We’re living in a world that’s becoming ever-obsessed with the idea of minimalism in all aspects of life. (Hence why we’ve spent the last few months fastidiously organizing our closets and getting rid of a whole lot of items we haven’t used in ages.) So, the idea of a skin care routine that goes beyond three simple steps might seem absolutely incomprehensible to you. Despite how popular minimalism has become, though, there will always be the high maintenance girls of the world who will go to extreme lengths to help keep their complexions in tip-top shape. After all, when it comes to achieving your most gorgeous-looking skin, time knows no bounds—wouldn’t you agree? If you’d rather embrace a high maintenance skin care routine, you can find one below. Our high maintenance skin care routine includes our best facial cleanser for oily skin as well as facial cleansers for other skin types, a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum, and three different water-based moisturizers for various skin care concerns.
step 1: START WITH A DOUBLE CLEANSE
We’re tossing the phrase “less is more” away, right? So, why cleanse your skin once when you could do it twice? It’s time to acquaint yourself with the double cleansing trend. Double cleansing entails starting with a no-rinse facial cleanser such as micellar water to help remove makeup, then following up with a rinse-off facial cleanser to wash away any remaining dirt, excess oils, and makeup residue.
We’re huge fans of micellar water, a gentle, no-rinse cleansing option that has been beloved by French women for years. Micellar water is powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—that act as a magnet to lift dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from the skin. The L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin purifies and mattifies, the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin hydrates and soothes, and the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types intensely purifies. Just saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and wipe the pad across your face. After you’re done with step one in your double cleanse, reach for a clay facial cleanser to remove any leftover impurities from the surface of your skin. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refine Cleanser, or L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Cleanser, which lift dirt and impurities without drying out skin.
step 2: USE A TONER POST-CLEANSe
A toner can have quite a few skin care benefits, including helping to ensure that dirt, excess oil, leftover facial cleanser, and any other impurities are swept away and off your skin’s surface after cleansing. A toner can also help refresh your complexion. If you have dry or sensitive skin, keep in mind that alcohol can potentially irritate your complexion, so if you’d like to use a toner, look for one that’s alcohol-free. The L'Oréal Paris HydraFesh Toner helps sweep away dull, tired skin and is alcohol-free. Apply some to a cotton ball, then wipe the ball across your face.
step 3: TRY AN ESSENCE
Essences are popular products in Korean skin care—and for good reason. Not quite a toner and not quite a serum, essences are typically applied between these two steps to help add a little extra hydration. Generally, you’d apply an essence by pouring some out into your hands and patting it into your skin until it’s absorbed.
step 4: APPLY A SERUM
If you have specific skin concerns you’d like to address—such as dark spots or fine lines and wrinkles—a serum could be just the product you need to add to your skin care routine. Applied after cleansing, serums are usually formulated with highly concentrated ingredients that can help target specific issues. If you have fine lines and wrinkles, try the L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power™ Concentrated Serum; if you have dark spots, try the L'Oréal Paris Youth Code™ Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector.
step 5: MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE
Moisturizing twice daily (after cleansing, toning, and applying essence and serum) should be a key step in your skin care routine—regardless of your skin type. Now, when it comes to choosing the right moisturizer for you, there are quite a few different kinds out there. If you have oily skin, a lightweight lotion could be all you need, while if you have dry skin, you may benefit from using a heavier cream. If you have sensitive skin, meanwhile, steer clear of alcohol and fragrances, which can be irritating. We happen to like water-based moisturizers. The L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin, L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin, and L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin are water-based moisturizers that are formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water to help provide long-lasting hydration. Oh, and make sure to apply your moisturizer all the way down to your neck!
step 6: SHOW YOUR EYES SOME LOVE
Your eyes can be a dead giveaway of your age—which is where eye cream comes in. Since the skin around your eyes is more delicate than the rest of your face, it’s more prone to showing early signs of aging and it also requires special care. The L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Eye Cream can help reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines and wrinkles with continued use over time.
