The Best Routine for Your Skin: Part 2

What is a good skin care routine and how to get one for yourself |

...continued from Part 1

Part 2: How to get a good skincare routine

Now that we've discussed the four basic components in a good skin care routine, it's time to figure out how to get the best routine for your skin. In a nutshell, to get the perfect skin care routine you have to choose products for your skin type and go through a trial-and-error process to see which ones actually work.

Choosing products for your skin care routine

Before you start selecting which products to include in your daily regimen, it’s a good idea to figure out what type of skin you have if you don’t already know. Using products suitable for your skin type reduces the likelihood that a certain product will irritate or disagree with your skin.

Most people choose products by buying ones labeled for their skin type or by using ones they see recommended online, in magazines, or by friends. However, before purchasing any product, Skinacea’s Four Golden Rules is a must-read. Knowing these four rules will save you lots of time and trouble. (If you are interested, check here for a list of product recommendations.)

After deciding on what products you want to use, you start your trial-and-error process. Unfortunately, good skin care routines don’t happen overnight.

Trial-and-error ho-hum

During this trial-and-error process, you basically use your selected products (preferably introducing them to your skin one at a time) for a period of time to see how you like them. If, after that period of time, you decide you don’t like them (i.e. the product breaks you out or doesn’t feel good on your skin, etc.), you try a new product and keep on going until you find your holy grail.

You generally want to use a product for around one month to see if it actually works. Some people say two to three weeks, but I think one month gives your skin more time to adjust. (If we’re talking about a prescription product though, it’ll likely take more than one month.)

Unfortunately, all skin care routines require this trial-and-error period. Why do you have to wait so long to see results? Or wait so long to decide XYZ product isn’t working for you?

Besides the fact that products need time to work (slathering on acne cream won’t make all your acne disappear the next morning, nor will wrinkle cream at night make you line-free in a week), you should use products for a duration of time because your skin renews itself every 28 days. That means it takes approximately 28 days for the skin cells at the bottom of your skin to reach the surface of your skin. During the process, skin cells at the top of your skin die and shed off. Teenagers and younger children shed their skin faster and renew their skin in about 14-20 days. As you age, you shed your skin slower, so someone in their 50s might renew their skin in 40 days instead of the average 28 days.

Using products in your skin care routine for that duration of time allows your “normal” skin and “renewed” skin to adjust to the new product. Also, some skin care products, like acne treatments, help shed your skin faster, bringing gunk inside your skin (like clogs) to the surface. This sometimes makes things look worse before they get better, so you want to make sure you stick with a product long enough to figure out if you’re actually purging or if the product is really just breaking you out.

Finding the perfect product for your skin can get really frustrating but know you are not alone. It took me many years to figure out what works with my skin, but hopefully with all the information on and other sites out there, you will be able to find yours in much less time.

It sucks, but you just have to be patient. Give your routine or any new product additions time to see results. However, even if you do everything right for your skin, your skin can still breakout and look like crap. Skin is just a very finicky organ to please, but don't get discouraged! Your patience will definitely pay off when you find your perfect routine.

Last updated: October 9, 2012

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4 Golden Rules for Healthy Skin

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