I decided to manage my skin care routine and finances more efficiently when I went through my product stash and realised I didn’t have a sensible selection of products for my actual needs. I had like four different moisturisers in various states of use, one cleanser I didn’t like very much and a toner I was ignoring because I thought salicylic acid was a bad thing. I cringe every time I think about it.
Not only did I not know what I was doing, but I was buying things with absolutely no forethought to my budget or needs. I made all kinds of terrible skincare mistakes, and I have to admit, I’ve been pretty guilty of almost everything in SnowWhiteandtheAsianPear’s post on newbie mistakes.
Determined to end the cycle of dashed hopes and no results I decided that before I started spending again, I would make a mental list of what I was trying to tackle (oily skin, acne, hyperpigmentation) and research the kind of products or ingredients that could help.
Instead of pinning all my hopes on one product to save my skin, I started looking at products as categorisable each tackling a different skincare need. Now, over a year later, I can confidently say, every skincare product I own belongs to one of four categories that I’ve identified as important for my personal skincare. Cleanse, Prep, Treat and Moisture.
This is not a product review topic, just a general how I organise my routine topic.
To me cleansing is the foundation upon which I build my skincare routine. In the past, a lot of my skincare problems came from using the wrong kind of cleanser, or not cleansing properly which meant no matter what I layered on top, I was fighting an uphill battle to clear skin. Time, trial and error has left me with a pretty good idea of what I want in each cleansing step.
Everything that I use to cleanse my skin falls into this category.
For removing makeup and sunscreen.
For cleaning general dirt of the day.
Point Makeup Remover
For removing eye and lip makeup. Also for quick base makeup removal without using water.
I tend to take my time with my night time routine, and as a result I find that in between steps my skin can dry out, so I started misting and adding my thinner lotions between steps to the absolute delight of my skin!
This category is for products that boost hydration between steps.
For the glow.
Mostly Japanese lotions (but not always!) rich in Hyaluronic Acid.
For cooling my skin, adding moisture and aiding in makeup application.
All my acne and hyperpigmentation busting products all sit here making nice with my pampering sheet masks. Treatment, special treats, you get it? Eh? I’m here all week ❤
Basically, anything that specifically helps with my current skin issues goes in here!
For use in preventing and reducing acne.
Anything that speeds up the healing of specific acne/spots.
Serums & Essences
Targeted skin issues.
Primarily moisturising and as pampering.
I like all kinds of moisturizers. From gel, to gel creams, barrier forming and simple hydrators.
If it’s job is to moisturise and protect my skin, then it goes in this category.
Light-weight moisturiser for AM use.
Heavier creams for PM use.
Protection against UVA & UVB.
With those building blocks, my General Routine currently looks like this:
Serums & Essences
Although that’s a typical routine, I add and remove things as my skin demands, some days I might skip serums and just use a sheet mask, other days, I may forgo spot treatments all together. I might add more than two hydrating lotions because I feel my skin is dry, or I might double up on the gel-creams.
The absolute beauty of thinking in product categories is that I can be flexible, plus it’s fun to look at my skin, know what it needs and be able to select products to sort that out!
I cannot stress this enough. You absolutely do not need a 10, 12 or 20 step routine to have great skin, a lot of the multi step routine is marketing fluff designed to get you to part with your money. Like my good friend Fifty Shades of Snail says, it “isn’t the length of the routine, it’s the depth and breadth of the individual options.” You could just use three and that could be enough. Rather than hitting some arbitrary product limit, I focused on figuring out what was best for my skin.
I don’t have a set routine, I have products that sit nicely in categories that help me achieve, blemish free, even toned and healthy glowy skin!