How to Build An Effective Skincare Routine for Clear Skin: for ALL Skin Types
Hey guys, welcome back. It’s Rowena, (and) it’s Felicia. With the thousands of product, tips and routines we see out there it can get a little confusing. What are the actual steps we need and which ones are extra? The goal of any skincare routine is to give you the essential building blocks to make sure your skin is functioning healthily and at its best another second goal is that it should be complementing and helping you fix any issues that can pop up from time to time or at different stages of your life.
From things like preventing breakouts, healing hyperpigmentation, soothing inflammations or rashes, all of which are skin conditions and these can change daily. Skincare and beauty routines are an opportunity to notice external changes of our skin because we know a lot of it also has to do with the inside.
And like with all good things we have to start with a good foundation and have the basics down so then we can start changing things up, swapping out and trying new products in the right way. Otherwise, we can easily get super overwhelmed with everything that’s out there and it could end up in a complete mess.
AKA everything that we just mentioned: breakouts and rashes. So today we’re going to go over what a healthy skin barrier is and why it’s important, the four core products in a basic skincare routine, no matter what age or skin type you are, the products that are outside the essentials but can be introduced into an intermediate and more advanced skincare regimen and debunk a major myth when it comes to using products and then how to tell when to switch up your routine and why.
Before we jump into the basics of building a foolproof skincare routine, let’s first talk about skin barrier. Healthy skin barrier The reason why we slather anything on our face is to maintain and build a strong protective barrier between us and the outside world.
Our skin barrier is the outermost layer of our skin also known as the stratum corneum Because our skin has three main layers and starting from the bottom is the hypodermis which is the deepest of cutaneous tissue made of fat and tissue and then there’s dermis which is where the connective tissue, oil glands, hair follicles, sweat glands and all of those are and then the top is the epidermis which is the top layer of skin that acts as a waterproof shield between us and the outside world and each layer has an important function in providing us with healthy skin.
But for today, we’re just gonna be focusing on the epidermis. The top of this layer is the stratum corneum and helps prevent things like bacteria, toxic chemicals, free radicals, ultraviolet light from the sun and any external nasties from entering and harming the deeper layers of the skin.
On top of that this layer is also helping to hold water from escaping from inside the body and epidermis is made up of like stacks of flattened cells or cornea sites and each has a thick coating of fat which is also known as lipids that surrounds it.
Kind of like a brick wall that forms to keep precious water inside so that the skin stays firm and hydrated and therefore we won’t get wrinkles. When this is functioning well and healthy the skin is hydrated, plump and firm.
But when it breaks down overall, skin health goes down with it So the key is a healthy radiant skin really is keeping the skin barrier or epidermis happy. And when the skin barrier gets weak and the skin starts losing water and starts drying out, it’s like the brick wall starts to crumble Humpty Dumpty falls off and this is when your skin can show up as inflamed and dehydrated and flaky on the outside and breakouts can occur because the barrier is compromised and bacteria is able to get inside and then there’s things like premature aging to the skin because of dryness as well as triggering existing skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
So that’s the skin barrier. Now we know why we even need to use all of these products because it is to help restore moisture to protect and deliver a source of hydration into the skin, to keep it functioning strong and healthy.
The Basics: Think of your skincare routine as consisting four main steps. The first is cleansing: washing your face, then it’s toning, hydrating which is balancing the skin then comes moisturising or hydrating and softening the skin, and sunscreen, to protect and to prevent.
So you might be thinking what about serums or eye creams or oils? Well we’ll explain those in just a bit. But before we just mentioned, are the most important step in any basic skincare routine whether you’re 15 or over 60.
Okay so first starting off with cleanser. We have talked about this in actually every like skincare basics video but will just recap because it’s super important. All these steps, cleansing is the first step in getting rid of things like dirt, oil, dead skin that’s lying on top of our skin and these nasties can easily find their way into our pores clog them and produce breakouts which is why cleansing is so important for everyone.
The difference for each person then comes down to how often you wash your face and what cleansers you’re using. For some dry skin types, cleansing by just using a cotton pad and micellar water is enough for the morning and then using a proper cleanser at night to really cleanse off all nasties and germs from the day.
Dry skin types want to stick to milk, gel or cream cleansers as they’re milder and won’t disrupt the skin barrier by stripping too many natural oils from the face and for oily skin types you can use cleansers with things like salicylic acid because it’s a really gentle way to make sure your skin doesn’t get too oily and keeps your skin in check and when you wash your face try to cleanse it for about two minutes so that the ingredients can really seep into the pores and really like do its job because if it’s too quick it’s kind of like redundant, it’s like splash on our face.