step 7: DON’T NEGLECT YOUR LIPS
Is your pout feeling dry these days? When it comes to skin hydration, it’s not just about your face—your lips deserve attention, too. Try using a lip scrub to help exfoliate any dead skin cells on the surface of your lips as needed, then follow up with a hydrating lip balm before moving on to your makeup routine. After all, you wouldn’t want to apply a bright lip color over dry lips, now would you? Talk about uncomfortable!
step 8: APPLY broad-spectrum SUNSCREEN
Whether you’re a high maintenance kind of gal or a super-minimal one, this is one step in your skin care routine that is non-negotiable. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen—that is, one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays—should be the last step in your skin care routine each morning. And yes, that still holds true if it’s rainy or chilly outside, since you can get burned even on cloudy days. When you spend prolonged periods of time in the sun without protection, this can lead to damage—and that can show up on your skin down the road as visible signs of aging like dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles. While sunscreen should be the last step in your skin care routine before you move on to makeup, you can also reach for a moisturizer formulated with it if you’d like to combine these two steps. The L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30 is formulated with glycolic acid, vitamin C, Pro-Retinol, and broad-spectrum SPF 30. Apply it as directed—and make sure to limit your amount of time in the sun, seek shade, and throw on UV-blocking sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.
Bonus step: EXFOLIATE WEEKLY
Exfoliation is the process of sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. When these dead skin cells build up, they can often end up making your complexion look dull, which is why exfoliation should be a regular part of your skin care routine. But although exfoliation is important, there’s no right or wrong answer as to how often you should do it. Some people can handle regular exfoliation, while others may only be able to tolerate once a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds so that you can determine how often you should exfoliate.
Now, there are two kinds of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliation involves physically scrubbing your skin’s surface with a scrub, while chemical exfoliation involves the use of salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid), or enzymes to chemically break down the surface buildup.
Looking for a face scrub? The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Face Scrub, formulated with three sugars and crushed cocoa, leaves skin feeling softer and smoother and looking more refined. Immediately, skin feels smooth and comforted, while skin feels nourished with continued use over time. The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Face Scrub, formulated with three sugars and kiwi seeds, effectively removes dirt, oil, and impurities from the surface of skin and polishes away dead skin. With continued use over time, pores look tighter, unclogged, and less visible. The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Face Scrub, formulated with three pure sugars and grapeseed, gives skin a glowing appearance immediately and leaves skin feeling baby-soft, smooth, and comforted with continued use over time. Which will you choose? Simply apply your face scrub of choice to skin that’s dry, massage it onto your skin with wet fingers, then rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat dry.
bonus step: MASK IT UP THREE TIMES A WEEK
Ahhh….is there anything more relaxing than chilling at home with a face mask on after a busy day? So, listen up high maintenance ladies! The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Detox & Brighten Face Mask helps reduce the look of dullness while drawing out the buildup of dirt, impurities, and oils; the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Purify & Mattify Face Mask helps reduce the look of excess shine while drawing out the buildup of dirt, impurities, and oils; the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask helps exfoliate dead skin cells on the skin’s surface while drawing out the buildup of dirt, impurities, and oils; the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clear & Comfort Face Mask helps reduce the look of imperfections by calming skin while drawing out the buildup of dirt, impurities, and oils; and the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clarify & Smooth Face Mask clarify skin tone while drawing out the buildup of dirt, impurities, and oils.
Once you’ve met your face mask match, apply an even layer to clean, dry skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with water. For best results, slather up three times a week. To get even more high maintenance (because we know you love it!), why not try multi-masking? This trend involves using different face masks on different parts of your face at the same time. This can be especially beneficial if you have combination skin and are oilier in some areas but drier in others.
And there you have it: a comprehensive high maintenance skin care routine. It doesn’t get any better than this! But, if you want to try adding on to your skin care routine even more, check out our article, How to Try the Honey Skin Trend.