When you can find me here, it means you’ve heard and cared about creating your own skincare routine. People may tell you many things about which products you should use or try, but you should consider some other details before jumping into trying out all the goods.
In this post, I will not show you which kind of products you must use or the order to apply them, but I will share how to create your most suitable skincare routine that exactly fits your natural skin characteristics, lifestyle and surrounding weather in your local area. So hereafter is the 5 crucial steps to create your skincare routine just for you to achieve a clearer and glowing skin:
- Understand your skin
- Figure out the skin problems needed to be cured
- Start small and stick with the basics in skincare routine
- Go advanced in skincare routine
- Learn by trial and error
- Sample of my daily skincare routine in the wintertime
First and foremost, I would like to emphasize that this process to get bright and healthy-looking skin is a process of patience. You should work for your dream and be patient about it, then the whole will pay you off one day (not that far away you’re thinking of ^^). Because the skin will regenerate itself approximately every 27 days and we should assume to see some obvious results in around 2 – 3 months. This process can be faster when we are young and slower as we age. Now, let’s jump right into it!!
UNDERSTAND YOUR SKIN
Okay, you’ve known about how to figure out your skin type, right? Based on Dr. Leslie Baumann to classify our skin into 16 different types (source: https://lesliebaumannmd.com/baumann-skin-type-quiz/) It’s all over the internet that tells you what those types are and how to know your skin type. I will show you my quick recap herein based on my own experience to understand my skin:
- Oily skin: Sebum is over-produced after you wake up in the morning and during the day, which makes you have an oily film on your whole over face and more on the T-zone. Your makeup is easily stripped off after 1-2 hours. Your pores are quite obvious, large and your skin is quite prone to acne.
- Dry skin: Contradict to oily skin which produces too much oil, dry skin lacks oil in general. The dead skin cells make your skin a dull, less bright and darker shade. Moreover, you also feel a bit tight after taking a shower, sometimes feel itchy or appear flaky during seasons change. Your makeup layer can also be cakey and uneven. The wrinkles will appear deeper with motions.
- Combination skin: This type is the mix-up of the two kinds of skin. The sebum is not equally produced in every part of the face, and not stable all the time. Oil can appear much in the T-Zone with large pores, and much less or almost none on the cheeks and chin. Oil can be shown obviously in summer, and suddenly disappear as winter comes to make skin really dull and tight.
You may feel surprised because I only listed out three types as above, how about the others? The normal, sensitive kinds, where are they? In fact, to my point of view, those can be understood as the condition of the skin, not exactly the types, because these conditions can come and go from time to time, not decided by our genes. Followings are the skin condition that you may notice:
- Acne condition: In a particular period, our skin changes. The hormones level rises high and low during puberty, pregnancy, premenopause, menopause or even relocation to another country for study abroad, the stress level, etc. Those various kinds of factors will cause us breakouts, allergies because of some products or ingredients, environment reactions, and even inflammation or lead to skin problems.
- Sensitive condition: This happens when your skin barrier is ruined due to contacting to harsh compounds or over-exfoliation or over scrub. So that the skin is quite prone to react with some ingredients to cause acne, inflammation, rosacea or contact dermatitis, a type of red, itchy rash, especially prone to stinging or burning. This condition of the skin can be changed with time by following a suitable treatment and care.
- Aging condition: Aging comes from around when you reach your 25’s and later. Some people can be earlier or later because of their genes, their diet, exercises, and the surrounding weather. Aging makes your skin thinner, wrinkles, sagging, hyperpigmentation, and list on. I don’t need to list more because we all know really well about this nightmare.
- Pigmentation condition: This skin attribute is measured by the skin’s tendency to develop unwanted pigment resulting in an uneven skin tone.. This can be sun-induced, as in melasma or solar lentigos (sun spots) or due to injury in the form of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Most pigment changes can be prevented and corrected through the use of proper skincare ingredients.
- Normal (healthy) condition: This is the condition that the skin is healthy with no acne, not too overreact with ingredients and well hydrated with a suitable amount of natural sebum, tight and no hyperpigmentation shown on the skin.
Is that all the truth about our skin?? Unfortunately, not yet, we need to pay attention to this important point.
Our skin is not the thing that we can use one definition to describe every aspect that it has.
Most of us own the combination type with a variety of skin conditions in each inch on our face. Using the cream for oily skin all over your face can lead to dryness around your eyes and create deeper wrinkles. Switching to the intense serum for face to moisturize may cause pimple in the T-zone because of clogging pores.
FIGURE OUT THE SKIN PROBLEMS NEEDED TO BE CURED FIRST
The rule for this is quite simple:
You should cure the sickness before anything else.
This means: if you are having any skin problems or disorders (contact dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, acne…), you have to deal with it first, before thinking about skin whitening or anti-aging, etc. Seeking for the medical support and treatment in a reliable hospital or clinic is a must. You should be healthy then you can be beautiful, and be patient about it.
