Are you looking to establish a skincare routine that improves your skin’s health and vitality? Skincare is an important part of many people's daily lives. With easy-to-follow steps, it can be surprisingly simple to create a customised at-home routine that helps you achieve the glowing complexion you desire.
This article will share valuable tips on choosing the right cleansers and moisturisers and provide detailed instructions on developing an effective daily skincare plan. Read on for all the details!
First, Identifying Your Skin Type
Identifying your skin type is important in creating an effective at-home skincare routine. The first step is understanding the four main categories: normal, oily, dry, and combination. Knowing your skin type allows you to select skincare products that cater to your needs, resulting in a brighter, clearer, and healthier complexion.
Having 'normal' skin means you have a well-balanced complexion with generally low sebum levels and minimal blemishes. Normal skin has no excessive dryness or oiliness.
Do I have “normal” skin?
- My skin is generally non-greasy and smooth to the touch.
- I get some oiliness and breakouts during certain times of the month or year.
- I have a healthy and even complexion with no visible blemishes.
- My pores are visible but are not enlarged or clogged.
- I have a slightly pinkish hue in areas where it is most exposed to the sun.
If you find that your skin feels tight or itchy after you wash your face, you may have dry skin. This occurs when your skin doesn't produce enough natural oils to moisturise itself.
Do I have “dry” skin?
- My skin appears flaky, rough or scaly.
- My skin feels tight and dry after bathing, even when I moisturise.
- I see lines or wrinkles, especially in areas exposed to the sun.
- I have some redness and irritation due to inflammation.
- The surface of my skin is quite sensitive.
Oily skin is often characterised by excessive oil production, enlarged pores, and frequent breakouts. Oily skin produces more sebum, which can mix with dead skin cells and debris to block pores.
Do I have “oily” skin?
- My skin generally appears shiny and greasy.
- My pores are visible and will usually be enlarged.
- I have a sheen or build-up on my skin’s surface.
- My oily skin is often rough and has a waxy feel.
- I get breakouts frequently and have acne-prone skin.
You may have combination skin if you struggle with oily and dry skin. Combination skin is the most common type and can be identified by specific characteristics.
Do I have “combination” skin?
- My skin contains areas that are both oily and dry.
- My oily areas include the T-zone, which consists of the forehead, nose and chin.
- My normal or dry skin usually appears in my cheeks, jawline and other areas.
- The texture of my skin can often feel rough with visible pores.
- I’m prone to breakouts and susceptible to dehydration.
Step One: Cleansing
Everyone's skin is unique and requires individualised care, but the basics of a good skincare routine apply to everyone. Cleansers are essential to any skincare regimen and can be used to remove impurities, excess oil, and makeup. Choosing the right cleanser for your skin type is key to maintaining healthy, balanced skin.
Cleansers for Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, look for a gentle cleanser that contains salicylic acid or other oil-reducing ingredients like tea tree oil or witch hazel. Avoid harsh cleansers that contain alcohol, as these can cause further dryness and irritation.
Use lukewarm water and massage the product into your skin in circular motions before rinsing with cold water. Freshly cleansed skin will help close your pores, reducing excess oil production.
Cleansers for Dry Skin
For dry skin types, it’s best to opt for a hydrating cleanser that doesn't contain soap or fragrances, which can irritate dry, sensitive skin. Look for gentle formulas that contain hyaluronic acid or ceramides, which help to lock in moisture and nourish the skin.
Gently massage the product onto wet skin with circular motions before rinsing with lukewarm water. Finish using a moisturiser after cleansing to get maximum hydration benefits.
Cleansers for Combination Skin
Combination skin is a mix of both oily and dry areas on the face, so it’s important to choose a cleanser that won't strip away too many natural oils while still removing impurities from the T-zone area where excess sebum tends to build up. A mild gel-based cleanser is usually ideal as it gently removes dirt and impurities without drying out your complexion more than necessary.
Massage the formula into the dampened face before rinsing with lukewarm water, then follow up with toner and moisturiser if needed for extra hydration in drier areas of your face.
Step Two: Exfoliation
Exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine as it helps to remove dead skin cells and allows other skin care products to be absorbed more easily. This can help you achieve a brighter, smoother complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and improve your overall skin health. However, choosing the right exfoliant for your skin type is important, as some exfoliants can be too harsh or abrasive for certain skin types, which can cause irritation.
Exfoliation for Oily Skin
Frequent cleansing may leave oily skin prone to dirt and impurities, so a deep cleaning formula is important. Clay masks and regular salicylic acid cleansers can help draw out excess oil while providing gentle exfoliation benefits that won't aggravate oily complexions further by stripping away essential natural oils needed for healthy-looking balance.
Do: Use clay masks and salicylic acid.
Don’t: Use harsh stripping exfoliants.
Exfoliation for Dry Skin
People with dry skin should avoid physical exfoliants such as scrubs as these tend to be too abrasive and could irritate parched complexions. Non-abrasive chemical exfoliants that work by dissolving dead skin cells without needing physical friction are best for people with dry skin, such as alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid.
