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How To Master Your Skincare Routine For Better Results

How To Master Your Skincare Routine For Better Results

Are you making the most of your skincare routine or could you do better? Nobody’s perfect, we get that, so if you’re looking for a few simple tweaks to improve the way you look after your skin, we’ve got your back…

Good news: a great skincare routine doesn’t require tons of cash, hours of free time and an encyclopedic knowledge of the ins-and-outs of every single skincare ingredient out there. Of course, it’s nice to treat yourself to an indulgent facial every now and again, and sure, it can be invaluable to know the differences between active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs. But some of the most important and effective ways to boost your skincare routine are a) super simple and b) totally free.

Now, we don’t know about you, but we’re all over that.

Read on for seven easy ways to maximize your skincare routine so you can enjoy healthier skin with very little effort.

1. Find A Routine That Works For YOU

Skincare routines are very personal things so, while it’s great to take advice from others about their favorite products, what works for them might not be right for you. Of course, this one-size-does-NOT-fit-all philosophy doesn’t make it easy when perfecting your routine but if you understand what your skin needs this is a major step to skincare success.

The best way to know your skin type is to gently cleanse it (try Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser), then leave it alone for an hour or so without applying any further products. After this time, check out your skin in the mirror. Scrutinize it, touch it and you’ll know pretty much straight away whether it’s normal (pretty unlikely!), oily, dry or combination (the most common skin type). If it looks shiny all over, you have oily skin; if it feels tight and possibly itchy, it’s dry and if it’s a mixture of the two, then you have combination skin. Does it feel totally fine and look incredible? Then you’re one of the lucky few with normal skin. And we envy, sorry, salute you!

Once you know your skin type, take another look at your skin and think about the things you might like to address in your routine – be this enlarged pores, breakouts, fine lines, dark spots or dehydration.

All these important factors will help you build an awesome regime that works for your skin and its needs – not someone else's.

2. Take. Your. Time.

Whether you end up with a three-step or ten-step routine, the key is never to rush. Slapping cleanser on your face and rinsing it off without a second thought might work to an extent, but it won’t give you the same results as spending time massaging your face to boost blood flow and drain toxins. It just won’t.

Similarly, layering products on top of each other lightning fast can cause pilling if you’re not careful so give yourself a breather between serum applications or between applying moisturizer and SPF, for example. Put some coffee on, get dressed, brush your teeth, then go back to the next stage of your routine.

Trust us, spending a few extra minutes on your skin will give you much better results in the long-term.

3. Invest In A Face Towel For You & You Alone

It may seem a little decadent to have your own separate face towel but do you really want to be using your bath towel (one word: butt) on your face? Especially if your entire family shares the same towels? Heck no!

And we’ll leave that one there.

4. It’s Not Just What You Apply, But How You Apply It

The way in which you apply certain products can have a profound effect on the state of your skin. Here’s a quick guide to our favorite tried and tested ways to apply the most common products in your routine…

DO apply a dime-sized amount to damp skin and use your hands and pads of your fingers to gently massage it in circular motions all over.
DON’T scrub it into your skin like your life depended on it. This can damage your skin. Not cool.

Eye Treatment
DO use the smallest amount and pat it around the eyes using your ring fingers to ensure a delicate touch.
DON’T press too hard and definitely don’t drag your skin. Bad news.

DO apply straight after cleansing while your skin is still damp, pressing it into your skin with the pads of your fingers.
DON’T use too much – four or five drops should be plenty. And don’t aggressively massage it into your skin.

DO allow your serum to settle first, then use light pressure to massage a quarter-sized amount all over.
DON’T apply more just because your skin feels dry. If this is the case, use a different, richer formulation.

DO be generous and use at least a quarter-sized amount. Apply it the same way as you would regular moisturizer.
DON’T forget your neck!

5. Eat Your Greens

A decent, balanced diet isn’t just great for your health, it makes a vast difference to the look and feel of your skin. How so? Well sugar, salt, processed foods and bad fats are devils for the complexion as they produce nasty little end products called AGES which, as their name suggests, age your skin up super fast by ruining your collagen supplies, killing radiance and drying out your skin.

On the flipside, fresh fruit and veggies, oily fish, nuts and seeds are incredibly good for your skin, feeding it from the inside with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more. Leafy greens, in particular, are chock full of skin-loving stuff like vitamin A to strengthen the skin, vitamin K for improving circulation, zinc which helps reduce breakouts, and zeaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant.

6. Tap Into Your Water

Tap water contains chlorine which is an essential disinfectant for killing off harmful bacteria and maintaining hygienic conditions. Great, right? Actually, not so much for your skin. Chlorine depletes the skin's natural oils, causing dryness and accelerating the aging process. Oh dear.

Tap water is also full of dissolved heavy metals like calcium, copper, iron and magnesium – especially in areas where water is notoriously hard. And what does that mean for your skin? Well, hard water has a higher alkalinity than soft water which can upset the pH balance of your skin. Also, if your skin errs on the side of sensitive, hard tap water can compromise its barrier function, causing further dryness, irritation and redness. It can even exacerbate existing conditions such as psoriasis, acne or eczema if you cleanse with hard water on a regular basis. What the…. whaaaaat?

Don’t fret too much, however. If you live in an area with soft water, you’re totally fine. However, if your tap water is hard and you feel like your skin is suffering because of it, you might want to think about investing in a shower filter or a complete water filtration system in your home to help lessen the blow.

7. Be The Queen Of Cleaning

From questionable countertops to week-old bedlinen and murky-looking makeup brushes, all surfaces trap bacteria, dirt, oil, sweat, allergens and the like. Just because you can’t see what’s lurking on something, it doesn’t mean it’s not dirty and potentially impacting the health of your skin. So, be clean.

Our general rule of thumb is as follows…

DAILY: wash face towels, wipe kitchen counters and clean your smartphone.

TWICE WEEKLY: deep clean surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen.

WEEKLY: Launder your bed linen, wipe down light switches, doorknobs and other surfaces in your home, and shampoo your makeup brushes.

Awesome skin, here we come!

More About This Article

Georgia Gould

Georgia Gould

Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.