Recently, my roommate came to me with the ultimate question: what products do I need to start a skincare routine? Suddenly, the weight of the world was on my shoulders. But unfortunately, skincare is like a snowflake: no two routines are the same.
While my skin may benefit from pore-clearing ingredients and extra moisturization, other people’s skin may be too sensitive for acids or too oily for skin barrier repair – which is exactly why I advise against copying your favorite influencer’s skincare routine. Not only could half those products be sponsored, but they also could have a very different skin type than you.
When my friends want skincare advice, they come to me. To directly quote my roommate, “I’ve just done the 7-step skincare routine and I look slicker than a baby seal.” I’ve searched high and low for skincare routines for different skin types. Since my skin changes depending on the season, I’ve learned to use different products for different issues.
PSA: I’m not a dermatologist. But I do prioritize a skincare routine. I’ve tried out trendy cleansers, luxury creams, and drugstore serums – I have a six-step, ever-evolving process to prove it. My point is, I pay attention to what works and I’m willing to try essentially anything.
Here are my skin routine and product recommendations based on your skin type:
Skincare Routine For Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, the Panoxyl wash – a favorite of Madison Beer – contains pore-clearing ingredients to break down oils. Paula’s Choice makes a Skin Balancing Oil Reducing Cleanser that will help get your oil under control, especially during summer.
Your ideal serum when you have oily skin is Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which soothes your skin and calms down inflammation. It decreases your oil levels and also can help reverse sun damage. Hailey Bieber uses this twice in her skincare routine, so you know we trust it.
Another ingredient that can help is Salicylic Acid, which is lipophilic and will suck out the oil from your pores. For that, I recommend a BHA/AHA Toner like Paula’s Choice Liquid Exfoiliant. Peach Slices also makes a great dupe for half the price.
A lighter moisturizer like the Tatcha Water Cream won’t clog your pores, but the e.l.f. Hello Hydration moisturizer is almost an exact duplicate and costs way less.
Skincare Routine For Dry Skin
Miska Sage via Unsplash
I broke my skin barrier after a weekend in the Poconos last year and found it hard to recover. If you want moisturization, look for hyaluronic acids, ceramides, squalane, and evening primrose in your skincare ingredients. To start, the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser is $10 and extremely effective for moisturizing.
I prefer The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, but Sunday Riley’s C.E.O Glow contains evening primrose and is becoming a huge contender in my life. Although Sunday Riley is currently being pushed by influencers, I believe all of their products are worth the money.
For moisturizer, the Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid Peptide Cream focuses on restoring your skin barrier and giving your face a healthy glow. Again, the glazed donut look symbolizes healthy skin. We love.
Skincare Routine For Sensitive Skin
sarah b via unsplash
If your skin flares up from certain products, exercise, sweat, or even the sun, you have sensitive skin. It means redness, bumps, and irritation. Using a gentle, unscented cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser will gently cleanse your skin without aggravating it.
Ingredients like aloe vera, ceramides, and hyaluronic acids will help calm your skin down. Look out for serums like Kate Somerville’s DeliKate, or The Ordinary’s HA. As for a moisturizer, The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors and Tula’s Super Soothe Calming Moisturizer will help your skin relax.
Skincare Routine For Problematic Skin
While we all get pimples every now and then, acne is harder to embrace. I’ve spent most of my life preventing and actively fighting pimples, and I’ve found some solutions. First of all, pimple patches are your best friend. They’re not a scam, and I will shamelessly sport them outside of my apartment.
The CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser or Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser are perfect for clearing out your pores. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to remove dirt and excess oils from your skin. The Sunday Riley U.F.O serum can help you deal with acne flare-ups.
The Anti-Aging Skincare Routine
For anti-aging, you want ingredients that will plump your skin, making lines and wrinkles less visible. Retinoids, Vitamin C, and AHAs/BHAs will help extract dead skin and repair sun-damaged skin. Estee Lauder and CeraVe make great retinol serums, but make sure you’re staying heavily moisturized or your skin may peel.
IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream is known for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while hydrating your skin all day long. This is my personal favorite moisturizer – it lasts a long time and is equally effective.