Do: Look for alpha hydroxy acid, like lactic acid.
Don’t: Use physical exfoliants like shrubs.
Exfoliation for Combination Skin
People with combination skin should look for exfoliants that are gentle enough not to dry out their skin while effectively removing impurities. Look for mild scrubs containing lactic acids or fruit enzymes like pineapple juice or papaya extract. These are great for removing dirt and dead skin cells without stripping natural oils away from your face's drier parts.
Do: Look for mild scrubs with fruit enzymes.
Don’t: Use harsh scrubs that dry out your skin.
Step Three: Moisturise
Keeping the skin hydrated is crucial to maintaining its health and youthful appearance. And incorporating a moisturiser in your at-home skincare routine is a must to achieve this. Using a moisturiser, you can lock in the moisture in your skin, preventing dryness and flakiness. When the skin is properly hydrated, it becomes more plump, supple, and radiant.
Moisturiser for Oily Skin
Oily skin requires a light and hydrating moisturiser that won’t add further oiliness. Look for a water-based, lightweight formula that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which will help to hydrate without making your face feel greasy. Avoid moisturisers with heavy oils or waxes, as these can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Do: Look for water-based products.
Don’t: Use products with heavy oils.
Moisturiser for Dry Skin
Dry skin needs an extra boost of hydration, so opt for a rich, oil-based moisturiser that nourishes the skin while locking in moisture. Ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil are good options as they are natural emollients that provide deep conditioning benefits.
Do: Look for products with shea butter and coconut oil.
Don’t: Use alcohol-based products.
Moisturiser for Combination Skin
People with combination skin should choose a light yet nourishing formula that can be used on both oily areas like the T-zone and dry areas of their face. A moisturiser with hyaluronic acid or glycerin will help deliver long-lasting hydration while balancing out oily patches of the face. To avoid breakouts, look for non-comedogenic formulas to keep pores clear of dirt and bacteria.
Do: Look for products with hyaluronic acid or glycerin.
Don’t: Excessively drying products.
Step Four: Sun Protection
According to Cancer Council Australia, sun protection is vital to any skincare routine. The sun's harmful UV rays can cause significant damage to your skin, leading to premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.
Incorporating a broad-spectrum sunscreen into your at-home skincare regimen can help protect your skin from these harmful effects and ensure that your skin stays healthy and youthful-looking for years to come. Don't skimp on sun protection – your skin will thank you.
Oily Skin: Look for a mattifying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that is oil-free and non-comedogenic to protect from sun damage without clogging pores.
Dry Skin: Choose a moisturising sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, preferably one containing hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.
Combination Skin: Use a light, water-resistant, oil-free sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to provide sun protection while not too greasy.
Three hot tips for applying sunscreen
- Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least one SPF of 15 or higher to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
- Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply every two hours throughout the day or after swimming or sweating.
- Don’t forget to cover areas like your ears, neck, hands and feet, which are often forgotten but can still be exposed to harmful UV rays.
Add-ons: Masks, Treatments and Serums
It can be tricky to figure out which masks, treatments and serums are right for your face. It all comes down to finding the best natural skin care products for your unique skin type. Let’s look at the best options for those three skin types.
For those with oily skin, it’s important to find masks, treatments and serums that help reduce oiliness without drying out your skin too much. Look for products containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid or charcoal – all of which can help combat excess sebum production. Other ingredients to consider are zinc oxide and tea tree oil, which have been shown to reduce inflammation associated with acne-prone skin.
Do: Find treatments with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or charcoal.
Don’t: Use products too frequently as this can imbalance the skin.
If you have dry skin, choose gentle products on your face while providing enough hydration to keep it healthy and balanced. Consider masks, treatments and serums containing hyaluronic acid or aloe vera gel – both will help rehydrate the skin without stripping away natural oils. Natural ingredients such as honey can also be combined with these two main ingredients for an added boost of hydration.
Do: Find treatments containing hyaluronic acid or aloe vera.
Don’t: Use alcohol-based products.
For those with combination skin, selecting masks, treatments and serums can be something of a balancing act between oily and dry areas. Look for products containing green tea or witch hazel – both can help rebalance the levels of sebum production on the face.
Do: Find treatments containing green tea or witch hazel
Don’t: Use astringents or toners that are harsh on the skin.
When To Seek Professional Skin Treatments
While we all strive for that flawless and glowing complexion, sometimes our at-home skincare routines don't cut it. That's when seeking out professional skin treatments can make all the difference.
If you're dealing with a pesky skin issue that just won't go away or looking for an extra boost of hydration or anti-aging support, it may be time to consider visiting a dermal clinician or dermatologist. They can offer personalised treatment plans tailored to your unique skin concerns, using medical-grade products and equipment that can't be found over-the-counter. Don't wait for your skin woes to escalate - seek professional help to achieve the complexion you've always dreamed of.