Beauty Smasher

How Many Steps Should There Be in a Skincare Routine?

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Regardless of your skincare concerns, you can create a glowing look by maintaining a sustainable skincare routine. It’s not uncommon to see celebrities and influencers share their beauty routines with 10 steps or more. Liv Tyler showed off her regimen with a whopping 25! However, dermatologists agree that you don’t need more than these five steps to address your concerns and maintain healthy skin.


1. Cleansing

Cleansing is the most important component of any skincare routine. When you’re washing your face, pay attention to the temperature of the water. Hot water tends to feel good, but it strips the skin of essential moisture that’s necessary for smooth and glowing skin. Try to use lukewarm water whenever possible.

If you wear makeup, skincare experts recommend against using facial wipes to remove it. Instead, use a cleansing balm, cleansing gel or cleansing oil to gently remove the makeup from your face. Facial wipes don’t do a thorough job of removing makeup and tend just to smear it around. Even worse, they contain chemicals, like surfactants and preservatives, that can cause irritation and inflammation. So save the face wipes for beauty emergencies (i.e., you’re on a camping trip with no running water). And if you just love the feeling of wiping your makeup off, opt for a more sustainable option with our reusable cotton rounds.

Start with a cleanser to remove makeup and dirt from the day. Then, use a cleanser that’s formulated for your skin type. If you have acne-prone skin, a foam cleanser with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide can be really helpful. If you have dry skin, look for a cream cleanser to preserve moisture.

2. Toning

Most skincare professionals believe in the importance of toning the skin. Buy a toner that addresses your specific skin type. In the same way that you have a liquid shampoo and a natural dry shampoo specific to your hair type, your skin toning process can be just as individualized.

If you deal with a lot of discoloration or uneven tone, look for toners that contain ingredients like niacinamide or tranexamic acid. For many people, witch hazel is a classic natural toner. Natural options are incredible since they’re one of the best ways to incorporate sustainable skincare into your routine. If you opt for a natural option, check the ingredient list to ensure there’s no alcohol. Alcohol-based toners tend to dry the skin out.


3. Applying Specialized Treatments

This step is optional, but it’s a valuable way to treat skin that could use a little extra TLC. Specialized treatments are unique to you and your needs and include products such as serums, oils and spot treatments (hydroquinone, niacinamide, etc.). The specialized treatments you use could change as you resolve specific concerns. Whether you’re struggling with a temporary pimple or a melasma flare-up, remain diligent about addressing issues as they arise.

When you’re battling stubborn hyperpigmentation, you’ll want to use a treatment like discoloration serum on the area each day. If your skin often appears dull, a balancing facial oil is a treatment you can use to address the issue. If your goal is to maintain your glow as you age, a high-quality anti-aging serum helps to achieve that goal. Specialized treatments work best when they’re used consistently as part of a well-rounded skincare routine.

4. Moisturizing

After cleansing, toning and using specialized treatments, apply a high-quality moisturizer to keep your skin plump and supple. Consider your skin type when choosing a moisturizer. It’s also best to keep the climate and time of year in mind. If you’re in the middle of the winter months when the temperature is low, and indoor air is dry, use a heavier moisturizer.

If you struggle with oily skin, don’t think your natural oil will be enough moisturization. Often, the oil overcompensates for the lack of moisture and leads to breakouts. You can find moisturizers formulated for oily skin.

Always take extra moisturizing lotion with you so you can reapply it throughout the day as needed. This same concept also applies to your lips and lip balm. Your lips need moisture so that they don’t get chapped. Use a natural lip balm to make sure they stay moisturized and protected.

5. Protecting

Dermatologists agree that the use of sunscreen isn’t up for debate. In order to prevent skin cancer and premature aging, use sunscreen liberally. The beauty industry provides a plethora of options with skin tone and beauty concerns in mind. If you’d like to use a tinted sunscreen or a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen, you have plenty of options.

To make it easier on yourself, keep a sunscreen mist within arm’s reach. It’s easy to reapply on top of makeup or when you’re on the go. If you’re using a sunscreen mist, don’t blend it in with your moisturizer or makeup. Apply the moisturizer to your face, spray the mist on top and then apply makeup. Mixing sunscreen with any product dilutes it and reduces its effectiveness at protecting the skin. The key is to apply each product as its own layer.



You can make your skincare regimen as complicated as you want it to be, but there are five essential steps to a well-balanced and effective routine. As long as you maintain a high level of consistency, you can follow these steps for glowing, healthy skin.

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