skincare routine for beginners

A Beginner's Guide to Daily Skincare

Here at Sweet Cecily’s, we all have varying different types of skincare routines, but what we all share is a need for simplicity! Whether you lead a busy life and don’t have a lot of time to fit in looking after your skin or if you just simply find the whole experience a bit confusing and daunting, we’ve got you! We’re here to demystify, strip back and refine your options to give you a quick and basic skincare routine which is suitable for most, if not all, lifestyles.

If beauty and skincare isn’t at the top of your priority list, finding a routine that helps you look after yourself can feel a bit exhausting, researching different products and words can take up a lot of unnecessary time so we are here to help you. The beauty industry is arguably the biggest in the world and with that, comes a lot of confusing terminology, not to mention constant changes and updates on how you should be looking after your skin.

Often, walking into a shop looking for products can almost feel overwhelming, especially as a young person, or simply just someone who may not know exactly what they should be looking for. We’ve written this blog for several reasons; you may be someone with hundreds of products and just want to strip your routine back, or maybe this is your first time searching ‘skincare routine’. At Sweet Cecily’s, we have all been at this stage at some point in our lives, so we know exactly how it feels. We hope that with this blog, we can make the process of finding a skincare routine as easy and as stress free as possible.

Step 1 - Cleansing

Otherwise known as a fancy word for washing your face!

A cleanser is always the first step in any skincare routine, typically first thing on a morning, or before you go to bed and before applying makeup (if you wear any). To put it simply, what a cleanser does is wash away daily dirt (which is completely normal) such as makeup, dead skin cells, bacteria, excess oils, and pollutants. Whatever routine you decide you want to follow just make sure cleansing is part of it! Cleansers come in different types of textures; gel, oil, balm, cream, foaming, and water based. So not only do you need to find the right texture for you but also the one that is right for your skin type.

Oily Skin

A cleanser that contains Salicylic Acid is perfect for those with an oily complexion as it can break down fatty compounds on the surface of the skin such as your skins natural oils or sebum (something that usually comes from a hair follicle and releases some oiliness). Salicylic Acid can usually be found in a gel cleanser.

Dry Skin

If you have dry skin there is a few more things to look out for in a cleanser, because you don’t want anything that will cause a flare up or even more dry spots, so you need to be a bit more careful. Cream cleansers tend to be gentler and hydrating, making them ideal for dry skin.

  • A natural, gentle formula that is fragrance-free, because synthetic fragrances can, in some cases cause skin irritation for certain people.
  • Hyaluronic Acid is an ingredient to look out for as it can attract and retain moisture, helping form a layer on top of the skin to help it feel soft and smooth.
  • A cleanser that contains Ceramide (a family of waxy molecules) can help create a barrier on your skin protecting against irritants.
  • Consider using a balm-based cleanser, which do not contain water or any harsh cleansing agents. Although using a product without water for dry skin seems counterproductive, it isn’t! A Balm can provide intense hydration as it will usually contain natural oils and waxes such as Shea butter or Coconut oil.

Combination Skin

If your skin is both dry and oily, a foaming cleanser can be very good at removing excess oils while also gently exfoliating. – Add a bit about what ingredients to avoid or look for that are beneficial

Normal Skin

Now, because you don’t need an ingredient that helps you focus on a particular problem, you could use a cleanser that brightens your skin, just to give it that extra push, leaving your skin looking more radiant.  – same here, add a bit about what to avoid or look for that would be helpful

Step 2 – Moisturising

A decent moisturiser is a must-have in any skincare routine, and arguably the first product that comes to anyone’s mind when you say the word skincare. They can be used for a variety of different purposes, whether you want to appear healthier and more glowing – even youthful, or just wanting to protect the condition and appearance of your skin, a moisturiser is vital. Lack of hydration in the skin can trigger a variety of unwanted, common skincare complaints such as flakiness and acne.

A common myth with moisturising is that you shouldn’t do it if you have oily skin, which couldn’t be further from the truth. As long as you know what products to avoid (spoiler: I’m about to tell you) your skin can be moisturised just as much as someone with dry skin.  Moisturisers that are a lotion or gel tend to be water-based, so these are less likely to aggravate your skin – also if your skin is acne-prone. Using a light and fast-absorbing product won’t leave your skin feeling slick or looking shiny.

Healthy skin is hydrated skin!

Step 3 – Sun Cream

Protecting yourself from the sun is arguably the most important aspect of keeping your skin healthy. Although it doesn’t seem like ‘skincare’, it’s protecting you from harmful UV rays,the effects of which will quickly catch up on you as you age. It’s easy to forget that you need to protect yourself from the sun in the colder months, because it’s far less obvious. However, just because you can’t see the sun, doesn’t mean that the effects of it such as UV damage won’t occur.  You can also still sustain sunburn during winter, with symptoms ranging from peeling skin to blisters.

