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Yes, You Need A Skin Care Routine (And It’s Easier Than You Think)

A skin care routine isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Taking care of your skin has more benefits than making you feel beautiful.

Two people touch their faces, one with skin cream, on a blue background smeared with skin creams.
Credit: Trill Mag/Oleksandra Nazarova

When you wake up in the morning to start another busy day, your skin is probably the last thing on your mind. Pop a stray pimple, swipe an acne pad over your face, and move on. At least, that’s what I thought. Becoming a Lifestyle writer has opened my eyes to the world of beauty and skin care. I’ve realized that in 2024, having a skin care routine isn’t just for celebrities and influencers, but for everyday humans like me and you. And the routine doesn’t need a hundred steps; oftentimes, less is more.

The Importance of Skin Care

If you think hard enough back to high school biology, you may remember that your skin is our body’s largest organ. It protects us from harsh elements: sun rays, bacteria, air pollutants, etc. Our skin does a lot of good for us, so it’s important that we show it some love. Co-founder of Juicy Face Diley Banh likes to use the word “skinvestment” to sum up the benefits of taking care of our skin as early as we can; by investing time and money into a skin care routine, we’re giving our future selves the gift of healthy, glowing skin. Not only this, but we’re preventing issues like dry skin, irritation, acne, and premature aging.

Implementing a skin care routine can feel overwhelming at first. There are SO many products to choose from. One piece of advice given by Dr. Shayan Cheraghlou from the NYU School of Medicine is to start with the basics, and then add more products as needed.

Hands holding different skin care products against a pink backdrop
With so many products to choose from, establishing a skin care routine can feel intimidating. Credit: Shutterstock/Orawan Pattarawimonchai

Take it from Genevieve Dolan, founder of Vieve’s Leaves, who was kind enough to share why skin care is important to her: “There are a few things that help get me in the zone in the morning and wind down in the evening, my skincare routine is one of them […] Even when I’m at my [most tired] moments at night, I always wash my face. It relaxes me and I go to bed feeling refreshed.”

There are three basic steps in every skin care routine that you can start following today, no matter your age, gender, or skin type.

Step One: Clean

Even if you shower every day, your skin still gets dirty. Think about how many things touch your face each day, like your hair, your pillow, and your hands. The combination of sweat, oil, dead skin cells, makeup, and other pollutants is a recipe for clogged pores. Using a cleanser once or twice daily on your face helps exfoliate your skin and unclogs your pores to keep you looking radiant and healthy.

If this is your first time using a facial cleanser, look for a product that’s gentle and hydrating, as all skin types will respond to this treatment. It’s also important to make sure the product has minimal ingredients and is fragrance-free to avoid irritation. CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser and Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser are loved by dermatologists and wallets alike.

A woman bending over a sink washing skin care products off her face with water in a bathroom
Cleaning your skin is the first step in any skin care routine. Credit: Shutterstock/CandyBox Images

Step Two: Moisturize

No matter if your skin is oily, dry, or in between, you can’t forget to moisturize. This step conceals blemishes and reduces fine lines that can lead to wrinkles. According to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, your face, along with your ears, neck, and chest, sheds dead skin cells faster than others, since it’s almost always exposed to the elements, so moisturizing is essential to repair the damage and keep you looking young forever (well, younger).

While hot showers are relaxing, taking them frequently can make your skin drier than the Sahara. It’s important to moisturize so your skin stays hydrated. Just like you feel thirsty after being in the heat for too long, your skin feels the same way. Look for moisturizers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid (plumps and hydrates your skin), ceramides (keeps your skin strong), and vitamin C (gives your skin a nice bright glow).

Vieve’s Leaves sells a rejuvenating moisturizer that’s earned a place as a staple product for most skin types. Another option is La Roche-Posay Toleriane which meets all of the above requirements and, despite the luxurious-sounding name, is budget-friendly.

Handsome man applying moisturizer cream to his face in the mirror
Moisturizing keeps your skin looking and feeling its best. Credit: Shutterstock/G-Stock Studio

Step Three: Protect

Sunscreen isn’t just for the beach. It’s crucial to protect your skin from the harmful effects of overexposure to the sun’s UV rays, even if it’s cloudy outside. Think about how many times you’re outside during the day, or even just sitting near a window. Beyond painful sunburn, UV rays can cause skin cancer and premature aging, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Even your phone and computer screens have some UV rays in them, so add “decreasing skin quality” to the list of consequences of too much screen time.

Dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang recommends choosing sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30; if you’re outside often during the day, go higher. Ensure that you apply sunscreen to ALL exposed areas of your body, not just your face.

When choosing skin care products for your new routine, or when purchasing makeup products like foundation and concealer, you may notice that some items list that they contain SPF. However, there may not be enough protection against the sun in those products, since there are so many other ingredients to pack inside. Keep your skin safe with products like  Coppertone Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion for Face SPF 50. Or, if you’d like to elevate the SPF experience, try Supergoop Glowscreen SPF 40, which comes in different shades to match your skin tone.

woman on the beach wearing sunscreen on her nose and cheeks smiling with a hat
Inside or outside, use sunscreen to protect your skin. Credit: Shutterstock/New Africa

Don’t think of skin care as something that benefits only your appearance. Taking care of your skin is necessary for your overall well-being, and it goes beyond applying products. Lifestyle choices, such as diet, sleep quality, stress, and exercise, impact your skin’s health, too. Founder of DIY Skin Care Business Christine Glaser promotes holistic skin care, which, in her words, “considers every detail of the daily experience of an individual to benefit their skin’s health from the inside out.”

The steps I’ve suggested are the bare bones of skin care, making them a great place to start for beginners. Again, if you’re unsure about how certain products will affect your skin, reach out to a dermatologist so you can get the best advice tailored specifically to your skin.

Written By

English major and Trill Mag Lifestyle writer who's great at giving advice. Lover of romance novels, coloring books, and coffee.

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