And always use gentle circular motions in each section. So like cheek, forehead, nose. I went home and saw my sister wash her face and she’s like, literally like this. and I’m like shocked. It’s like my dad.
Oh, yeah like a man! Oh my gosh, like not okay. You’re like tugging at your skin. So I like using cleansing oils before the actual cleanser to just get rid of all the makeup because double cleansing is when you first use an oil-based product to melt away makeup and oil attracts oils so things like foundation will glide off easily.
And then once that’s off, you can go into your water-based cleansers which then takes off the rest of the debris. It’s super important that you thoroughly wash at night even if you don’t wear makeup because even the moisturizers and sunscreens on your face mix with dirt and just environmental pollutants and things in the air It will cause breakouts on your skin So you want to make sure it’s clean before putting your face on your pillow So our all-time favorite cleansers that have stood the test of time that we use throughout the year are the Krave Matcha Hemp Cleanser, Indie Lee’s Purifying Face Wash, The Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser, La Roche-Posay BHA Cleanser, and the 9 Wishes Rice Cleanser with gentle micro exfoliation beads.
Don’t feel like we talked about all of these a lot already Yeah But actually the Indie Lee is a newer one to our addition and the consistency is so similar to the Krave Matcha Hemp. It’s like jelly. It’s not as um – I feel like Krave if you go like this It’s a bit sticky like goopy, tackier.
The Indie Lee isn’t like that. But the feeling of it, it’s amazing! It’s like a wet cloud on your face after you start. It actually made me so excited to clean my face in the morning. Wake up! I get to cleanse my face! Thank you Indie! So that one is actually really good and it’s good for like all skin types, good for day and night, It’s so gentle, it smells really good.
And then with the 9 Wishes Rice Exfoliation one like the micro rice bran beads are actually so gentle as well So you can also use that every day and it’s a great physical exfoliant. And then with the La Roche-Posay, This is also a newer addition for me.
It was $15 and it’s probably one of the best drugstore BHA cleansers that I’ve ever tried. It’s also the same as like the Drunk Elephant consistency and texture. it’s clear, it’s not jelly-like but it’s gel so it’s a little bit more runny and You can use this morning and night, every single day So even though it’s got 2% BHA, it’s gentle enough.
For oily skin people, definitely stay away from it. But for like combo oily (skin type), it’s super good. Now moving on to Toners and Hydrators. The first step to a truly glowing and clear complexion is hydration, right? That doesn’t only apply to people with dry skin.
It also applies for all skin. We all need hydration and like we mentioned just before our bodies and each layer of our skin needs water to function. Hydrating products like toners and hydrators are products designed to increase the water content the majority of toners are water-based liquids made up of specific active ingredients like humectants including plant extracts as well as essential oils, so humectants have the ability to attract water from its surroundings through absorption or adsorption and just to nerd out a little about these two terms absorption and adsorption are slightly different.
So, absorption is the process when a substance passes through and dissolves throughout it So like if what I went into your hair, it actually goes into your hair and dissolves within it Absorption is when the atom or the molecules are attracted and attached to the surface of the material So humectants on the skin and the hair can do both Wow Well, that’s what it means to like find water to the skin But in fact, humectants like hyaluronic acid work best in wet climates where there is a lot of moisture in the air like when it’s humid or rainy.
Otherwise it can actually draw moisture up from your own skin, which is not as effective. Humectants can function within a moisturizer formula, but depending on the skins needs, will not supply the skin with a sufficient amount of hydration.
Like for her, if she just uses a moisturizer and like nothing else, it’s like too dry. It’s like it doesn’t do anything. It needs like a toner as well. and we say this because you might be thinking Oh, my moisturizer has hydrating ingredients and it’s moisturizing enough already But these ingredients in your moisturizer Are not always able to penetrate as deeply because the molecular size of these toners and serums tend to be a lot smaller Compared to moisturizers that are bigger.
If you have dry skin and are only using a moisturizer, chances are you are feeling the need to apply it multiple times throughout the day. Where are my dry skin girls at? And I think this is a mistake – Not you! No, definitely not me.
Like people who are younger who are just getting into skincare, they can also maybe fall into this if it’s like really dry skin, but only using like a really light moisturizer So long story short, because toners and hydrators are made up of mostly water they should sink almost instantly into the skin and remember to apply hydrators or toners first otherwise, there’ll be nothing for your moisturizer to trap in later.
