I have a true love for skincare. I always have even way back in middle school. However, I have been super hesitant to write anything about skincare or beauty on my blog because I am not an expert in this field. My products are always changing in search of “the best” and it can be scary to write about skincare when sometimes my skin looks less than perfect, much less an entire “skincare routine for beginners” post.
Here is what I have realized (and what you need to as well) – is that I do a ridiculous amount of research when it comes to skincare. I am honest about the products that I have tried, even if they are bad. I am researching so you don’t have too and hopefully creating easy to read guides that make the world of skincare less confusing and easier to navigate.
So here we go! I am often asked about what products I use and what products I would recommend to people who are new to skincare routines. Here is the thing. A skincare routine doesn’t need to be complicated. At a very base level, you need a makeup remover, cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. Of course, there are a ton more steps you can add like toner, eye cream, exfoliants, retinol, etc. If you stick to just the basics though, you are off to a great start!
Here are my must-haves for creating a skincare routine for beginners!
An Easy Skincare Routine For Beginners
1. Makeup Remover:
One Love Organics Cleansing Oil or Bioderma Micellar Water
One Love Organics Cleansing Oil: I don’t have many “holy grail” products that I buy over and over again, but this cleansing oil is the exception. I have used it for over 5 years and even have a blog post dedicated to it. You apply this oil to dry skin and gently massage it into your makeup – including eye makeup! With warm water gently wash away the oil/makeup.
This oil will take off your waterproof mascara as well and normally I lightly “brush” my lashes with my finger to help dissolve the makeup.
Bioderma Micellar Water: This has a cult following and for good reason. It’s inexpensive and it works well. Simply pour it on a cotton pad and swipe over your face. It will take off your waterproof eye makeup too just remember to never tug and pull your eyes, but instead gently pat or lightly rub until the makeup has dissolved.
There are some other products worth mentioning. The Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing balm is incredibly popular and I have yet to hear a bad thing about this product. The one downside is the price, which is why I have not tried this – yet 😉
Revision Brightening Cleanser or Cetaphil Gentil Skin Cleanser
There is a little controversy here and some people say to only use cream cleansers because foam or gel cleansers strip the skin. I have also heard that facial cleanser is the least important product in your skincare routine and therefore don’t spend too much money on it.
Personally, I believe that cleansing your skin is an incredibly important part of your skincare routine and that you need to find the right cleanser based on your skin needs. I find that cleansing is a crucial step because it is removing the dirt, oil, and leftover makeup from your skin and can cause breakouts, blackheads, or bumps. Remember, we are creating a beginner skincare routine. Like I said before at the very base you need makeup remover, cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. Should you forgo the toners (which we’ll get to next) your skin may still have traces of bacteria/oil/ dirt if not cleaned properly.
Revision Brightening Facial Wash: This is the face wash that I use every day. It has salicylic and glycolic acid which helps brighten, cleanse, and exfoliate the skin. I have dry skin but get cystic pimples occasionally and this has helped so much! I am a tough critic when it comes to cleansers and I will repurchase this one! My friend also uses this, but she has oily skin and she swears by it as well.
A few things to note. I do have dryer skin and I make sure to add a moisturizing serum plus I use a richer moisturizing cream. Since winter is coming up, I will most likely only use it at night and switch to a gentle cleanser in the morning.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: This is a classic favorite that has been around for years and dermatologist recommended. It is designed for sensitive skin and is under $15. Plus is has over 10,000 reviews on Amazon.
Thayers Natural Witch Hazel
A toner is used to help remove any makeup, oil, or dirt that your cleanser may have missed. Soak a cotton pad and swipe on your face and neck to makes sure your face is extra clean. Many people choose to remove this step (including me), but you’ll see why next.
M-61 PowerGlow Peel
I am absolutely obsessed with these! I have used them for over two years and still love them! They are worth every penny and I use them every night. Also, this is one of the rare products that you can actually see results after ONE USE. These are why I don’t feel a need to use a toner. These exfoliate and clarify your skin and will remove any hidden dirt or makeup including self-tanner!
