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9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

by in Skin Care Hacks 1月 29, 2021

Many women who care about skin care have at least a couple of skin care products in their possession. However, having good skin care products is not enough: For your products to be most effective, building a good skin care routine for women is key to a better and glowing skin.

A good rule of thumb is to apply skin care products in the right order—in order of texture, from thinnest to thickest, since thin products won’t be able to penetrate thicker ones. No matter your skin concerns, you will want to start with a clean, toned base, then apply concentrated, active ingredients, and finish by sealing in moisture—and, of course, SPF in the daytime.

Here, we are sharing the 9 steps to build a skin care routine for women.

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

Contents:

  1. Step 1: Wash your face
  2. Step 2: Apply toner
  3. Step 3: Apply serum
  4. Step 4: Apply eye cream
  5. Step 5: Use acne spot treatment
  6. Step 6: Moisturize
  7. Step 7: Apply retinoid
  8. Step 8: Apply face oil
  9. Step 9: Apply sunscreen

Step 1: Wash your face

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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Morning and night, rinse your face with water and rub a small amount of gentle cleanser between clean palms. A cleanser removes the dirt, oil, and bacteria that you come in contact with during the day, or at night while you sleep. This first step in your routine is critical.

Massage face wash all over your face using gentle pressure. Rinse your hands and massage your face with water to rinse your face until you’ve removed the cleanser and grime. Gently pat your face dry with a soft towel.

If you wear makeup, you may need to cleanse twice at night. First, remove your makeup with cleansing oil or micellar water. Try leaving dedicated eye-makeup removers on for a couple of minutes to allow the makeup to come off more easily and avoid rubbing your eyes. Follow up with a full-face gentle cleanse.

Step 2: Apply toner

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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Toners are a broad category of products that can be formulated to serve many purposes. Some toners address redness, while others target signs of aging or work to balance the skin’s pH level. All toners remove the dirt and oil that lingers on your skin even after cleansing

If you use toner, apply after cleansing your face and before everything else. Pour a few drops of toner into your palms or a cotton pad and gently swipe onto your face. If your toner is exfoliating—meaning that it removes dead skin cells with ingredients like glycolic acid—use only at night. Hydrating formulas can be used twice a day. Do not use exfoliating toner and retinoids or other exfoliators at the same time.

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Step 3: Apply serum

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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Morning is a great time to use a serum with antioxidants—like a brightening vitamin C serum—because they protect your skin from free radicals you will encounter throughout the day.

Nighttime is a good time to use a moisturizing serum with hyaluronic acid, which keeps your skin from drying out at night, especially if you’re using anti-aging or acne treatments that can irritate and dry out the skin.

Serums can also contain exfoliants such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or lactic acid. Whatever you’re using, always remember: Water-based serums should go underneath moisturizer; oil-based serums should be applied after moisturizer.

Step 4: Apply eye cream

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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You can apply regular moisturizer to your under-eye area, but if you decide to use a specialized eye cream, you’ll typically want to layer it underneath moisturizer, since eye creams tend to be thinner than face moisturizers.

Try using an eye cream with a metal roller-ball applicator and storing it in the fridge to counteract puffiness in the morning. Using a hydrating eye cream at night can cause fluid retention that makes eyes look puffy in the morning.

Step 5: Use acne spot treatment

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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It’s a good idea to use acne spot treatments at night, when your body is in repair mode.

Acne treatments should be applied immediately after you cleanse your skin. When applying these treatments, remember to plan ahead. Most acne treatments need at least 5-15 minutes to dry before you can proceed with the rest of your routine.

Be wary of layering acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acids with retinol, which can cause irritation. Instead, make sure you’re doing the most to keep skin calm and hydrated.

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Step 6: Moisturize

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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Your skin needs moisture to replenish the water it loses throughout the day. Moisturizer both hydrates skin and locks in all the other layers of product you’ve applied. Even if you have oily or combination skin, it’s still important to moisturize.

Look for a lightweight lotion for the morning, ideally with SPF 30 or higher. In the evening, you can use a thicker night cream. Those with dry skin may want to use a cream morning and night. Moisturizers with ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid can provide your skin with the healthy hydration it needs to stay soft, supple, and youthful.

Step 7: Apply retinoid

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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Retinoids (vitamin A derivatives including retinol) can reduce dark spots, breakouts, and fine lines by increasing skin-cell turnover, but they can also be irritating, especially for sensitive skin.

If you use retinoids, know that they break down in the sun, so they should only be used at night. They also make your skin extra-sensitive to the sun, so sunscreen is a must.

Step 8: Apply face oil

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

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If you use a face oil, make sure to apply it after your other skin-care products since nothing else will be able to penetrate the oil.

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Step 9: Apply sunscreen

9 Essential Steps to Build a Skin Care Routine for Women

Image credit: Lila Galimzianova from Getty Images Pro

It may be the last step, but nearly any dermatologist will tell you that sun protection is the most important part of any skin care regimen. Many people only use sunscreen during what seems like the obvious times to do so, like a sunny day at the beach. But, in reality, it is important to wear sunscreen every day. Protecting your skin from UV rays can prevent skin cancer and signs of aging. If your moisturizer does not contain SPF, you still need to wear sunscreen.

For chemical sunscreens, wait 20 minutes before going outside for the sunscreen to be effective. Look for broad-spectrum SPF, meaning that your sunscreen protects from both UVA and UVB radiation.

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Sources:

  • How to Build a Skin Care Routine: The Perfect 9-Step Skincare Regimen – MasterClass
  • How to Build a Skincare Routine for Beginners – Arizona Dermatology

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