’t react to any products. This still doesn’t mean any (or every) skin care routine will work for you, though.
This might feel like a lot of information, and it can often feel overwhelming with the sheer number of cleansers, lotions, creams, and skin care products out there. But the good news is we’re here to help.
Our guide will explain everything you need to know about how to build a skin care routine – from finding your personalised skin care steps to picking the right type of products to suit you.
On this page:
- Creating the right skin care routine order
- How to pick the best skin care products for you
- What’s the difference between a morning and night skin care routine?
- What is a body skin care routine?
Creating the right skin care routine order
Before you jump into a new skin care routine, you need to know where to start – and what exactly the ‘start’ is. Here, we’ll dive into what makes a basic skin care routine and how to approach each step. We’ve tried to make it as accessible as possible, so you can switch out a few specific products and use this guide in either the morning or evening.
Keep in mind that, whatever you use, you should apply the thinnest products first (for example, your cleanser) and end with the thickest (like your moisturiser).
Step 1: Cleansing
Cleansing should be the first step of any skin care routine. These liquid products help to remove excess oil, sweat, dirt, and make-up – basically, any products and dirt that has built up throughout your day or overnight.
Using cleanser is simple – though it does differ slightly depending on whether you choose one that is rinse-free, or one that you need to wash off with warm water. Rinse-free cleansers – like micellar cleansing water or cleansing oils – can be applied to a cotton pad, smoothed over the face, and left on without rinsing off.
Other cleansing products, like our Calm & RestoreTM Nourishing Oat Cleanser, are applied slightly differently. With these, all you need to do is:
- Wet your face with lukewarm water.
- Gently massage a few pumps of the cleanser into your skin in a circular motion.
- Rinse with lukewarm water. (Be careful not to rub and irritate your skin.)
- Pat dry with a clean cloth or towel.
Step 2: Toning
Just like a good hair washing routine wouldn’t miss out the conditioner after the shampoo, a good skin care routine doesn’t miss out the toner after the cleanser. They’re the finishing touch to the first part of thoroughly cleaning your skin. Toners help to remove further excess oils, make sure your pores close after washing your face (so extra dirt doesn’t get trapped), and help to restore your all-important natural pH balance.
Most toners are rinse-free, so all you need is a cotton pad to gently apply the toner to your face. There’s no need to wash it off.
If you’re looking for a perfect pairing, our Calm & RestoreTM Soothing Face Toning Lotion is a great pore-closing, pH-balancing complement to our Nourishing Oat Cleanser.
Step 3: Serums
Serums are rich in nutrients that are good for your skin. But they can contain many different ingredients, so it’s best to do your research to see which would suit your skin type the best. Whatever serums consist of, however, they are almost always water-based, so that your skin can absorb them quickly.
Serums are the mid-step between your cleansers and your heavier moisturisers, so they should be applied after toning and before any creams you might use. This is because you want these nutrients to soak into your skin, and heavier products may create a barrier.
Step 4: Moisturising
Depending on your skin type, you’ll need to identify a moisturiser that will suit you best. All moisturisers hydrate the skin to help maintain the skin’s natural barrier function, and to keep the skin looking and feeling soft and smooth. However, different skin types may need a different type of moisturiser. For instance, for oily skin, avoid products containing oils, and for very dry skin, a thicker cream may be more suitable than a lotion. Whatever you choose, this should be applied after your cleanser, toner, and serum.
For the finishing touch to your skin routine, our Calm & RestoreTM Oat Gel Face Moisturiser provides 24-hour moisturisation and is great for all skin types. Simply massage into your face until fully absorbed.
How to pick the best skincare products for you
While the basic skin care routine order can be used by anyone, the products should be personalised to your skin type and needs. Everyone should have a different selection of skin care essentials, but it can often take a little time to establish which products work for you – and which don’t.
We’re here to help you know what to look for – from which skincare products you should personally avoid to what to look for on those often-confusing labels.
However, while every skin type is different, there are a few common denominators when it comes to choosing your skincare routine products (though there are always exceptions to the rules, of course). For example:
- Avoid alcohols and fragrances – many experts recommend avoiding products that contain alcohols or fragrances – especially if you have sensitive or dry skin – as this can damage skin further. But this might not be the case for everyone.
