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How to Establish an Effective Skincare Routine

It can be really confusing to know what to do to get amazing skin, there's a lot of different suggestions, advice, products and recommends around. This guide will outline a simple routine that you can follow step by step and discuss the best products to use. This guide is best for oily/spot prone skin, but you could adapt it for dry or combination-type skin. Start reading at step one below.


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    Resist the temptation to touch your face. This is a very important step. You can transfer countless bacteria from your hands to your face just by simply touching it. Dirt can get trapped in your pores and then it can lead to a cluster of very unattractive pimples. If you have to touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water - or alternatively, use a face towel. Oil-absorbent paper also works well, but only use it one time, or you'll transfer the oil and dirt back to your face, which won't do anything to make your skin better.
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    Determine your skin type and buy skin care products to suit your skin type. This is an incredibly important step because if you buy products that aren't appropriate for your skin, they will be incredibly ineffective, and may worsen the situation. You should also take into consideration specific issues that your skin has, such as acne.
    • Normal Skin-Normal skin is smooth and firm to the touch with small or medium sized pores. It doesn't get too dry or too oily, and it only has the occasional blemish. People with normal skin should moisturize, cleanse, use a spot treatment, and maybe a night solution.
    • Dry Skin-If your skin feels very tight and is noticeably flaky in areas, then you have dry skin. Dry skin can be caused by lack of hydration or malnutrition. Dry skin can look rough and bumpy, and rarely gets oily. Those with dry skin should find a deep moisturizer, use a spot treatment, and use a moisturizing night solution.
    • Oily Skin-Oily skin is easy to identify. If your face is visibly shiny, and literally feels slightly wet to the touch then you have oily skin. Oily skin come with large pores that are more noticeable, and usually is more prone to blemishes. If you have oily skin, you should tone, exfoliate, use a spot treatment, and lightly moisturize once in a while.
    • Combination Skin-Combination skin be a little of just about every skin type. If you have combination skin, you tend to get oily around your nose, chin, and forehead area, and dry around your cheeks. The rest of your skin may be normal. A lot of people have combination skin. If you are among them, exfoliate, cleanse, moisturize, and use a spot treatment.
    • Sensitive Skin-If you burn very easily, have reactions to certain cosmetics, and have irritated skin after a dramatic change in weather, then you have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is very hard to deal with because it isn't as durable as other skin types. You have to thoroughly test products before risking a purchase, and you find blemishes hard to treat. If you have sensitive skin, use a moisturizer, cleanser, and spot treatment all suitable for sensitive skin.
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    Never pick, squeeze or pop your pimples - no matter how tempting it is. It hurts more, looks worse, and eventually may leave behind an ugly scar. Simply, it won't do anything to make your skin better. It just makes it WORSE.
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    If you don't already have them, you will need to buy a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, exfoliant, cotton pads & a face mask.
    • Unless you have spots on your face the majority of the time, products such as Clean & Clear, Oxy or Clearasil aren't recommended - these products are way too harsh and strip the skin of it's natural oils, leaving it very dry and uncomfortable. Although, as long as moisturize enough you could handle them.
    • Opt for gentle or sensitive cleansing products which will remove excess oil and promote healthy, clear skin without the use of harsh chemicals. If your skin feels tight, dry or sore after cleansing, your facial wash is too harsh for your skin and it's time to invest in a more gentle one. NOTE: 'natural' isn't always better when it comes to skincare, they can still irritate your skin.
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    Cleanse, tone and moisturize twice a day - once in the morning before you put on makeup, and once at night before you go to bed. This will give your skin a chance to heal and breath overnight rather than being clogged by dirt or make up. It's easiest to do this when in the shower as it makes rinsing easier, but if you are only washing your face, here's how to do it:
    • First, wash your hands so you won't be transferring bacteria to your face.
    • Wet your skin with warm water to open up your pores. Apply the cleanser and massage it into your skin in upwards, circular motions. Some products will work best if you leave it for a minute or so to allow it to dissolve dirt and makeup, and to let it get deep into your pores. During this time, continue to gently rub the cleanser in.
    • Then remove, either with damp cotton pads, using a sponge, or by splashing with warm water, gently wiping until ALL the cleanser is removed. Never leave any cleanser on your face, as this encourages irritation, spots and imperfections.
    • Finish off by rinsing your skin with cold water to close up the pores and prevent dirt getting back into them, and therefore preventing blemishes. It will also leave you looking more fresh faced, and less red.
    • Dry your face gently by dabbing it with a clean towel or paper towels. Dirty towels transfer hundreds of bacteria onto your skin which can lead to imperfections.
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    A few minutes after cleansing, tone your face with toner and a cotton pad. Toner is used to restore your skin's natural pH levels which were probably altered during cleansing. By restoring your skin to its natural pH, you also make it more resistant against bacteria and micro-organisms. There are many different types of toner out there, some simply restore your skin's pH, others also kill bacteria, or leave a spot-fighting ingredient on your skin. Look around the shops for one to suit your skin type. It's most essential with people who have an oily skin type. If you don't have an oily skin type, choose one that's designed to be sensitive. Here's how to use it.
    • Apply a small amount of toner to a cotton pad and simply wipe over your entire face, but being careful to avoid the sensitive eye area.
    • Do not rinse off!
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    So after cleansing and toning you should moisturize with a face moisturizer for your skin type. This step can NOT be avoided, even if you have an oily skin type. It's especially important for those with dry skin. There are loads of moisturizer products to choose from, such as gels (best for oily/spot prone skin), creams (best for dry/sensitive skin) and serums (best for normal/oily skin). Some provide anti-blemish action, some are anti-wrinkle, some contain fake tan, and some simply moisturize.
    • When the toner is dried, apply a small blob of moisturizer, gently massaging in a circular motion into your face and neck.
    • If you haven't applied enough moisturizer and your skin still feels a little tight, then apply a bit more. If you apply too much and it feels too oily, then gently blot with some tissue.
    • Some people also like to use a separate moisturizer which is designed for the eye area to prevent aging or swelling.
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    Once or twice a week, in place of your daily cleanser, you should exfoliate with an exfoliating facial wash. Make sure that it's nothing too harsh, it shouldn't feel like sandpaper on your skin. Exfoliator is essential because it removed dead skin cells which can leave your complexion appearing dull, and can clog up pores.
    • Remove makeup first, then gently massage the exfoliator in outward circular motions for half a minute. Don't scrub too hard, be gentle. You're only trying to remove the dead skin, not a whole layer of skin!
    • If using an exfoliating washcloth, soak the washcloth in warm water and rub the washcloth in small circles on your face.
    • Make sure that you get into the creases by your nose which often get clogged up and develop blackheads.
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    Apply a face mask regularly. Again, there are many options, peel-off masks are best for blemished skin, whereas rich, moisturizing masks are best for dry skin. They can be the best part of your beauty regimen, why not turn it into a relaxing pamper session?
    • Use a nice, gentle, preferably natural face mask once a week or less, (any more often and you'll be over cleansing your face and confusing it).
    • You could also try to make a facial mask if you are low on money or want to try something totally natural.
    • Apply the facial according to the instructions on the packet, on clean, warm skin for best results, and rinse with cool water. Don't leave it on for longer than suggested, (normally about 15 minutes).
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    Stick to your routine! Your skin needs to get used to the frequency of being treated, and to the products you're using. Sometimes a negative effect appears at first, but this usually goes after the skin has time to adjust.
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    Caution: If your skin is not improving after a certain time (about one month), it might be time to try some different products, as you might get different/better results.


