What Does A Good Skincare Routine Look like?

Makeup is a pretty powerful thing. It can conceal color, add shadows, or light. But the one thing that it doesn’t do is correct the texture of your skin. That’s up to your skincare routine and the products that you invest in.

And I want to let you in on every professional makeup artist’s secret for getting flawless looking foundation: they prep the skin with a mini skincare routine.

Now, imagine if you were doing that for yourself on the daily? And before you freak out about having to do “more work” I just want to tell you that the benefit of taking the time to take care of your skin has NOTICEABLE rewards. (And it really doesn’t end up being more work.)

So while this might seem like something that we should all know about by now, I want to be really sure that you’re taking care of your skin.

The Effects of Not Taking Care of Your Skin

I’m obviously really into skincare (I mean, c’mon, I’m making another post about it. LOL) Anyways, I was on Instagram scrolling through the latest skincare advancements and I came across a photo that I thought was a before and after picture.

Turns out, it was identical twins! One twin took care of her skin, while the other did not (granted it looks like she is now, and has already started to get wonderful results).

I’m sharing this because I want you to see the difference that good skincare can make — it’s truly that mind-blowing.

When you don’t take care of your skin you may face things like:

  • Skin issues (exasperated melasma, hyper-pigmentation, acne, milia, tight-itchy skin, etc.)
  • Wrinkles & Lines (aka premature aging)
  • Dullness
  • Increased texture (e.g. enlarged pores and/or flaky skin)
What Does A Good Skincare Routine Look like? | Makeup & Hair by Kendra

photo via Instagram @skinthesisinc

What’s Your Skin Type

Before we can go into how to properly take care of your skin, we need to first discover what your skin type is. You may have the added “situation” of skin sensitivity in addition to your skin type (but that’s another post for another day).

There’s essentially four different skin types:

  1. Dry (Mature skin tends to be in this category, but not always)
  2. Normal
  3. Oily (Acne-prone)
  4. Combination skin

Dry Skin
You may have flaky skin, dry patches, and your face tends to show a good amount of texture when you put on foundation. Depending on your age you may notice fine lines, and you may feel like your face gets really tight/itchy if you don’t put some sort of moisturizer on your face.

Normal Skin
You typically don’t have very large pores, nor do you have a lot of texture to your skin. Your face doesn’t get shiny throughout the day and foundation goes on smoothly. You may get a pimple or two, but nothing concerning.

Oily Skin
You typically have noticeable pores. Your face will get shiny throughout the day, and you have a tendency to have acne.

Combination Skin
You are both dry and oily. You may have flakiness to your skin, but you may also get oily throughout the day. You will typically have noticeable pores in your T-Zone (aka middle of forehead, nose, apple of cheeks, and chin).

Creating A Daily Skin Care Routine

So the question is: what should you really be doing? I’m going to break that down by skin type but there are some “rules” that every skin type can play by.

You should:

  • Use quality skincare products.
  • Absolutely wash your face at the end up the day if you wore makeup.
  • Only wash your face in room temperature or cool water.
  • See an esthetician for a monthly facial, or once a quarter at minimum.
  • Exfoliate your skin 1 – 3x’s a week (do not use exfoliants that contain crushed shells, granular, or pumice-based exfoliating products because they can create small tears and irritation)

Skincare routines don’t have to be overly complicated nor do you need 100 products. So let’s run through some really simple routines for each skin type that is still going to give you results.

Dry Skin: Skincare Routine

When you have dry skin you may be tempted to exfoliate every day or slather on the heaviest greasiest products. Now unless you’ve been instructed to do so by your dermatologist for a super specific skin condition, those habits can cause more harm than good.

What you really need to consider is using skincare products that contain quality ingredients. By simply switching to professional-grade products you will notice a difference in your skin. And exfoliation is super important (you just don’t want to over-do it).

So here’s what I typically recommend for my dry skinned clients:
In the morning, do not wash your face. You can simply use a clean wet wash cloth or rinse your face with water. While your face is still damp, apply your active ingredients (these are your serums) so that they can really absorb into the skin. Then apply your moisturizer + SPF (or use a moisturizer that already has SPF in it. It’s best to use SPF 50).