Read the product labels – look for products that say they are suitable for your particular skin type. If you know you are allergic to certain ingredients, always check the labels before purchasing a product. You can also do a patch test or use sparingly to start with when trying out a new product.
How to pick a cleanser
When caring for your skin, the most important thing to remember is to be gentle. Your skin is delicate and a vital barrier so, by using gentle and mild products, this can help to protect your skin and prevent damage.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to use a mild cleanser that contains a light moisturiser or oil, which is formulated to cleanse the skin without drying it out. This is especially important if you have dry skin. These can be found in both washable and rinse-free cleansers, such as micellar waters or cream cleansers. So, have a look around to see which works best for you.
Alternatively, if you have oilier skin, it’s best to go with an oil-free foaming cleanser to help get rid of excess grease.
How to pick a toner
The same can be said about finding ‘gentle’ products when it comes to toners, too. If you have sensitive or allergy-prone skin, for example, you should try and opt for a water-based toner that doesn’t contain any alcohol or fragrances.
How to pick a serum
Serums may contain a host of different nutrients and vitamins, so have a think about what your skin goals are. For example, you may want to choose an antioxidant one if you’ll be wearing it through the daytime, or a retinol based serum to help stimulate collagen production and repair the skin at night. Remember though, they should work alongside your other products, rather than replace them.
How to pick a moisturiser
You should try and use a moisturiser that’s formulated for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, you may need an oil-free moisturiser – which can also be used when the weather gets a little warmer and you start to sweat more. However, if you suffer from dry skin, you may instead benefit from using an oil-based cream. If you have combination, or ‘normal’, skin, it’s recommended that you go for a lighter moisturiser.
What’s the difference between a morning and night skin care routine?
While a morning and night skin care routine can be the same, it’s a good idea to tailor your skin care routine to suit your needs at different times of the day. For example, daytime skin care should focus on protecting your skin from things like UV rays and pollution. Meanwhile, night-time routines tend to focus on helping to repair damage from the day and nourishing.
Here’s what each skin care routine type might look like:
Daytime/morning skin care routine
Daytime skin care routines can be easily integrated into your morning schedule. It’s also important to get up and out of the house feeling fresh-faced and ready to take on the day. Your morning skin care routine might include:
- Washing and gently cleansing your face – the most important step. You need to make sure you wash away all the excess products applied the night before and the dirt that gets trapped in your pores as you sleep.
- Exfoliating if necessary – this can help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Be careful not to irritate your face during this step. Exfoliating may also not be suitable for you if you have very dry or sensitive skin.
- Using that trusty toner – to remove excess oils and dirt.
- Using serums – if you feel it’s necessary.
- Applying a moisturiser – you may want to look for one that has an SPF for extra protection. If it doesn’t have this, it’s a good idea to apply a sun cream after your moisturiser, even on overcast days.
If you wear makeup, put it on after all of your skin care products have been applied.
Night skin care routine
After you’ve spent the day out and about, picking up pollution and tiny particles of dirt, it’s time to help repair and nourish your skin. Here’s what you might want to consider:
- Removing any makeup – make sure to use a product that’s specifically tailored to do this, such as makeup wipes or micellar cleansing water.
- Cleansing your skin – you can use micellar water to cleanse, but you may also want to use a foaming, washable cleanser to really get in there and remove all that built-up dirt.
- Toning – this isn’t always necessary in a night skin care routine, especially if you have dry skin.
- Using a nourishing night cream or leave-on treatment – night creams tend to be a little heavier than day creams and lotions. This is because they tend to include a lot more vitamins and minerals designed to soak into your skin overnight.
What is a body skincare routine?
Your skin care routine shouldn’t just stop at your face. It goes without saying; you have skin everywhere, and all of it needs taking care of. However, you should consider that the skin on your body is different to that on your face.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use a gentle lotion cleanser, moisturising soap, or a moisturising body wash.
- Don’t forget to moisturise every time you get out of the bath or shower.
- If you suffer from very dry or irritated skin, experts recommend that you apply a moisturiser at least four times a day.
- Take shorter, cooler showers and baths. Hot water can be very damaging and drying to your skin.
- Oil-based creams and body oils are often better for dry skin than lotions. Make sure you do some research to find the best match for your skin type.