How to build a skincare routine

The world of skincare is a treasure trove full of tips, tricks, ingredients, but above all do’s and don'ts. Good skincare, is the key to any effective health and beauty regimen.

Creams, oils, toners and other skincare products. On the face, don't forget your neck, and finish off with a layer of eye cream. Everything has its own little tube or jar. But why, what and when do we care for our skin?

1. Cleansing

Optimal skin health begins with a polished face, a perfectly clean canvas to work with. Cleaning your face is not only important to wash away everything that has touched your skin throughout the day, but also to keep the flora of your skin in balance. What should you consider when choosing a cleanser?

Cleansing milk and toners are used for cleansing with a cotton pad. Cleansing milk leaves a thin layer on the skin, which can be a nice bonus if you have dehydrated skin. Toners, on the other hand, are beneficial for oily skin as they contain ingredients to minimize pores (often alcohol). Foaming cleansers are pleasant for oily skin types and acne-prone skin, while non-foaming cleansers are recommended for dry skin. Then there is Micellar Water, which is suitable for all skin types. Micelles are tiny droplets with active cleansing ingredients that target dirt on your skin. Finally, there are also oils to clean your skin. Facial oils are particularly pleasant for dry to dehydrated skin.

When it comes to cleansers, consistency is key, and the quality of the cleanser is less important. Don't get overwhelmed by the various types available in the skincare market, but choose a cleanser that suits you. Also, don't be swayed by all the advice out there; do what makes your skin happy. For example, some skins may benefit from cleansing once a day (preferably in the evening, as sleeping with makeup on is a major skincare violation). Cleansing can have a drying effect.

Another well-known marketing gimmick is double cleansing. Cleansing once with a cleanser that suits your skin is sufficient. If you love facial oils and find the oily layer a bit too much, you can follow up with some micellar water on a cotton pad. Only in this case, double cleansing can be beneficial.

Take at least a minute to cleanse your face, longer than you might think. A cleanser is not a magical potion that instantly removes dirt from your skin; take the time to let it work and rinse it off thoroughly. Use lukewarm water and, most importantly, never rub, but pat your skin dry instead. Your skin will thank you for it.

2. Exfoliation

With exfoliating, you remove the top layer of dead, dry, and dull skin cells. Underneath, a soft, glowing, and new skin emerges. Exfoliation not only improves the skin texture, but also helps with age spots, uneven skin tone, and allows serums and moisturisers to penetrate the skin layers better. Be warned, patience is a virtue: benefits require some effort and only come with regularity.

There are physical and chemical variations to be found in the world of exfoliants. Physical exfoliants can be found in the form of facial tools or scrubs, for example. Chemical exfoliants often contain - as you might have guessed, chemical components, usually acids. It's not as intense as it sounds: the top layer of the skin is already dead, and chemical exfoliants should never be painful to the skin. Once the exfoliant is removed from the face, the skin will immediately appear more radiant and feel softer.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) and Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) are the most common chemical exfoliants. These ingredients may ring a bell, and you may even have a product with the active ingredient in your cabinet already. Either way, it's good to know what it is and, more importantly, what it does:


AHAs all work by breaking down the 'glue' that holds skin cells together, allowing dead skin cells to shed and new ones to be produced. Examples include glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (as you may have guessed, extracted from milk), and malic acid (found in fruits, especially apples).


BHA's are oil-soluble molecules that can penetrate into pores. The most common form of BHA is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it an ideal tool for people with oily or acne-prone skin.


Or better known as Polyhydroxy acids, is a gentler chemical exfoliant. Look for gluconolactone, galactosen and lactobionic acid as these are more common PHAs. PHAs exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface, leading to smoother and more even skin.

Good to know: it is really not necessary to exfoliate every day. In fact, it can irritate your skin because cells need time to renew themselves. Regardless of the instructions on the packaging, start slowly and build up gradually. A helpful tip: oily skin can tolerate more frequent exfoliation than dry, to very dry, skin.

3. Serums

Serums are highly concentrated solutions with active molecules that penetrate deeper into the skin layers. They are usually the smallest bottles in your skincare routine with the most significant impact; serums can address a variety of skincare issues. From deep pore cleansing to smoothing fine lines (anti-aging) to lightening skin discolouration. You name it, and there's probably a serum for it. Serums often come with higher price tags, but don't be mistaken: you only need a tiny amount. Allow the serum to fully absorb into the skin and preferably wait at least five minutes before moving on to the next step in your routine.

4. Moisturizers

Not only to hydrate, but also to make the skin flexible and maintain optimal elasticity; moisturizing is a must. Creams keep the skin healthy and act as a barrier between your skin and all the harmful substances and external radiation. They do more than just nourish dry patches. With a good moisturizer, you'll feel better in your skin. Literally. Creams can improve the texture and quality of the skin and combat dryness. 

5. Eye Creams

The skin around the eyes is particularly sensitive and incredibly thin. Contrary to what we are often told, it's not necessarily essential to purchase a separate tube or jar specifically for the under-eye area. A large portion of the day- and night creams in your stash are likely perfectly suitable for nourishing the skin around the eyes. Take a look at the ingredients of facial and eye creams. We're willing to bet that you'll see many similar ingredients. However, do be cautious if your day cream is used to combat imperfections. These products are often slightly more aggressive and can lead to irritation.

No amount of cream has the superpower to combat skin aging or age-related sagging skin or under-eye bags, regardless of the promises on the packaging. When applying a cream around the eyes, it is of utmost importance to handle it with care. Avoid pulling, rubbing, or tugging. Gentle massaging is the way to go.

6. SPF (sun protection)

We can't stress this enough: use SPF. Ideally, every day. Fortunately, there is still time to reverse the damage and incorporate SPF into your routine. Sunscreen protects the skin against radiation, specifically UVA and UVB rays. Some even contain ingredients to combat infrared radiation. Those who choose not to apply anything to their face in winter, when it's cloudy and cold, should probably reconsider. Even on those days, the sun's ultraviolet rays penetrate through the thick cloud cover. Whether or not sunscreen is your best precaution against premature skin aging in a bottle. Truly, nothing beats a good SPF.

For optimal protection, it's safer to use a separate facial sunscreen. Choosing which sunscreen to use largely comes down to personal preference. Oily and acne-prone skin types benefit from a gel-based SPF or at least a more fluid texture with no SPF based on oil, while drier skin types respond well to richer creams or even balms.

The line between an overkill of skincare ingredients and 'just enough' is hard to find. But ultimately, it's not that difficult at all. Because, after all, consistency is the key to your perfect skincare regimen. An ideal night routine follows almost the same steps as a morning routine, minus the SPF.


Taking time for self-care is vital. Whether it's slipping into comfy pyjamas or organising your washbag, small acts nurture well-being. Embrace these rituals for a healthier, happier you. Discover the selfcare items we have curated for you.