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What Makes Up A Skincare Routine? - The Breakdown

September 01, 2020 4 min read

What Makes Up A Skincare Routine? - The Breakdown

Whether a novice to the skincare game or a seasoned veteran, there's always something new to be learned, another product launched or a new scientific revelation to consider when it comes to our skincare routine. 

Here we'll be breaking down what the skincare community advocates as the go-to skincare routine, from the products you need to be using and why to what order you should be applying them in.

Skincare Products and Their Purpose - In Order of Use


Before you start your day, wash your face with a single cleanse to rid your skin of dead skin cells and dirt accumulated during the night and prepare a fresh base for any make-up and SPF.
In the evening, it's important to double cleanse especially if you've been wearing make-up during the day. Double cleansing lifts dirt and grime before washing it all away. This way, you can be sure your face is completely make-up and grime free and prepped for you to layer your skincare products over the top.
HOW TO: First, cleanse with an oil-based cleanser or micellar water to gently remove all residue and dirt without taking away any moisture from your skin. Then, take a water-based cleanser and wash your face in upwards and outwards motions for a deeper cleanse before gently patting your skin dry.


Toner is a fast-penetrating liquid applied after cleansing to essentially prep your pores for your serums and moisturiser. It should bring your skin back to its naturally acidic state, removing impurities and enabling your skincare products to be absorbed more effectively.

Think of your skin like a sponge - if you apply soap to a dry, brittle sponge it won't be nearly as effective as if you wet the sponge first!

HOW TO: Use in the morning and evening after cleansing. Most molecules penetrate the skin better when wet, so applying active ingredients immediately after toning delivers best results. You can apply this to your face and neck area with your hands, or swipe outwards on the skin using a cotton pad.

Essence and Serum

Essences are lighter in weight, less concentrated than serums and are used after toner to add another layer of hydration before serum is applied.

Serums generally contain key active ingredients in higher concentrations to target specific skin issues like dull skin, dark spots or fine lines. They also tend to be slightly thicker in consistency than an essence.

HOW TO: It's worth noting that not everyone will need an essence and/or a serum so work with products that work for you and address your skin's needs. In the evening, essence should be applied after toning, and follow up with a serum if required. For best results, apply these products onto your hands before gently pressing into your skin.

Eye Cream

The skin around our eyes is the most fragile, more prone to dryness and one of the first areas to show age and fatigue. Not to mention squinting and continuous movement which also brings on fine lines, puffiness and dark circles.

Eye creams are used to address these issues and usually contain ingredients like Vitamin C, retinoids and other collagen boosters to keep the eye area youthful.

HOW TO: Once you have an eye cream that targets your specific needs, apply the cream to your ring finger after layering your serum onto your skin and gently dab this in around the entire eye area. Some people choose to refrigerate their eye creams to further de-puff their under-eye area but this is completely up to you.


Moisturisers help to keep the outer layer of our skin hydrated. This helps to protect it from getting dry which can lead to inflammation and infection.

Like with most skincare, a one size fits all approach isn’t really applicable. The general rule of thumb is that thicker creams help dry skin, medium-density creams are best for normal to combination and lightweight, fluid lotions work well for oily skin. You may also wish to consider either an oil-based or a water-based moisturiser for these same reasons.

In general, most day moisturisers contain antioxidants to prevent free-radical damage and to maintain hydration throughout. At night, our skin switches from protection-mode to repair-mode so it may be wise to opt for a night cream containing a retinoid, bakuchiol or collagen to stimulate the healing process. However, it's important to note that if you are already using a separate SPF from one in your day cream and are incorporating serums into your routine, it's unlikely you will need to use a different moisturiser during the day to the evening.

HOW TO: Apply to damp skin in the morning and the evening, massaging in small circular motions without forgetting your neck area. Leave this to sit on your skin for a few minutes before moving onto your SPF or facial oil.


Applied last during your evening skincare routine, facial oils help to lock in moisture and act as a protective barrier once you've applied your skincare products. Certain ingredients in facial oils can reduce the appearance of fine lines, prevent ageing and repair cell damage. 

You'll want to make sure that the oil you're using is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores. Oils like Argan oil, Jojoba oil and Rose Hip oil are some great examples of non-comedogenic options.

HOW TO: In a similar way to your essence and serum, pat your facial oil over your face, neck and chest area as the finishing step to your night-time skincare routine. Leave this to settle for a few minutes before your head hits the pillow!


Arguable the most important step in your daytime skincare routine, SPF that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays is essential. It's really the only thing that can prevent signs of ageing, so there really is no point in perfecting a skincare routine if you're missing the SPF.

HOW TO: Ideally, apply your SPF at least 20 minutes before sun exposure and cover all areas that will be exposed. Continue to re-apply throughout the day.



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