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Face Routine 2023 - Yes, There Actually is a Best Skin Care Regimen!

Call it a ritual. A time tested method. The result of much toil, research, trial-and-error.

It is what we’ve come to know as “The Skincare Routine.”

face routine and steps to skin care

Ladies, we have our skincare routines down to a science.

Although, as we get ever-busier, we trade portions of our regimen for a few more minutes of staying in bed in the morning.

Exhausted, we forgo important steps at night in favor of returning to said bed.

A survey by Simple Skincare found that only a pitiful number of us are practicing our regimen on the regular.

skin guide

All that time crunching can lead us to a rushed, slapdash approach to our skincare, forcing us to make compromises and adopt a philosophy of, “As long as I get the product on my face at some point, it will do what it needs to do, right?”

WRONG. (Well, sort of.)

Did you know that the way you layer on your skincare products actually makes a difference?

I’m here to break it down and give you a handy cheat sheet guide on the best way to layer your skincare products so that you’ll reap the best benefits from The Routine.

what is the best skincare

Why Does Your Face Routine Matter?

It’s not that your skincare items won’t work if you don’t layer them a certain way.

But, if you apply them in the correct order, you’ll get the max benefits and you’re much more likely to see results from your skincare products.

And, anything worth doing is worth doing right. Right?

best natural skin care regimen alana eye cream

It’s important to consider the purpose of your products -- why you’re using them in the first place -- and give them time to sink into your skin and deliver those benefits.

For instance, if you apply a thick moisturizer before more concentrated treatments, it can create a barrier that doesn’t allow your skin to absorb serums or liquids as well.

A general rule of thumb when layering products is to work from thin to thick.

Meaning, apply those formulas with a thinner consistency first and follow it up with richer, creamier ones last.

One more thing before we get to it: Remember that this is just my general recommendation for the order of operations, but there’s no one-size-fits-all skincare routine for everyone.

You may need to add or subtract some items based on your needs and skincare concerns (such as products made to target a specific issue).

Use this as a general guideline, and find the regimen that works best for you!

Simply state, cleanse your face twice in the morning and twice at night with a good all natural cleanser. For a bonus, use a good washcloth or spin brush to really clean your face. Then make sure to moisturize with a good all natural moisturizer, and wear physical (not chemical) sunscreen everyday!

AM skin regimen

Step 1: Cleanser

As long as you’re splashing water on your face first thing in the morning, you might as well use a gentle cleanser too.

This will help remove stuff like dirt, oil, and impurities that your skin can accumulate from your hair and pillowcase while you’re sleeping.

Make sure you’re using a cleanser made for your skin type, so you don’t strip skin’s natural moisture.

Step 2: Toner

A lot of people skip this step because they think toners are too harsh for their skin.

Not so! Today’s toners are formulated to deliver moisture and clarifying and anti-aging benefits.

best skin care regimen

Toner isn’t always necessary, but if your skincare specialist or esthetician recommends one, it’s for a good reason, so use one after cleansing your skin.

As with cleansers, toners are specifically formulated for different skin types, so make sure you’re using the right one for you!

Step 3: Serums and Spot Treatments

Now that your skin is all prepped and squeaky clean, it’s time to apply those thinner-consistency products such as serums or those made to address specific concerns like acne, wrinkles, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation.

Both serums and spot treatments are more highly concentrated formulas designed to deliver benefits deep into skin’s layers, so it’s best to apply them as close to your skin as possible so they can penetrate without being inhibited.

With serums and treatments, it’s also important to wait at least 5 minutes so they’ve had time to absorb into skin before applying anything else.

Step 4: Moisturizer

Hydrated and moisturized skin is essential to fight wrinkles and blemishes, and it supports skin healthy by reinforcing its protective barrier.

This includes oily skin types!

When your skin senses it’s dry, it actually produces more oil which can make matters worse, so it’s important to maintain skin balance and hydration.

skin regimens and skin regimen

You may also need to change up your moisturizer with different conditions.

Does your skin get dry in the winter? More oily in the summer? Is it changing with age?

Listen to your skin so you can make sure you’re caring for it accordingly.

