Skin Care Routine 101: How to Build the Best Routine for Your Unique Skin Type

Skin Care Routine 101: How to Build the Best Routine for Your Unique Skin Type

Your skin care routine shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all ritual. We know that it can be difficult to think otherwise, though.

For example, when you open social media, it’s hard not to be bombarded with products, tips, and tricks promising to help you reach your skincare goals. But just remember, when it comes to feeling empowered in your own skin, your skin care routine should be as unique as you are.

Whether it's a full-on routine or even just one or two products, your routine is special and unique to you and you alone!

So before you go reaching for the next product that comes your way, it’s time to get a bit strategic.

Identifying and understanding your skin type can help you choose products and create a morning and night routine that works for you and your skin’s needs. Ready to learn how to create a skincare routine for your specific skin type? We’ve got you covered!

skin care routine

Why You Need a Skincare Routine – Even If It’s Just One Step

Skincare isn’t just about the way you look. It’s also another way to care for your body and wellbeing. Talk about self-care! When you take care of yourself in one area of your life, it tends to trickle out into others. Say you start getting regular exercise, you may realize that you start leaning towards more nutritious foods. The same is true for your skincare.  

If your goal is to live your best and healthiest life, don’t skip out when it comes to your skin! Taking care of your skin is good for your physical health and mental health. Creating a holistic skincare routine involves a lot more than just choosing the right products. So many other things go into your skincare like your diet, sleep schedule, and how much movement you tend to get. 

Skincare is also a great opportunity to practice some major self-care. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. Any tool you use to help you feel more grounded, at peace and relaxed can be considered self-care. That’s some great motivation to dial in your skincare routine! 

So what else goes into skincare? You’ve got to know your skin type, understand what products to use, and how to layer and use them properly. Whether you’ve got oily skin, acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, or somewhere in between – there’s a skincare routine for you.

Types of Skincare Routines

Getting to know your skin is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. If the world of skincare is new to you, don’t worry. We’re here to be your guide. Before you start to create your own skincare routine, you’ve got to know what your options are. 

There are many different kinds of skincare routines out there. Here are a few of them: 

  • Morning Routines: What a great way to start your day! This routine can be a quick way to refresh yourself and focus on sun protection before you go out and about. 
  • Evening Routines: You’ve got to get the dirt and grime off your face before you hit the hay! Nighttime is a great time to use more targeted products for specific skin concerns and make sure your skin is nice and moisturized. 
  • Sustainable Routines: Sustainability and skincare go hand in hand. When you make choices that tend to be better for the environment, they also tend to be better for your skin. It’s a win-win!
  • Dermatologist Prescribed Routines: We all need a little extra support sometimes. A dermatologist can help you create a routine targeted for specific needs like breakouts, psoriasis, rosacea, or another skin condition. 

While obviously, your morning and night routines might vary a little, the other ones aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. You can opt for sustainable products for both of your routines, and ask a dermatologist to help you choose what products to use, with an emphasis on clean ones. 

Now that you know the different kinds of routines out there, it’s time to learn all about your skin type, and how you can take care of it. Get ready for self-reflection!

How to Build a Routine for Oily Skin

The first skin type we’re gonna cover is oily skin. This tends to be most common in teens and young adults, thanks in large part to hormones. How do you know if you have oily skin? The biggest indicators are if your skin tends to overproduce sebum or if you have enlarged pores. 

Sound familiar? Follow these steps to create a skincare routine for your unique skin type!

Basic Routine

We all need a basic routine as a starting off point. These are the few products that you use day after day to maintain your skin’s health regularly. Oily skin can feel like it needs constant attention to keep breakouts and shininess under control, but all you need is a few good products to turn to – with the option for a few extras from time to time.  

Here’s your basic routine for oily skin:

  • Cleanse: We all need to start with a clean canvas. Many people with oily skin reach for cleansers that actually strip their skin of its natural oils and moisture, causing it to produce more sebum in response. A gentle cleanser twice a day is all you need to help keep oil at bay.
  • Exfoliate: As important as your cleanser is, sometimes you need a little extra polishing. That’s where exfoliators come in. A physical or chemical exfoliator helps to prevent additional buildup that can clog pores and lead to blackheads and breakouts. No need to overdo it though! For best results, use your exfoliator a couple of times a week. 
  • Toner: Because of all the extra sebum that can build up on oily skin, it can be helpful to have another product to help cleanse on a daily basis. That’s where toners come in. Toners help to cleanse any leftover dirt, makeup, and environmental toxins that your cleanser didn’t get. They also help remove dead skin cells, tighten pores, and make it difficult for toxins and dirt to get into the skin. This can be used once a day, or a few times a week like if you wear makeup. 
  • Moisturizer: Even oily skin needs help staying moisturized! Opt for a cream-based moisturizer to help regulate oil production. 

Additional Steps/Products to Include & Avoid

After you’ve got your basic routine down, you may want to add in a few extras depending on your skin’s needs. Here are a few products to keep in mind.


  • Face Serum: A face serum is a concentrated serum that helps target specific skin concerns like discoloration or fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Spot Treatment: Because oily skin can tend to break out, you may want to have a spot treatment on hand to treat any pesky bumps that pop up. 
  • SPF: Sun protection is vital no matter what the weather is like. Add this step to your daily morning routine. 
  • Retinol: Retinol helps increase the production of collagen to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Start off a few times a week then you can increase the frequency if it’s working for your skin.
  • Salicylic Acid: This product helps unclog pores, improve redness, and treat breakouts. Just be sure to moisturize since it has a tendency to dry out the skin. 


You know what to use, but are there any products that you should avoid? Yep! Stay clear of oil-based moisturizers and lotions, which can lead to extra oily skin.

