It seems the whole world has gone gaga for makeup these days. So many people are obsessed with having the most flawless looks, but we’ve forgotten one crucial ingredient in that recipe – a solid skincare routine. At least until recently. The pandemic introduced a quarantine and masks that encouraged all of us to get in better touch with the skin we are in.
It appears that the beauty industry is tuned in to this, too, as more makeup products boast skincare ingredients. We are also seeing more and more skincare brands pop up on the shelf, and I think it’s awesome. Skincare is a vital part of our physical self-care, and our skin can tell us so much about our health and wellness if we allow it.
I was fortunate to develop a basic skincare regimen when I was a teenager, and it has benefited me in many ways, to name a few:
- Helps fight the visible signs of aging
- Produces a consistently healthy appearance
- Provides a forgiving base for complexion makeup
- Helps me proactively recognize overall changes in my health
There are many reasons people forgo skincare, like time and money, but I am here to convince you that the investment is well worth it.
My Weekly Skincare Routine
How Long Does My Skincare Routine Take Each Day?
My weekly skincare routine revolves around three main elements: cleanse, treat, moisturize. My morning routine takes no more than 3 minutes, and my evening routine takes 3-10 minutes max, with some steps completed while I shower.
What Products Do I Use In My Skincare Routine – and How Much Do They Cost?
I currently use the following products in my skincare routine, but never all at once:
- Cleanser – The Inkey List Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser ($10.99)
- Exfoliant – Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($15-$59); The Ordinary AHA 20% /BHA 3% Peeling Solution ($7.99)
- Serum – The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($7.99); Laneige Water Bank Hydroessence ($38)
- Moisturizer – The Inkey List Symbright Moisturizer ($12.99); Laneige Water Bank Sleeping Mask ($25); Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($22)
I typically invest a bit more in treatments I use less often and choose more budget-friendly options for the products I will use daily (and consume more quickly). In my current regimen, my everyday cleanser, moisturizer, and serum cost around $30 total, and they will last me at least a couple of months. I have two exfoliants and two moisturizers that have varying degrees of strength, but that is totally optional. Your skincare routine should reflect your skin concerns and lifestyle.
Tip: One way to curb costs in your skincare routine is to do smaller sizes of the most expensive products. For example, prior to getting my prestige treatments, I loved sheet masks from Sephora and Yes To. When I was ready to test the waters with Laneige, I started with their $29 travel set, and gradually added a full-sized product at a time, as I could afford to treat myself. The Dermologica Daily Microfoliant comes in multiple sizes, and I find that the $15 travel size is perfect (especially since I don’t actually use it daily).
What Does My Skincare Routine Actually Look Like?
(If you want to see this in action, check out the video above!)
Here’s the 7-day skincare forecast in chart form:
On Sunday night, I like to pamper myself in the interest of starting the week with fresh new skin. I start with my normal Inkey List Fulvic Acid cleanser and follow up with The Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution, a mild chemical exfoliant. I then follow up with Laneige Water Bank Hydroessence and Water Bank Sleeping Mask to soothe and hydrate my skin. Topping off these treatments is the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask for kissable lips in the morning.
Monday Morning/Monday Night/Tuesday Morning
Sunday night’s preparation lends itself to clear, refreshed skin on Monday morning. I rinse the remainder of my sleeping mask from my face and follow up with serum and moisturizer. I use this same combination on Monday night and Tuesday morning, opting to skip any exfoliation in favor of resting from the previous night’s peel.
On Tuesday nights I add Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, a gentle manual exfoliant, to the mix, and I follow up on Wednesday morning with my normal routine.
By Wednesday night, it’s time for a well-deserved refresher. I will use my normal cleanser and the gentle exfoliant and swap my daily moisturizer for the rich sleeping masks that I used on Sunday night.
Thursday Morning – Sunday Morning
At this point in the week, I’ve hit a true stride in my skincare routine, cleansing my skin, hydrating with serum, and moisturizing my face twice a day. I gently exfoliate on Thursday and Friday nights but skip on Saturday night in preparation for my Sunday night peel.