At night, wash your face with a moisturizing or gentle facial cleanser. Exfoliate (remember you only want to do this a few times a week vs. daily). And again while your face is still damp apply your serum or active ingredients (eg retinoid). Then use a much richer moisturizer for your skin. If you really want to use an eye cream, now would be the time to apply it.

On the weekend or at least one day a week, after you’ve exfoliated, use a moisturizing face masque. If you find that your skin needs this more, then do it a few times a week.

Products for You to Try:

*Some of these products are affiliate links, however, I only list products that I professionally recommend.

Normal Skin: Skincare Routine

It’s true that you’ve been blessed by the skin gods. And while you may not have any challenges today, that doesn’t mean you won’t have them tomorrow. For you, prevention is key.

In the morning it’s not necessary to wash your face. You can instead use a clean wet wash cloth or simply splash your face with some cool water. It’s a good time to apply your serums while your face is still damp — since there are many different types of serums, and while you may not need moisture per se or oil control, you may do well using a brightening serum. Apply a moisturizer to help keep a protective barrier on your skin and don’t forget your SPF (seriously, never forget this).

At night you will definitely want to make sure that you clean your face from any makeup. Use a gentle cleanser. While your skin is still damp use the serum that you used in the morning. Apply a night-time moisturizer and an eye cream.

On the weekend or one night a week, do a little DIY skincare session: exfoliate your skin and do a face mask.

Products for You to Try:

*Some of these products are affiliate links, however, I only list products that I professionally recommend.
  • Face Wash: Image Skincare Vital C, Image Skincare Ormedic, or EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • Day-Time Moisture: Image Skincare PREVENTION+® daily ultimate protection moisturizer SPF 50, or  EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer (add a sunblock on top)
  • Night-Time Moisture: Image Skincare VITAL C hydrating repair crème, Eminence Stone Crop Whip Moisturizer, or Image Skincare ORMEDIC balancing biopeptide crème.
  • Serums / Active Ingredients: Image Skincare ILUMA intense brightening serum, or  Eminence Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, Ageless Total Overnight Retinol Masque
  • Exfoliants: Azelaic acid, AHA, Glycolic, Salicylic acid OR (manual exfoliants) Clarisonic, Eminence Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant™, Image Skincare ILUMA intense brightening exfoliating powder
  • Masques​: Image Skincare VITAL C hydrating enzyme masque, Eminence Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque, or Image Skincare ORMEDIC balancing gel masque.

Oily Skin: Skincare Routine

Oily skin can pose a set of challenges for sure. But before we go into the skincare routine, I’ve found that sometimes a person’s skin may really be dry or combination skin instead of oily. I talked about this in another post, “Oily Skin or Secret Undercover dry skin??” The reason is because of the use of  products that are so harsh on the skin it causes the skin to become more oily due to drying it out.

So really pay attention to what is going on with your skin. Also, if you are suffering from acne I recommend that you go check out this post, “My Secret to Getting Rid of Acne“.

Ok, now that we’ve covered our basis for some other things that may be going on, we can dive into a good skincare routine for oily skin. One of the most important things to remember is to be kind to your skin.

I often see my oily skinned peeps using harsh products, over-washing, or doing whatever they can to be rid of the oil. But the result is usually more acne, the development of fine lines, excessive oil production, or even dryness where acne is present.

In my experience, I’ve found oily skin tends to be the most “temperamental” — meaning, that you have to somewhat frequently adjust your skincare routine and find the products that are going to work best for you.

Here’s a simple routine for my oily skin peeps:
In the morning, you could cleanse your skin with a gentle facial cleanser. While your skin is still “damp”, use an astringent (like witch hazel on a clean cotton pad) on areas that tend to produce extra oil and on the acne-prone area. Then apply your active ingredients (aka serum). Follow up with a moisturizer for oily skin. These help create a protective barrier and can even help minimize oil production. Then apply your SPF (yes, there is SPF specifically formulated not to be greasy).

