How to build a basic skincare routine

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It is no secret that I love testing new skincare, and while I am not invested in the famous 10 step Korean regimen, I admit that there are nights that I am not far from using that amount of products.

It is no secret either that I am not a fan of clutter and wastage, and you don´t have to be a genius to see that this combination can easily lead to trouble. I mean, I do only have that one face, and if I keep purchasing new stuff I will eventually drown in a pile of half empty bottles.


How to build a basic skincare routine
How to build a basic skincare routine – The 4 steps everyone needs


Even worse: When doing my 2018 Beauty favorites (see here) I realized that even if I really fall for a product, I usually don’t repurchase.

Why? Because there are always three others lined up that need to be finished first, and by the time I have gone through all of them, I most likely forgot about the one that rocked my world.

So with 2019 still fresh and new, I set myself a goal: I would build a basic skin care routine out of my favorite products, one that consist of as little steps as possible, but still has everything my aging, acne prone skin needs.

So today, dear friend, we will talk basics. The four steps that your skincare routine should include no matter your age or skin type. The basis on which we will build your best routine ever!




Now you totally saw that coming, didn´t you? It might be old news, but I can´t repeat it enough:  People, wash your face! With a gentle cleanser, yes, to respect your skin and not destroy the barrier function, but with one that will wash away pollution, makeup and SPF. Why? Because everything I mentioned causes inflammation on the skin, increase free radical damage and thus in the long run will prematurely age your skin.

Do you need to Double Cleanse? I am currently in the process of testing that myself, so I will withhold my opinion for now and share my thoughts at a later date. What do you think of that topic?

My cleanser of choice?

I picked two, because that is how I like it. You can of course you the same one morning and night.

In the mornings I want a purifying and refreshing cleanse that ideally helps with oil control, so I opt for Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip (Review of the original formula). As I haven´t tried the reformulated version though it is a risky choice that I might need to change once I have – I will keep you posted.

At night, before my actives go on, I want a gentle yet effective version: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (Review). Yes, it isn´t as fancy as other balm cleansers out there,  but it is the fact that it is fragrance free, removes every bit of makeup and still rinses off even without a flannel just makes it an obvious choice.


Clinique Take The Day Off Balm
Clinique Take The Day Off Balm



A little less obvious this time, but actually not a surprise once you think about it. I mentioned above free radical damage as a reason for premature aging. To fight free radical damage, you need antioxidants. And as a bonus most antioxidants come in a concoction with a few humectants, offering protection from free radical damage as well as hydration.

If you think expensive and extravagant plant extracts when you hear antioxidants, rest assured: There are well researched ones that won´t break the bank.

Which leads me to my antioxidant product of choice

THE INKEY LIST Q10 (Review). Q10, though not often talked about, is an excellent antioxidant and it comes paired with humectants, emollients and even peptides to keep my skin hydrated and plump.





Although I use that term in the widest way possible. Many people only think of a proper cream when it comes to a moisturizer, neglecting the fact that there are actually three different subgroups: Humectants, emollients and occlusives. (HERE and here)

The different combination of these three determines the “weight” and consistency of your moisturizer, it doesn´t necessarily have to be a cream.

Depending on your skin type, you might need a lotion, a gel, even a hydrating serum might be enough. Just make sure it contains humectants, emollients and occlusive in the way your skin needs them. (I did a whole video on this topic that you can find here).

My moisturizer of choice?

That is a tough one, I admit I don´t really have a firm favorite here For the daytime THE INKEY LIST Q10 serum underneath my SPF is enough for me, and in the evenings I currently enjoy the Asambeauty Vitamin E 24hr Skin Smoothing Cream (Review). But if I enjoy it enough to repurchase? Only time will tell.




Yes, even in winter. And yes, even if it is cloudy outside. You won´t be covering yourself head to toe in it, even I notoriously forget to apply it behind my ears and on my hands, so I don´t worry about being Vitamin D deficient.

I do worry however about premature aging and hyperpigmentation, and both can be prevented by wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen.

If the question now is if you can kill two birds with one stone and get your SPF from your moisturizer or even your foundation, the answer is yes. Under certain conditions: You need to apply enough, which for me rules out foundation (it would probably lead to a cake face situation) and you need to make sure it offers broad spectrum protection as in UVA and UVB.

As mentioned above, I have kind of a reverse situation going on: I get my moisturizer from my sunscreen – works a treat!

My sunscreen of choice at the moment?

Now that it is cold I enjoy the lairs Soft and Airy UV Essence SPF 50 PA++++ * (Review), for the summer I will probably go back to the ISDIN Fusion Water SPF 50


And here you go: The absolute basic skincare routine that will work for all skin types and all ages (above adolescence, I might add, if you are younger than that, wash your face and wear sun protection).

Is this enough for my aging, acne prone skin? Absolutely not! I promise over the course of this mini series we will cover specific products for specific concerns so you can pick and mix your perfect routine.

But until then, ask yourself: Do I have the basics down? And if you don´t, you know where to start!


Basic skincare routine
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