Step 5. Eye Cream and/or Gel

These days, we have so many options!

Yes, there are actually eye products specific for daytime use to combat last night’s puffy eyes.

And, you can layer eye products to get max benefits.

Apply an eye cream, wait a few minutes, then follow up with an eye cream for all that depuffing, anti-aging, moisturizing goodness.

Pro tip: Eye cream isn’t just for your mom! It’s recommended that you start using eye cream as early as your 20’s since this is the age when people start seeing signs of aging in the form of crow’s feet and eye wrinkles. Better to prevent than treat!

Step 6. SPF

Don’t leave the house without applying a daily dose of broad-spectrum SPF protection.

Even on cloudy days.

Even if your makeup contains SPF (it usually isn’t enough to provide adequate protection).

And even if you’re going to be inside for most of the day.

Much of our UV exposure occurs during non-sunbathing times like driving or walking to and from your car.

Make sure to apply sun protection at least 15 minutes before heading outdoors.

You can cut down on your get ready time by using a moisturizer that contains at least SPF 20 protection.

And, if you get a tinted one for light coverage and it’s a triple whammy!

From here, you can start applying any liquid makeup or concealers, or go barefaced and show off your natural beauty!

Here are some of my top picks to kickstart your day and get the most out of your AM skincare!

Alana pumpkin cleanser skin guide

Alana Mitchell Foaming Pumpkin Cleanser

My gentle foaming cleanser is a great way to start off your skincare for the day. It purifies and refines pores while delivering hydrating and anti-aging benefits to your skin. Plus, it smells wonderful!

Rhonda allison skin care guidelines

Rhonda Allison Beta Green Tea Lotion

This is a unique combo of lotion and toner in one! All-natural ingredients nourish your skin with moisture while salicylic acid balances oil content. This is a great toner for those who have rosacea, sensitive skin, or are prone to acne! You can look forward to even, supple, and shine-free skin that looks healthy and clear.

alana skin care techniques

Alana Mitchell Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum

My ultra-hydrating serum uses the power of 20% hyaluronic acid to promote your skin's hydration levels by 10x and plump fine lines and wrinkles. It also doubles as a fast-absorbing makeup primer!

alana general skin care

Alana Mitchell Daily Vitamin C Moisturizer

I’m so excited to bring you my daily moisturizer. It features 20% vitamin C to fight free radicals that cause signs of aging and to boost collagen production to fight fine lines and wrinkles. It also boosts your skin's hydration levels by 10x!

alana face routine

Alana Mitchell Anti-Aging Peptide Eye Cream

Say goodbye to signs of aging! Peptides help revitalize your skin by retaining firmness and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. My eye cream also helps improve dullness, fatigue, and crow's feet and quickly absorbs into your skin to deliver moisture.

dermaquest steps to skin care

Dermaquest SheerZinc SPF 30 - Tinted

This is one of my go-to's for daily sun protection! The tinted formula gives you sheer coverage while providing you with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and it goes on smooth. Zinc oxide physically blocks harmful sun rays, making it suitable for sensitive skin.

PM routine and steps to skin care

Step 1: Cleanser

Now it’s time to remove all that lovely makeup and gunk from the day with a cleanser that's right for your skin type.

This step is crucial to avoid skin irritations, blemishes, and even infections.

You can start with a precleanse or cleansing oil to dissolve makeup, and/or cleanse twice with a lather-rinse-repeat approach to make sure you’re getting rid of all the day’s residue.

Step 3: Exfoliator

This step is optional but highly recommended.

To save time, you can combine this step with the aforementioned second cleanse.

Use a physical or chemical exfoliator to remove dead skin cells which will brighten your complexion and keep pores clean.

Be sure not to overdo it! Follow use instructions.

If it’s a product designed for daily use, that’s fine.

If not, stick to 2-3 times a week so you don’t risk damaging or drying out your skin.

Step 4: Toner

Put a few drops on a cotton round and swipe over your cleansed face, neck, and chest.

You’ll be surprised at all the dirt, makeup and residue your cleanser can leave behind.

Toners are the best way to balance skin and make sure you’re removing all that business for clear, healthy skin.

