The Beginner’s Guide to Having an Actual Skincare Routine

They say you’re supposed to really begin the journey of skincare in your early 20s. But you’d be surprised at how many brown women still haven’t honed in on their perfect skincare routine, even in their 30s and 40s.

Skincare is simple, to some extent. It’s about 1) understanding your skin’s needs, 2) finding products that you can afford that do the job and 3) sticking to your routine consistently. We can’t tell you the best products for your skin because…duh…we’re not dermatologists. But, what we can do is give you a template on how to get started once you have diagnosed what your skin craves and found a decent line of products to satisfy its needs.

Find Your Makeup Remover

If you’re a makeup-wearing woman, you’ll be good to know that oil cleansers may come to be your BFF. Cleansers like Origin’s Gentle Cleansing Oil, will not only remove makeup easily, they’ll also offer you a deep cleanse with high efficiency. If you have sensitive skin, micellar waters like L’Oreal’s Micellar Cleansing Water will be your saving grace.

If you need spot removing options (like eye makeup removers), look to our favorites like Sonia Kashuk’s Eye makeup remover or simple makeup wipes like Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Makeup Removing Towelettes. Want to feel glam while taking it off? Lauren Napier’s Cleanse wipes will make you feel like you’re an A-list celeb removing the day’s face.

Next Your Cleanser

Now that you’ve taken off the makeup, it’s time to clean the face. We now have so many options that it may be overwhelming. So let’s keep it simple. You can do a gel cleanser (combo or oily skin), a lotion cleanser (dry skin) or a milk cleanser (dry or combo skin). It can be hard to find the right face wash for your skin, especially if it is sensitive or oily, as you don’t want to use anything that could cause any irritation. In your search for a cleanser, you may want to take a look at these products from Renee Rouleau to see if they would benefit your skincare routine. Take your time during this process as it is important that you find the best cleaner for you. We stay away from the foam cleanser for the most part.

Invest In a Toner

You’ll be glad you did. Toners help remove any excess dirt or residue your cleanser may not have gotten and also restore the pH in your skin. Some of our favorites include: Fresh’s Rose Floral toner, Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Rose Petal toner, and Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with herbs and rosewater.

Buy An Eye Cream

Eye creams are important, don’t let anyone tell you differently. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and most sensitive. You need a special moisturizer for your eyes. You don’t even have to get all fancy with it, unless you want to. You can go very simple with Burt’s Bees Renewal cream, or go somewhat high profile with Fresh’s Rose Hydrating Gel cream. If you’re all about illuminating the eyes or helping to ease dark circles, look to an option like Olay Eyes Illuminating cream. Firming eye creams will cost you a bit more, just know this. Kate Somerville’s + Retinol Firming Eye Cream has gotten rave reviews for it’s firming capabilities.

Get Your Moisturizer Down Pact

Again, it’s all about your skin’s needs. Gel moisturizers (combo and oily skin), lotions (most skin types) creams (dry skin) and face oils (combo and dry skin) are waiting to be of service. Apply after you’ve cleansed your skin (while your skin is still a tad damp) and voilà.

For Added Value

Serums are added value options for the colder or drier seasons. Apply them right before your moisturizer for intense hydration. A BB favorite: Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate.

Facemasks are perfect Sunday night ritual additions that soothe your face and add moisture. We heart the Sephora $5 masks (they’re also packaged so cute!)

Facial mists and sprays are everything. The Evian Mineral spray is life. Sitting in a dull office, running errands on a hot summer day, or trapped on a flight for a significant amount of hours? Then pull out a face spray. Glossier also has a nice smelling Rosewater mist and the bottle is really chic. Basically, face sprays add a quick and easy touch of hydration when you’re in an area with recycled air (airplanes, ugh) or just in need of a quick moisturizing moment.