LAST UPDATED: DEC 25, 2022 / By Nura / SkinRoutine

3 step skin care routine

When we are growing old, we should accept that our skin will not be the same as when we are in 20s or 30s of age. In 30s of age, you maybe notice there are growing of fine lines and wrinkles, and your skin might not be the same like before. All of this happen because of natural process when aging start. The main factor normally because of loss of collagen at the skin epidermis due to aging and sun effect thus it will make skin loss of elasticity. You may notice difference in skin texture too like pore enlargement and dullness start to emerge.

Before it’s too late, we should start investing in our skin by adding skincare routine to our lifestyle. A lot of people don’t identify those [goals] when they start a skin care routine and they end up buying a lot of products that don’t work well for them. When building or editing a routine, remember the three pillars of 3 step skin care routine : CLEANSE, TREAT, PROTECT. Allow these three steps to fortifies your skin and grounds your day.

“Daily habit will have a great impact on your facial skin.”

A facial skin care routine is when certain products are used daily, to take care of your facial skin. Everyone has different facial skin types and skin problems, so the facial skin care routine for each person is different. For those who are obsessed with facial skin care, the routine also includes specific facial skin treatments (skin spa) on a regular basis that is every week or every month. For those who prefer a simple routine, facial skin care routines only involve a few items for each day. Each country has a different facial skin care routine, a different trend like Cloudy Skin from South Korea. What is important, the basis of facial skin care is to be done every morning and night. No such thing as an instant fix, you need at least 7 weeks to see some result.

+ Cleanse

Cleanse is the first step in any good skincare routine because of our skin comes in contact with environmental pollutants, dirt and other factors that need to be removed gently. The type of cleanser you use will depend on your type of skin and skin problem. The right formula will cleanses your skin without stripping essential and healthy oils. But please make sure do not cleanse your skin too often as it will break down your skin barrier, twice daily is enough.

For everyday cleansing, here’s what to look for :

Skin Type Cleanser Type What it Does?
Oily/Acne-Prone Foaming liquid When it pumped to your hands, this type of cleanser will morph into airy foam that can helps break down dirt and excess sebum from skin pores without drying it. This because foaming cleanser normally have higher sulfate percentage penetration into the skin compared to creamy type cleanser. Find a cleanser with ceramide ingredients to help maintain the skin barrier and niacinamide that can help lower sebum excretion rates. Another good ingredient is glycerin, a great moisturizing agent where it helps trap air from surrounding to your skin. Please get a formulation that suitable for your skin since extra foamy formula can strip oil from your skin and make it over-dry.
Dry, red and/or eczema-prone Cream or lotion This type of formulation is gentler and provide more hydration compared to foam and gel-type cleanser. It is formulated with emollients such as glycerin or shea-butter that can helps to remove dirt and at the same time hydrating the skin. Find a free of sulfate, free of silicones, free of mineral oil, high in hydrators and low in fragrance cleanser.
Sensitive Oil Plant derived oil formulation can keep your complexion fine and prevent unwanted irritation. If you have super sensitive skin, find ingredients such as rosemary, camellia and primrose that are more calming to your skin
Normal Micellar water This type of cleanser contain molecule called micelle that will help attract dirt and pore-clogging oil like a magnet without drying your skin. It is suitable for any type of skin and like any other cleanser, you don’t need to rinse it off, a simple wipe will do. Most of this type of cleanser is free of alcohol. It can function as makeup remover and half-moisturizer. Find one that free of paraben, sulphate and alcohol. Use a cotton pad to apply this cleanser on your facial skin.

Find a non-comedogenic products.

Comedogenic means it will clog your pores. There are more than 120 ingredients included in comedogenic type that can cause product acne. Remember that natural products also can contain comedogenic ingredients such as coconut oil, almond oil, soybean oil and avocado oil.