Step 4: Serums and Targeted Treatments

Let these wonderful formulas work their magic while you get your beauty rest.

Evenings are also the best time to apply products with exfoliating ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid since they can make skin sensitive during sun exposure.

For the same reason, this is also when you’ll want to apply any skin peels.

As before, wait a few minutes for serums and treatments to absorb into skin before moving on to moisturizer.

best natural face routine

Step 5: Moisturizer or Face Oil

Skin repairs itself while you sleep, so you’ll support this process by applying a good moisturizer.

Don’t limit it to just your face either!

Remember to moisturize your neck and décolleté as well, since this delicate skin can also benefit from hydration.

Step 6: Eye Cream

If you’re only going to use eye cream once a day, then the night time is the right time.

Make sure to apply a rich formula around your entire eye area for maximum benefits.

Wrap up your day with some of my favorite formulas to beautify skin before getting your beauty sleep!

alana organic mct face oil

Alana Mitchell Organic MCT Facial Oil

This concentrated form of coconut oil absorbs seamlessly into your skin and easily eliminates stubborn makeup! Simply apply 1-4 drops to your face, rub in circular motions, and rinse. It gets bonus points for its antioxidants and fatty acids.

alana oc natural cream cleanser

Alana Mitchell Daily OC Cream Cleanser

Gently remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup with my moisturizing and gentle cleanser that contains coconut oil, green tea, and lavender extract. The formula is 99% natural, soap-free, and non-irritating.

ilike organic skin care routine

Ilike Organic Skin Care Mineral Exfoliating Wash

Gently exfoliate your skin by buffing away dead skin cells and deep cleaning your pores! You’ll eliminate excess oil, neutralize acne-causing bacteria, and fortify your skin’s protective barriers to lock in moisture.

skin script face routine

Skin Script Cucumber Hydration Toner

Soothe, calm, and cool your skin on contact with this hydrating and anti-inflammatory toner. It gives your skin an even appearance by refining its texture and reducing the appearance of pores. Your skin's natural barriers are fortified with lipids that also lock in moisture.

alana retinol natural anti aging facial routine

Alana Mitchell Night R1 Retinol Facial Oil

Wake up to glowing, youthful, and moisturized skin! My 100% natural and lightweight retinol formula stimulates collagen production in your skin to smooth out any wrinkles and fine lines, while dark spots and discoloration are repaired overnight to even your skin tone. No flaking, redness, or peeling like traditional retinol products, but with all the benefits!

evening epicuren moisturizer routine

Epicuren Evening Emulsion Enzyme Moisturizer

This moisturizer is designed to be used at night to deliver benefits while you catch some zzzzzs. The rich, moisturizing formula is enhanced with enzymes, proteins, and B vitamins to improve cellular memory and help your skin retain elasticity. It will leave your skin hydrated and supple, so you’ll wake up looking rested and ready to go!

epicuren natural eye cream face routine

Epicuren Eye Cream

I’ve used this eye cream day and night for over 10 years so I can tell you it’s incredible! It includes powerful anti-aging enzymes to improve firmness and color around your eye area. It also boosts cell repair to mend UV and free radical damage.

So, there you have it!

Here's a handy little guide to help you remember the order of operations.morning and night time face routineWhat's a face routine for blackheads?

When it comes to getting pimples, for most us, the onslaught of several blackheads is almost worse than whiteheads. The stigma and misconception that blackheads are made from dirt, brings to life insecurities that people may think you’re, in turn, dirty. Talk about zit shame! Fear not, though, since this is obtusely incorrect.

Blackheads are the same thing as whiteheads, only they have open heads, rather than closed. This means that the mix of oil and bacteria clogged in your pore is exposed to the air, and that oxidizes it, turning it a nasty black color.

To combat this, try adding a retinol cream into your morning and night skin regimen. Retinoids, by nature, help to break down bad bacteria, which can lead to your complexion being less prone to breakouts.

What’s a good face routine for rosacea?

Rosacea, while it can appear during teens, is known to show up come your 30s. It’s a skin condition that consists of inflammation, redness, and hot sensations that are not comfortable. If you’re someone that is suffering from rosacea, we understand how frustrating it can be when you have a flare up. That’s why it’s important to know skin care techniques that are unique to your battle, and luckily, we have just the right steps to add to your base face routine to help!

