3 Simple Steps to Start a Skin Care Routine (When You Have No Idea Where to Start)


Why I Took Simple Steps to Start a Skin Care Routine

By the looks of my blog, and if you were to see my vanity right now, you would think I am lying when I tell you that for most of my life I didn’t care about makeup, or skin care, or hair care. For many years, I would think of makeup only as a way to hide my acne in a decent enough manner to go to work. I didn’t get my hair cut regularly (nor did I care) and my face was lucky if I washed it once a day while in the shower (and I had not a care in the world about things like moisturizers or eye creams).

Simple Steps to Start a Skin Care Routine, When you Don

All of this changed in 2014 when I became pregnant with my son, after struggling with multiple losses and heartbreak, only to lose him shortly after birth to a rare genetic condition that nobody knew was present (if you are interested, you can read my story on my home life blog here). After this experience, I realized that we only get one life and we are our body’s keepers.

From that point on I decided that I wanted, and needed, to take better care of myself. Not only on the inside did I need to heal, but I needed to take better care of my skin.

Starting a skin care routine as a non-beauty lover was a daunting task, but I dove right in doing loads of research and watching tons of YouTube videos and I haven’t looked back since. My passion for having a diligent skin care routine lead to less acne breakouts on my oily face, which lead me to grow to having the (skin) confidence to try out and learn to use makeup, which lead to learning about properly caring for my thick, curly, frizzy hair.

But, for today, I wanted to share my three simple steps for starting a skin care routine (when you have absolutely no idea where to start).

My 3 Simple Steps to Start a Skin Care Routine

Step #1 – Start With Just the Basics

When I started doing research on what would be the best skin care routine for someone with oily, acne-prone skin, I quickly became overwhelmed with all of the choices. Words like serums, toners, and face peels left my head spinning. My advice would be to start with just the basics of skin care until you better learn your skin and add additional products as necessary (for instance, if you find your skin is still really dehydrated after doing a basic skin care routine for a while, you can add a serum…but more on that later).

A Basic Skin Care Routine Example:

Done Twice Daily

1. Makeup Remover and/or Eye Makeup Remover
(you need to remove your makeup first so that your cleanser can wash away things like dead skin cells lurking underneath)

2. Cleanser

3. Toner

4. Moisturizer

5. Eye Cream

6. Exfoliator
(replace your cleanser with this 2 times per week)

Step #2 – Complete a 30 Day Test

You’ve gone to your drugstore, or your local Sephora, or other department store, and you have your products for a basic skin care routine in hand. Now, implement a skin care regime twice a day and don’t budge on it for 30 days. See how your skin responds to consistent, daily care first and then make adjustments. This amount of time will also tell you whether or not your skin likes the products you chose. A caveat to this – if you experience a really negative reaction (burning, itching, redness), discontinue using the products immediately and seek help from a doctor or dermatologist!

Step #3 – Adjust as Necessary

Now that you’ve gotten into a skin care groove, how do you feel about where your skin is at? Does your skin still feel dry? Try adding a serum in before your moisturizer or use a night cream as your moisturizer in the evening for added hydration. If you have acne-prone skin like I do, you could also apply an acne-spot treatment after your toner.

Optional Step – Seek out Help

Whether you are just getting started, or you have just completed your first 30 days, or you have been taking care of your skin for years and are just not sure you are doing it justice, seek out help! You could see a dermatologist, get a facial and evaluation from a licensed esthetician, or visit a place like Sephora where they have professionals there to answer questions that you may have.

Basic Skin Care Products I Recommend

Like I have mentioned throughout this post, I have very oily, acne-prone skin. You may have a different skin type which means some of these products may not work for you. Again, try and choose products best suited for how you feel your skin type is today and adjust as you go. And although I do tend to swap out my skin care products more often than I probably should (it is just part of being obsessed with trying out new things), all of the items I have noted below are products I have used for quite some time and I would definitely repurchase them all!