The result of consistently doing this routine is noticeably healthy skin and intimate knowledge of my skin that allows me to proactively confront any challenges I may face. Again, a skincare routine, no matter how basic, is well worth it.
7 Tips For Healthy Skin
1. Listen To Your Skin
A lot of us are very, very in tune with our hair. Over time, we learn our hair type, what products it likes, when it requires attention, etc. Our skin deserves the same treatment. Get to know whether you have normal, dry, or combination skin, as this will guide the products you use in your routine. When you try a new product, don’t be afraid to patch test, and pay attention to how your skin responds. Skin can also tell us about what’s going on inside our bodies. If you notice that your skin is dry or having more breakouts than normal, consider whether you are drinking enough water or consuming enough nutrient-rich foods. Getting to know your skin will take time, but it is a worthy investment.
2. Stop Touching Your Face
I know we’re all hyper-vigilant about where our hands have been lately, but many of us subconsciously touch our faces all day. Especially me. I’m always readjusting my glasses, resting my head in my hands, face-palming ignorance…but I digress. Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It is also full of these tiny openings called pores (you may have heard of them). Thus, whatever nasties are on your hands get transferred to your skin every time you touch it. I know, it’s gross. The same way that process doesn’t bode well for us in our warfare against disease, passing germs and debris to your face doesn’t promote clear skin. Let’s govern ourselves accordingly.
By the way, make sure you keep your phones, pillowcases, sheets, and anything else that touches your face on a regular basis clean.
3. Keep Your Hair Clean
This is mainly anecdotal, based on my personal experience, but I find that my skin looks best when my scalp is clean. For example, when I wear and protective style and go longer than normal between shampoos, my skin begins to look duller and break out more. As soon as I wash my hair or remove the style, my skin clears right up. Furthermore, in keeping with my last point, oily dirty hair that is in frequent contact with your face can encourage breakouts.
4. Don’t Sleep In Makeup
I know it’s a pain to do this after a long, hard day, but please, please, PLEASE, remove all your makeup before you go to bed. Makeup is great at trapping pollutants and dirt in our skin. Not only is this a recipe for clogged pores, but it’s also great for encouraging disease and aging us prematurely. It may seem sexy at night, but I promise it won’t be in the morning – physically or practically.
5. Wear Sunscreen
The sun is fun, but you can have too much of a good thing. Sunburns and skin cancer are real no matter what color you are. Sun damage from UV rays can also cause premature aging. I am late to the sunscreen party, and I have had trouble in the past with it irritating my skin and/or making me look gray. This year, I adopted Black Girl Sunscreen as my sunscreen of choice, as it looks and feels great on my skin.
6. Be Gentle
It may be tempting to scrub your skin to high heaven in the name of cleanliness, but the “T” in Tender Loving Care is a must. Skin is both resilient and delicate. Being rough with your skin or using harsh ingredients too often can cause damage to your skin, and even render it more vulnerable to infection. For example, with exfoliants, more is not always more. Frequent use and coarse granules can inflame and irritate the skin. It can even cause the breakouts you were trying to avoid.
This is where listening to your skin comes in handy – if you notice changes in your skin’s sensitivity, texture, or irritation, dial your skincare process or products back and baby your skin until it recovers.
7. Be Patient
Just like hair, many of us product junkies are easily tempted to run to and fro from one shiny new product to the next. We try one thing and if we don’t see instant results, we move on. When you are establishing a skincare routine, be sure to allow yourself 4-6 weeks of consistency to assess how it’s working. Furthermore, if you are having a challenge with your skin, it may be tempting to throw everything but the kitchen sink at it, but that may make the issue worse. Sunburns are a great example of this. When you see your skin peeling, it may be tempting to “help” the old skin off by scrubbing, but that can cause irritation, inflammation, and even infection to the delicate skin underneath. It’s best to wait it out.
The skin we wear is easily made an afterthought, but it’s our first line of defense against the outside elements we are exposed to all the time. We owe it to ourselves to take care of it.
What’s in your skincare routine? Let’s chat about it in the comments!