3 Steps to a Complete Skin Maintenance Routine

woman cleaning face

23 Oct 3 Steps to a Complete Skin Maintenance Routine

If you’re used to simply splashing water on your face in the morning, starting a skincare routine can seem overwhelming — but following these simple steps will help it become part of your everyday routine.

Depending on the type of skin you have, any skin issues you have and the time you have available, you may not need to follow every step. Try out the bare minimum at first, slowly incorporating new steps and new products to see how your skin responds.

Morning Skincare Routine

Your skincare routine for the morning is all about protecting your skin for the day ahead.

Step 1: Cleanse

Cleaning your face is one of the most important steps of a skincare routine, so if you only have the time or patience for one step, this is the one you should take. If your skin is particularly sensitive or dry, you can skip a cleanser and just use water.

Step 2: Moisturize

Moisturizing your skin is just as important as cleansing, as you’ll need to replenish the natural moisture that you’ve washed away from your face. Make sure that you let your moisturizer dry before continuing to the next step.

Step 3: Sunscreen

Sunscreen and moisturizers are commonly sold as a two-in-one product, but a recent study conducted at the University of Liverpool showed that people who use SPF moisturizers are more likely to miss areas of their face and be less protected from harmful UV rays. If you’d like to continue using your SPF moisturizer, do so — but make sure to use a SPF 50 or higher and reapply every two hours in thick, even layers.

smiling woman with smooth skin

Evening Skincare Routine

Your skincare routine for the evening is focused on removing dirt and pampering your skin.

Step 1: Remove makeup

If you wear makeup, you’ve probably gone to bed without removing it before, but this is a serious misstep in skincare. Leaving makeup on your face, especially foundation, can clog pores, cause dullness and introduce bacteria to your skin. Use a makeup remover, baby (mineral) oil or petroleum jelly to remove makeup.

Step 2: Cleanse

Unlike the morning, using a cleansing product is important in the evening. The cleaners will remove any excess makeup, moisturizer and grime that may have settled on your face during the day.

Step 3: Moisturize

Always moisturize after cleansing to rehydrate your face.


Exfoliating, done before moisturizing, isn’t necessary, but it can help even out your skin and brighten your complexion. There are two ways to exfoliate: using a physical product, such as a lotion with gritty particles (which can be too harsh), or a chemical exfoliant, such as a peel featuring BHA.

Spot treating pimples is best done as the last step in the evening, as you won’t disturb the product; if it’s a visible color, you won’t feel embarrassed about having a glob of acne cream on your face.

There is always room to add more steps, but three are all you need for a skincare routine that will keep your face youthful and bright.

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