  • Drink plenty of water, if you're well hydrated, your skin will be too.
  • Eat a good diet, what you put into your body, shows on the outside.
  • Change your pillowcase regularly to prevent a build up of bacteria.
  • Beauty sleep - Experts recommend 7-8 hours sleep a night, and a proper nights sleep, with no super-long lie ins makes a real difference to your skin. Teens may need at least 9 or even 10 hours, because during puberty is when your body grows the quickest.
  • Never go to bed with your makeup on. Keep a supply of baby wipes and if you're too tired to stand at the sink washing your face, just remove what you can with the wipes. Make sure they are suitable for the face, otherwise they'll be ineffective, leaving your face feeling dry and might leave dry, flaky spots
  • If you have extra dry skin then get an exfoliating scrub that isn't too harsh and aim to exfoliate 1-2 times a week.
  • For puffy eyes, apply cold cucumber slices, used teabags stored in the fridge or a cold gel mask.
  • Smoking, drinking and drug taking have substantial affects on the skin from premature aging to discoloration and dryness. Glowing beautiful skin can be accredited to a good diet, healthy lifestyle and a good skin care routine.
  • Open Windows - staying in stuffy, dry rooms is no good. Open a window and let some nice fresh air in.
  • Use sunscreen daily - even if the weather is overcast, cold or pouring with rain. Look for a moisturizer which contains an SPF as an easy way of wearing it. Years of exposure to ultraviolet rays can build up and lead to premature aging. Get one that is oil free, so you won't get any spots.
  • Don't sleep in a hot room, you'll sweat a lot and wake up looking puffy, possibly with a few more spots.
  • Never put anything on your skin that you are ether allergic to or that may irritate your skin.
  • During dry seasons, sleep with a humidifier in your room. They are great for your health and for your skin.
  • If your skin is part oily and part dry, do not assume it is just one of those. Try different products for different areas.
  • Sometimes, try to go natural. Chemicals can be toxic and can be harsh on your skin.
  • Make sure that you always have your skin care products with you when you go away overnight. This will mean that you can keep up your routine.
  • Coconut Oil makes you break out in acne crisis. Never use a exfoliating scrub everyday; it wears and tears at your skin.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before washing your face, otherwise all the dirt from your hands will come onto your face and clog pores.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleanser
  • Face mask
  • Toner
  • Cotton balls/pads
  • Exfoliator
  • Moisturizer
  • Cleansing wipes

Article Info

Categories: Skin Care