Updated: Jan 21, 2021
Step 1: Cleanse with water only
In the morning, I only cleanse with water. Because I do a full nighttime cleanse, in which I remove makeup and dirt, I often still feel the product the next morning. To be honest, my skin has never looked better than it does when I cleanse with water in the mornings.
If you’re skeptical, try using a konjac sponge, which is a gentle exfoliating sponge that’s made from the konjac root. The natural clays help to naturally cleanse the skin without, again, stripping oil. Step 2: Hydrosol (toner)
Following cleansing, I use a hydrosol to add a water barrier to my skin. This helps to act as a good foundation for all that is to come next. My favorite hydrosols have small amounts of essential oils such as lavender or rose, which are great for helping the actives penetrate into the skin (next step).
Step 3: Serum and actives
Now it’s time for what I call “the do’ers.” Products that contain an ingredient — think salicylic acid — intended to achieve a certain effect are considered “actives.” They tend to be the “brightening” products or “correctors.” These products, plus serums, work on certain issues, concerns, or benefits for your skin.
A serum is applied first, so that it seeps right into the skin. I then like to apply my actives and let them sit for a few minutes before the next steps. Doing this will help will seal in the other products.
Step 4: Moisturize
I’ll then move onto moisturizer. I tend to opt for heavy moisturizing in the form of a face balm or heavy facial oil. I rarely use creams as I feel my skin reacts better to whole plant oil.
I’ll add the oil by patting it on my face and then massaging in to the skin with upward strokes. I tend to take a few minutes on this process. This helps to work the product into my skin and I feel pampered with a mini-facial massage.
If I’m using a balm, I’ll warm it up in my hands first, by rubbing it in between my hands, in order to get it into a more oily consistency, and then continue as mentioned above.
Step 5: Sun protection
You should always apply sunscreen. For me, living in Norway, if I’m going out for a cross-country ski session, or going to be exposed to the sun for big chunks of the day, I’ll use a non-nano mineral sunscreen. This is both environmentally friendly and helps to protect me from hyperpigmentation and other sun damage.
I’ll pat this product into the skin lightly, as if I am sealing everything in with it.
(Medically reviewed byCarissa Stephens, R.N., CCRN, CPN—Written by Kate Murphy—Updated on April 22, 2019)