So the ones I’ve been using are the Tatcha essence as well as the Ling skincare hydrator, and I’ve been loving the Laneige cream skin refiner. It is magic. So these three products are just very hydrating and nourishing for the skin.
Now the third step is moisturiser. And we’re probably going to glaze over this because we already did like two videos about it But this is one of the core products that everyone should have in any skincare routine.
So take it away, moisturizer. A moisturizer’s main responsibility is to reduce trans epidermal water loss by forming a layer over the skin surface Moisturizers are able to reduce the risk of evaporation of existing moisture throughout the day.
Healthy normal skin is able to produce lipid cells and these cells trigger the skin’s natural ability to protect itself from moisture loss which communicates to our sebaceous glands to produce more oil or sebum.
Those with a disrupted lipid barrier often suffer from dry skin conditions as the skin is unable to coat the skin surface with the appropriate amount of sebum causing a loss of hydration. So a moisturiser should help to correct the lipid barrier so that the skin is able to regain healthy moisture balance and the key word here is help as these products are only part of a solution and it’s not a fix-all to every skin condition on their own but the products that we’ve been liking for moisturizing is the Differin Oil Control moisturizer with sunscreen for acne prone skin.
I’ve been loving the First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Face Cream and for another drugstore alternative is the CeraVe moisturizing lotion. So with the Differin one, I really love it because it does have sunscreen as well, but it’s not greasy and white.
It’s also really lightweight and it also helps to mattify the face So one day I kind of like tested this on the first day and I asked one of our co-workers: Does my face look different? She’s like it’s not as greasy because about 11 o’clock in the morning it’ll be like greasy already, but this really does help control oils.
And for the First Aid Beauty, it’s like a very deeply hydrating moisturizer that’s just like no frills no fragrance, nothing crazy added in. It just does what it’s supposed to do and First Aid Beauty is also really good for sensitive skin.
So now that we’ve hydrated our skin and we’ve trapped in all that nice hydration and moisturization, the next step is to protect it all. So sunscreens! Sunscreens are essential for any skin care routine It’s one of the most effective ways if not the most effective way to keep your skin looking youthful because most of the premature wrinkling fine lines and pigmentation happened because our skin is exposed to sun without being protected.
And you might not think much of sunscreen if you’re still younger, you know you think you have youth on your side or if you like that tanned skin look, this will catch up with you because your skin won’t be able to bounce back as you get older And this is like what I face, so things like freckles, acne marks, hyperpigmentation.
It will just take longer for those to fade. Also, ultraviolet light directly attacks the collagen and elastin in the dermis layer, and this is the essential protein in our skin that makes it firm and bouncy and youthful.
So sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Plus, there are so many different types of really great non greasy sunscreens now. It’s not like this white film that lifesavers used to use. So sunscreens we’ve been loving are the Krave Beet The Sun, The COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream.
So all these are Korean sunscreens. Something about the Koreans and their formulation. I’m a big fan. Yeah, it’s just really lightweight, silky but protects, and also really affordable. Now that we’ve covered the basics, the foundation of skincare that literally everyone and their mother needs like we all – and their father, brother, sister, any siblings, grandparents, we all need.
Let’s move up a tear to the products we can add into our routine as supplements. Like once you’ve figured out your foundation, what works, these are the ones you can start playing around with. For us personally, serums are a part of our basics routine because serums deliver a potent amount of active ingredients to the skin and it’s like a complete boost of hydration after the toner.
No matter which serum you use it will be hydrating as well as other benefits like brightening with Vitamin C and normally comes as serums, it helps fade acne marks. There’s overall hydration boost and it helps control oils with ingredients like salicylic acid.
Also a skincare routine is like any other routine you have in life whether it’s like exercise routine, eating or food routine, whatever it is, the good things only come when you give them enough time and patience.
So if you’re introducing or trying a new product we can’t just say it’s not working after using a like once or twice or if you don’t see immediate results. A lot of the products will take at least like two to four weeks for you to actually see any difference even including things like Vitamin C and especially Retinol and things that take a little bit longer to work and check out our serums video if you guys want to find out more because we go in detail in depth about everything about serums.
Moving on to eye treatments. So with eye treatments, we have an entire video dedicated to that as well. Telling you guys things like puffiness and dark circles. Why are they here? How to get rid of them? Can we get rid of them? It’s mostly dependent on the internal functioning of our body and less about what we’re actually applying onto our eyes and onto our face.
So eye creams aren’t pivotal, but we know a lot of people enjoy them like I also still enjoy using them just keep in mind that you can just use a very simple moisturizer for your face and just make sure you get that under eye area as well and that will be more than enough to hydrate it.
