How to Build a Skincare Routine
Don’t let the saturated skincare market daunt you. An effective skincare routine does not need to be complicated. Keeping your routine simple makes it easier to be consistent—which means you’ll see results sooner. Read on to find out how to build a skincare routine that works for you.
“What’s my skin type?” isn’t the most useful question
Much of the advice around skincare routines start by asking, “What’s your skin type?” Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, both your body’s biology and external factors could be responsible. Perhaps you consider your skin to be oily, yet that sebum (over)production could be caused by the use of harsh cleansers that trigger the skin to protect itself. Same thing if you have dry skin—it could be a factor of aging, or it could be due to environmental stress (think wintery winds, sun exposure, or pollutants).
Instead of building a skincare routine around skin type, we prefer to ask: Is my skin behaving optimally? What can I put on my skin to support its natural functions, instead of disrupting them? Being the largest organ and our body’s first line of defense, our skin naturally fights nasty bacteria, renews itself every 27 days, and actively adapts to environmental stimuli with a host of biological processes. It is amazing what our skin is capable of—as long as we don’t get in its way. Following a well-designed skincare routine order will go a long way in protecting and enhancing the skin barrier, and address imperfections caused by suboptimal processes deeper in the skin.
The basic routine everyone needs
Every individual's skincare needs will differ, but having a rough framework can be useful. Here's a skincare routine order you can use as a starting point:
Cleanse not strip
Start with a pH-balanced wash or cleansing milk (rather than a traditional cleanser) that removes anything foreign and unwanted – like makeup, grime, and dirt – but keeps the acid mantle intact. This is the skin’s natural defensive barrier that wards off bad bacteria and ensures deeper skin processes are undisrupted. Better yet, your cleanser should also actively reinforce your mantle. A good example of this is The MANTLE Conditioning Wash, which melts away oil- and water-soluble makeup, while enhancing the mantle by adding prebiotics and long-chain hyaluronic acid back to the skin. In just the first step, you’ve cleansed, conditioned, primed, and prepared the skin for further treatments.
Fight the signs of aging
Many of the signs we associate with aging—fine lines, volume loss, dullness—can be linked to cell turnover. As our skin renews itself, it doesn’t always slough off the dead, damaged cells that accumulate on the surface. With age, the quality of our cells dips. Cumulative exposure to the sun and environmental pollutants means free radicals flourish, further disrupting the renewal process. Our skin can use some help on both ends–exfoliating dead skin cells, and regenerating healthy skin cells.
Your routine should therefore include chemical exfoliants such as alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids. Usually found in serums, peptides fight the signs of aging by encouraging cell turnover and collagen production. Antioxidant skincare ingredients such as retinol, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, neutralize free radicals that disrupt the regeneration process, and ensure that new cells remain healthy.
It sounds like a lot to cover, but many products contain multiple, complementary ingredients. The Resurfacing Compound has all the ingredients mentioned above, plus the original SIREN that delivers them to the most vulnerable areas of the skin where free radicals gather.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Whether you have dry or oily skin, hydration is crucial to protecting the skin barrier. Water is essential for every important process that promotes healthy skin, whether it’s creating and sustaining new cells, producing collagen, or repairing damage. Our skin hydrates itself, but it can use some help getting more moisture and retaining it better. Hyaluronic acid is a well-loved skincare ingredient for just this reason–it effectively combats dehydrated skin by holding up to 100 times its molecular weight. With five unique hyaluronic acids delivered by HYDRA Siren Technology to various strata of the skin, and a cocktail of oils that your skin readily recognizes to prevent moisture escape, The SUPER Hydrator is proven to provide sustained hydration to the skin for up to 48 hours. Layered over the Resurfacing Compound, this duo works hand-in-hand to meet all your skin’s needs.
Protect from the sun
The sun is our "frenemy"—it helps with essential Vitamin D production, but it also instigates the proliferation of free radicals. In response to UV rays, our skin begins to behave erratically, leading to hyperpigmentation, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and accelerated aging. UV rays can also degrade the actives in skincare products, like retinol and vitamin C. Adding a broad-spectrum sunscreen that repels UVA and UVB rays to your daily skincare routine is therefore a must.
Correct imperfections around the clock
Dark spots appear when our skin produces melanin irregularly, in part due to free radical damage. Despite sunscreen application, your skin could continue its melanin production in anticipation of future sun exposure, discoloring even the new layers of skin. Enter the Multimodal Defender SPF 30, with a groundbreaking ester that inhibits the discoloration process delivered deep in the skin by the SUN-SIREN. Not only does its zinc oxide formulation provide SPF30 protection, the Multimodal Defender also keeps skin cool and keeps heat-related freckles at bay.
Cells are repaired while you sleep. This is the time to prompt your skin to correct itself, and to feed your skin what it needs to accomplish the task. The BARRIER, a bioactive treatment that repairs the surface mantle, also stimulates stem cells for bottom-up rejuvenation. Its creamy texture locks in moisture-loving hyaluronic acid and regenerative sodium DNA, so the skin’s renewal efforts remain undisturbed.
Don’t forget the eyes
Certain areas of the face require special attention. Since the skin around our eyes is so delicate, it’s often the first place where dysfunction and damage surface—puffiness and dark circles due to “leaky vessels” that collect stagnant fluid, or fine lines and wrinkles from aging and environmental stress. Address these common issues with The RETURN Eye Concentrate, which is packed densely with antioxidants and biomimetic plankton extract to rev up the lymphatic elimination of waste, and spur collagen production for less visible lines.
Your lips need some attention too
Due to the same suboptimal processes, your lips can suffer from a loss of volume, dryness, and fine lines. Correct them with the same ingredients used for your face, instead of a wax-based lip balm that merely sits atop the lips. The PLASMA Lip Compound is proven to increase collagen and elastin expression (read: plump lips), with its potent mix of peptides, hyaluronic acid spheres, and ceramides that repair, renew, and protect.
Our recommended routine
- The MANTLE Conditioning Wash
- Resurfacing Compound
- The RETURN Eye Concentrate
- The SUPER Hydrator
- AM – The Multimodal Defender SPF30
PM – The BARRIER Bioactive Treatment
- The PLASMA Lip Compound