THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUILDING YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE

I’ve got a whopper of a post for you today. It struck me the other day that I hadn’t yet written a comprehensive guide to building your own skincare routine. I’ve done posts on specific skincare woes, but I wanted to create a place that had it all. So here’s how I’m breaking it down. I’m creating categories for common skincare struggles. I’ll explain a little bit about how I would address each struggle (keeping in mind that I’m not a trained aesthetician – I’ve simply done a fair bit of research into skincare) and then I’ll build a few shoppable potential routines for each category.

ACNE

When it comes to acne my philosophy is don’t dry your skin out in the cleansing stage. The Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is as intense as I would ever go. It’s important not to dry your skin out in the cleansing stage because acne treatment products tend to be quite drying, and you want to retain all the moisture you can for that stage. As for treatments, there is no one solution. I would start with trying a BHA or AHA treatment and if that doesn’t work, move onto a benzoyl peroxide or retinol treatment. You may find a combination of treatments works best for you. I would then usually use a lightweight moisturizer for the day and something more intense for the evening.

Cleanse AM
The Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Cleanse PM
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm/Oil
MAC Cleanse Off Oil
Treat
Sunday Riley Luna Oil
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion
Pixi Glow Tonic
Paula’s Choice Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment

Moisturize AM
Caudalie Moisturizing Sorbet
Fresh Lotus Radiance Lotion
Fresh Rose Hydrating Gel Cream

Moisturizer PM
Kate Somerville Goats Milk Moisturizer
La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

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OILY SKIN/LARGE PORES


It’s important to note that there’s really only so much you can do about oily skin and large pores. You might find you’re overproducing oil because you’re stripping your skin, so once again, make sure you’re not drying out your skin in the cleansing stage. As for treatments, BHAs and retinol are two of the most effective treatments for pores. Additionally, you can try treating oily skin with oil. You may find your skin actually produces less oil itself that way. For the daytime a lightweight gel moisturizer tends to sit nicely under makeup and for night, again, stick to something more hydrating.

Cleanse AM
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Cleanser
Ren Clarifying Clay Cleanser
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Cleanse PM
Fresh Soy Cleanser
First Aid Beauty Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser
Treat
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
Sunday Riley Luna Oil
A313 Pomade
Moisturize AM
La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream
Moiturize PM
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

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DRY SKIN


With dry skin, just keep layering on the moisture. Use a rich, hydrating cleanser both day and night, as well as a rich moisturizer. For treatments you can use oils or serums that are designed to make your skin hold onto more moisture. If you have flaky skin, a gentle physical exfoliator is a good way to handle it.

Cleanse AM
Nude Omega Cleansing Jelly
Ren Evercalm Cleanser
Cleanse PM
Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser
Ole Henriksen Melting Cleanser
Exfoliate
Josie Maran Exfoliating Powder (most intense)
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask (less intense)
Laneige Multiberry Yogurt Peeling Gel (least intense)

Treat
Caudalie SOS Hydrating Serum
Josie Maran Argan Oil
Moisturize AM
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche
Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Cream
Moisturizer PM
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche
Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Cream

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SENSITIVE SKIN/ROSACEA


Dealing with sensitive/rosacea prone skin is largely about avoiding triggers such as stress, spicy food and alcohol. Often sensitive skin doesn’t do well with fragrance or certain natural products. Keep it simple and never strip the skin.

Cleanse AM
The Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser
Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
Cleanse PM
First Aid Beauty Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser
Clinique Take The Day Off Balm/Oil
Treat
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Calming Toner
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
Josie Maran Argan Oil
Moisturize AM
La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra
Kate Somerville Goats Milk Moisturizer
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Moisturize PM
La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra
Kate Somerville Goats Milk Moisturizer
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

*For rosacea acne, I recommend getting a prescription for topical antibiotics.

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FINE LINES/SUN SPOTS


Treating fine lines and sun spots is not a strength of mine. I can tell you that vitamin C, AHAs, hydroquinone and reintol are all effective methods of dealing with sun spots. Look for AHAs, retinol and peptides for dealing with fine lines. Additionally, ultra hydrating products will help with fine lines, as it ensures the skin stays plump.

Cleanse AM
Pick whatever other category suits you best.


Cleanse PM
Pick whatever other category suits you best.

Treat Sun Spots
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
Paula’s Choice Triple Action Dark Spot Eraser
Pixi Glow Tonic

Treat Fine Lines and Sun Spots
Sunday Riley Luna Oil
A313 Pomade
Paula’s Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA

Moisturize AM
Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Cream

Moisturize PM
Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Cream

Eye Cream
Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream
Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream

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SUNSCREEN


What I didn’t include in any specific routine was sunscreen. That’s because sunscreen should be used in every single routine. It is the best prevention method for many issues such as rosacea, sun spots and fine lines. Look for sunscreens with a physical SPF, like the ones listed below.

Sunscreens
Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50
La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

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