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The ultimate guide to building a skincare routine for beginners

Focus on what your skin needs to thrive

Are you feeling overwhelmed and confused in creating an effective skincare routine? You are not alone. Don't let that stand in the way of you and your best skin ever. The truth is, possibilities are endless, but the needs of the skin are quite simple. Your skin wants to be cleansed, nourished, exfoliated and protected.

Begin designing your beauty rituals by focusing on a solid foundation for healthy skin to thrive as you age. Cut through industry noise and streamline your routine by keeping it simple and realistic for your lifestyle. Don't worry, you can always complicate it later.

6 pillars to beautiful skin: cleanse, antioxidants, retinol, exfoliate, hydrate and protect

With these elements in place, all skin types will have what's needed to create an environment of healing and regeneration.

Since everyone's skin is unique, there is no one set protocol. We must each use our skintuition to discover specific products and a routine based on our skin type and lifestyle. When in doubt, ask your Esthetician!

Keep reading to discover how you can set up your skin for success morning and night, along with product recommendations to get you started.

Morning Ritual - Hello Face!

Rise and shine by treating your skin to a morning reset. The purpose of daytime skincare is to hydrate and protect your skin from environmental stressors. This is done by infusing your skin with antioxidant rich nutrients, moisturizer and SPF protection.

Morning Cleanse - The morning cleanse is important but need not be aggressive. A gentle hydrating cleanser does the trick to sweep away nighttime products and provide a clean hydrated slate. This allows your morning products the best chance to penetrate and work their magic.

Ideally, take a moment to massage cleanser in, removing with luke warm water. Try splashing with cool water to finish, for a refreshing perk to the skin.


Antioxidant serum - An antioxidant rich serum is a go-to for fighting those pesky free radicals that accelerate aging. Learn more about antioxidants and their role in the skin here.

Serums are always applied in the middle of your routine, and are designed to be potent and fast absorbing. If you have more than one serum, they can be layered based on texture (from thinnest to thickest).

Vitamin C is a popular choice and loved by many, but don't stop there! Our skin loves a variety of topical antioxidants, just as our bodies benefit from a variety of veggies. Other antioxidants to look for include: Vitamin E, spin trap, resveratrol, superoxide dismutase, green tea etc... these will work synergistically to firm, brighten, protect collagen and get that glow on.


Hydrate - After your serum seeps in, your skin may feel a bit tacky. The next step is to hydrate and seal in all the goodness. The moisturizing step acts as a barrier to protect your skin from epidermal evaporation water loss.

A hydrating mist is optional but goes a long way in helping the skin to absorb more water working with the humectant effects of the serum. After a light mist you can follow up with a layer of moisturizer, based on your skin type.

Botnia Daily Face Cream - for all skin types

Cosmedix Skin Thirst - oily skin types

SPF - A layer of SPF 30, applied to face, neck and chest is the essential last step for protecting your skin for the day. Remember we don't always realize how much sun we are getting, from sitting in the car to running errands, to taking walks the UVA rays are always present.

As unglamourous as it may seem, sunscreen will be your biggest ally for slowing down the aging process. Without it, you won't be able to achieve the results you desire.


Tizo SPF -tinted

Evening Ritual - Rejuvenate the night away

While you sleep, your skin switches from 'protect' into 'repair' mode. Cellular turnover and blood flow increase, making it a prime time for collagen building and cellular regeneration.

Double Cleanse - A single cleanse is great, but a double cleanse is more effective at thoroughly removing daytime products and cleaning the skin.

A double cleanse begins with either micellar water or for a more elongated treat, massage with an oil cleanser- balancing for all skin types!

The second part of the cleanse will be to follow up with another cleanser of choice. This removes oil, balances the skin and is another excellent opportunity to add a bit of facial massage. Don't underestimate the power of a good cleanse, it will work wonders for your skin!


Active Products

This may be the trickiest step since the integration of active skincare greatly depends on your skin type and products you use. Active ingredients help drive change in the skin such as cellular turnover. Discovering what is right for you is worth the effort, when you get this step down, your skin will look better than ever.

Exfoliation - The process of removing dead skin cells is essential for a healthy glow. There are different methods of exfoliating: physical, enzyme and alpha hydroxy acids. The most gentle of these is enzyme. Once you find a product that is right for you, practice integrating your exfoliating method 1-3x's a week as needed.

Retinol - One of the best multi-tasking ingredients in skincare to increase cellular turnover, build collagen, tighten skin and smooth texture. Keep in mind, more of a good thing isn't always better. Start slow and build up to more frequency and strength over time, for best results.

As always, there are many options in skincare. If you are concerned with using retinol for any reason, check out Bakuchiol, a retinol plant-based alternative.

Alternating your retinol and exfoliant products are a good starting point to monitor how your skin is tolerating the active products. As a rule of thumb, slowly integrate using these active ingredients and avoid overuse by not applying nightly. On nights you are taking a break from these actives, you can use a nutritive serum in their place.


Hydrate- Just like in the morning, proper hydration is key to protecting the skin's barrier from moisture loss while you sleep. No matter what your skin type is, moisture is vital to ensure your skin retains water (i.e. plump and dewy). If you feel extra dry, you may want to use a more emollient moisturize at night and/or add an oil.


Your path to beautiful skin Everyone's skin is at different places, your specific routine depends on where your skin is at currently. If you find yourself overwhelmed, break it down to simple steps; first, find a cleanser, moisturizer and SPF and then slowly build out from there. If you are stuck on what products to get, see your Esthetician and receive personalized advice.

Most importantly, take consistent action. It's important to tend to the skin on a daily basis for progressive results. Over time, you can expand your routine if you desire, keeping these elements in mind as they will certainly lead you to healthy glowing skin.

P.S. No need to be lost in your skincare routine, come see me for personalized assistance in your homecare routine and a customized treatment, let's get your skin on track together.

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