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We bet it’s safe to say that you have a pretty jam-packed schedule, right? And to keep track of all the non-stop activities you’ve committed yourself to—from hitting the gym to important work meetings to happy hour with friends—you probably have a calendar on hand that you update whenever you’ve tacked something new onto your to-do list. Well, why not apply that same tactic to your skin care routine, creating a schedule for all your essential skin care routine steps.
When it comes to a gorgeous, glowing complexion, there are quite a few steps you can (and probably should) include in your regimen to curate the best skin care routine possible—but not all of them need to be done on a daily basis or at the same time every day.
With so much to keep track of, we’re here to help you stay organized in order to create the very best skin care routine(s) for yourself. Consider the following your skin care routine checklist, chock full of skin care products—facial cleansers, facial moisturizers, eye creams, face masks, self-tanners, and more—and tips for using each of them. Whether you want to brighten the appearance of your skin with a charcoal mask or reduce the appearance of fine lines or dark circles with the help of an eye cream, nailing your skin care routine order is the answer.
There are some things that never change, and that includes certain twice per day essential skin care routine steps. These are mainstays for a reason!
Clean skin is happy skin! So, reach for a facial cleanser as part of your morning skin care routine and before you go to sleep to help wash away any excess dirt and oil that may have built up on the surface of your skin throughout the day (or while you slept). Try the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser or L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refine Cleanser, which can help lift dirt and impurities from the surface of your skin without drying it out.
If you have mature skin, consider using a creamy facial cleanser, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Nourishing Cream Cleanser, instead. As you age, your skin loses moisture, nutrients, and natural oils—which can result in drier skin. This facial cleanser helps replenish oils and gently removes traces of makeup. Of course, beautiful skin doesn’t stop there! Next up...
The rules of proper skin care routine order dictate that after cleansing comes toner. You’ll want to swipe on an alcohol-free toner, like the L’Oréal Paris HydraFresh Toner. This gentle and non-drying toner is formulated with beta hydroxy acid and Pro-Vitamin B5 to gently sweep away dull skin and protect against moisture loss. All you have to do is put some toner on a cotton pad and swipe it across your face. It’s that easy!
This skin care product is popular for a reason. Serums are generally concentrated formulas that target specific skin issues. You can use one in the morning and one at night, or apply the same formula twice a day—depending on how it’s meant to be used.
For fine lines and wrinkles, try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum, 0.3% Pure Retinol, which is formulated with 0.3 percent pure retinol to help visibly reduce wrinkles—even deep ones—over time. Apply this one only as part of your nighttime skin care routine.
Have dull skin? Consider using the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum. The derm-validated, lightweight serum restores radiance, reduces hyperpigmentation, and improves clarity and skin's overall tone. After just one week of use, skin has a youthful radiance, while after two weeks, fine lines are visibly reduced. Keep in mind, this face serum is meant to be used in your morning and nighttime skin care routines.
Whichever serum you use, get your skin care routine order right and apply it after cleansing but before moisturizing. This adheres to the skin care layering rules of thinnest to thickest.
Using moisturizer two times a day is vital—even if you have oily skin. Yes, really! Try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Oily Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin. Each of these water-based moisturizers is formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water for long-lasting hydration.
You’ve probably heard the popular saying, “The eyes are the window to the soul,” but what if you don’t want anyone staring too hard at your eye area? If you have dark circles under your eyes, puffiness, or crow’s feet, that’s likely the case. Enter eye cream. Look for one that’s formulated for your specific skin issues and apply it after moisturizing, as part of your morning skin care routine and as a final step at night. One option is the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power™ Eye Treatment, which helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and under-eye bags with continued use over time.
While using a facial cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer can be part of your twice-daily skin care routine, there are certain skin care routine steps that only need to be done once a day—as part of your daytime or nighttime skin care routine.
You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth repeating: Sun protection isn’t just a good skin care routine step, it’s a must. In the morning, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher—after moisturizer but before applying makeup—as directed. If you want to knock out two steps in one, you can use the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30 as your morning moisturizer and SPF. Despite earning a spot on our once-daily list—since it doesn’t need to be used at night—you should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
Editor’s note: Of course, sun protection doesn’t end at applying sunscreen—there are other protective measures you should take. They include: Limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are the sun’s peak hours), seeking shade, and covering up exposed areas with long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
No one will tell you that sleeping in your makeup is part of a good skin care routine. When you sleep in a full face of makeup, it can mix with the dirt and oil on your skin, leading to clogged pores (and clogged pores can lead to breakouts and blackheads). Keep a bottle of micellar water, like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types, on your nightstand for easy makeup removal. Micellar water is powered by tiny micelle molecules that cluster together to surround and lift away impurities from the skin’s surface. This particular micellar water removes all makeup—including waterproof—and leaves skin with a hydrated feel.
