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Skincare 101: Back to Basics

by Aubrey Lee


With so many products, techniques and ingredients out there to choose from, where does one even begin? We’ve come up with a helpful guide to build a skincare routine.



It can be overwhelming to start a skincare routine. There are so many products, techniques and ingredients out there to choose from, where does one even begin? When the glass skin trend was on the rise, I found myself adding an excessive amount of products in my skincare routine without understanding its purpose. Not only was my skin compromised, financially, my wallet was feeling the pain as well. I learned that skincare should be intentional, it is also a simple way to practice self-care and self-love.

When it comes to skincare, start simple and be intentional as you learn more about your skin. Always check in with yourself if you really need to add another active ingredient to treat your skin concern in the existing skincare routine. If you’re starting out and want to build a skincare routine or merely simplifying it, here’s a helpful guide for you.



Step 1: Cleanse

When: AM & PM


Cleansing is an essential step to remove excess oil, makeup and impurities and should only be done twice a day. The type of cleanser you choose is important. A good cleanser will not strip off your natural oil and end up leaving your skin dehydrated, but rather your skin should feel clean and soft after using it. For people with dry skin, a cleanser may not be necessary in the morning routine. However, it should be incorporated in the evening. Washing your face with water only is not enough to remove makeup, sweat and environmental pollutants. A gentle way to ensure clean skin after a long day is to double cleanse. Start with an oil-based cleanser to melt off impurities collected on your face throughout the day followed by a water-based cleanser.



Step 2: Treat

When: AM &/or PM


This is where your skin receives extra TLC.This is a crucial part of skincare routine.. Be purposeful about the skin concern that you want to treat then identify the ingredients that will help improve it. Below are some examples of skin concern and the active ingredients that treat them. ​

Oily skin – Niacinamide Dehydrated or dry skin – Hyaluronic acid, Squalane, Glycerin Wrinkles and fine lines – Retinol, Bakuchiol​ Dullness – AHAs, BHAs Hyperpigmentation – Alpha Arbutin, Vitamin C

Be mindful when layering serums, slowly build the frequency and potency of these active ingredients. Always start with the lightest consistency as serums are usually more expensive in comparison to other skincare products, use it in the right order to get the most out of your skincare investment.



Step 3: Moisturize

When: AM & PM


Moisturizers help to lock hydration within your skin. Regardless of your skin type, always moisturize. When there’s a lack of moisture, your skin will signal the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum to compensate for the dryness. It is tempting to skip this step when you have oily skin but doing so will cause clogged pores and acne, bringing your skin back to square one.




Step 4: Protect

When: All Day


The final step is protection. All dermatologists will agree that you should never ever skip this step in the morning. SPF is your holy grail. Apply sunscreen every morning before going out, even on gloomy days as UV rays are able to penetrate clouds and glass. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF at least 30 to prevent skin cancer and photo-aging. There is a wide range of sunscreens to choose from in the market, find one that is suitable for your skin and stick to it.



Now that you have done all the steps, here comes the most important part, that is to be patient. We live in a world of instant gratification. Oftentimes, we give up and switch products too soon before