Skincare is exceptionally important. Unfortunately, few people take steps beyond washing their face once a day and an annual dermatologist appointment to keep their skin healthy. The most effective way to cultivate and maintain healthy skin is by establishing an at-home skincare routine. Building an at-home skin routine may sound simple, but the opposite is true, which is why few people have one. Which products to purchase and what order to apply them in can be overwhelming for beginners starting their skincare journey. If you’re looking for practical steps and manageable tips that will aid you in creating an accessible and sustainable skincare routine, continue reading.

Morning Skin Care Routine

1. Cleanse

Gently cleansing in the morning sets your skin up for success throughout the day. Begin your skincare regimen by selecting a soft cleanser and proceed by rinsing your skin with warm water. Michelle Greene, MD, recommends using a cream-based cleanser for dry and sensitive skin but also explains that gel-based cleansers can be beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin.

2. Apply a Toner

Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at the University of Southern California, says that toning your skin immediately after cleansing helps to lock moisture into the skin while also opening pores. Shainhouse suggests investing in a toner that has active ingredients like rosewater, chamomile, or green tea, as they soothe the skin.

3. Apply serum

Choosing a serum that is rich in Vitamin C is suggested because not only is Vitamin C a dermatologist-approved ingredient, it also works as an antioxidant in the skin.

4. Moisturize

Sometimes, cleansing the skin, even though it is beneficial, can strip it of supportive fatty acids that assist in skin regeneration. Moisturizers can act as a replacement for the fatty acids in the skin that are lost when cleansing.

5. Apply Sunscreen

Applying an SPF to the skin is one of the most frequently omitted, but most critical steps in at-home skincare routines. A dependable facial sunscreen can help reduce the risk of skin cancer, burning, and wrinkles. By daily applying SPF 15 or 30, you strengthen your skin and provide it with an optimal protective coating.

Nighttime Skin Care Routine

1. Wash Your Face Twice

Washing your face twice before bed is imperative and non-negotiable. Double washing not only removes makeup, but also purifies the skin of dirt, oil, and pollution that have built up throughout the day.

2. Treating Acne

After washing your face, tend to your acne. Applying a spot treatment to any active breakouts on the face directly after cleansing your skin will help the medication to absorb fully. Shainhouse recommends selecting a spot treatment with active ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

3. Apply Serum (optional)

While applying a serum at night is not necessary, it is always an advantage for the skin. If you’re worried about the potential damage done to your skin throughout the day, applying a serum before bed will support the skin in the healing and rejuvenation process.

4. Apply Eye Cream (optional)

Applying eye cream before bed will improve the moisture levels around the eyes, which tend to be sensitive skin areas. Eye cream will also combat wrinkles and crow’s feet.

5. Apply Moisturizer

Cleansing, acne treatments, and wrinkle reduction, while all beneficial to your skin and your at-home skincare routine, can be drying to your skin. Putting on a fresh layer of moisturizer before bed will help to battle dry skin and wake up looking refreshed.