Your guide to curating a beginner skincare routine that works for you.

How To Curate Your Skincare Routine

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Assess your skin type.

Knowing your skin type is the first step in curating your skincare routine. Skin types can be oily, dry, combination, normal, and sensitive. 

  • Oily skin types typically have a shiny appearance. Basically, the skin produces excess sebum. People with oily skin are usually prone to acne and can have enlarged pores.
  • Dry skin types are the complete opposite. This skin type will appear to be more dull and flaky. It can also tend to feel tight which is prone to having visible fine lines.
  • A combination skin type is a combination of the two: oily and dry. The T-zone area (forehead, nose and chin) will appear oily while the rest of the face will look dry. 
  • The normal skin type is well-balanced skin. It’s hydrated without seeming oily nor dry. 
  • Lastly, the sensitive skin type can be applied to any skin type mentioned above. However, the skin is most easily triggered by irritants like fragrances or dyes. When testing a new skin product, it is important to always do a patch test on the inside of your wrist. 

Now, how exactly can you assess which skin type you have? Simple. All you need to do is wash your face with a mild, gentle face cleanser and wait for 30 minutes. If your skin looks shiny and greasy to touch, then you have oily skin. If the skin feels tight, then you have dry skin. If only your cheeks feel tight while your T-zone is shiny, then that’s combination skin and if your skin feels hydrated and normal, then lucky for you, you have a normal skin type. 

If you’re still unsure, you can use blotting papers to simply see the oil production in your face. 

How To Curate Your Skincare Routine

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The 3 + 1 main steps in skincare

Now that you know your skin type, choosing the right product for your skin will be easier. As a beginner, you don’t need to overwhelm yourself with serums and masks just yet. An effective skincare routine only needs the most basic yet important steps. These are: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. The +1 step is applying sunscreen. 


It’s necessary to wash your face every AM and PM. The right cleanser formula will depend on your skin type and as a general rule, oily skin should use foaming cleansers while dry skin should opt for a cream-based one. Some cleansers are for all skin types which can be used by people who have combination or normal skin. Avoid, at all cost, cleansers with physical exfoliants like seeds or crushed nuts. It’s not worth it, I promise you. 


Another rule of thumb to keep in mind: apply skincare products from thinnest to thickest. So naturally, toners come right after cleansers. The general idea for toners was to remove leftover dirt from your skin after cleansing. However, toners can also be used to incorporate additional ingredients in your skincare routine that you wouldn’t normally find in your moisturizer. 

Hyaluronic Acid, for example, is a toner that acts as extra hydration to your skin. This toner is suitable for all skin types and can be used regularly. 


If you live in a harsh, cold city like Toronto, moisturizers are a must! But just like cleansers, your choice of moisturizer depends on your skin type. For example, oily skin should use water-based moisturizers like gels and dry skin should use cream-based products. Apply moisturizer every AM and PM and don’t forget to apply some to your neck! 

How To Curate Your Skincare Routine

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If there’s anything you can take away from this article, I hope it’s of the utmost importance of sunscreen. Apply sunscreen every day and aim to reapply every couple of hours. Consistent use of sunscreen can protect you from developing sun damage, wrinkles, and obviously skin cancer! It’s recommended to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30. If you’re unsure how much sunscreen is enough, try this two-finger method

Now that we’ve broken down the main steps to skincare, it’s important to note that visible changes in your skin will show after 6 weeks of consistent use. Keyword: Consistent. 

Published by HOLR Magazine.