10-step K-beauty routines. Sheet masks that demand to be stayed on for 20 minutes. Toners layered with essences and essences layered with serums. The world of skincare can often feel overwhelming with all the things you apparently NEED to do for healthy skin. However, after a whole year of chasing trends and celebrity routines, we’re often left with a beauty vanity that says ‘hoarder’ more than ‘skincare enthusiast’. Since the new year brings with it a promise to reset everything, why not do it for your skin too!
Begin by listening to YOUR skin. Dr Niti Gaur, MD, Board Certified dermatologist and founder of Citrine Clinic, Gurgaon, reveals, “Customising a skincare routine based on individual skin types and concerns involves understanding your skin's needs. For dry skin, focus on hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Oily skin benefits from lightweight, non-comedogenic products with ingredients like salicylic acid or niacinamide. Combination skin may require a mix of products targeted to different areas of the face. Those with sensitive skin should opt for gentle, fragrance-free products to avoid irritation.”
Dr Manasi Shirolikar, consulting dermatologist and founder of the online consulting brand, drmanasiskin.com, confesses that at its core, prioritising these essential steps in your routine should be enough to reach your skin goals:
- Cleansing: To remove dirt, oil, and makeup, promoting a clean canvas for other products.
- Moisturising: To hydrate and lock in moisture, regardless of skin type.
- Sunscreen: Daily application of a broad-spectrum SPF to protect against UV damage.
- Targeted Treatments: If you have specific concerns (e.g., acne, hyperpigmentation), use treatments like serums or spot treatments.
Get smart with your products
To optimise even the most minimal routine this, look for products that can combine steps, such as:
- Moisturiser with SPF: A daily moisturizer with built-in sun protection streamlines your routine.
- Tinted moisturiser or tinted sunscreen: Combines hydration, sun protection, and a touch of coverage.
- Serums with multiple benefits: Some serums contain antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and anti-ageing ingredients in one.
While cutting down on your routine, it is essential to take into account the time of day. Let’s start with the morning routine. Dr Niti recommends, “A simplified morning skincare routine should focus on cleansing, protection, and nourishment. Start with a gentle cleanser to remove any impurities from your skin. Follow up with a lightweight moisturizer containing SPF to hydrate and protect from UV rays. Look for a moisturizer with added antioxidants like vitamin C or E to provide nourishment and protection from environmental stressors.”
For the nighttime, Dr Niti suggests simplifying your routine by emphasising essential steps. Start with a gentle cleanser to eliminate makeup, dirt, and excess oil. Follow up with a targeted treatment, such as a retinol or serum, to tackle specific concerns like fine lines or dark spots. Complete your routine by applying a nourishing night cream or a lightweight moisturizer to seal in hydration.
Upgrade, don’t compromise
Dr Manasi suggests, “Simplify your routine by choosing multitasking products. Use a hydrating cleanser that doesn't strip your skin. Opt for a moisturiser with SPF for sun protection. Choose serums with a combination of hydrating and anti-ageing ingredients. And Consider a night cream with retinol to address anti-ageing concerns while moisturising." She further shed light on multitasking ingredients that can satisfy your skincare goals as well:
- Vitamin C: Offers antioxidant benefits, brightens skin, and supports collagen production.
- Niacinamide: Addresses multiple concerns, including redness, pigmentation, and fine lines.
- Retinol: Targets signs of aging and promotes skin renewal.
- Peptides: Can support collagen production and improve skin elasticity.
- AHAs: Exfoliate, resurface the skin and promote collagen formation
Indulge but don’t overdo
Dr Manasi cautions overdoing with occasional indulgences. Exfoliate up to twice a week for most skin types, with once a week often being enough. Adjust based on your skin's tolerance and requirements and be mindful of potential irritation from over-exfoliation. Use masks 1-2 times a week, adjusting based on the type of mask (hydrating, exfoliating, or clarifying) and your skin's specific needs. Dr Niti recommends patch testing on a small area for a few days to monitor potential adverse reactions of your new routine. Positive indicators include improved hydration, diminished redness, or a more even skin tone. Conversely, heightened dryness, breakouts, or irritation may suggest that the product is not suitable for your skin.
Dr Manasi concludes by saying, “Remember, consistency is key. It's better to have a simple routine that you can stick to consistently than a complex one you might abandon. Adjustments can be made based on your skin's response and changing seasons. If you have specific concerns, a dermatologist can provide personalized advice for your skincare journey.”