To use, simply saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and wipe it across your face. For eye makeup, hold a saturated cotton pad over closed eyes for a few seconds before gently wiping to remove mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow.
Want a brighter-looking complexion? Think about adding peel pads, such as the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Peel Pads, to your nighttime skin care routine. The multi-ply textured pads physically resurface dead cells on the skin’s surface to reveal the youthful-looking skin underneath. Smooth a pad over your face after using your facial cleanser, then let your skin dry before following it up with a facial moisturizer. Freshly resurfaced skin may be sensitive to sunlight, so set a reminder to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen and take other sun protection measures in the morning.
Using an anti-aging treatment is necessary to help combat signs of aging. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, using a retinol product nightly can help soften fine lines, prevent wrinkles, and help reduce future breakouts. The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Cicacream Face Moisturizer Pro Retinol & Centella Asiatica is a lightweight, protective cream formulated with Pro-Retinol and Centella Asiatica. The anti-aging treatment fights wrinkles, resists signs of aging, and helps strengthen the skin barrier.
Editor’s note: All in all, we recommended nine different skin care steps that you should do on the daily—just short of fitting in with the 10-step Korean skin care routine trend. Of course, we aren’t saying there aren’t more steps you can include in your routine. As K-beauty fans know, there are plenty! We’re just listing the essentials, but once you master these, why not try a Korean skin care routine? Click through to our article, Your 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine, to find out everything you need to know.
While maintaining a morning and nighttime skin care routine is important, there are also a couple of steps that you don't need to do every day—a few times a week will suffice.
Exfoliation—gently sloughing away the surface of your skin—can help get rid of dead skin cell buildup to reveal new, youthful-looking skin underneath. Now, how often you exfoliate is an individual choice, because it really depends on your skin type. In this way, the best skin care routine for you will differ from what’s best for someone else. Some people can handle it daily, while others may only need to exfoliate once a week. Stick with what works for you! Here are our best face scrubs for the job:
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub: Formulated with finely crushed cocoa, coconut oil, and cocoa butter, this buttery-soft face scrub will leave your skin feeling smooth, nourished, and comforted.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub: This ultra-soft sugar scrub contains finely ground acai, monoi, and grapeseed oil to provide deep yet gentle exfoliation. Your skin will be left feeling baby-soft with a glowing finish.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub: This face scrub is made with brown, blonde, and white pure sugars and enhanced with real kiwi seeds to create a light, gel-like sugar scrub. It will gently exfoliate your skin, leaving it feeling purified, clean, and free of impurities. You’ll be left with velvety-soft skin and less visible pores.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface and Energize Kona Coffee Scrub: Formulated with finely ground Kona coffee, almond oil, and coconut oil, this sugar scrub will leave your skin feeling energized and invigorated. In one week, your skin will feel silky-soft and have a visibly refined texture.
Let’s be honest: We love face masks not just for their ability to make our skin look absolutely ah-amazing, but also for how fun they are to use. Seriously, is there anything better than sitting back and relaxing with a face mask on? We think not! Try the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clear & Comfort Face Mask, or L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clarify & Smooth Face Mask.
Apply an even layer of any of the aforementioned masks to clean, dry skin, leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water. For best results, use your choice of face mask two to three times a week. To get your skin care routine order right, post-mask, you’ll also want to moisturize.
Some skin care routine steps can be done even less than once a week. Have a special event coming up? Add a self-tanner to your skin care lineup for a few days out of the month to create the appearance of a golden glow.
Even if it’s not summer, you can still rock bronzed color by using a self-tanner. Want to get your glow on? Use your self-tanner daily until you achieve your desired level of tan. Try one of the following options:
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Serum: This serum self-tanner will help you achieve sun-kissed skin all year long—on your face and body. The formula is streak-free, quick-drying, and foolproof for radiant, golden skin.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Mist Deep Natural Tan: This self-tanning spray will give you a salon-quality, medium natural tan. The tanner has a 360-degree wide-angle applicator that will allow you to get an even, flawless tan on the hardest to reach places like the back of your legs. The formula dries instantly and is streak-free.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Towelettes for Body: Whether you’re on-the-go or just looking for a super convenient option when it comes to sunless tanning, these towelettes are the way to go! One towelette has enough product for an entire application, and you’ll be left with a streak-free, natural-looking tan.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Lotion Medium Natural Tan: This gradual self-tanner has a moisturizing, streak-free formula. You can use it daily until you’ve reached your desired level of tan. After the sunless tanner develops, you’ll have a 100% natural-looking tan.
A monthly skin care routine isn’t all fun and games. Once a month, check your skin for any moles or spots that have changed. If you do notice any changes, play it safe, and schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.
And there you have it: A skin care routine you can follow daily, weekly, and monthly. Next, head over to Our Foolproof Skin Care Routine for All Skin Types.
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