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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If you think the saying “less is more” is totally out of date and favor a high maintenance, multi-step routine, you’re not alone! How do you know if you’re high maintenance when it comes to skin care? Well, while you may have grown up thinking a simple cleansing and moisturizing routine was all you needed to partake in for pretty-looking skin, it’s safe to say that those days are long gone. And that’s totally OK! If this sounds like it describes you, it’s time to amp up your skin care routine by embracing a comprehensive set of steps and stocking up on some key products that you’ll want to have on hand. Ready to show all those minimalists what they’re missing? Below, you’ll find the 10 step skin care routine that’s perfect for anyone who’s high maintenance.
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 gentle cleanser such as micellar water or an oil-based cleanser to help remove makeup, then following up with a traditional foaming or gel 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 traditional cleanser, like the L'Oréal Paris Ideal Clean™ Foaming Gel Cleanser All Skin Types, which lifts dirt and impurities without drying out the skin.
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 scrub? Try the L'Oréal Paris Go 360° Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub, which helps to gently exfoliate dull, dead skin cells and remove oil, dirt, and makeup. To use, pop the Scrublet™ out of the packaging, dampen the surface, pour the scrub onto it, cleanse your face, then pop the Scrublet™ back in.
A toner can have quite a few skin care benefits, including helping to ensure that dirt, excess oil, leftover 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.
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.
If you have specific skin concerns you’d like to address—such as dark spots or 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 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.
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 water to help provide long-lasting hydration. Oh, and make sure to apply your moisturizer all the way down to your neck!
Your eyes can be a dead giveaway of your age—which is where eye cream comes in. Since the skin around your eyes is thinner 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 Eye Defense is a light, non-greasy gel-cream that’s especially formulated to defend against premature signs of aging around the eyes, like puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. It’s formulated with caffeine and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate the skin around your eyes. To use, apply it in small dots around your eye area after moisturizing and smooth gently until it’s thoroughly absorbed.
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!
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 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 Lotion SPF 30 is formulated with glycolic acid, vitamin C, Pro-Retinol, and broad-spectrum SPF 30. Apply it 15 minutes before going outside—and bring it with you so that you can reapply it every two hours.
Ahhh….is there anything more relaxing than chilling at home with a face mask on after a busy day? And if you’ve never used a clay mask before, then you’re in for a treat. So, listen up high maintenance ladies! The L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Exfoliate & Refining Treatment Mask helps to draw out the buildup of impurities, dirt, and oils and exfoliate dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Detox & Brighten Treatment Mask helps to draw out the buildup of impurities, dirt, and pollution and reduce the look of dull skin, and the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Purify & Mattify Treatment Mask helps to draw out the buildup of impurities, dirt, and oils and reduce the look of excess shine. With your mask of choice, apply an even layer to clean, dry skin, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off with water. Use three times a week for best results.
To get even more high maintenance (because we know you love it!), why not try multi-masking? This trend involves using different 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: 10 steps to help your skin look and feel its absolute best. It doesn’t get any better than that!