Skincare is all about the routine. It is a religion that one practices morning and night, and a relationship that begins with understanding (your concerns), adapting (to external factors), and improving (your skin condition). If you look at your current routine, isn't it true that this never-changing routine has been with you since your adolescent years?
Sure, your skincare products may have changed, you could have swapped your acne creams to firming creams or your oil-control toner to a pH balancing toner, but routine still stays. You cleanse, you tone and you moisturize - this routine will always be the same, just like how you put one foot in front of another when walking, regardless of what shoe you've got on.
Now, the million-dollar question awaits.
What is the correct skincare routine that I should be following?
The answer, which you could have easily Googled off the internet, is pretty interesting. That's because there are different sources giving you different answers, and at the end of the day, there is still no textbook answer on what is the "correct" skincare routine.
Understanding Your Concerns
Take a walk outside and observe everyone's skin. You would notice that everyone has different skin concerns - pigmentation, acne, ageing skin, sensitivity. So, how can one routine treat all these specific skin concerns equally? Skincare experts definitely won't recommend someone with sensitive skin to exfoliate more than twice a week, but it's perfectly fine for those with acne.
Take a mirror and look at your skin, are there are areas of concerns that you like to target? Perhaps you've got some dry patches around your chin that need an intense hydration boost, or a growing number of blackheads around your T zone that needs to be extracted. Now, question yourself what kind of products do you need to quell these problems. For dry skin, a moisture-intensive serum is ideal, whereas a detoxifying mask for extracting impurities such as blackheads and whiteheads is the right way to go.
Adapting to external factors
The environment plays a huge part in how our skin develops. In the winter, you should go for a heavy-duty moisturizer and face oil to seal in the moisture, while in the summer, a facial mist should do the job. (That is one less product to use in your skincare routine). But that's not all! Summers usually experience more sun than usual, so an added step that you wouldn't want to miss would be using sunscreen for UV protection.
So depending on your location, the season you're in, as well as how your skin condition changes to the environment (yes, it does happen to some!), you will definitely need to make some slight adjustments to your routine to adapt to the external factors. Afterall, this routine is entirely yours to be flexible with, so change up some steps and you'll see that your skin is well cared for, even in the harshest weather,
Improving your skin condition
Routines are not always for maintenance. They are also used to improve your current skin's condition, such as minimizing pores, lightening pigmentation, and firming sagging skin. Ideally, a routine should consist of the basic cleansing method, this involves removing makeup, debris and impurities, followed by a toning step to prep the skin for the next steps. This includes a weekly exfoliation to get rid of dead skin cells, those with dull skin can exfoliate up to twice weekly, whereas sensitive skin should reduce to once every 2 weeks. Masks, additional hydrators and targeted treatments would vary among individuals, depending on their skin type and skin concerns.
Most importantly, you should always remember that when it comes to skincare routines, there is no right or wrong, only one that fits or doesn't. And if it doesn't, then change it up to suit your own skin - there's no rule saying that it's a must to follow what everyone else is doing. Go ahead and tune your own skincare routine to the one that's truly yours.