If you have acne, blackheads, uneven skin, or just looking for a fantastic chemical exfoliant, then these are for you! I would start off using them only 2 times a week and then slowly building up to use them every day. Also, I do cut these into half or even into 4’s to make them last longer. This won’t work if you want to use them on your neck and decolletage as well as your face, but I thought I would at least offer the tip.
I know a few people who use the Pixi Glow Pads or the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads. Both have a lower price point and amazing reviews.
This is the part of the skincare routine where people start to panic. What serum is right for me? What does my skin need? First, decide what your biggest skin concern is. For me, it is dry skin, but yours could be fine lines, calming redness, or brightening dark spots.
For Dry Skin: The Hydrator B5 Gel by Maelove is what I have been currently using. When dealing with dry skin it is super important to find a serum that has hyaluronic acid in it which brings moister back to your face and seals it in. If you want to splurge this Revision Hydrating Serum is one of the best on the market. One last serum to add is the Ordinary Hylauronic Acid 2% serum. It is under $8 and people swear by it. I have yet to try it, but if you are looking for a super affordable option – this is it!
For Calming Skin: SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective gel is amazing for calming red skin. However, if you are looking for a cheaper option the Maelove NIA 10 Calming Serum is supposed to be wonderful too.
Vitamin C Serum: This is the one serum that everyone thinks about and probably the serum that has the most benefits while making changes to your skin. Most anti-age serums are also vitamin c serums with the promise to increase collage, brighten dark spots and reduce fine lines. There are benefits to using this serum in the morning and at night. I used the Obagi 15% vitamin c serum and it truly changed my skin! It took around 3 months for me to notice a difference, but when I did it was huge! My dark spots are significantly lighter, my skin is more even and my pimples heal faster. I ran out of my Obagi about a month ago and have been using Maelove’s Glow Maker serum. While I don’t think it is as good as the Obagi it is much cheaper and has great reviews.
6. Moisturizer/ Night Cream
I have been using this moisturizer morning and night and love it! Moisturizers and face creams are by far the product that gets switched out the most, but I actually re-bought the Avene Rich Cream because it worked so well! It is for sensitive skin and therefore I don’t have to worry about any reactions to serums or retinol (which has happened before) when used together. It is at a great price point and lasts for about 4 months despite the small bottle. If you have oily skin, they make this version which is not as thick. Cetaphil also has a great face moisturizer if you are looking for something cheaper.
7. Eye Cream
To be honest, I just haven’t found an eye cream that I love yet. Lately, I have been using the Neutrogena Hydro Boost around my eyes for moisture, but with winter coming up I will most likely need something richer. Olay has a great eye cream which I may try. The eye serum that is at the very top of my wish list is the Revision DEJ Eye Cream. This guy is supposed to do wonders, but it is a little pricy.
Other Skincare Routine For Beginners Thoughts
When trying to remember what order your products go in, remember thinnest to thickest. This should help a ton, but I also used to lay them on my bathroom counter in order until I got the hang of it. Plus this helps with super early mornings or late evenings and you are too tired to think.
On another note, I love Amazon, I really do, BUT I would be wary of buying any beauty product from Amazon or at least for the first time. Most of the time you will be fine and get the real product from the authentic store, however, that is not always the case. I would hate for anyone to try a product for the first time, hate it, or have it not work because it is a faulty product. Always read reviews! This helps tremendously and until then stick to a verified store like the Derm Store or even Target for cheaper products.
One last thing to add. Always pat your face dry with a soft towel. Don’t use a washcloth to rub away makeup or water. First wash clothes are unsanitary (unless you use a new one every night) and they are not supposed to be used as an exfoliant. They can cause microtears in your skin with unnecessary tugging and pulling.
Whew! I know that was long but I hope this skincare routine for beginners helped! If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!
All My Love,