It may not be rocket science but if you’re like me, then when it comes to skincare you’re left wondering: What should I be using? In what order do I use it? And how often? If these questions sound all too familiar, then you’re in luck. At a recent trip to the dermatologist I asked her to break it down. For general skin care, my dermatologist’s super simple routine is as follows:
1. Wash face twice daily with a gentle cleanser.
When to use: AM and PM.
Sounds like common sense, right? I think for a lot of us the temptation is there to try the latest and greatest when it comes to cleansing products. These days there are jellies and milks, but I encourage you to avoid the temptation and keep it simple. A solid (and affordable) cleansing option is the Foaming Facial Cleanser by Cerave. This cleanser was created by a group of dermatologists and is said to be gentle enough to “deeply cleanse without disrupting the skin barrier.” Bonus: it also takes off makeup!
2. Moisturize twice daily with an oil-free moisturizer
When to use: AM & PM.
Immediately following the cleanser, you should lather up with an oil-free moisturizer. A cult favorite is Simple’s 24-hr Day/Night Cream which is free of all dyes, artificial perfumes, and harsh chemicals. Pro-tip: Hyaluronic acid and ceramides are additional key-words to look for when searching for a facial moisturizer.
3. Apply a facial sunscreen every day
When to use: AM.
Considering that I was speaking with a dermatologist, it should come as no surprise that she recommends applying sunscreen immediately following your oil-free moisturizer. An important tip to keep in mind is that there are two different types of sunscreen – chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens like Neutrogena’s Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch have chemicals in them and work by absorbing the sun’s rays. These sunscreens tend to be better in situations where sweat or water will be involved. Whereas a physical sunscreen like Elta MD’s UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF is a reflector that provides a barrier for the skin. These sunscreens reflect UV rays and may be better for sensitive skin.
5. Apply a serum at night
When to use: PM.
Serums are an important step in your skincare routine, but they aren’t cheap. So, if you’re going to spend the money on them it’s important that you get the most out of them. One way to do this is to make sure that you’re applying your serums to damp skin – which will allow them to penetrate on a deeper level. A great serum option that won’t break the bank is Origin’s Skin-Renewal Serum which helps to restore skin’s glow and minimize pores.
6. Apply a retinol over your serum.
Immediately following your serum my dermatologist recommends applying a retinol such as Roc Retinol’s Sensitive Night Cream. This will help to combat wrinkles and defend against aging.
7. Top it all off with a coat of moisturizer or a facial oil.
Follow this up with another lather of oil-free moisturizer or a face oil and you’re done! A great option is Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil by Sunday Riley which is full of cold-pressed oils and free of all essential oils.