If you’re unsure of how much SPF you need, a commonly used one is SPF 30, applying this to your face, neck, and chest. However, these days you can usually find other skincare products that contain SPF such as moisturisers, and it’s also easy to incorporate it into your make-up routine as products such as, primers, tinted moisturisers and foundations are conveniently mixed with high SPF.

Step 4 - Patience is Key!

Once you have your basic routine down, you can begin to add (or not!) any extra steps you like. It’s important to know that sometimes products, even though the label says it will be perfect for you, it just might not work with your skin, so being patient is super important. Give your skin chance to get used to a product and wait around 2 months before switching. This is on the basis that it just doesn’t ‘feel right’, compared to, if you instantly get irritated by the product, rinse it off immediately and don’t keep forcing it on your skin. Trust the process (and your skin!) and follow through with whatever routine you set out for yourself.

What Dorrie says about her skincare routine:

I have never been one for complicated skincare routines with endless steps. It just seemed like a massive mountain to climb which I don’t really have the patience or time for. I lead quite a busy lifestyle and when I’m not here (at Sweet Cecily’s), I’m either studying or frantically trying to catch up on housework, never mind trying to find time to relax in between. I’ve always been a self-confessed workaholic and pour most of my energy into my job, but recently I’ve come to realise how important it is to strike a balance and really make time for looking after yourself. Saying that, I still do not dedicate a huge amount of time to a skincare routine, but I do have some rules that I always follow!

  1. Cleanse/wash my face daily – I use Propolis soap and have done for years. It has been an absolute godsend when it comes to preventing and treating hormonal spots.
  2. NEVER go to sleep with make up on! – on the rare occasion I get myself done up, I always make sure that I take it all off and cleanse my face properly before bed.
  3. Wash my hair regularly – I can find that I get more spots on my forehead if I’ve left my hair a bit too long before washing. Even if it’s a quick wash of the fringe in the sink! Do what you can when you can. That’s my motto!
  4. Moisturise at least once a day – I do fail miserably with this rule at times because I’m usually rushing to get out the door on a morning. Noticing that is my behaviour, instead of trying to force myself into a habit that wasn’t going to last, I’ve started carrying a little pot of face cream in my bag and I just put some one when I remember! I use Sea Buckthorn face cream as I absolutely adore the smell and it absorbs quick enough for me to shoot off and do something else straight away.

Whatever skincare routine you choose, I think the best way is to adapt it to what suits you and your lifestyle and behaviours. There’s no point in trying to shoehorn yourself into being someone who has 20 steps to their skincare routine if you just aren’t that kind of person!”

What Sophie says about her skincare routine:

“Since I was a teenager, my intentions to begin a skincare routine was always there, just never executed. I really love having loads of products and face masks, but I barely use any of it – only on the off chance when I feel like treating myself. However, the one thing I will forever stand by is taking my makeup off after a night out! I have friends who go to sleep with theirs on and it’s something that no matter how drunk I am, can and will never do. The only product I do consistently use is our Soothing Skin Cream, which I slap all over my face as though it’s a moisturiser, but I can get bad dry spots, so I like to use the strong stuff instead of a product labelled as a moisturiser as I fear it may bring me more irritation.

I do love the thought of having a skincare routine, but I don’t out of laziness. I’ve been lucky compared to some that I only get a handful of spots on my face a year – which I unapologetically squeeze!

You know your skin better than anyone, and if you feel like you don’t need tonnes of products then there’s no point having them!”

What Beth says about her skincare routine:

“Understanding what is best for your skin and in what order can be an extremely confusing concept to understand. Over the years more and more steps have been added to help you maintain a “healthy glow”. But, for someone like me who is on the go for around 15 hours a day, I struggle to find the time to be so committed to an in-depth skincare routine. Therefore, my personal skincare routine is forever changing depending on how busy my day is. 

On a weekday morning, I quickly cleanse my face with a flannel and cold water (mainly to wake me up as I am not a morning person). Then I pat my face dry with a towel. After this, I spray my face with a hydrating mist which also wakes me up even more. Next, I apply a moisturizer all over my face. Finishing it off with an application of lip balm.  This whole process takes me no longer than 2 minutes to do. However, I feel that it helps to keep my skin feeling clean and hydrated throughout the day. 

If I am having a relaxing weekend, I do like to increase my routine slightly as this is the time when I will wear make if ever. Unlike when I was younger, I always make sure that I have removed all my makeup and then applied skincare products before I go to sleep. This normally involves a double cleanse, with a nourishing cleansing balm and then a toner. Followed by a serum if I feel that my skin is needing an extra bit of TLC. Then I finish the routine off with a moisturiser (usually a thick one that can soak into my skin overnight).

I think that the most important thing is having a skincare routine that works around your life and that helps you to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.”

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