You can use comedogenic scale to help you find a suitable product for your skin. Comedogenic scale is ranked by how likely it’s specific ingredients will clog user skin pores. If you have blackhead concern or acne-prone skin, please avoid comedogenic oil as it will acne become more worse.

The scale uses a numbering system of 0 to 5. Here’s how the numbers rank on the scale:

  • 0 – won’t clog pores at all
  • 1 – very low likelihood they will clog pores
  • 2 – moderately low likelihood
  • 3 – moderate likelihood
  • 4 – fairly high likelihood
  • 5 – high likelihood of clogging pores


+ Treat

Treat will include 3 main steps, Toning to balancing the skin, Treating with Serum for main skin issue, and Moisturizing to hydrating and softening the skin. An effective treatment can help prevent acne, treat wrinkles, and help keep your skin looking its best. Aim to use a product over at least eight weeks, twice daily, to notice a difference.

> Toning

What is the benefit of skin toner?

  • It helps reduce skin pore size.
  • It helps balance pH skin. Our skin is naturally acidic, but when you cleanse it with alkaline cleanser, it’s pH might became imbalance. You need this toning product to get the pH balance back quickly.
  • It helps remove chlorine and mineral that exist inside tap water.
  • Toners normally have glycolic acid/alpha hydroxy acids that can help to prevent ingrown hairs.
  • It helps raise your skin efficiency to absorb moist.

Focus to find this kind of ingredients in your toner:

  • Glycolic acid – to remove deal cell that accumulate around the skin pores.
  • Salicylic acid – It helps wipe out excess sebum on your skin without drying your skin.
  • Witch Hazel – can helps hydrate your skin and minimize skin pores size.
  • Rose water – for hydration
  • Chamomile – for soothing effect
  • Tea tree oil – to fight bacteria
  • Aloe-vera – to calm redness and inflammation

Toner is best used after cleansing because it helps freshen the skin and balance the pH. If you have a darker skin tone, please be careful when choosing your toner. People that have darker skin tend to get uneven pigmentation when expose to the UV, please avoid any toners with alcohol since it can cause an uneven complexion.

> Serum

Serum is the best method to send concentrated dose of active ingredients into the skin. Whether it is antioxidant, hyaluronic acid, peptide, botanical agent, etc. , serum can bring nano-molecule into the skin where it will bring lot of advantage to your skin.

But you also need to seal the serum to maximize the treatment which is why a moisturizer is needed after you apply serum.

Serum benefits:

  • Absorbs quickly into your skin.
  • Help calming sensitive skin.
  • Fix wrinkles and fine lines. Retinol can make this happen.
  • Protect your skin from free radicals.

There are many types of serum depending on your skin concern:

  • Slow-aging serum
  • Brightening serum
  • Hydration serum
  • Free-radical fighting serum
  • Serum for sensitive and acne-prone skin
  • Serum to treat uneven skin texture

Serum time routine also can be depend on the type of ingredients. Anti-pigmentation and antioxidant serum function well on daytime. It can helps protect your skin from free radicals, environmental assault. Meanwhile slow-aging serum normally can be applied at nighttime. This allow the ingredients to work with your body’s circadian rhythm for skin repair and turnover.

> Moisturizing

It is recommended that the best time to apply a moisturizer is while the skin is still damp, so the sooner you go through applying your serum and treatment, the sooner you’re able to lock in much-needed hydration with your moisturizer. You’re looking for something that contains antioxidants such as vitamins C or E or ferulic acid. Antioxidants can helps hydrate and brighten your skin. They also offer protection from molecules in our environment (called free radicals) that can damage the skin.

Using moisturizer regularly as a part of skincare routine should be a must for any dry skin user. The right time to apply moisturizer after hot bath, shaving and exfoliating your skin. After hot bath is a must to moisturize your skin as warm water strips all the moist and natural oil from your skin, thus leaving it dry. Although warm water may bring calmness to your body, it may bring imbalance to your facial skin.

