While there are many tiered and multi-stepped skincare routines out there, experts agree that a basic skincare routine at most should have three steps. The rest is considered optional. That means certain products can be categorized, whether or not they should be considered essential in your basic routine or not. Here are some categories and products that fall on these categories:
- ESSENTIAL – There are really only three skincare products that are considered must-haves for your routine. These are your cleanser, your moisturizer and your sunscreen, or SPF. However, you should definitely know your skin type first before settling for your choice of cleanser and moisturizer. This is because there is no universal cleanser or moisturizer that anyone can just use, due to the difference in people’s skin types.
- OPTIONAL – These products are considered “nice-to-haves” meaning they’re not essential but at the same time are still very useful. These would include your serums, antioxidants or vitamin-based creams. These products all treat skin issues like dryness, dark spots, or scars. When using these products, it’s important to do a patch test first to see how your skin reacts to the ingredients before fully committing to using them.
- UNNECESSARY – These products would just create more bloat for your skincare routine, so you can definitely live without using these. Products considered unnecessary include one-time use face masks, harsh cleansing brushes, and so-called skin oils. Face masks that you can only use once are not very cost-effective compared to serums that do the same thing and provide more comprehensive results. Harsh cleansing brushes on the other hand can irritate your skin. You can just use your hands, why use a tool that can damage your face? As for the last one, skin oils are marketed to provide better moisturization, but the big downside is that your pores can become clog and can make you break out in acne.