Curing all skin problems is also done together with a way for you to enhance the health of your skin barrier. With a stronger skin barrier, you will be well protected against all the changing of the environment and the harmfulness of the pollution to maintain a good condition of your skin. Please stay cautious about the side effects of active ingredients you may need to use during the cure and don’t forget to moisturize your skin during treatment.
START SMALL AND STICK WITH THE BASICS IN SKINCARE ROUTINE
The basic process of skincare includes these following steps:
- Morning routine: 1. Cleansing, 2. Moisturizing, 3. Protection
- Night routine: 1. Cleansing, 2. Moisturizing
Anyone who doesn’t know how to start from the beginning, please just follow these basic steps to maintain skin health. Cleansing and protection are the top most important steps that you cannot leave them out. Your skin should be removed thoroughly the makeup, sunscreen, dust, and residues after the long day working outside, before going to bed. This step is to keep your skin hygiene and really crucial for your own health to prevent every skin problem. Protection comes second to protect yourself against the damage from UV Ray, prevent skin cancers, and plus, prevent aging. Hence, even if you are a super lazy person, don’t forget these steps.
Moisturizing is another long story. As moisturizing cannot bring about immediate results and effectiveness, it helps your skin to stay healthy by curing your skin problems and increasing your skin’s capability to fight against the toxic particles in the outside world. If you are a beginner in this area, please stick with the basic steps and simple ingredients.
After you’re done with all the basic things in skincare, you can think about adding some or more steps in your routine. Nobody should go with the 10-step skincare routine even if it creates a really huge wave in the skincare community worldwide. The best routine is the one that suits your lifestyle, your needs, and your environment, not to follow all the fad.
How should we add up the step in our skincare? There are several rules for you to follow:
1. Layer it up by functional order:
When we buy products, we may find the general name of the product on its package and we can use that product based on its name with the order:
- Intermediate level: Cleansing (Water-based cleansing only/Double cleansing/Triple cleansing) → Toner (Skin refiner/Skin softener/Toning water etc.) → Emulsion/Essence → Ampoule → Serum → Moisturizer (cream, facial oil, gel, etc.) → Suncream (in morning routine)
- Advanced level: Cleansing (Water-based cleansing only/Double cleansing/Triple cleansing) → Actives (Chemical exfoliation – AHA/BHA/PHA, Retinoid, Vitamin C…) → Hydration (Moisturizing toner/serum/ampoule) → Occlusives (Moisturizer) → Protection (Suncream)
2. Layer it based on the texture (applied for products with no active ingredients):
After getting products into the order by their function, we can consider the thickness of their texture. The product with a thinner texture will be used before the one with a thicker texture.
3. Layer it based on the pH level (especially for products with active ingredients):
Because products with active ingredients (Vitamin C, Retinoid, chemical exfoliators) will come directly after the Cleansing step, it should be applied based on its pH level. The rule is to apply from the lowest pH level to the highest pH level.
4. Team water goes before the team oil (especially for products with active ingredients)
With actives, we should consider first about the pH level before thinking about this factor. But when the two fall into the same pH level range, water-soluble ingredients (Niacinamide) should be applied before oil-soluble ingredients (Retinoid).
5. The wait time
Some can be advised that we should wait around 15-20 minutes before going to the next step. In fact, to wait until our natural skin pH regains to 5.5, it may take at least 2 hours. Hence, we just need to leave the product on your skin to work around 1-3 minutes to let them penetrate into our skin then move forward.
Even though we can follow all the above rules to build up a super complicated skincare process, I still recommend that we should only go with 1 or a maximum of 2 products with active ingredients at a time, to minimize the risk of damaging our skin barrier. The outcome when our skin barrier gets ruined is the worst.
LEARN BY TRIAL AND ERROR
My final word about building your own skincare routine is that: this is the process of patience. We will need to keep learning, trying and failing all the time to understand our skin, understand how it will react to some or specific ingredients, and how it will get better from time to time. This takes us a lot of attention and we only can know via trial and error, because our skin is all different and unique. No one has the exact skin type with the other and we should be our own doctor to maintain its health and protect it.
A SAMPLE OF MY DAILY SKINCARE ROUTINE IN WINTER TIME
(FROM BEGINNER LEVEL TO ADVANCED LEVEL)
- Cleansing: Cleansing only with lukewarm water
Beginner level: Yuan Wild Mugwort Cream
– Toner: Laneige Cream Skin Refiner
– Serum: Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Serum (Vitamin C)
– Serum: Sidmool Pure BIfida 95 Ampoule
– Moisturizer: Yuan Wild Mugwort Cream
- Protecting: Senka Perfect UV Gel
Beginner level: Water-based cleanser – Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash
Advance level: Double-Cleansing
– Oil-based remover: Hanskin Cleansing balm & Blackheads BHA
– Water-based cleanser: ByWishtrend Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash
Beginner level: Yuan Wild Mugwort Cream
– Toner: Krave Kale-Lalu-YaHA (Clearing toner with actives)
– Serum: Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5
– Serum: Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis 33 Ampoule
– Mask: Mediheal N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask EX
– Moisturizer: Yuan Wild Mugwort Cream