1. Makeup Remover
I am currently using Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water on a cotton pad to remove my face makeup and Lancome’s Bi-Facil to remove my eye makeup.

2. Cleanser
I have been enjoying a cleanser I received in one of my beauty subscription boxes. The Acure Facial Cleansing Gel.

3. Toner
I currently use Murad’s Hydrating Toner which I spray on and then wipe away with a cotton round. I use this particular toner because it doesn’t have any alcohol in it and it is meant to help restore the pH of my skin to a proper balance.

4. Moisturizer
Although it caught me off guard that I would love this product so much, I am currently using e.l.f.’s Daily Hydration Moisturizer both day and night.

5. Eye Cream
Again, something else I discovered from my subscription boxes, I am digging the pur-lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum.

6. Exfoliator
Another beauty subscription box discovery (see a pattern?) – I am using the Vasanti Brighten Up Face Rejuvinator as my exfoliator.

In addition to these basic skin care routine items, I also use this benzoyl peroxide acne spot treatment before my moisturizer and I also apply this serum in the evening before my moisturizer (but after my acne treatment).

I also try to do a face mask at least once a week (strive for twice a week) and those will vary depending on what type of treatment I am looking for.

Remember, we only get one set of skin for our entire life….let’s treat it right!

Tell me in the comments section what skin care product you’ve been loving!

Pin the following image to be able to reference this post later!

Simple Steps to Start a Skin Care Routine, When you Don

Blog Disclosure: Any products reviewed in this post were purchased by me, with my own resources unless otherwise noted. All opinions are always my own and are not influenced in any way. Affiliate links may appear in this post. If you decide to purchase a product shown, and do so through one of the affiliate links, you help support this site. For more information, view my Disclosure Policy.

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13 Comments on 3 Simple Steps to Start a Skin Care Routine (When You Have No Idea Where to Start)

  1. Yami
    February 14, 2016 at 11:17 am (4 years ago)

    These are some great tips. I am actually on the hunt for an eye cream, will probably give the Pur-lisse one a try.

    • Jen Cassellius
      February 15, 2016 at 6:56 am (4 years ago)

      Just last night I tried something else for eye cream and it confirmed how much I do really love the Pur-lisse one I have….so I would definitely recommend giving it a try!

    • Jen Cassellius
      February 17, 2016 at 8:09 am (4 years ago)

      Sounds like you have a great skin care routine, Ursula! Would love to hear what products you use!

  2. Elaine (@heyelaineatkins)
    February 15, 2016 at 6:02 pm (4 years ago)

    Ack my heart is breaking for you 🙁 Glad you are taking steps to look after yourself though – great tips!

    • Jen Cassellius
      February 17, 2016 at 8:08 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Elaine! Glad you liked the post!

  3. Color Me So Crazy
    February 15, 2016 at 9:42 pm (4 years ago)

    Great tips! I feel like my skincare routine right now needs a little extra moisture with all this dry winter air!! Lol

    • Jen Cassellius
      February 17, 2016 at 8:07 am (4 years ago)

      Definitely in the same boat! Even though I typically have oily skin, it is actually dehydrated if I do not moisturize – especially in this dry winter air!

    • Jen Cassellius
      February 17, 2016 at 8:06 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you, Larissa. I am glad you found the post helpful!

  4. Sammi the Beauty Buff
    February 18, 2016 at 11:43 am (4 years ago)

    Love this post! I don’t know why so many toners contain drying alcohols. It defeats the purpose! I’m super curious about e.l.f.’s skincare line. I definitely have to try a few things from it.

    • Jen Cassellius
      February 24, 2016 at 1:50 pm (4 years ago)

      I didn’t realize the impact my toner was having on my skin (when I previously used one with alcohol). Your face shouldn’t burn when you use a product!!

  5. med-hero.net
    June 17, 2016 at 8:49 am (4 years ago)

    Hello Jen,
    Thanks for this helpful guide. Skin care is important at any age and the sooner a woman starts care about her skin, the better it looks.


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