Skincare trends have come and gone, and they will continue to come and go, but a solid, staple, no-nonsense skincare routine is forever. It’s important to create a skincare routine that works for you because consistency is how you’ll see the results. So, these AM and PM routines are for the skincare newbies, the busy bees, fuss-haters, and those who just want a simple and straightforward way to achieve great skin. This guide is a great starting point for those who just want the fundamental yet highly effective formula for keeping their skin checked. There’s always the option to take out or add in any step when it works or doesn’t.
However, these routines will only be as effective as the products you use. Keep in mind to shop for products that cater to your every skincare need, and don’t be afraid to do a little trial and error, it’s your skin, after all.
Your Essentials Only AM Routine
Cleanser: Use something mild and pH-balanced, because, in the morning, the toner will do most of the work when it comes to taking off any leftover gunk in your sleep, and from the night before. If you’re using a sonic facial cleanser, be sure to go slow and gentle! Don’t forget to pat your face dry with a soft towel, too. No rubbing!
Toner: Never skip out on toner in the morning! But don’t use anything harsh, or anything with high amounts of exfoliants—you can save that for your PM routine. Always go for alcohol-free toners, and prioritise a formula that cleanses wakes, and refreshes your skin. Give yourself a few minutes for the product to sink in before you move on to the next step so you can get maximum results, as well. In fact, this goes for all the steps!
Eye cream: There are many eye cream naysayers out there, a lot of them finding eye cream to be a redundancy, sometimes even counteractive, especially when you’re using moisturiser around your eyes, anyway. But the thing is, there are certain types of people who still benefit from using eye cream! Namely, those with puffy and dark under eyes. The biggest and best tip for making your eye cream work for you is approaching it with the ‘less is more’ technique. Using less product also helps reduce ‘pilling’, or when small bumps appear around your eye area, which is often caused by heavy product application.
Spot treatment(s): This is the time to bust out your acne treatments, your vitamin C treatments, your anti-wrinkle treatments—what have you. Just remember what we said before: in the AM, use lightweight and non-harsh formulas with few active ingredients, and employ the ‘less is more’ technique. Don’t forget to give it a few minutes to sink in and dry, too!
Moisturiser: No matter your skin type, you can and will benefit from a lightweight moisturiser in the morning. For people with dry skin, feel free to use more emollient creams. In contrast, we recommend using an oil-free, aloe, or gel-based moisturiser for people with combination or oily skin. And remember, only move on to the next step when you start feeling the product dry on your skin.
Sunscreen: However, before you actually step out of the house, don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen! Thanks to the booming beauty industry, you have thousands upon thousands of SPF products to choose from that suits your preference. Remember to never go under SPF 30, and don’t forget to reapply it every few hours. If you’re someone who wears makeup or has long days, there are plenty of companies that offer sunscreen mists—so no excuses!
Your Essentials Only PM Routine
Makeup remover: Yes, if you wore makeup today, then double-cleansing is necessary. It sounds harsh, but the trick is to always use gentle formulations specifically made to be used side by side with a slew of other skincare products. Whether you use makeup wipes, micellar water, a cleansing balm, or cleansing oil—be thorough with how you remove your makeup. Don’t forget your neck and ears!
Cleanser: If we’re really talking about an essentials only routine, you can definitely use your AM cleanser as your PM cleanser. As always, be gentle with how you cleanse and massage your skin, making sure to reach into your hairline for any leftover bronzer. Again, don’t forget to pat your face dry with a soft towel.
Toner (or, alternatively, exfoliant): Evenings are where you can start using stronger or more concentrated actives, like AHA, BHA, and vitamin C. Usually, some toners have a combination of the three actives (and sometimes all three), which get rid of the need for you to exfoliate every week, but if your toner is free of actives, then go ahead and use a little AHA/BHA.
Serum: While this isn’t absolutely necessary, for those who have specific skin issues, they want to accelerate the improvement of, this would be the right time to apply your favourite serum. Patting is the best way to apply serums. It encourages better absorption and reduces unnecessary face-tugging or pulling.
Spot treatment(s): You can generously apply your spot treatment at this stage, as they’ll work their magic as you sleep! But if you’re someone who doesn’t need a spot treatment, you’re free to skip this step, as with your AM routine.
Eye cream: Same as above, though similar to cleansers, we encourage you to use the same products for your AM and PM routine. It saves you a lot of money, and you can see the results right away when you use it consistently. Just make sure you’re using a product that specifically caters to your eye area concerns, so you’ll notice the difference!
Moisturiser: The use of heavier, more emollient moisturisers may come into play here, especially for people with dry skin. You may not have realised this, but if you sleep in an air-conditioned room, that can actually dehydrate your skin! So, applying moisturiser in the evening isn’t just to replenish your skin from all the moisture you lost that day, nor is it just for people with dry skin. Still, it helps protect your skin from the cold, drying temperatures of an air-conditioned room, too. Create barriers and rejuvenate your skin with just one moisturiser that fits your skin type!
Lip mask: This might not be considered essential, but we do. Soft, kissable, non-cracking lips should be a priority for everyone; therefore, we advocate using lip masks before going to bed. Just slather it on and let it repair and moisturise your lips as you sleep—your future self will thank you for it.