A Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Full Skincare Routine

Is it just me, or is skincare becoming more popular than it was before? I think skincare used to be associated with narcissistic women trying (at vain) to erase their wrinkles. Or, those ProActive infomercials that seemed a little too good to be true. But it feels a little different now; skincare isn’t about age limits or skin concerns. Teen girls are rocking sheet masks, oily and normal skinned girls alike are double cleansing, and social media helps promote skincare trends like multi masking.

Maybe you’ve gotten real hype about skincare lately, too, and you stocked up on that Glossier cleanser everyone was talking about, some moisturizer with pretty packaging, some toner that has good reviews…but do you really know the best way to start a new skincare routine? Do you even know which order you should put on your products? Well, I’m going to help you clear up all that confusion. Check out this quick and easy guide to mastering a skincare routine.



Some people can use nothing but water and have flawless skin. Reality check: Most of us aren't in that camp. So start off your skincare routine with a cleanser. You don't have to buy anything too expensive or fancy, just make sure that it doesn't leave your skin feeling too dry; avoid cleansers containing sodium laureth sulfate or alcohol if that's a concern.

Buy it at Glossier for $18


Toner helps remove any remaining bits of makeup, dirt, etc from your skin, and helps balance it out post-cleanse. You might want to avoid toners that include alcohol, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. Just don't overdo it! A little goes a long way.

Buy it at Ulta for $15


Dead skin build up can cause a lot of unwanted nastiness; rough, uneven skin, clogged pores, dull appearance. Exfoliants that contain AHAs like glycolic acid and BHAs like salicylic acid, help get rid of that dead skin so that your skin can have a serious glo up!

Buy it at Paula's Choice for $28

Face Mask

Right after cleansing, you can apply a face mask to your skin and let it sit for however long the instructions indicate (or until it is dry). Only do this if it's a mask you're meant to wash off; sheet masks don't apply here! You don't have to do this step every day; a couple of times a week will suffice.

Buy it at Sephora for $25.50


After you have exfoliated your skin, your skin is ripe for soaking in some goodness. That's where your serums and treatments come in. By treatments, I mean special products that you might use for acne treatment or getting rid of discoloration. You can look at serums as boosters, a skincare goldmine that packs in a whole lot of punch without a whole lot of product. For example, a serum containing vitamin C which helps even skin tone and reduce discoloration works a lot better than just a moisturizer with the same claims.

Buy it at Sephora for $48

Sheet Mask

Wondering where your sheet mask comes in? Well, I don't know if you know this or not, but all that liquid in your sheet mask? It's serum! So you can just let this soak into your skin before or after your other specialized treatments.

Buy it at Urban Outfitters for $3

Moisturizer With SPF (Daytime)

The last step is applying a spf rich moisturizer. Yes, SPF. I don't care if you never get sunburned, a moisturizer with SPF in it will protect your skin from sun damage and will keep you looking fresh faced for as long as possible.

Buy it at Ulta for $16.99

Moisturizer Without SPF (Night)

You don't need an SPF at night, so you can get seriously luxurious with night moisturizers; if you're a fan of oils (yes, they can be good for oily skin, too!), you can absolutely rock an oil based moisturizer at night. But there are plenty of other types that are at your disposal as well. Your skin will know what it likes, you just need to listen to it!

Buy it at Sephora for $49

What skincare products are giving you life right now. Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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