A Beginner’s Guide to Skincare

If you’re still washing your face with a bar of soap or body wash, we’ve got news for you—a good skincare routine is necessary! Why are you spending half an hour heaping on makeup if you haven’t thought of investing a little in your skin? A good skincare routine will make your face look better—with and without makeup! Read on for our tips on crafting a bomb skincare routine you can do in 10 minutes or less.

Cleanser

Start with a gel-based cleanser to really get rid of the gunk. On the high end, we love the Fresh Soy Cleanser. This wash takes it all off, even the black raccoon eyes because it’s that good. On the low end, Micealler Water is our must-have. Though not exactly a cleanser, this product melts away makeup and oil and leaves your skin feeling super soft. We love the Sephora Micellar Water in particular.  

Exfoliator

Exfoliating is important! This is an often skipped step and it sure shouldn’t be, because a good exfoliation leaves you glowing. This is something you only need to do about once a week, as more than once a week could damage your skin. Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate is our high end recommendation, and St. Ives Gentle Apricot Scrub is our low end pick. We’ve been using it since we were kids and it delivers.

Toner

First of all— the purpose of toner is to replenish and nourish skin after cleansing, a step that can significantly and visibly help your skin. For oily skin, we’d recommend the Origins Zero Oil and for hydration, we’d recommend Mario Badescu Facial Spray. It’s only $7 and super hydrating. Use this before moisturizing to get rid of any ickyness and a boost of hydration.

Moisturizer

Okay, we hope you’ve at least been using a moisturizer in your skincare routine! Even if you have oily skin, you should be moisturizing daily. Our favorite thick moisturizer (best to use at night or for people with dry skin), is the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream. Holy moly is this stuff good. Fragrance-free and chock-full of six African oils, this stuff feels like silk. Our recommendation for a lighter, daytime moisturizer is the Glossier Priming Moisturizer. This moisturizer is BOMB. While definitely not a drugstore product, it’s not too overpriced either. It’s hydrating, but still super light and won’t leave you looking greasy. It is also a major redness-killer. We’re not even sure how they did that with a moisturizer, but we’re not asking questions. If you’re really trying to be affordable, we recommend coconut oil. Use it as a night cream and it’ll work wonders.

Serum

Serums are lightweight, liquid moisturizers that penetrate deeper to deliver active ingredients straight to your skin. There’s a serum for everything, but they’re particularly good at fighting aging and helping your skin’s texture. We think this is a necessary step because your skin needs all the vitamins a serum can provide. C’mon, it’s never too early to start fighting wrinkles! Our high end recommended product is the Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid. It’s said to fight dullness, uneven texture, dark spots and be an amazing anti-aging product. We’re sold. On the low end, we’d recommend a serum from The Ordinary. They have a potion for everything, but we particularly love the Retinoid and the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.

Optional Add-Ons—

There are a few extremely inviting, incredibly over-priced add-ons we just can’t say no to.

Face Masks

Okay, face masks are fantastic. But to truly reap the benefits, make sure you’re using a decent mask from a semi-reputable brand that actually addresses your skincare concerns! Here are our some of our faves— Drunk Elephant’s TLC Sukari Babyfacial, Clinique’s City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask, Too Cool for School’s Egg Mask, Tony Moly Sheet Masks and Glamglow’s THIRSTYMUD.

Face Wipes

Let’s be real, after a long day or a night out, you’re not going to be thinking about your full skincare routine. Use a face wipe post-Ricks and you’ll thank yourself in the morning. If you’re looking to splurge, we’d recommended the KORRES Greek Yogurt Face Wipes. If you’re looking to save, stick with the tried and true Neutrogena Towelettes.

Allison Fargo

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