Need Help with Your Skincare Routine? Read THIS.

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As amazing as skincare is for keeping the skin hydrated, balanced, and treating it for blemishes, etc., it can be ANNOYING (not to mention expensive) trying to figure out which products you need to add in your routine. From interacting with so many of you over the years, I find there’s a group who is obsessed with skincare and will buy whatever catches their eye and tries it all, and then there’s a group who is scared to death of all of the work involved and perhaps freezes and doesn’t buy anything at all or continues to use products that don’t really work. This post will help alleviate some of the pressure on both sides.

Research

I know, I know—people want the easy way out and don’t want to do a ton of heavy lifting when it comes to research, but girl, unless you like wasting your money (or doing nothing with your skin), you will need to do some research. To start you need to assess your skin and figure out what it’s doing and needs RIGHT NOW. This is the thing with skin—not only does it change as we age, it can also change from season to season (read more on this here). For example, I’m 36 and have had oily skin nearly my whole life, but as I get older my skin is becoming less oily (though still oily), I have had issues with adult acne off and on, sometimes I’ll get a cystic pimple, on a recent dermatologist trip she mentioned I have some visible pores (which I hadn’t noticed before, but yep, they’re there) and suggested I get back on a retinol regimen, and then there’s the facial hair which can make my skin texture feel a little rough on my chin area sometimes :/ Basically my hormones are causing my skin to be a little unpredictable. So over the last year, I’ve switched up my regimen at least four times: going from the Murad adult acne line to Perricone when my skin is acting “normal” to using the Murad City Skin Overnight Detox recently when the NYC weather was making my skin go crazy to now trying to implement the retinol regimen my dermatologist told me to get on. This is in addition to changing my routine as I would normally do when the seasons change.

You need to be observant of your skin and implement a regimen from there while making adjustments for seasonal (or hormonal) changes. If you don’t want to go it alone—I don’t blame you because it can be A LOT—enlist the help of skincare professionals to guide you along the way.

Now when it comes to figuring out the products you need in your routine, one of the easiest ways is to go to a site like Sephora.com and narrow down the product choices based on your skin type and current skin issues. Then look through the product descriptions of all the ones that catch your eye and narrow down which ones sound like the best ones for your skin. From there, read the reviews not only on the site but google to see what other sources are saying—you can also use my search box on this site to see if I’ve done a review as well. Now from there, if the products that match your skincare needs don’t match your budget, do some more digging to find similar products at more attainable price points. Don’t ignore drugstore brands—they have stepped their game up and can work just as well (sometimes better) than department store products. Brands like Olay, Neutrogena, RoC, derma-E, Reviva Labs, Alpha Skincare, etc. stay on the pulse of the latest in skincare ingredients, trends, and technology.

Trial

This is the part that can be a little frustrating, but it’s the only way you’ll know if the products you’ve researched will actually work well on your skin. You have to give products the time to work especially treatment products. For example, if you’re looking to get rid of dark spots (read my series on hyperpigmentation and how to get rid of it here), if you use an ingredient like hydroquinone, you need to give it at least 6-8 weeks before you see some fading. For more natural ingredients like kojic acid or licorice root, it needs even more time—at least 12-14 weeks before you see some improvement.

And let’s not be naive, if you have had an issue for a while (i.e. dark spots more than six months old, deep wrinkles, progressed acne, etc), then something you buy over the counter may not get you dramatic results. Seeing a skincare professional is always best in these cases because they can prescribe something that works better for your skin that you can’t get over the counter.

One annoying thing about trial though is that you might be using a product and find out you don’t like it. Shopping at stores that have generous return policies can help alleviate some of this (to the Joannes out there, don’t go taking advantage of that though…lol).

Skincare sets are an amazing way to try a number of products from a brand to see how they work out for you. I recently bought a Murad skincare set after reading that their Resurgence line might be what my skin needs right now. It was $39.95 and I got a number of products from the line that I can try out. The set should last me about 30 days which is pretty good to decide if I like most of the products and buy the full sizes. You can check it out here.

Shop more skincare sets in the widget below

(don’t forget to use the arrow to scroll as there are more products to see)

Assess

This is the part where you have to keep paying attention to changes in your skin and of course make changes to the products in your routine as the seasons change. The climate where you live and the weather and seasons play a huge part in the products you choose. I wrote about this previously, so read more about it here and here. There’s a summer skincare video here and you can watch all my skincare videos here.

So there you have it, folks. A pretty quick guide to figuring out your skincare routine. I wanted to make this post pretty short, so of course if you want more info, check out Skincare Posts You Need to Read for more info. And make sure you’re subscribed to the blog so you don’t miss new posts.

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Allure.com, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style expert on CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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