I will admit: it’s been adding up. What started with a Hema Cucumber toner about 40 years ago, evolved into a 7 step routine. I don’t even recall taking makeup off before going to bed back then honestly.
It’s confusing in the land of toners, boosters, cleansers, serums, moisturizers and sun screens. I will attempt to guide you through it. In a perfect world a skin care routine would entail a cleanser, followed by a moisturizer and sunscreen. Or should I say 40 years ago my skin care routine should have been that simple?
In “today’s” world, this has become that 7 step routine (on a good day).
1. The cleanser. AM and PM, thou shalt not skip step number 1. This step is instrumental in order for the next umpteen steps to succeed. I have been diligent about cleaning my face properly for the past few months before going to bed and it has made a tremendous difference. I prefer the micellar cleansing waters like the one from Garnier.
2. A toner. This is a new one to me. I honestly have always assumed a toner and a cleanser are the same thing. We all know that “assuming” should be considered cursing. I will put some money in the jar and apologize to the beauty experts for my ignorance.
3. Here is where it gets tricky. Retinol Serums are listed next. However….only at night. Sunlight effects most formulas. Retinol is also best at night since it can be a tad bit aggressive and in my opinion not every night. Retinol is still better than retinoids on dry or sensitive skin.
4. Is actually 3B for your night off from retinol, BUT step 4 for your every day AM routine: serums. Are you still with me? Serums are thinner than moisturizers but thicker than a toner and should therefore always remain in the middle of the two. Think of it as layering clothes. A vitamin C serum is recommended during the day because it will help protect against UV rays and pollution. Alternating nights and every day use hydrating and smoothing formulas that contain Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Aloe Vera and/or Vitamin E.
Sidenote: you may wonder about boosters? They are all new to me too, where do they fit in? Boosters turn out to be a super powered serum. Simple as that. I will use some of my booster samples instead of my am serum or in alternate nights. Sheesh, I will need a white board in my bathroom to keep track.
5. An eye cream. Just like that! It’s up to you to layer this with a caffeine based serum. Secretively adding these steps up to 8 total, but I won’t tell. My current go to: LimeLife by Alcone Eye Believe!
6. A Moisturizer. Due to all the previous magic layers, you may stick with a simple yet effective moisturizer. Dramatically Different moisturizer by Clinique for example.
7 ish. A sunscreen. I will admit, I do either or step 6 or 7. Never the two of them together. If you insist, the opt for a light sunscreen. My fave: Sunday Riley Light Hearted SPF 30. OR a moisturizer with a sunscreen…things that make me go mmm…
And there you have it, it may require a note book in your bathroom or on your vanity plus a small loan, but I hope I was able to shed some light. Or completely complicated things more for you…