How to Build a Skincare Routine

Beyond cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, what other active ingredients do you need for your skin? A Complete Guide on How to build a day and nighttime skincare regime.

My skincare routine consists of buying whatever fad products are in the market and then waiting for them to die out. JLo has me fully convinced there is a fountain of youth and I know it is not filled with olive oil.

My approach has been mostly trial and error, but I do get quite a few questions on my Instagram about my skincare routine and I have really been limping through it. I took it upon myself to scour the internet and get somewhat educated on the different products and the best practices.

What Did I Find Out?

There is so much information and all the products seem like they are the same but different. Here are some general tips I thought were useful:

  • Anytime there is an active ingredient, it is always a good idea to protect your skin with an SPF
  • When figuring out your skincare routine start with the thinnest product and work your way up
  • Antioxidant serums (Vitamin C or Vitamin E) protect against damaged and can be used in the morning before sunscreen
  • Retinoids are best used at night because they tend to cause irritation

What Do Retinol and Retinoids Do?

Retinol and retinoids are derived from Vitamin A, they slow down the signs of aging. Retinol is found in over-the-counter products and has a lesser concentration while Retinoids are found in prescription products.

The prescription retinoids:

  • Adapalene – assists with acne and decreases swelling
  • Tazaroten – treats psoriasis and reduces fine lines
  • Tretinoin – reduces the appearance of wrinkles and evens out skin

When using a prescription retinoid, add a pea-size amount to your nighttime cream. Retinoids can tend to irritate the skin and cause flaking if overused.

What Do Acid Products Do?

Acids help exfoliate the skin, remove dead skin cells and promote skin cell turnover. To reduce irritation and prevent over-exfoliating use an acid product every other day.

Acids can be used day or night, however, to avoid skin irritation, sunscreen is recommended for us during the day. There is a lot of conflicting information on whether or not retinoids and acid should be used together. Some websites suggest waiting 30 minutes between applications, while others say use acid in the morning and then retinoid in the evening.

  • Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA): Lactic, Glycolic, Citric, and Mandelic
  • Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA): Salicylic Acid

Finding the Right Acid for You:

  • Lactic Acid: good for oil control, derived from milk, brightens, smooths and evens out skin
  • Glycolic Acid: is good for all skin types, evens out skin tone, reduces fine lines and exfoliates
  • Citric Acid: is good for oily skin and is derived from fruits, it helps to exfoliate skin and is usually used to balance the PH in AHA products
  • Mandelic Acid: for sensitive skin, derived from almonds, a gentle exfoliate that promotes collagen production
  • Hyaluronic Acid: for all skin types, it hydrates and plumps skin ( a good accompaniment for retinol)
  • Salicylic Acid: for acne-prone or combination skin, it clears pores, treats breakouts, builds collagen

What Does Vitamin C Do?

Promotes collagen production, evens out skin tone and brightens skin. It is best to be used in the morning before applying sunscreen.

What Do Collagen Peptides Do?

Repair and hydrate skin. Collagen peptides are already present in the body, however, by adding collagen peptides topically it prompts the body to boost collagen growth.

What do Copper Peptides Do?

Improve the firmness and smoothness of skin by promoting collagen growth and helps to normalize acne-prone skin.

What does Niacinamide Do?

A form of Vitamin B helps to reduce inflammation. It renews and restored skin.

What Does Benzoyl Peroxide Do?

For acne-prone skin, Benzoyl Peroxide is a drying ingredient that reduces the amount of germs and bacteria on skin.

Skin Care Products I Love

I used to work at The Bay in cosmetics. I remember a lady told me that she has upgraded to normal skin and she no longer needed a cleanser for combination skin…the reality, her products were just working. Determining your skin type and then figuring out what your skin needs is the best way to building a skin routine. I find that going for a facial and getting a diagnosis on my skin is a good starting off point.

I feel better when my skin looks good, aside from exercise, skincare is my favorite form of self-care. Hopefully, this post was useful!

Vancouver based lifestyle blogger. Visit my blog and discover travel guides, fashion tips and recipes.

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