4 Easy Steps to Build a Skincare Routine

September 10, 2021
By: Jackie Burns Brisman | skincare.com by L'Oréal
4 Easy Steps to Build a Skincare Routine

With so many skincare products at your fingertips, starting a regimen from scratch can seem daunting. Here, we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of the process by sharing a simple, four-step routine that’s perfect for skincare newbies and is easy to stick to. 

According to Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com expert, when starting a skincare routine for the first time, less is more. “If you have more than five products, stop,” he says. “It’s too much and will likely lead to dryness and even acne.” Instead, stick to cleanser, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen

Step 1: Cleanser

“A gentle cleanser is key to use both morning and night,” says Dr. Bhanusali. “It removes debris from the skin’s surface, cleans pores and primes the skin to absorb topical products, like moisturizers and serums, better.” If these impurities stay on the skin, they can combine with oil, which can clog your pores and cause pimples and blackheads. We recommend reaching for a gentle formula like the CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser that thoroughly cleanses without stripping skin of moisture or leaving a tight, dry feeling.


Step 2: Serum

After cleansing, Dr. Bhanusali advises using a serum formulated to target your unique skin concerns. “Look for one that has a formula rich in antioxidants like SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic,” he says. This serum helps fight damage from environmental stressors and improves skin tone and texture. 

Step 3: Moisturizer

For hydration and to seal in your serum, layer on a moisturizer. An option that’s great for skincare newbies is the Garnier Green Labs Hyalu-Melon Replumping Serum Cream because it’s multi-tasking. It serves as a serum, moisturizer and sunscreen in one (which means you can skip steps 2 and 4!).  At night, Dr. Bhanusali suggests ending your regimen with a night cream formula that is rich in antioxidants like the Lancôme Bienfait Multi Vital Night Cream.


Step 4: Sunscreen

No morning skincare routine would be complete without sunscreen. “It’s imperative to wear sunscreen each day and utilize products with formulas rich in antioxidants to help protect our skin from environmental aggressors such as pollution,” says Dr. Bhanusali. 

In the morning, apply a tinted sunscreen like the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, which provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection while promoting natural radiance and a more even skin tone.


Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

Read More:

A 5-Step Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin

I Followed a Dermatologist’s Exact Skincare Routine — Here’s What Happened

The Difference Between Night Creams and Night Masks


Read more

Back to top