How to Build a Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

skin care routine for acne prone skin

It can be difficult to navigate temperamental acne-prone skin. People usually equate oily skin with acne-prone, but your skin doesn’t have to be oily to be more prone to acne. Acne can stem from multiple factors like genetics, diet, environmental toxins, and more. 

Basic Routine

It may feel overwhelming, but you can absolutely create a routine that supports your skin’s needs. First, you can start off with the basic routine described for people with oily skin. After you’ve got that covered, you might want to add in a few more products to amp it up a notch.

  • Cleanser: Just like any routine, start your skincare routine for acne-prone skin with a gentle cleanser to wipe away dirt, grime, oil, and any other buildup.
  • Toner: To help further clear out clogged pores for acne-prone skin, after you cleanse your face, dab some toner on a cotton pad and wipe across your face to help further balance out your skin. If your skin does tend to dry out more easily, however, you can skip this step.
  • Acne medication or spot treatment: To help wipe out stubborn pimples, try acne-specific medication or a spot treatment. Do, however, always consult a doctor or dermatologist first in order to get the right consultation and recommendation for products.
  • Moisturizer: Because cleansing, toning, and spot treatments can tend to dry the face out, moisturizing is super important for acne-prone skin! Not only will a moisturizer keep your skin hydrated, but it also serves as a barrier to external pollution, dirt, and grime.
  • SPF: Remember, sun protection is vital no matter what the weather – or your skin type–  is like. Add this step to your daily morning routine. 

Additional Steps/Products to Include & Avoid

What sort of products might acne-prone skin benefit from? Try these ones out to help promote healthy skin. 


  • Face Serum: Many face serums, like those made with ingredients like squalane and Vitamin C, are great for helping treat acne-prone skin. 
  • Retinol: This product can help decrease breakouts by unclogging pores
  • Exfoliant: Exfoliating helps to get rid of extra buildup from your day. You may want to opt for chemical exfoliants since physical scrubs can irritate current breakouts. 


Stay clear of oil-based lotions, moisturizers, and sunscreens which can all clog pores and increase breakouts.

How to Build a Routine for Dry Skin

Whether it’s a brutal winter, you live in a dry state, have overwashed your skin in the past, or have a condition that keeps your skin a little dryer than you’d like – there are ways to manage dry skin. Here’s a good routine and products you can use to help nourish your dry skin.

Basic Routine

Your basic routine stays fairly similar to other skin types, with a few additions. Here’s your basic routine for morning and night:

  • Cleanser: Even dry skin needs help to cleanse the day off. A gentle cleanser that helps to moisturize your skin can be used morning and night.
  • Toner: Toners help to clean what your cleanser left behind. Since toners can dry out the skin, go for moisturizing ingredients like rose and hyaluronic acid.
  • Face Serum: Opt for a face serum with moisturizing ingredients that help treat your skin’s needs. 
  • Moisturize: All skin needs to stay hydrated, especially dry skin. A rich moisturizer can help treat dry patches and regulate your skin’s moisture levels. 
  • SPF: Sun protection used daily helps to prevent damage from UV rays and the dryness that can come with it. 

Additional Steps/Products to Include & Avoid

Dry skin needs a little extra help to stay hydrated. Here are some products to add in, as well as those to avoid.  


  • Eye Cream: Having a moisturizing eye cream helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles that form under the eyes, which can be even more common in dryer skin.
  • Retinol: This awesome ingredient can help brighten and smooth the skin while treating fine lines. 


  • Exfoliating: Too much scrubbing can potentially dry your skin out even more.
  • Peroxide and Salicylic Acid: These products can be especially drying.
  • Dyes and Fragrances: These can irritate your skin.
  • Oil-Based Lotions: This may not give you the moisture you need.

How to Build a Routine for Combination Skin

Combination skin can be confusing, we feel you! It’s totally manageable if you know what to do. Combination skin tends to be oily in some places like your T-Zone (forehead, nose, chin), and dry in others (cheeks, under eyes). 

Here’s how to take care of your combination skin:

Basic Routine

Everyone needs a basic routine to get them started, including those with combination skin. Add these products into your daily skincare routine:

  • Cleanser: A gentle cleanser morning and night helps to maintain balance in combination skin. You’ll want one that helps regulate oiliness, without irritating dry patches. 
  • Toner: After cleansing, you can help get the extra debris from the day off with a hydrating and balancing cleanser. 
  • Serum: Again the goal here is balance. Vitamin C-rich serums help to create healthy skin without drying it out. 
  • Moisturizer: Help keep combination skin balanced by keeping it well hydrated with a quality moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores.

Additional Steps/Products to Include & Avoid

If you have combination or sensitive skin, it’s important to know what tips and tricks can support the health of your skin, and what can aggravate it. 


  • Exfoliant: A gentle exfoliator a couple of times a week helps to clean out build-up from your pores.
  • Face Mask: A gentle face mask with ingredients like Vitamin C can help target tricky areas and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
  • Spot Treatment: It’s helpful to have a spot treatment on hand if you get the occasional breakout, which can happen with combination skin. 
  • Under Eye Cream: Decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with a moisturizing under eye cream. 


  • Exfoliating Dry Areas of The Face: When exfoliating, try to just target the oily zones on your face to prevent extra dryness.
  • Over-washing Oily Areas: On the other hand, you’ll also want to avoid over washing oily areas, which can, in turn, lead to increased oil production. 

Stay Flexible with Your Skincare Routine 

Keep in mind that skincare isn’t static. Your skin’s needs might change depending on the seasons, hormonal changes, and where you are in the world. While it can be frustrating to feel like your routine isn’t working anymore, this gives you the chance to get to know your body and its changing needs on a deeper level.

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