I should probably start by apologizing for that ridiculous reference for an old joke (bonus points to those who know the reference), but I'm the kind of person who loves stuff like that so I'm not sorry in the least bit. Now, hopefully all of you have some sort of morning and evening skin care routine (if you don't, now is a great time to start), but do you know what order everything should go in? If you are like me, figuring out which of your handful of items needs to go on when can be a headache and a half, so I'm going to walk you through each of the steps you should be taking.
Step #1: Wash your face. Obviously this is the first step you should take every morning, and hopefully you're washing with more than just some water. I'm not picky about what I use in the morning, I'll grab whatever I'm currently liking that week. Sometimes I do a facial mask instead of washing it, but that's maybe once a week.
Step #2: Apply your toner. I make my own toner pads so I can just grab one and swab. I use the pad on my face, neck, and sometimes my chest if that skin is looking a little ragged. I never skip this step, even if I'm crunched for time. I just really like how toners make my skin look and feel.
Step #3: Exfoliate. Now, this can be a daily thing if you use a gentle exfoliator and your skin can handle it. Mine can only handle twice a week without feeling raw and ouchie, so I tend to skip this step and save the scrubbing for night time every Friday night.
Step #4: Chemical warfare, aka your acne treatments. If you have any treatment gel or liquid (I use the ELF Zit Zapper), this is the step you would use it. Now obviously if you are blessed with perfect skin you can skip this step.
Step #5: Serums make your skin happy, so apply here. I've become a big fan of skin serums in recent years, they are just the kick my skin needs to really good good. If you don't use serums skip this step, but you should shop around and find a serum you like. Your skin will thank you for it.
Step #6: Moisturize! Yes, even you with the oily skin. There are lots of oil free moisturizers out there, and using one can actually decrease the oiliness of your skin. It did wonders for mine. I'm using a Hyalauronic Acid serum, so my serum and moisturizer step are combined for a faster routine in the morning.
Step #7: SUNSCREEN! Unless your lotion has SPF in it, you need to add some. Unless you live in a cave and never ever go outside, then you are excused from applying sunscreen. For everybody else, you really need to use it every single day. If you HATE sunscreen on your face, try the Supergoop brand of sunscreens, their City Serum Sunscreen is the only sunscreen I will use on my face now. No greasiness, and has never made me break out.
For a faster morning, just do step #1, 2, 6, and 7. And multi-use products will also speed the routine up.
Step #1: Wash off all of your makeup. Never ever ever go to bed with your makeup on. Ever!
Step #2: Use an actual Cleanser to wash your face. This will get any leftover makeup off and will work to get your skin where it needs to be. I use a gentler wash at night so I don't dry my face out. On Friday nights I exfoliate instead of using my cleanser.
Step #3: Toner again, just like in the morning.
Step #4: If your acne treatment can be used multiple times a day, you can use it again here.
Step #5: Serums. I have ones I only use at night, like my anti-aging retinol ones (retinol can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun). You can skip this one if your serum is once daily or you don't have a night time only one.
Step #6: Nighttime moisturizer. You can use a heavier one at night than you would in the morning, just make sure you really massage it in. I've been testing lots of different night time ones out, haven't found a favorite yet but I will say that gross dry patch between my eyes is gone because of this.
Step #7: Eye cream. I cannot stress enough how the skin around your eyes is delicate and needs it's own special cream. I rotate between a few different ones, but they all should be applies with a gentle patting motion, no brisk rubbing. You can damage the skin.
On a dead tired night I will only do step #1 and 3, but night time is really the best time to heal and rejuvenate your skin. I also apply a good lip balm before bed but it has been hitting below freezing here at night so if I don't my lips will be cracked come morning.