Skincare 101: A beginner’s guide to achievable skincare routine

Skincare is important but so extremely confusing.

The shelves in the skincare aisle are full of different brands and products that all have different purposes. If you have never paid much attention to skincare before, your mind is likely loaded with questions. What do I really need? How many steps should my skincare routine be? Do I really need this expensive eye cream?

The answers: You may not need as much as you think; the skincare steps should be minimal, and maybe you need the eye cream, but it depends on your skin’s needs.


When it comes to skincare, for the most part, a general rule to follow is keep it simple, especially when you are just starting out. As you grow more comfortable and maintain more consistency to your routine, maybe you can think about adding more steps.

A woman washing her face in the sink

Getting into a good skincare routine can be tricky, but it can be accomplished with consistency and just a few steps. (Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

For now, here is a beginner’s guide to an achievable skincare routine. 

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Learn and listen to your skin
  3. Know what you need
  4. Build consistency

1. Keep it simple

Having a 20-step skincare routine is going to be expensive and time-consuming, making it hard to stick with. When you are just starting out on your skincare journey, keep things simple.

Once you have a quick, three- to five-step skincare routine established, maybe you can start to add more to it. At the start, though, it’s important to keep things simple. Also, be wary of putting too many things on your skin at once because it could irritate your face.


There are tons of different skincare products on the market, so it’s important to know what works with your skin type. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

2. Learn and listen to your skin 

There are a lot of skincare products out there, so it is important to know your skin type and to listen to your skin. If you try a product and notice that your face is getting irritated, or it is painful on your skin, stop using it and try something else. That product in particular probably isn’t agreeing with your skin type.

There are lots of different skin types. Some people have oily skin, others have dry skin. Some people have acne-prone skin while others have super-sensitive skin. Maybe you experience a combination of these things. Regardless of what your skin type is, there is a product that caters to it. So, look around and try to find products that will work with whatever skin type you have.

3. Know what you need

At the end of the day, there are three key products you will need for your skincare. You’re going to need a cleanser, a moisturizer and a sunscreen to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.

These three things do exactly what they sound like. A cleanser washes your face of all the dirt, oil and makeup that has built up throughout the day. It’s vital to do this at night to make your skin fresh before hitting the hay, but it doesn’t hurt to also wash your face in the morning. If you don’t like cleaning your face in a sink, making a watery mess in the bathroom, you can wash your face with a cleanser while you are in the shower.

Different kinds of sunscreen at a store

Sunscreen is especially important on days spent out in the sun in the summer, but it is vital to wear throughout the year. (G Fiume/Getty Images)


Step 2 is moisturizing. Moisturizing is important all year round to prevent the skin from getting dry and irritated. This is extra important to do after cleansing, since that can sometimes make your face feel dried out.

Step 3 is to layer on sunscreen. This is important to do every day, not just the days that you’re lying out by the pool. Make sure you’re putting sunscreen on in the winter, too. Just because it’s not boiling hot, it doesn’t mean damaging rays from the sun go away.

When starting out your skincare routine, get yourself a good cleanser, moisturizer and facial sunscreen to get your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

4. Build consistency 

One of the hardest things about new routines in general is sticking to them. Skincare is no different.


Skincare products at Marshalls/HomeGoods store

Once you have your products picked out, try to build consistency with your skincare by maintaining a good routine. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

There are so many reasons why you may find yourself not in the mood for face-washing. Maybe you got home late and end up falling asleep with your makeup on. In the morning, you might be running late for work and not have time. That’s why it is of utmost importance to have a simple, quick routine that you can stick to.

Create a schedule for yourself when you are going to do your skincare. Maybe start with doing it at night and then start doing it both morning and night. Also, be mindful that if you are having problems with your skin, and you want a skincare routine to remedy that, be patient. Change isn’t going to happen overnight.


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