Medically reviewed by Aimee Paik, MD, MD
Written by Sammy Draper
Last updated 4/4/2022
Putting together a skincare routine can seem pretty daunting in this day and age. From extreme celebrity routines (ahem 30-steps, who has the time?) to an overwhelming amount of products to choose from, finding what works for you can seem downright exhausting. But, there’s no need to stress. Keeping a simple, consistent routine can yield great results. And going back to basics means you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Here’s how to build a basic skincare routine:
Cleanse. Start the day with a gentle cleanser suited to your skin type. Lather and rinse with lukewarm water, and gently pat dry.
Moisturize. Dried-out, irritated skin can lead to breakouts. No matter your skin type, don’t skip this crucial step. Even oily skin can be dehydrated or dry when using prescriptions.
SPF. Arguably the most important step of your routine is applying SPF. If you’re using retinoids, you especially don’t want to forget this step since they can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Look for broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 30 or higher! Be sure to reapply your sunscreen regularly when outdoors too.
If you're looking for a derm-approved sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 43, check out 'Screen - Apostrophe's own sunscreen that's specifically formulated for sensitive and acne-prone skin. 😌
Cleanse. Wash off the dirt, grime, and makeup of the day with a gentle cleanser. You can use the same one for morning and night.
Moisturize to hydrate, repair, and soothe.
Apply your Apostrophe Topical Formula on clean, moisturized skin. Check out our guide on how to incorporate tretinoin into your routine.
We know it can seem daunting to start a skincare routine, especially if you’ve never had one before, but there’s no need to panic. You don’t need a cabinet filled with tons of products and an hour-long bedtime routine. Here are some basic tips to set you up for success:
Treat your skin gently. Overwashing and harshly exfoliating can damage your skin barrier and aggravate your complexion.
Don’t go crazy with products and stick to ones that work for you. In a world of endless skincare products, it’s easy to go overboard quickly. However, that’s a surefire way to get irritated, stressed skin. You only need a few products in your corner that really work.
More expensive doesn’t mean more effective. You don’t have to break the bank to create an effective skincare routine. Look for simple products backed by science, and be wary of product claims that seem too good to be true. Always do your research.
Choose products without fragrance or essential oils. If you have sensitive, easily irritated skin, avoiding these two ingredients can help prevent irritation. For extra help, check out our list of recommended products from our dermatologists.
How will I know that my skincare routine is working?
"It’s important to give your skincare routine time to work. Improvement in acne typically takes 2-3 months. I would listen to your skin and back off on your prescription topical if it’s too irritating. Your other products should be supportive and not cause any additional irritation."
Do I really have to do a skincare routine every day, or can I just do it a few times a week?
"It’s important to perform your skincare routine every day! Don’t be tempted to skip a night. Always wash your face and apply a moisturizer twice a day. You should apply your prescription topical nightly as tolerated."
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