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It’s no secret that skin care is bigger than ever. What an exciting time—with more products and ingredients to try out than ever before! However, too many choices can also feel pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out and trying to determine the basics of how to take care of your skin. If you’re getting into skin care for the first time, don’t panic, putting together a proper skin care routine is easier than you might think—and we’re here to guide you through it. From the basics of cleansing and moisturizing, to supplementing in more specialized products like serum, we’ve got you covered. Here, we’re sharing everything you need to know about how to take care of your skin.
There are a range of different skin types—from oily skin to dry skin to everything in between—with different needs but, in general, there are a few key steps that make up any quality skin care routine. We’re talking about cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. If you’re not already doing these three steps, it’s time to start ASAP. Just like the rest of your body, your skin needs taking care of, too. Trust us when we tell you not to wait any longer before establishing and sticking to a skin care regimen—your future self (and skin) will thank you. Since this article is a broad overview on how to take care of your skin, we’re going to run you through the basics, including some of our best product options for each step along the way.
First things first, you need to cleanse your skin. Per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you should aim to cleanse your complexion twice per day—every morning and evening—as well as after you finish a workout (or sweat in general). During these times, reach for a mild facial cleanser that will remove surface-level impurities from your skin—excess oil, makeup, and dirt—without drying it out. Whichever facial cleanser you choose, the directions remain the same: squeeze a quarter-sized amount of product into your hands, create suds, then gently massage onto your face in circular motions, avoiding the eyes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat dry.
As for how to pick a facial cleanser, we’re naming three options below.
L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser: Looking for a skin care detox? Formulated with three pure clays and charcoal, this cleanser works gently to purify skin.
L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refine Cleanser: If you’re tired of large pores, use this targeted facial cleanser to help minimize the appearance of pores and refine rough, clogged skin.
L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Cleanser: Have oily skin? This cleanser is for you! Formulated with eucalyptus, the clay cleanser leaves skin with a matte finish.
Everyone’s skin is different, and the frequency with which you should exfoliate your complexion varies from person to person. Despite this, everyone does need to exfoliate. Quick refresher: Exfoliating can be done either manually (with a scrub) or chemically, but the end goal is the same—to slough away dead, dull cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin. Doing so will not only help reveal a more radiant complexion, but it’s also a necessary step for the overall health of your skin. For beginners, one of the best ways to exfoliate is by using a gentle face scrub, which, per the AAD, should be applied using small, circular motions. Take your pick from these three options:
L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub: This face scrub, which is formulated with real Kona coffee grounds, instantly energizes tired skin and reduces the signs of fatigue.
L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub: Gentle yet effective exfoliation is the name of the game with this face scrub, which is formulated with rich cocoa butter and leaves skin feeling more nourished.
L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub: The ultra-soft sugar scrub provides deep exfoliation for visibly smoother, glowing skin.
L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub: Clogged pores are no match for this face scrub, which is formulated with real kiwi seeds to effectively remove impurities from the skin.
The ultimate key to healthy skin? That would be moisture. Whatever skin type you have—yes, even oily skin—it’s a must to moisturize every single day. In fact, you should moisturize twice per day, every morning and evening, after each of your cleansing sessions. You will also want to choose a moisturizer that’s suited to your skin type, as well as use one that’s both lightweight and formulated to deliver long-lasting hydration. If you have combination skin that falls on the dry side, try the L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Dry Skin. For skin that’s oil-prone, reach for the L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Oily Skin. If your skin is very dry, try the L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Extra Dry Skin. Each of the three water-based moisturizers is formulated with aloe water and hyaluronic acid and provides deep and intense hydration that feels lightweight on the skin. To use, apply generously onto clean skin (face and neck) every morning underneath your makeup and every evening right after cleansing.
Every day—that’s right, every single day—you should be wearing some form of SPF on your complexion. Even if you spend most of your day indoors or it’s a rainy day, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays will still find a way to reach your skin. What’s more, over time these rays contribute to visible signs of sun damage, such as fine lines and wrinkles and dark spots, and even some types of skin cancer. In order to truly take care of your skin and keep it healthy for the long haul, sunscreen is a must. The Food & Drug Administration recommends that everyone use a sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher. After applying sunscreen as the final step in your morning skin care routine, it’s also a good idea to take additional sun protection measures. These include seeking shade when you spend time outdoors, especially between the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wearing protective accessories like sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.
Now that you’ve got the basic steps down, it’s time to take things up a notch. Sometimes, you might notice your complexion feeling extra dry—which is one time a serum can come into play. Other days, you might be feeling oilier than usual and reaching for a toner could be a good idea. If you’re looking for a way to take your skin care routine to the next level and address specific skin care concerns, adding one of the following products into the mix could do the trick.
Serums are highly-concentrated products that are meant to address more targeted skin issues. Looking to stave off fine lines and wrinkles? There’s a serum for that. Want to add a boost of antioxidant power into your skin care routine via some vitamin C? We’ve got one for that, too. We’d guess there’s a serum out there for just about every skin issue under the sun.
For beginners, we’d recommend adding a super-hydrating serum into your routine whenever your skin is craving extra moisture, such as after a long flight or during the winter months. Look for one that’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, such as the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which immediately replenishes skin with moisture and helps maintain visibly plumped, youthful-looking skin. Another option is the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum, which is formulated with vitamin C and restores radiance to the skin. Whatever serum you choose, it should be applied on clean skin before other products, then you can layer your moisturizer on top.
This old-school skin care product is still relevant—because it works! Whenever your skin is feeling less than radiant, swiping on a toner can help restore a brighter-looking complexion. Try the L'Oréal Paris HydraFresh Toner, which is 99 percent alcohol-free and has a gentle, non-drying formula. To use, saturate a cotton pad with the toner and swipe it over your complexion right after cleansing, then follow up with your serum and moisturizer.
The thinnest and most sensitive skin on your entire complexion falls around the eye area—so when it’s not properly nourished and hydrated, this area is also the first to show signs of aging. Even if you’re not worried about preventing things like crow’s feet, it’s important to understand that the skin around your eyes requires a different type of moisturizer than the one you use on the rest of your face. That’s right—it’s high time to invest in an eye cream. Try the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Eye Gel, which is formulated to nurture and de-puff under-eye bags. For a bit of simultaneous color-correction and hydration, reach for the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rosy Tone Anti-Aging Eye Brightener, which helps visibly mask dark circles while also hydrating and smoothing the skin.
You may be thinking that we already covered cleansing, so why is makeup remover making this list, but it isn’t a one or the other situation. Sleeping in your makeup is a recipe for disaster—or rather, future breakouts—and using your cleanser on its own isn’t always enough. Instead, when you’re wearing a full face of makeup, you need to remove it all, then cleanse. To keep things simple and quick, you can reach for a makeup remover wipe or micellar water. Both options work to remove makeup and cleanse away dirt, debris, and oil from the skin in just a few swipes. Try the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, which you can use with a cotton pad, or the L'Oréal Paris Ideal Clean All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes, which can even be kept on your nightstand for easy access.
Next: Your Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Skin Care Routines