Your Ultimate (Daily, Weekly, Monthly & Yearly) Guide to Great Skin
Anyone with really great-looking skin will tell you, caring for their complexion requires a little effort and a lot of loyalty. To have skin that appears youthful, clear, and glowing, you’ll need to follow a routine every day, week, month, and even every year. Below we list out the ultimate guide to getting (and maintaining) great-looking skin all year long!
Daily Skin Care Routine
Each and every day, morning and night you’ll want to wash your face. Cleansing your complexion twice daily ensures that you are starting and ending the day with skin that’s free of makeup, impurities, and excess oil. Reach for gentle cleansers that have been formulated for your specific skin type to get the best results from your cleanser. There are many different products you can choose from including rich cleansing balms, foaming face washes, and micellar waters which require no lathering or rinsing at all! Learn more about each type of cleanser here. In addition to washing your facial skin, it’s important to also cleanse the skin below your chin! Use a gentle, non-drying body wash and be sure to change out your loofah regularly as they can easily become breeding grounds for bacteria. Whether you’re washing the skin on your face or body never use hot water as it can dry out the skin.
As we mentioned above, nightly you’ll want to always (even when you’re feeling too tired to bother) remove your makeup. Leaving on cosmetics while you snooze can cause your pores to become clogged and—when mixed with excess oil and other impurities—breakouts may even ensue. Makeup remover wipes are a great, little-to-no effort way of taking off your makeup each night and prepping your skin for proper cleansing and the rest of your skin care routine.
Which brings us to our next point: hydration. Morning and night after washing your face with the cleanser of your choice, you must moisturize. For those with mature or dry skin, not moisturizing can cause the skin to become more dry and even cause the skin to appear dull and lifeless with more pronounced fine lines and wrinkles. For those with combination or oily skin, not moisturizing the skin can cause the sebaceous glands to overcompensate for what they perceive to be dehydration and produce even more oil. To stave off these effects, always moisturize the skin immediately after cleansing—or after using your serums. Don’t forget to use lotion or a body butter on the skin on your body after patting dry post shower.
During the daylight hours remember to always—rain or shine—apply a sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or more to any exposed areas of skin. Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays is perhaps one of the most important steps of a good skin care routine. Not only can UV rays cause sunburns on unprotected skin they can also cause premature signs of skin aging like wrinkles and dark spots and even more serious side effects like skin cancers. Each morning apply broad-spectrum sunscreen and remember to reapply throughout the day—especially on days when you’ll be spending time outside.
Healthy Skin Lifestyle Tips
While the debate is out on whether or not certain lifestyle factors can affect the appearance of the skin, it never hurts to practice healthy habits. Getting enough sleep, drinking a healthy amount of water, eating well, and even getting your heart rate up with a little exercise each day may all help your complexion look its best!
Weekly Skin Care Routine
While your daily skin care routine is key to ensuring your skin looks great, there are steps that should be done weekly as well.
One to three times a week (depending on your skin type) you’ll want to exfoliate the surface of the skin. With age our skin’s natural desquamation process—the shedding of dead surface skin cells—begins to slow down. As this process slows it can cause a buildup of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, leading to everything from dryness to a dulled appearance. You can opt to exfoliate the skin’s surface with physical exfoliation—sugar or salt-based scrubs that can manually remove the buildup—or chemical exfoliation—exfoliation that utilizes alpha-hydroxy acids or enzymes to breakdown the buildup. Remember that the skin on your body requires a scrub down as well! Exfoliation can help to remove buildup revealing radiant surface skin and helping your other skin care products work more effectively without the blockage of dead skin cells.
Once or twice a week pencil in a little me time for a spa-like masking session. You can use one mask or grab a few and hop onboard the multi-masking trend. Before you pick your masks take a look at your complexion and assess your concerns. Do you feel like you have congested pores? Are your cheeks lacking a youthful-looking glow? There are formulas that can help to target most skin care concerns in as little as 10-20 minutes. One of our favorite types of masks to incorporating into our weekly routines is a clay-based mask which can help to purify pores leaving skin looking more radiant in its wake.
Once a week schedule some time to clean your makeup brushes, towels, sheets, and pillowcases—read: clean everything that touches your face. If you fail to cleanse objects around the home that come in contact with your skin, you may unknowingly be sabotaging your skin care routine and introducing bacteria to your complexion which can lead to breakouts and blemishes down the line. We share a step-by-step guide for cleansing your makeup brushes here!
Monthly Skin Care Routine
Once a month, take some time out of your busy schedule to check a few things off your skin care checklist.
Each month take note of the climate and how it may be changing your complexion. As the seasons change so do the needs of our skin. For instance, during the colder months there is typically less humidity in the air which can dry out your complexion. On the flip-side, during the warmer months we may find ourselves reaching for oil-control products to help keep our oil production in balance. As you notice these changes it’s important to make the necessary tweaks to your routine to order to ensure your skin is getting its best shot at looking great.
Get a Facial
If it fits within your budget, once a month (or every few months) schedule a spa or dermatologist appointment for a customized facial or chemical peel. Here a professional will assess the needs of your skin and give you personalized advice and attention. We asked an esthetician to explain everything you can expect from a chemical peel here!
Yearly Skin Care Routine
While the final two steps aren't necessary to do often, making sure to do them once a year can make all the difference!
Clean Your Routine
Once a year take stock of your product collection and throw away anything that has passed its prime. Not sure when it’s time to toss? We asked board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Michael Kaminer to share the rule of thumb when it comes to throwing away your beauty products.
Schedule a Skin Check
If a yearly full-body skin check isn’t a part of your routine, it’s time to make it one. Checking your skin regularly for new or changing spots is how to detect skin cancer as early as possible. We share everything you can expect from your first full-body skin check here.