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When you go shopping, it can often feel like there are a million skin care products on the shelves—and that can be overwhelming. Which ones do you really need? When you’re starting a skin care routine from scratch, it’s a good idea to stick to the basics before moving on to some more advanced skin care steps. Below, we’re things simple and breaking down exactly what you need to start a skin care routine.
Cleansing should be the first step in your skin care routine, morning and night, as it can help remove makeup, dirt, and oils that have built up on the surface of your skin. There are plenty of different types of cleansers to choose from—even ones that don’t require you to be anywhere near a sink!
L’Oréal Paris Ideal Clean™ All Skin Types Foaming Gel Cleanser: This foaming gel cleanser, formulated for all skin types, remove traces of dirt, oil, and makeup without drying out skin.
L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types: We’ve all struggled with removing waterproof makeup before—especially waterproof mascara. Say no to harsh rubbing by reaching for a micellar water. This one intensely purifies the skin and removes dirt, oil, and makeup (even waterproof!) from the surface of skin. 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. Just saturate a cotton pad and sweep it across your skin until completely cleansed, no rinsing necessary. For eye makeup removal, hold the pad over closed eyes for a few seconds, then wipe.
L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Radiant Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes: Another no-rinse cleansing option is towelettes—throw a pack of these in your gym bag or tote to cleanse on the go.
If you aren’t using serum yet, no worries—there’s always time to start. Typically, serums are formulated to address specific skin concerns, and they’re applied between cleansing and moisturizing.
L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power™ Concentrated Serum: Looking to start an anti-aging routine? Try this serum. Immediately, your complexion will look more radiant after using this serum, while skin tone will look more even with continued use over time. Smooth the serum over your face, neck, and jawline morning and night.
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Golden Serum: This lightweight, non-greasy serum is formulated with golden micro-reflectors. It absorbs quickly to help instantly helps illuminate the look of skin with a velvety finish, while skin will look renewed with continued use over time. Apply this serum morning and night after cleansing.
L’Oréal Paris Youth Code™ Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector: Daily UV exposure and age can result in not only the appearance of dark spots but the look of dull, uneven skin tone as well. This luxurious, fast-absorbing, light-illuminating serum can help skin appear more luminous immediately and diminish the look of dark spots with continued use over time. Apply the serum after cleansing, then follow up with a moisturizer and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Another must-have for your skin care routine? That would be moisturizer! No matter your skin type, it’s a good idea to apply moisturizer morning and night. Pick a moisturizer that’s formulated for your skin type, and smooth it over your face and neck.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin: Normal and dry skin faces external factors such as pollution and UV rays that can damage the skin’s moisture barrier, increasing loss of moisture and causing it to become drier. As a result, skin surfaces loses it glow, becoming dull-looking. This water-based moisturizer envelops skin with moisture, improving the look of skin’s radiance.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin: In normal and oily skin, external factors such as pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleansing can damage skin’s moisture barrier, causing loss of moisture and an increase in oil production. As a result, your complexion can start to look overly shiny. This water-based moisturizer helps reduce the appearance of excess shine and has a matte finish.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin: Your skin has a very fragile moisture barrier that can be easily damaged by external factors such as pollution and UV rays. Skin consequently loses its ability to retain moisture, becoming easily dehydrated, feeling tight and uncomfortable. This water-based moisturizer envelops skin with moisture, providing comfort.
The skin around your eyes need moisture just as much as the rest of your face—if not more. In fact, this delicate skin is often the first to show visible signs of aging.
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Eye Balm: As skin matures, one of the biggest changes around the eyes is the loss of moisture, nutrients and natural oils. This rich, luxurious balm intensely moisturizes mature skin. Formulated with precious oils, the formula helps provide long-lasting hydration and comfort.
L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Eye Cream: This eye cream helps smooth the look of skin around the eyes and diminish the appearance of dark circles with continued use over time.
L’Oréal Paris Eye Defense: This light, non-greasy gel-cream is specially formulated to defend against signs of pre-mature aging around the eyes, like dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and caffeine.
The last step in your morning skin care routine should be applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should use an SPF of 15 or higher daily. If you have oily skin, look for an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula; if you have dry skin, look for one that’s moisturizing. But that’s not all—there are other sun protection measures you should take in addition to wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen. According to the FDA, you should also reapply every two hours (or immediately after swimming or sweating), limit your amount of time in the sun (especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
The above five steps are really all you need to follow for a bare-bones skin care routine—perfect for beginners! If you want to take things further, though, you can certainly do that.
Start by adding exfoliation to your weekly beauty routine. Exfoliation is the process of sloughing away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This dead skin cell buildup can make your complexion look dull. As far as how often you should exfoliate, it depends. Some people can handle daily exfoliation, while others can only do so once or twice a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds to determine what works best for you. Try an exfoliating scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Go 360° Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub. Formulated with apricot beads, this oil-free exfoliating scrub gently exfoliates dull, dead skin cells and removes traces of oil, dirt, and makeup from the surface of skin. Pop out the Scrublet™, a soft cleansing disc, pour some of the scrub onto it, cleanse your face, and replace the Scrublet™.
Another bonus skin care step you can think about adding to your skin care routine is a face mask. Don’t forget to pencil in some pampering time to your schedule! Smooth on a face mask— or try multi-masking, which entails applying different masks to different areas of your face at the same time. Here are four options from L’Oréal Paris. Apply an even layer of your mask(s) of choice to clean, dry skin, leave on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with water.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clear & Comfort Mask: Over time, harsh cleansing can be drying and sensitizing, leaving skin uncomfortable. As a result, skin needs cleansing that is effective yet gentle. This mask formula, enhanced with seaweed, can help draw out the buildup of impurities, dirt, and oils and gently cleanse stressed areas. Use twice a week for best results.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Mask: Over time, harsh environmental factors like pollution and debris can damage skin, leaving your complexion looking dull and tired. This mask formula, enhanced with charcoal, can help draw out the buildup of impurities, dirt, and pollution and reduce the look of dull skin.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refining Mask: Day after day, dead skin cells can accumulate on the surface of your skin, leaving your complexion feeling rough. This mask formula is enhanced with red algae extract to help draw out the buildup of impurities, dirt, and oils, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth the look of imperfections, and allow skin to breathe.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Mask: Day after day, impurities, dirt, makeup, and excess oils can build up on the surface of skin, leaving your complexion looking overly oily. This mask formula is enhanced with eucalyptus leaf extract to help draw out the buildup of impurities, dirt, and oils and reduce the look of excess shine.