Just don’t use like chemical exfoliants under there. I did for a while. Yeah, and we’re like shocked. Felicia was shocked. Yeah, (keep it) simple, like ceramides You know any drugstore simple moisturizer is good.
Night creams Our body goes into repair mode at night to restore any damages while we’re sleeping and we also lose a lot of hydration as we (sleep). Night creams are usually thicker and richer because we lose a lot of hydration during the night when we’re sleeping so if it’s not locked in, this is when we can wake up with dry and dehydrated skin.
And the thing is, you don’t necessarily need to go out and buy a night cream I know there’s a lot of packaged moisturizers that say like night cream (or) sleeping masks. Well sleeping masks also can be used during the day, right? Oh, just any pamper session.
It’s more about using a moisturizer that’s a little thicker but it won’t block your pores. And this could be the same as your day cream. So I always use day creams at night as well . then Exfoliants! When it comes to exfoliants or exfoliating, there’s physical and there’s chemical.
We have another video dedicated entirely to that explaining what the difference is. So for a more in-depth explanation, make sure you watch that one Yeah and I think when it comes to like chemical exfoliation, a lot of people are very interested about but they’re very confused about as well.
As a general rule, just avoid – In terms of physical exfoliators, avoid harsh granules and scrubs because this can really be harmful to the skin and instead opt for, even though it doesn’t sound more gentle, a gentle chemical exfoliant like fruit enzymes which are AHAs that gently helped to shed away the like glue and oils and also dead skin that bind together and seep into the pores.
AHAs and BHAs are in a lot of skincare products from toners, serums, moisturisers and even masks. So if you’re just starting out, we recommend starting from maybe a toner with AHAs or BHAs, look for a very small percentage and once your skin gets used to it, you can build up the percentages and your skin will naturally adapt.
So always the lowest the better like 1% or even under 1% and then slowly work your way up. That is what the intermediate kind of additions that you can add slowly into your basic routine, and now we’re at the top tier kind of like the extra frills, the tip of the triangle.
Yeah So these include face mask, at-home-peels, retinols, and like tools and gadgets. With these you definitely don’t need them in your basic skincare routine because it’s nice to have it’s kind of like pampering or like a luxury.
Face masks are essentially serums applied to the face with a cotton sheet, and peels are exfoliants, and retinols, you only need it from like 25 onwards and any tools are an extra addition to kind of like how you apply it so that it helps boost.
You can definitely look into these once you figure out the basics and then you’ll know how and when to incorporate these So for tools, we’ve been using the Foreo, there’s Clarisonic, there’s Vanity Planet, there’s the Jade rollers, there’s even those like charcoal sponges that you can use – the konjac (sponge) They’re just there to like help and aid in application of things like cleansers and stuff like that which are definitely helpful, but it’s not necessary.
So now that we’ve kind of summed up like the basics, the additions, and then the like nice little frills, so that leaves us on to the next question. Which is probably: How do I know when to change it up? Here I want to first mention a skincare myth your skin doesn’t get used to a product and stop working.
But rather it’s that your skin and your body and the environments are constantly changing This will make your skin condition change during different times as well. It might be getting colder and so your skin needs more hydration or your hormones might be making your skin act up and so your skin might be oiler than normal which means the product that you’ve been using normally will also need to change, to adapt to this.
Some other signs you may want to change up your skincare routine are if your skin is looking red and inflamed your skin products are starting to sting when you haven’t changed anything skin is developing rashes or textured bumps.
So going off of that, let’s look at breakouts or bumpy skin. When we say bumpy, there are many types of bumps we could mean but we’re referring to closed comedones and these come about for a variety of reasons.
But if there’s like a sudden outbreak of them on your cheek or your chin or wherever it is it could signal that something you’re using has too much oil for your skin to handle, and it could be from oily foundations or a primer that you started using or moisturizer or just something new that isn’t fitting right in your routine.
This then is a sign to switch something up. So two days ago. I woke up with a giant friend on my cheek and I think I don’t usually get things on my face in general There’s a big one on my cheek and five like or six little ones near like when you see an actual pimple with pus on her face like something went wrong because like a big one that was filled.
And then? So what was it? Did you introduce something new? I always test products I think I use Vitamin C with the Great Barrier Relief from Krave Beauty’s new serum I don’t think anything in that would cause a reaction though I also went swimming so maybe the chlorine and it could be like really drying and then for like me the other day, I went in and spot treated with this like ‘natural’ It had salicylic acid But also like oat kernel and stuff and I feel like thinking back every time I use this product my whole face gets itchy and inflamed with like tiny little bumps and that happened again.
