skin 101: how to build a basic skincare routine

overwhelmed with the flood of skincare info out there? we've pulled together just the essential info you need.
by amber copas


skin 101: how to build a basic skincare routine

The biggest question we ask ourselves while searching for a skincare regimen is, “Well, what’s right for me and my skin?” With all there is out there today and with how evolved the beauty industry has become, most of us sit there blank-faced eyeing all the top brands staring back at us in aisle 14. I want to share with you a secret that I never knew when I was starting out my skincare journey: keep it simple.

 stick to the basics

 1: you always need a cleanser

A lot of times, we assume more is better. more serums, more eye creams, more scrubs. It is now not unheard of to have a twelve (you heard that right, twelve) step skincare routine. None of us realize that doing too much can cause exactly what we are trying to avoid. overdoing it on your skincare can cause reactions, irritation, breakouts, excess oil… the list goes on and on. Instead of attempting to deal with these tricky problems and putting your skin through the wringer, sticking to the basics will ease any new-comer or seasoned beauty guru onto the right path for their own skin. If you are using a few different products and your skin has a negative reaction, where do you begin in attempting to find the culprit? Occasionally starting fresh with your skincare routine and rolling back the products that you are using will reveal that a product that once was your savior was actually causing that weird persistent patch of acne on your chin. The more you know…


2: target the issue…use a serum!

Secondly, you’ll want to make sure you have some sort of targeted treatment. now, what this means is, you will need a “workhorse.” Something that is meant to keep the skin in tip-top shape cellularly and addresses the largest concern you may have with your skin. This is where a concentrated serum comes into play. Those of you who may be new to starting a skincare routine may not know, but contrary to what you may think, serums are different from a face oil or moisturizer. A true serum will have higher concentrations of actives (think vitamin C, peptides, etc.), and its lightweight texture is meant to more deeply penetrate and to deliver the good stuff deep into your skin. Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, you’ll want to explore a serum or targeted treatment that addresses your biggest skin concern. Let’s say you have combination skin. If you are more concerned about the dry areas on your face over the oily, look for a serum with hyaluronic acid (known for its hydrating properties and ability to retain moisture), for example: you are wasting your time with your skincare routine without a serum or targeted treatment doing some heavy lifting.


If you have acne, finding a targeted treatment can be difficult. Some of us breakout solely in our t-zone, and for others, breakouts are relentless and (unfortunately) do not have a favorite spot on the face. It just appears when it wants to and that’s okay! Having a designated serum to combat acne no matter where on your face or when it decides to flare up is a staple piece in any regimen. I recommend having a multi-use product like the breakout clearing booster since it allows you to mix up your perfect treatment plan. It fights the acne-causing bacteria on the skin to help eliminate breakouts. It is also designed to be used as both a spot treatment to apply directly to blemishes and as a preventative for future breakouts when used in a thin layer over the whole face.

 3: moisturize (even if you do have acne)

The third and final must-have in a basic skincare regimen is, you guessed it, a moisturizer! “But I’m oily; I don’t use a moisturizer.” or “Moisturizer burns and makes me feel too slick. I just don’t do lotion.” I’m here to tell you that there’s a winning moisturizer for all these situations. Most moisturizers out there are creamy and thick and are meant to provide a layer of protection and hydration to the skin. That is all fine and good for most skin types, but moisturizers can often times (especially for those of us with oily breakout-prone skin) clog up our pores and cause even more breakouts and congestion. While those worries are justified, it is important to understand just how many different moisturizers are out there. The industry has found there truly is not a one-size-fits-all moisturizer. Those of us who are dry like a desert; we need something thick and heavy. For those of us who have excess oil, we need something ultra-lightweight, but still moisturizing enough to stop our sebum from overproducing and making us look shiny and slick.

Those concerns are actually what our Clearing Defense SPF 30 perfectly addresses: it has a clean dry-down feeling after application and actually mattifies the skin, giving it a healthy supple appearance without any grease or shine. There is something extra special in this moisturizer as well. That secret ingredient is sun protection! One of the most overlooked facts of breakout-prone skin is that it is often newly sensitive to the sun’s rays due to the products we use to combat the breakouts. This is doubled by the fact that new delicate skin is also emerging after a breakout has healed. The skin becomes much more vulnerable to hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of spots or scars due to sun exposure. Not only is proper hydration needed in a moisturizer, but also the protection of SPF. Most especially for breakout-prone skin. together, the two become one tough bodyguard. As this lesson in basic skincare wraps up, what is most important to take away from these skincare routine pointers is simple: slow it down and make measured choices. Don’t rush to use what your bestie is using on their skin. If an influencer is using the strongest stuff you can get over the counter, don’t feel that you should too. Do a little research and try to find what will work for your unique skin!

Remember, keep it simple.

Start yourself off with a cleanser to kick oil where it hurts, a serum to stop pesky breakouts where they start, and a moisturizer to lock in all that goodness and keep the shine o-u-t. 

You’ll be on your way to your best skin yet in no time.

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