3 Tips for a Simple At-Home Skincare Routine

We are bombarded with countless beauty products every day thanks to Pinterest, personal blogs and mainstream media. With information overload about how to care for our skin, can you discern what the bare necessities are when it comes to your face?

As an esthetician, I have many new clients who bring in giant bags of skincare products when they come to my treatment room for the first time. Not only are they spending a ton of money on things they don't need, but most of their products have ingredient crossover or aren’t designed for their skin’s specific needs.

While the internet may have a different opinion, I am a firm believer that having a simple skin care routine both morning and evening is the only way to achieve healthy skin.

Skincare doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. Here are three things to bear in mind if you want to have a simple, no-frills skincare routine.

Cleanse your face both morning and night. 

If you are avoiding this step it’s because you’re too tired at night or your face feels too tight after you cleanse, you're not the only one. These two complaints are the most common reasons my clients skip cleansing their face in the evenings.

You need to be consistent when it comes to washing your face. In the evening, wash your face either when your kids are settling down for bed or before you sit down to unwind before hitting the sheets. In the morning, cleanse your face as soon as you roll out of bed -- it will also help you feel more awake.

After washing your face, your skin should never feel tight, dry or “squeaky clean” as this is a sign your cleanser is too harsh for your skin.  It could also mean your product includes ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, exfoliating beads or AHA’s that shouldn't be found in a gentle daily cleanser.

On another note, just because you have pimples doesn’t mean you need an acne-specific cleanser. These are designed for oily skin types, not for women experiencing adult acne or hormonal breakouts. When it comes to choosing a cleanser, stick to the ones with the least ingredients as those are the most gentle on the skin.

Don’t exfoliate every day.

Exfoliating too frequently can cause skin conditions such as sensitivity, redness and even an increase in acne. Companies selling these products like to tell us that in order to have clear pores, even skin and fewer wrinkles, we need to constantly scrub our faces of dead skin cells. The irony behind that statement? All the skin we touch on our face is composed of dead skin cells.

Those cells act as our protective barrier which is necessary to keep our live cells safe from damaging UV rays, toxic ingredients, air pollution and even bacteria. If we are constantly scrubbing at our skin, we are essentially removing and preventing our skin’s barrier from remaining intact. This can not only lead to sensitive and blotchy skin, but pollution and bacteria can enter our bloodstream and cause harm to our bodies over the long run as well.

I highly recommend an enzyme exfoliant since they are not harsh on the skin and only remove excess dead skin cells that don’t belong on the skin’s surface. Exfoliation only needs to be done once or twice a week.

Moisturize twice a day.

No matter what type of skin you have, you always need a bit of moisturizer. SPF moisturizer should be used during the day to keep the UV rays away and a thicker moisturizer can be used to keep your skin hydrated while you sleep. If you don’t moisturize, you skin becomes dry and less resilient.

A common misconception is that people suffering from oily skin should moisturize less to keep their faces from getting too shiny. This is an urban legend! Depriving the skin of proper moisturizer actually signals our oil glands to produce excess oil in order to lubricate the skin's barrier and keep it intact. If oily skin is your biggest woe, keep oil blotting sheets in your purse to dab the excess off throughout the day.

I highly suggest using up the products you own before purchasing new products, unless your routine just isn't working for your skin. If you have questions or concerns about an at-home skin care routine and are ready to get serious and establish one, you can always schedule a consultation with an esthetician who is knowledgeable about products, ingredients and variables in skin types. Many offer free consultations and they help you simplify your skin care routine based on the products you already own.