Quick Tips: Starting a Skin Care Routine

This is going to be a super quick post. No, really, it is. I start all of my posts promising myself that they’ll be short, but this time I’m sticking to it. In some previous posts I’ve talked about different kinds of products you can/should be using in your skin care routine. Today, I want to talk about how to start or modify your current routine.

Ask Yourself Why

Why are you starting or modifying your routine? What are your goals with skin care? What kind of skin do you have? Asking yourself these questions can help you determine what products you should be using.


Don’t just run to the drugstore and grab some random products off the shelf. Take the time to google what products work best for your skin type, what products are good for addressing your specific skin concerns, etc. You’ll be more likely to have favorable results if you start with a plan of attack specific to what you want.

Start Fresh

If you want to start a whole new routine or just find out what might be causing issues in your routine, just stop using everything for a few days. I recently had some pretty bad skin issues in the last couple of months and had to stop everything to find out what was causing my forehead to break out in all these tiny red bumps. In my case, it was probably over-exfoliation from using Stridex pads too often. But I literally stopped everything. I quit my toner, my exfoliator, my Vitamin C serum, my moisturizer, E V E R Y T H I N G. I felt like my skin was super dry so I switched to a hydrating cleanser and just used that for a few days. Then I added in my moisturizer. Then toner. And just today I started using my Stridex pads again. By taking it slow, I can determine how often to use each product or if a product just doesn’t work for me at all. Do the same if you’re starting a routine. Start by just washing with water, then add products one at a time, starting with the critical things first (cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc).

Patch Test!!!

If you’re trying something completely new, try it on a small area of your skin before you slather it all over your face. In fact, try it in a couple of areas. I like to do it on my neck, right under my ear for most products, but that’s just me. If you’re worried about the product breaking you out, try a small amount where you usually break out the most. If you have areas that are sensitive, patch test it there. Patch test wherever you think you’ll get the most useful data!

Introduce One Thing At A Time

Don’t go piling on twelve new products, one on top of the other, all at once. One, that’s a lot of change for your skin to go through at once. Your skin may react poorly to having so many new kinds of stimuli all at once and might go a little haywire. Two, by adding products to your routine gradually, you can tell which products are working and which ones aren’t. I would say don’t add more than one product per week. The better option would be to add a product, wait for your skin to reach equilibrium, then add another product, but I am a very impatient person and I totally understand that sometimes that waiting period can be torture. Use your best judgement.

Don’t Let Purging Scare You

If you’re trying to incorporate chemical exfoliants into your routine, don’t be scared when you start breaking out or getting clogged pores. If this happens within a few days of trying a new product, your skin is probably just purging. It takes several days for a pimple to pop up, and what’s happening is that your new product is making existing issues come to the surface more quickly. This is especially true with AHAs, which increase the skin’s turnover rate.

Give Products A Fair Chance

If you quit using a product after just a couple of weeks, you don’t really know if the product works. Of course, if you having an allergic reaction then you should stop, but hopefully you figured that out by patch testing. The fact is that until you use a skin care product for a month or more, you don’t really know how well it plays with your skin. Give it a chance, I’d say at least 6 weeks, and if you still don’t see any positive results, go on to try a different product.

Don’t Feel Pressured To Make A Product Work

Just because everyone uses this miracle cream doesn’t mean you have to. If everyone’s favorite facemask makes you break out terribly, don’t use it. If your moisturizer has terrible reviews, but is making your skin more radiant than it’s ever been before, keep on using it! Don’t let others dictate what you put on your skin. Skin care is super personal, and one person’s trash is going to be another person’s holy grail. Now, cult classic products are usually cult classics for a reason, and are a great place to start! But always remember to do what you feel is best for your skin.

Also, I’m going to let you in on a secret… You don’t have to use sunscreen. I know, I sound like a madwoman, but hear me out. I know a lot of people who have tried sunscreen after sunscreen and their skin has just never agreed with any of them. From cheapo Coppertone to expensive Asian beauty brands, nothing seems to work. If you feel like sunscreen is making your skin worse, just don’t use it! Now, you should probably take extra care to wear a big floppy hat when you’re in the sun, as skin cancer is a very real thing. But if you have to choose between the skin you’ve always wanted and some sunscreen… well, that’s ultimately your choice to make! No judgment here, regardless of your choices!

Ok, I kept this under 1000 words. That’s pretty short… right?

Let me know in the comments if you enjoy these short, rambly kind of posts! I enjoyed doing this one and would happily do more in the future!


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