When looking for serums to add to your daily routine, check for ones with B-5. Vitamin B5 can alleviate inflammation, helping to reduce redness overall.

Also, consider adding Hyaluronic Acid into the mix since it’s intensely hydrating and can ease up the feeling of skin tightening associated with rosacea.

Should I do my face routine before or after shower?

Wondering when’s the best time to do your skin regimens in respect to showering? The answer is pretty simple, but not exactly common sense. So, allow us to explain!

You should always save your routine for after your shower. The reason is simple; skin care guidelines show that exposure to hot water over longer periods of time result in dryness. This, plus the fact that when you’re showering, your pores are open which makes you more susceptible to build up from things like shampoo. The last thing you need is to add more product atop of that!

While saving time is always something we advocate for, in this even the best skin care regimen is one that is done post-shower.

What’s a face routine for combination skin?

Combination skin is sort of like a buffet filled with unwanted food, you have some areas of dryness, some areas of oil, but nothing is delicious. How are you to find common ground? What is the best skincare routine for you to follow? If you’re someone that’s dealing with this, let us shed some light on how to make the most of it with a mini combination skin guide.

Cleanser. To clean your skin, you’ll want to use a milky cleanser. This will be gentle enough not to disturb the oily spots and will soothe the drier spots.

Toner. If possible, be on the lookout for a toner that has prebiotics. This will help restore the good bacteria in your overall microsphere producing a more balanced complexion.

Serum. Retinol is a great all-around treatment for your skin. It’ll help to clear up the acne-prone areas thanks to its ability to deep clean pores; it’ll also help keep dry patches away.

Moisturizer. Across the board, you’ll want something hydrating. Look for night and day creams, apply accordingly.

What's the best face routine for very dry skin?

Whether you have chronically dry skin, for that we’re very sorry and want to help, or just experiencing the winter woes, you know the pain. It’s never settling to wake up with flakey patches that itch. Let alone ones that are along your scalp line and cause dandruff.

To fight this problem, you’ll need more than the general skin care routine, you’ll need some steps to skin care targeting dry skin. Here they are:

Mask. Make sure that you’re using a super hydrating mask 1-2 times a week. It will help give a burst of intense hydration to the skin, restoring the moisture levels to kick that dry skin spell to the curb. If you’re interested in the best natural skin care mask regimen, try oatmeal or honey.

Exfoliate, Again. Adding exfoliation to your to-do 1-2 times a week is another must. The skin is constantly shedding, and dry skin is a build up of it. Go in and scrub it all away to reveal a smoother surface.

Final Thoughts

While this is the way to get the best benefits from your products, there’s no one magic skincare solution that works for everyone (although, wouldn’t that would be great?).

We each have unique skin and our own set of concerns and goals, so the bottom line is that you have to find a routine that works best for you.

You gotta listen to your skin and do you!

How do you layer your products? Have you found a method for success? Share your tips with us in the comments section!

43 comments

The blog post is really helpful for skin care.

shrea kuile @ 2020-09-14 5:34am

Hi! I really appreciate your efforts. Keep sharing such informative stuff. Really amazing. Thank you.

Guru Parekh @ 2022-04-17 10:43pm

nice and interesting blog!!!

Avneet kaur @ 2021-09-25 4:46am

Nice and helpful blog!!!!!!

Avneet kaur @ 2021-10-12 5:27am

Thank you for pointing out that retinol creams can help us with removing blackheads. My face has a lot of blackheads especially on my nose and it makes me feel insecure. I’ve heard also that we should be doing a regular skincare spa to make our skin rejuvenated. I will definitely try out all options so that I can get clear skin again.