So these type of things are like an indication that your body is basically like repelling something telling you that it’s not working. Maybe in the order that you’re using it or is just like something in the ingredients or it could be your diet and your environmental factors.
There’s one time, I think I had like a quarter of a can of SPAM and then I broke out for like 2 weeks. She was just like: “I want SPAM”. It was so good with like noodles. It was like a healthy noodle tree.
Anyway, it had bok choy (a type of Chinese cabbage). A great ingredient to deal with these sorts of breakouts is BHA or salicylic acid and salicylic acid is oil soluble and so is able to penetrate deep into the pores and kill the bacteria that’s causing the blockages that lead to these things like bumps and breakouts.
Or you can be hit with the drought and suddenly get dehydrated and epically dry skin. If you’ve been using the same products but realize that you’re getting a little dry still when once before these products used to work miracles, it could be three things.
The first is the skin is growing into a new face, the second is environmental or seasonal changes, and the third is that the current products are over drying. So with the first point, our skin goes through phases like from when we’re teenagers, hormones are more rampant and so skin issues will typically be at its worst.
Then it levels out into your 20s and then between your 20s and 30s and onwards, your skin will start to lose collagen and also get drier. So with all these changes in our skin and body, your skin will also need to make changes to fit in.
And this is normally when you’ll start adding and switching up your basics start adding on those like extras and intermediate products like retinols or heavier creams and chemical exfoliants. When it comes to seasonal, we normally have a summer routine and a winter routine because we need added protection and moisture in the colder months because we lose a lot of hydration through evaporation and whereas in summer, we need to switch to lighter creams like gels to cater to the fact that there’s sweat and humidity to factor in and another reason why our skin can become overly dry is because of the mix of products that we’re using could be too over drying which causes your skin barrier to crumble.
For example If we load it up on AHAs and BHAs consecutively, over a really long time to cure some sort of breakout problem, it may have been helpful for the first few days to keep the breakouts in check.
But if you keep using it, then it could potentially dry it out too much. When you feel that you’re going to start breaking out or you’re congested, start by using the BHAs and AHAs and then after maybe about two or three days then you can start to see that it’s going down and going back to normal, switch back into your normal more gentle products.
Sometimes you’re just bored, feelings spendy spendy, watching too many skincare videos, so we all get excited because we see something new at the store or we hear about it from a friend like raving about how awesome this bottle is.
Yeah, or binge-watch on too many skincare videos and you just feel like trying something new. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about experimenting and having fun with it, right? Yes, and whatever it is If you do end up getting one or two new products and you want to start incorporating them into your skincare routine, do it one at a time and this way if anything hits the fan you’ll know right away what it is.
I’m careful with what I use on my skin, too. Like I make sure to read the ingredients and make sure things aren’t too crazy and I feel like there are higher risk changes and then there’s like low risk changes and the higher risk ones are the products more within our daily skincare routine.
Like the toner, the moisturizer, the serum because if you change up those too much and use something that your skin is like completely new to and you haven’t tried anything like that before, it could easily end up like a mess on your face.
So no matter how excited you might be to pop open a new product the safest way to try something new is to try things out when you have a little bit of downtime, you have nowhere to be and no one to see.
Just in case your skin does result in breakouts or a rash or whatever it is at least you’ll have the next few days to recover from that. And then also during this time, stop using any chemical exfoliant and just use plain and basic products in the basic foundation level with no fragrance because during this time your skin barrier is dying and needs time to restore back to the normal state.
So that was our basic or ultimate guide to building a skincare routine because we get a lot of questions about people who are just starting out with skincare but also how to like incorporate new products or switch up products, these are always a bit of a risk, but it’s actually not too difficult once you know which things to swap in and out and like find out the reason of why things aren’t working as much as they could be but also, keep in mind that what works for one person does not work for another one.
So we have a video dedicated to every step of the skincare routine from cleansers, all the way to oils and face masks. But we thought for this video, we just get down to the basics of what we actually need in our routine.
Yeah, because a lot of you ask us: “I’m 15. What do I need in my skincare routine?” Girl, you’ll only need the basic. That is what you need, everyone needs and then hopefully now it makes a little bit more sense about how to switch them up or add certain products in and when you actually need to and how it kind of fits into the grand scheme of things so that we can all make like better decisions hopefully, and save a lot of money.
Yes, check out our other videos, and we’ll see you in the next one. Bye!