How Many Steps Does Your Skincare Routine Actually Need?

With viral posts on social media and K-beauty trends taking the internet by storm, finding the right skincare routine can be overwhelming. Do you really need a 12-step routine with a multitude of products — or is it better to keep it simple? The answer will vary depending on your precise needs and goals. You may want to adjust your routine slightly for the morning versus before bed, for example, and also keep in mind seasonal changes that could affect your routine. But in general, the following steps are all you need to maintain healthy skin.

1. Cleanse

Cleansing is one of the most basic pillars of any skincare routine. This simple act removes dirt, sweat, and oils that could otherwise build up on the surface of your skin, causing breakouts. Ideally, you should be washing your face each morning and evening with a cleanser that’s formulated for your skin type. For example, sensitive skin calls for hypoallergenic, fragrance-free formulas, while acne-prone individuals should seek a non-comedogenic product, whose ingredients won’t further clog or irritate pores.

2. Tone

Toning is an important but often overlooked step of skincare. In the past, toners contained alcohol-based astringents that overdried oily skin and caused further irritation. Now, there are many formulas available that can refresh and revitalize your skin as needed, without stripping away natural moisture.

Toning liquids can be easily applied to the skin using the fingertips or a cotton pad after washing. Different types contain ingredients like vitamin C to brighten the skin and protect against free radicals, hyaluronic acid to increase moisture, or alpha and beta hydroxy acids to remove the buildup of dead skin. Your dermatologist can help determine the right toner for you. 

3. Moisturize

Moisturizing is the final step in the most basic skincare trio of cleansing, treating, and protecting. As its name suggests, applying a moisturizer allows you to lock in moisture, which combats dryness and keeps the skin looking healthy by allowing it to maintain its elasticity. As with cleansers and toners, there are different types of moisturizers formulated for specific skin types. For example, people with overly dry skin may need a cream or ointment formula. People with oily skin may prefer a gel, which is more lightweight. No matter which formula you choose, your daytime moisturizer should have an SPF of at least 30 to prevent exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. 

Incorporating Additional Steps

Once you’ve established a routine with the three basic steps above, you can build in different treatments tailored to your skincare needs or concerns. Whenever adding in new products, start with the thinnest formulas first, and end with the thickest.

In addition to your daily skincare regimen, specialized treatments, such as masks, exfoliating peels, or other targeted aesthetic services can provide a boost, whether for a special occasion, a spontaneous pick-me-up, or a more corrective measure.If you’re seeking expert guidance for developing a personalized skincare routine, turn to Olansky Dermatology. From peels to laser treatments, routine skincare or microdermabrasion, our professionals offer a wide range of solutions to meet each individual’s needs. Book your appointment online or by calling (404) 355-5484.