At night, cleanse your skin again. Make sure you remove all your makeup. You can apply the astringent again or skip (gauge the “dryness”; if your skin is getting patches I would skip). Apply your serum — I really recommend you (gradually) incorporate Rentin A into your nighttime routine. This is a “chemical” exfoliant that will help with cell turn over and remove the dead surface layer on your face. If you are able to incorporate this piece, there’s usually no need to do other exfoliation. Last step apply a nighttime moisturizer and an eye cream.

It’s also a good idea for you to do a little DIY mini skincare session at least once a week. Exfoliate (unless you’re already using a chemical exfoliant like AHA, Glycolic, etc.), then apply a facial mask.

Products for You to Try:

*Some of these products are affiliate links, however, I only list products that I professionally recommend.
  • Face Wash: Image Skincare Ormedic, Image Skincare CLEAR CELL salicylic gel cleanser, Mesoestetic Hydra Milk Cleanser, or EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • Day-Time Moisture: Image Skincare PREVENTION+ daily matte moisturizer SPF 32
  • Night-Time Moisture: Bioelements Beyond Hydration, or Eminence Lotus Detoxifying Overnight Treatment
  • Serums: Image Skincare ILUMA intense brightening serum,  or Eminence Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum, Ageless Total Overnight Retinol Masque
  • Exfoliants: Azelaic acid, AHA, Glycolic, Salicylic acid OR (manual exfoliants) Clarisonic, Eminence Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant™, Image Skincare ILUMA intense brightening exfoliating powder
  • Masques​: Bioelements Kerafole, Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Mask, Eminence Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment, or GlamGlow SuperMud

Combination Skin: Skincare Routine

As a fellow combo skin gal, I know that the struggle is real. First thing is to gauge whether or not your skin is leaning one way or the other. If you tend to be on the dryer-side then scroll back up and see what I’m recommending for the dry skinned peeps. If you find that you tend to be a little more on the oily-side then check that section out.

I’ve found that by simply switching to professional-grade skincare products, really cut back on oil production for me. And being consistent with exfoliating and the DIY mini skincare sessions really make a difference in the battle of dryness.

Now, you might have to adjust this, depending on how your skin is currently behaving, but my personal routine looks something like this:

In the morning, I use a damp wash cloth to refresh my skin. While my skin is still damp, I apply my serum. Followed by a moisturizer that contains SPF 50. If my skin is particularly dry, I will use a deeper moisturizer first and then the moisturizer with SPF.

At night I wash my face in room-temp water with a hydrating, yet gentle, cleanser. I’ll exfoliate, and then either apply a 15 min moisturizing mask or go straight in with a serum. Followed by a nighttime repair moisturizing cream and an eye cream.

A few times a week I do a mini DIY skincare session which includes exfoliating and then a moisturizing mask. Unless I’m having a breakout for some reason then I may do a charcoal or sulfur mask (but this is rare as those masks tend to really amp up dryness).

Dramatically Improve Your Skin

As I’ve already mentioned several times, using quality products and having a good skincare routine (even if it is simple) really makes a difference. But if you really want to boost the overall appearance & texture of your skin, then it’s time to look into professional treatments.
Professional-grade medical spa treatments can exfoliate and penetrate the skin at a much deeper and more controlled level. These treatments can target your biggest concerns like fines line/wrinkles, enlarged pores, skin laxity, hyper pigmentation, acne, acne scars, etc.

It’s true that they may require some “down-time” but not always. Such is the case with really light chemical peels or microdermabrasion. However, professional treatments are always going to get you improved results.

​The professional treatments include:

  • Chemical Peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Microneedling
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing
  • Prescription Topicals

​In Conclusion

Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be a long complicated process. There’s really only a few simple steps for you to follow, it’s just important that you stay consistent with it and use quality skincare products.

If you have skin troubles or when you’re ready to really see a difference in your skin, it’s time to schedule a professional treatment.

Now I want to hear from you! Answer one or both of these in the comments below:
1. How are you going to improve your skincare routine?
2. What did you learn after reading through a basic skincare routine?

Stay Lovely,

If you liked this post, be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on future posts like this one!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top