The best moisturizer for your skin will be depending on your type of skin. Check table below:

  • Normal Skin – Use a water-based moisturizer. Water-based moisturizer helps to lock moisture on your skin and replenish nutrients. Due to non-sticky properties of water, it will prevent it from clogging your skin pores and will not trigger acne.
  • Dry Skin – This type of skin tend to be rough, flaky and itchy. To restore the moisture content on your skin, use oil-based moisturizer that more heavy (normally contain emollient) that will trap water and prevent Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) from your skin.
  • Oily skin – This type of skin is more expose to acne and breakouts. It still need moisture in order to balance the loss of sebum on the skin especially after using product that dry out your skin. Please use a non-comedogenic product so it’s ingredients will not clog your skin pores.
  • Sensitive skin – This type of skin susceptible to irritation, itching or rashes. Find soothing ingredients like chamomile or aloe-vera to bring calmness to your facial skin. Choose mild products labeled as hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Also, avoid products containing acids, which can irritate your skin.


More on Toning, Serum & Moisturizing


+ Protect

The morning routine is all about protection from the sun, pollution and the elements.

> Sunscreen

Sunscreen was used to protect the skin from UV-ray especially between noon and evening time. It helps you to slow-down skin aging such as wrinkles. For starters, choose a ‘Broad Spectrum’ sunscreen that can protect your skin from UVA and UVB ray. Excessive exposure from UVA can cause premature skin aging, wrinkles and pigmentation; and UVB can cause sunburn.

SPF in sunscreen is a measure of how much UVB ray will be filtered by the sunscreen before it reach the skin. Dermatologist suggest the use of at least SPF30, where it will filter 97% of UVB ray before it reach the skin. SPF15 will filtered 93% of the same ray. If you live near equator, the recommended SPF is at least 50.

For user with oily and acne-prone skin, make sure that your sunscreen is labelled as non-comedogenic means it will not clog your skin pores. Make sure to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before you get exposed to the sun. This will allow the sunscreen got more time to provide you maximum protection. There is no sunscreen that are waterproof. Re-apply the sunscreen after swimming or sweating. If you are outside for a long time, please reapply sunscreen every 1.5 hours.

There are two types of sunscreens, physical sunscreen that have zinc oxide or titanium oxide as ingredients. This type will reflect and scattered UV ray from the applied area. Zinc is safe, effective and provides the broadest protection against UVA and UVB rays. And all other ingredients that aren’t zinc or titanium were called as chemical sunscreen. This type of sunscreen will be absorbed into your skin like a lotion instead of forming a barrier on top of the skin.

Sunscreen comes in many types, such as creams, gels, oils, lotions and sprays.

> Sunglasses

Remember to wear sunglasses when outside to protect against UV-light damage and lines that can creep up around the corners of your eyes from squinting.



+ Should you do a face mask before or after routine?

It is said that the best time to apply a face mask is after cleansing and toning your skin. It helps to get rid of any dirt, makeup and other oils on your skin that would make the mask less effective. It also leaves your skin better prepared for the next steps. Follow up with a moisturizer to lock-in all the layers and also the hydration. 


+ When should I apply face oil in routine?

The routine for applying face oils varies depending on your skin type. For oily skin, it is best to wait until after a serum has been applied for maximum hydration and nourishment. While for dry skin types, moisturizer should be applied first before the application of any face oils since you want to lock-in the hydration first. And face oil must be applied before any makeup or sunscreen.


+ How long does it take your skin to adjust to a new skincare routine?

Every skincare routine takes some time to adjust to. Your skin might experience a “purging” period, where your skin sheds dead cells and impurities when you start using a new product. It will take several days or weeks before your skin adjusts to the new routine.

Start off with a patch test on the side of your arm of the product and wait for 24-48 hours. If there is no reaction and you’re sure you have not had any recent changes in medication, then you can begin applying it all over your face!


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