Alicia Byrne @ 2020-06-16 9:34pm

Thanks for sharing such a piece of wonderful information about skin care

Robert @ 2020-06-25 5:16am

Thanks for sharing such nice information about skincare. Great Post! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep up the good work.

shireen @ 2020-09-04 4:32am

I have written all articles about skin care on this site.All articles are written clearly about skin.This is grest site

ayesha hameed @ 2020-07-29 8:08am

well I really didn’t know that there is a separate AM and PM routine which is needed to follow. :( that is really comprehensive and doable routine which I now commit to follow.

khola wasti @ 2020-05-18 10:28am

You’re welcome! :)

Alana Mitchell @ 2019-12-17 10:31am

Thanks! :)

Alana Mitchell @ 2019-12-17 10:11am

My dermatologist has a skincare clinic associated with his office and they recommended Dermalmd serum and it is amazing. Your skin will look and feel great after using it. I use it every single day and plan to do so forever. It definitely hydrates your skin and leaves it looking beautiful.

Vicenta @ 2019-12-09 4:18pm

Appreciate it very much intended for publishing this kind of fascinating article on this matter. It has definitely created me personally believe as well as I’m hoping to learn to read much more.

farhan @ 2019-12-04 6:59am

Hi this Soo helpful.my question is what happen if I applied the face oil like extra on my face?

Dayana @ 2019-11-17 6:52am

I liked that you mentioned a good rule when layering products is to work from thin to thick. My sister and I are planning a girl’s day, and we are looking for advice. I will let her know your recommendations about skincare to help us looking beautiful.

Ellie Davis @ 2019-11-04 7:44am

I totally that no matter how expensive or effective your products are as long as you don’t apply them the right way then it’ s useless. It’s very important to have an effective skincare routine. Thanks for sharing.

fourseasonslasercenter @ 2019-10-31 6:15am

Thank you for your tips on skin care. I found it helpful when you said to use thin products first and work your way up to the thick ones last in your skin care regimen. My was asking me the other day about skin care regimens. She will be interested to know to use the creamiest ones last.

Elisabeth Southgate @ 2019-10-02 9:36am

Nice article! There is a huge collection of products to create a good skincare routine in this article. I will definitely use some of them in my skincare routine. Thanks for sharing.

Neora @ 2019-09-24 2:25am

I like how you mentioned that skin serums are more highly concentrated formulas designed to deliver benefits deep into the skin’s layers. My mom likes to try all types of treatments to look younger. Thanks for sharing this article, I will share it with her so that she has more knowledge about skin treatments.

Derek McDoogle @ 2019-09-04 6:04am

I have had way too many issues with my skin (extreme redness, sensitive, dry, oily, acne, large pore, flaky), so I bought Rosacea Serum of Dermalmd just to try. I didn’t expect much because I could never find the right product all these years, too many let down. After the first wash, I could already feel the difference. My skin now looks and feels so much healthier.

Elisa J @ 2019-08-27 11:29pm

Wow, I never imagined that there is a right method when it comes to skincare routines. I think I’ll buy a reconstructing night skincare cream from a good shop so that I can stick to a skincare routine since I still don’t have one. This way, I’ll be able to get maximum benefits for it and get supple skin when I wake up.

Angela Waterford @ 2019-08-05 8:29am

What are good serums to try out? I have red spots and small pimple in between my eyebrows that I want to get rid of and I few pimple scars on my noses. Are there any good serums that will help?

Harsha A. @ 2019-07-12 9:00am

My best products of all time is water, vegetable and fruit. Not forgetting the importance of REST. These are foundations of any other handy products to me.

Mintrx Pharmacy @ 2019-06-28 11:40am

The vitamin C I am currently using is an oil. I am sure it would go after serums, but what about moisturizer? I read conflicting information on this. Some say before moisturizer and others say after because the moisturizer can not penetrate oils. What is your feeling on this?

Lynda @ 2019-06-06 2:12pm

Hi Alana,
I use exfoliating cream then rejuvenating cream at night time.
so first I wash my face, user toner, put on serum then night cream then after an hour or 2 put the exfoliating cream and rejuvenating cream to be left overnight. In the morning, my skin is usually peeling which really works for me. However, just wondering, does the serum and night cream still work even if I put the exfoliating and rejuvenating on top of it after and I peel off the following day? just wondering coz if its useless due to the peeling> then I might as well stop putting serum and cream ( to save money if useless) and just use the exfoliating and rejuvenating. hope to hear from you. Thanks a lot!

liz @ 2019-04-06 9:26pm

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