Photo by Kam Fitzgibbons

My friends often tell me I’ve been blessed with unproblematic skin. Little do they know I spend about twenty minutes a day ensuring my skin stays clear and healthy. For years, I’ve been addicted to skincare routines. I spent months researching products that would work correctly for my skin type and better the beauty of my natural face. It’s important to understand when and how to wash your face, as many are unaware of how much should genuinely go into your routine.

For starters, I wash my face twice a day. Once when I first wake up in the morning and then again before I head to bed. Before I even let water hit my skin, I take off any makeup I may be wearing. It’s important to use more than just a makeup wipe to remove your makeup each night, especially if foundation or concealer have been sitting on your skin all day. Micellar water is a great alternative to makeup wipes, as it breaks down the makeup on your skin and properly removes makeup often left behind by wipes. After my makeup is totally off, I move on to the actual washing aspect.

I begin this by washing my hands. Without doing so, the dirt from your hands is transferring to your face. Although this seems silly, I’ve noticed minor breakouts when I forget to incorporate this step. Once my hands are clean, I use a cleanser. Cleansers are an important first step to washing your face because they clear out all dirt and residue your skin has built up throughout the day. Along with my cleanser, I use a spin-brush designed to further remove dirt from beneath the surface of my skin. I have found that this brush really makes my skin feel softer and cleaner, and a multitude of stores offer relatively cheap versions of this product that provide great results.

Here’s the part of your routine where one would apply a face mask if doing so. Face masks work best at this stage because your skin is totally clean. Whether your face mask is intended to brighten your skin, reduce the appearance of pores, etcetera, it works best following a cleanser because it’s easier for the mask to penetrate the skin and really do its job.

Secondly, I tone my skin. Introducing a toner into a skincare routine is a step that is typically overlooked, yet is unbelievably crucial. Cleansers typically wipe away all things that they come in contact with, and as a result of this, they remove some of the things your skin needs. Toners reintroduce those things to your skin. They bring back the life removed while cleansing. Toning also provides the skin with a breathability that cleansing takes away.

After toning (which I do twice, because I’m obsessed with bettering my skincare regimen), I introduce a multitude of serums into my routine. While this step is not necessary, it’s a great way to target the most problematics aspects of your skin and better them. Personally, after washing, my skin gets a little dry and dull. For this reason, I use two serums; one designed to hydrate, and another designed to brighten and highlight. This is the only step thus far that I only do at night. Serums work best when your skin is at rest.

To end my skincare regimen, I moisturize. This step is arguably the most important of all. Moisturizing not only reduces the amount of oil your skin produces, but it has the ability to make the skin feel baby soft. I use a water based moisturizer because I’ve found that lotion based ones clog my pores and add to the oiliness of my skin. In addition to moisturizing the two times I wash my face throughout the day, I always apply moisturizer before makeup or sporadically throughout the day. This step not only hydrates, but it locks in all the products you’ve previously put on.

These are just a couple of ways I’ve enhanced my skin’s natural beauty. I rarely get pimples and I truly believe it’s due to the effort I put in daily. Although all skin is different and my particular products may not work for others, I’ve found that washing the face in this order is helpful for a majority of people. Figure out what works for you and rock your natural look!

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