I think everyone loves the idea of starting a skincare routine. The idea of spending a few minutes every day basking in the glow of a freshly cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturized face is enough to send any woman running to the local Target or Ulta for the latest face mask. The trouble comes with the word routine. Routine sounds so mundane. So tedious. So not glowy. A few minutes sounds like such a short amount of time until you’re so tired that just the thought of running a makeup wipe over your face after brushing your teeth at night is daunting. It’s no wonder that a vast majority of us have so much trouble sticking to a proper skincare routine. We get so inspired to take care of our skin, use our brand new 15-step routine once, then settle for cleansing and maybe moisturizing once a day until the next time self-care inspiration hits. Rinse. Repeat. It’s no wonder why our skin hasn’t improved.
See, we live in a world of instant gratification. When we want something we expect to get it almost immediately and lose interest or become frustrated when that doesn’t happen. Your skin’s issues didn’t appear overnight, and they won’t disappear overnight either, despite what many sleep masks and night creams say (thank you false advertising for making my job 100x harder). Great skin takes diligence, patience, and time. It is a skincare routine, after all. So here are my tips and to starting a skincare routine and sticking to it. I promise you’ll see results.
1. Start Small
The number one thing I hear from clients on why starting a routine is so hard is how intimidating it can be. Exfoliants, serums, sheet masks, clay masks, day creams, night creams – and what the heck is an “essence”?? There are so many products on the market that it can be extremely intimidating to decipher which ones to use and in what order. For someone just starting to commit to skincare, my advice is to start small and build your way up. If you start with a complicated 15-step skincare routine, you’ll likely become frustrated with how long it takes and remembering which products to use when. However, if you start small, you’ll get used to having a routine, you’ll better be able to stick to it, and you can slowly incorporate more products with more success. Start by cleansing and moisturizing morning and night. once you feel comfortable and are consistent with that for two weeks in a row, you can begin to add to your routine.
2. Go Slow
Add in products slowly. Incorporate products one by one into your routine. Get used to using one more product before adding another one. I would start by adding a toner after cleansing or a serum before you moisturize, then building up to using an exfoliator, an eye cream, a mask, etc.
3. Moderate Your Use
Keep in mind that you don’t need to use all of your products every time. Some products are only meant to be used a few times a week, and using them more often than this can actually damage your skin. For example, an exfoliator is only meant to be used 2-3x a week. Same goes for a mask. Also keep in mind that your morning and nighttime routines can differ. In the morning, all you really need to do is cleanse, tone, and moisturize. After all, you don’t want to put all your expensive products on your face just to cover them with makeup. Just make sure to apply spf and you’re good to go!
Save the more elaborate steps for nighttime, when your skin is more receptive and better able to absorb all the great ingredients. As far as what a good nighttime routine looks like, you’ll want to remove any makeup, cleanse, tone, exfoliate + mask as needed, use a serum specific to your needs, then finish with a moisturizer and an eye cream.
4. Be Consistent
This is by far the most important part of a skincare routine. Well, any routine, really. You’re never going to reach your fitness goals if you don’t consistently eat right and exercise. In the same way, your skin will never be what you want it to be if you don’t consistently take care of it. Great skin takes patience.
Starting a skincare routine is actually pretty easy once you get going with it. The key is to stick to it and allow at least 3 months of continuous use, and I promise you’ll see real results. And the first time someone says “you have such great skin!” you will feel like a million bucks.