The Easiest Daily Skincare Routine
A Simple 4-Step Skincare Routine and Why You Need One
What is the best skincare routine?
The best to way to care for your skin everyday is to cleanse, tone, and address individual issues like acne, redness or signs of aging, and moisturize.
Having a simple skincare routine can help restore skin from everyday damage, prevent signs of aging, and soften and hydrate your skin so you look and feel good.
This is the best skincare routine that anyone can follow, in just 4 simple steps.
Ready to start your daily skincare routine now?
Step 1: Cleanser
Cleansing is the first and most crucial part of your daily skincare routine. Deep clean your pores—wash away dirt, impurities, and excess oil—and gently remove makeup. Make sure to use a gentle, pH-neutral, non-abrasive formulation that cleanses without drying out or damaging your skin.
Wet your face with warm water. Apply cleanser to clean hands or to a clean, warm, damp washcloth and lather in upward circles to lift your skin and prevent fine lines while working it into every pore. Use a clean washcloth dampened with warm water to rinse off the cleanser and lift off the day’s worries. Pat dry with a soft, clean towel.
Always avoid cleansers that contain sulfates; these strong detergents can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated. Also, avoid cleansers that contain parabens; these compounds are preservatives added to increase the shelf life of cosmetics but can cause skin irritation, allergies, and other chronic issues (1-2).
Step 2: Toner
Think of toners as the bridge between cleansing your skin and feeding it the essential nutrients it craves. Toners balance your skin’s pH and prepare your skin to absorb the nutrients in your serum and moisturizer. A good toner can also reduce the appearance of pores.
Apply your toner to a clean cotton pad. Rub it gently into your skin in upward circles. Allow the to area to dry before applying serum.
Step 3: Serum
When your skin is cleansed and toned, you can provide the main course to your thirsty skin: serum. Serum is a lightweight formulation designed to penetrate and deliver essential nutrients deep into your skin. Think of serum like your daily smoothie: concentrated nutrition delivered fresh to your skin. The best serums deliver nutrients that help our skin heal and regenerate. They can smooth skin, keep it supple, and even slow down the appearance of aging.
Don’t apply anything to your skin that you wouldn’t eat. Use only serums made with fresh, organic, high-quality ingredients.
Apply serum directly to your face and skin. Rub it in gently with clean hands in upward circles. Allow the serum to soak into your pores for a few minutes before applying moisturizer.
Step 4: Moisturizer
Moisturizers create a protective barrier, restore your skin’s natural glow, and help reduce fine lines. If serum delivers nutrients deep into your skin, moisturizer helps lock in your skin’s moisture at the surface and protects your skin against aging and environmental damage. The best moisturizers contain high-quality, organic ingredients.
Apply moisturizer directly to your skin. Rub it in gently with clean hands in upward circles. Allow your moisturizer to set in for five minutes before applying sunscreen if part of your daytime routine.
Top Skincare Routine Questions
Q: Should I perform my skincare routine in the morning or at night?
A: Go through each step once in the morning and once in the evening. However, the evening is the most important time to take care of your skin. It's important to cleanse and nourish your skin so it can heal, regenerate, and detoxify while you sleep. In the mornings, you might want to add sunscreen as the final step in your routine.
Q: When should I apply serum?
A: Serum is Step 3 in your daily skincare routine. Apply serum after letting your toner dry.
Q: Do I apply serum before of after moisturizer?
A: Serum is Step 3 in your daily skincare routine. Wait a few minutes for your serum to absorb before applying Step 4: moisturizer
Q: How do I know if my new skincare routine is working?
A: Good things come to those who wait — and that includes skincare routines. Even the best skincare products take time to work, so don't expect results overnight. If you stick to a consistent, daily routine, you can likely expect to see some benefits within six to 12 weeks — and it can often take at least three to four months to know if your new routine is really working. Be patient.
- Hager E, Chen J, Zhao L. Minireview: Parabens Exposure. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Feb 8;19(3):1873. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031873. PMID: 35162895; PMCID: PMC8834979.
- Engeli RT, Rohrer SR, Vuorinen A, Herdlinger S, Kaserer T, Leugger S, Schuster D, Odermatt A. Interference of Paraben Compounds with Estrogen Metabolism by Inhibition of 17β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Sep 19;18(9):2007. doi: 10.3390/ijms18092007. PMID: 28925944; PMCID: PMC5618656.