Here’s the lowdown on how to subscribe to Allure’s print edition for more beauty routines, recommendations, and features.
If there is one certainty among the many, many uncertainties in our world right now, it is this: Taking the time to care for ourselves should no longer be considered an indulgence, or even a luxury. Rather, for so many reasons, it’s a necessity — now more than ever. With skin care, though, there is another undeniable truth: It can often feel overwhelming.
“The skin-care market has really boomed in the last few years,” explains Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “While this is great because it gives us a variety of new ingredients and formulations, this can be really confusing for the consumer — especially a newbie.”
Though everyone has different skin — and therefore different skin issues, concerns, goals, etc. — there are certain skin-routine rules that generally apply across the board. These are otherwise known as the basics, and we consulted a slew of dermatologists to confirm exactly what they are and share skin-care tips that apply to all of us, novices and experts alike. If you’re unsure about how to put together a skin-care routine (no judgment here), or you’re looking to brush up on the basics, here is your expert-backed beginner’s guide to skin care.
Put together — and stick to — a simple daily routine
“In creating your first skin-care routine, keep it simple,” advises Michele Farber, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Divya Shokeen, a board-certified dermatologist in Torrance, California, agrees. “The most important skin-care advice would be to keep it simple,” Shokeen says. “Start with your basics and expand as you see fit.”
Those basics should always include the following three steps, performed in the following order:
Step 1: Cleanse
The general rule of thumb here is that cleansing your complexion twice per day — once in the morning, once in the evening — is ideal. Cleansing in the morning will help to remove any evidence of sweat or oil left from your pillow and hair during your beauty sleep, Shokeen explains.
There is one common exception to the twice-daily rule: Dry skin. “If you tend to be dry, it’s OK to use plain water in the morning,” Farber says.